Special Report: Bus Lane

Councillors Must Move Beyond Divisive Self-Interest

Division breeds fear, contempt, and stagnation. Collaboration engenders progress, a sense of collective well-being and community.

By Myra Leyden
Published January 23, 2015

City council's decision to axe the bus lane is, in my opinion, indicative of the type of council that citizens of Hamilton can expect over the next four years: divisive, self-interested, and an "us versus them" mentality.

Such a shame: I had hoped a new council and new year would herald in courageous leadership.

Although council's decision was disappointing, it is not too late to turn things around. I hold out hope because I see a number of courageous leaders in chambers - just not the majority (yet).

Leadership takes courage. It takes courage to see past the popular and easy to do what is good, right, and in the best interests of the city at large.

Division breeds fear, contempt, and stagnation. Collaboration engenders progress, a sense of collective well-being and community.

These are early days for this new council and I hope council finds a way to work collaboratively with one another soon. I hope our councillors ask themselves: How will I make decisions going forward?

I hope it is not how decisions have been made to date.

When asked for evidence, the majority ignored it. When asked where there was support, the majority ignored it. When asked for staff recommendations, the majority ignored it.

In whose best interest are Council decisions being made?

Increasing Hamilton's tax base seems to be in everyone's best interest, yet failing to understand how excellent public transit fits into that goal is short-sighted.

Those seeking to relocate out of the GTA (or elsewhere) will have to weigh Hamilton's housing affordability with its lack of progressive infrastructure.

Courageous leadership reaps many rewards. Short-term, divisive thinking is not in the best interests of Hamilton's citizens.

May our Councillors all rise to the challenge of courageous leadership that is in everyone's best interests.

This article is adapted from a letter to Council.

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By protest (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2015 at 01:48:46

I think we should protest the removal crews and prevent them from doing the actual sign removals.

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By LOL_all_over_again (registered) | Posted January 23, 2015 at 16:53:54

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By JWilbur (registered) | Posted January 30, 2015 at 21:29:46

I agree completely and I like the tone of this article. It is early in the new council's term which makes it all the more important that the evidence prevails in THIS case. Each time we let Council turn away from clear evidence in decision making, we pave the way for corruption, we actually enable it. We must stop this behaviour now by whatever means are necessary, we must organize and find a way to reverse this decision. If we lose this, we stand a much greater chance of losing the LRT. We have the power to reverse this decision, let's use it!

Comment edited by JWilbur on 2015-01-30 21:30:40

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