Politics

Mayor Issues Statement on Chapman Pay Increase

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 09, 2011

Mayor Bob Bratina has just issued a public statement in which he expressed "regret" for "any negative inference that my comments may have created" after indicating earlier this week that the decision to give Peggy Chapman, his chief of staff, a $30,000 raise originated in the City's Human Resources department.

Bratina's statement clarified that the salary review that resulted in Chapman's income increasing form $90,000 to $120,000 was "my responsibility as mayor".

He concluded by saying it is "time to put this unfortunate distraction behind us" and focus instead on "the many important issues and exciting opportunities" that face Council in the new year.

When the Spectator reported the pay raise on Wednesday, Bratina was quoted from the previous day, saying, "HR reviewed Peggy's employment status and found that she was vastly undercompensated based on job description and history. I didn't give a raise, she didn't ask for a raise."

The next day, an email from Human Resources director Helen Hale Tomasik clarified that it had only responded to a request from Mayor's office for information on salary ranges, and that it was the Mayor who had determined Chapman's salary increase.

Yesterday, Council met in camera to consider whether the matter warranted a formal censure against the Mayor for violating the Council Code of Conduct or some other action. Bratina did not attend the meeting, so Council plans to meet again this coming Tuesday to give the mayor a chance to respond.

Here is the Mayor's full statement:

Wednesday, in an interview I made comments regarding the salary adjustment given my Chief of Staff that left the impression that the initiative originated in the Human Resources Department. This was not the case, as I noted in the clarification I issued when I realized the impression that had been created by my remarks. I regret any negative inference that may have been created. The issue of salary review for this office is, of course, my responsibility as mayor. While I did seek comparative historical information from Human Resources and while I acted on the basis of that information, it was not my intention to suggest that the final approval was anyone's other than my own. It is time to put this unfortunate distraction behind us, and hopefully we can get back to tackling the many important issues and exciting opportunities that we will face as a council in the coming year.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Say Sorry (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 11:44:46

'HR reviewed Peggy's employment status and found that she was vastly undercompensated based on job description and history. I didn't give a raise, she didn't ask for a raise.'

Jeez, I can't for the life of me think how someone might make a 'negative inference' from that remark or get the wrong 'impression'.

I guess for some people it's real hard to just say 'I screwed up, I'm sorry.'

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 11:46:03

Oh, what a genuine-sounding mea culpa. I imagine this will placate council. I only wish I could put his whole mayoral term--an "unfortunate distraction" if there was ever one--behind me.

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By George (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 12:06:32

Just when I think, from time to time, that he's criticized a little too much, something likes comes out, and a little too often.

Is he a poor communicator, or a flat out liar? Both maybe? I dunno. I hate thinking about it.

Fact is, it's hard to take him at his word anymore. That's a shame.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 12:24:07

hopefully we can get back to tackling the many important issues and exciting opportunities that we will face as a council in the coming year.

Yea, like LRT, downtown revitalization, Code Red, EcDev, sustainable development etc..... we're all hoping, believe me.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 16:57:13 in reply to Comment 72070

*A man sitting alone in a dimly lit office picks up the phone and hits the redial button.*

"Is Hamilton getting all-day GO yet? No? Alright, thank you, I'll call again tomorrow."

*He hangs up the phone. Recording the log in his journal he prepares to leave for the day, his job done...for now.*

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By Jim Carey (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 12:24:40

Bob Bratina stars in Liar the sequel!

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By Alan Smithee (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 12:34:40

Who's the ghostwriter?

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 13:11:43

I didn't give a raise...

.

it was not my intention to suggest that the final approval was anyone's other than my own.

Wait what? What exactly WAS your intention Bob? I certainly hope council doesn't drop this issue based on this pathetic statement by the mayor. Instead of apologizing for lying, he is simply blaming everyone else for misunderstanding him. Where is the accountability? This man is the mayor for god's sake!

Comment edited by Ancopa on 2011-12-09 13:12:17

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 21:59:09 in reply to Comment 72073

exactly. The more I think about this, the more it bugs me.

First he tells a lie and then he lies again in his official response to the issue.

I can't handle this guy.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2011 at 13:34:05

Once again, we reached the wrong conclusion. It was not his intention to lie, it just looks that way to some. Nice try Bob. Why don't you just admit it and then, and only then, might we move on from this "unfortunate distraction"? You got caught.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2011 at 14:00:44

What if this statement had been released?
(a revised and intentionally satirical version of the statement released by Hamilton’s Mayor on December 9, 2011)

On December 1, 2010, in an interview I made comments regarding the job of Mayor that left the impression that I was capable of doing the job. This was not the case, as I noted in the clarification I issued when I realized the impression that had been created by my remarks. I regret any negative inference that may have been created. The issue of competence for this office is, of course, my responsibility as mayor. While I did seek comparative historical information about other mayors, and while I acted on the basis of that information, it was not my intention to suggest that the final responsibility for competence was anyone's other than my own. It is time to put this unfortunate distraction behind us, and hopefully we can get back to tackling the many important issues and exciting opportunities that we will face as a council in the coming year. I’m sure I will do other things in the coming months and years to ensure there are more unfortunate distractions that will keep Councillors busy.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 15:37:50 in reply to Comment 72078

Here's another one I found at skyscraperpage posted by padthai at 8:25 today


http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=5510861#post5510861

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 15:21:24 in reply to Comment 72078

The Emperor has no clothes!

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By Steve (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 15:16:19

"It is time to put this unfortunate distraction behind us, and hopefully we can get back to tackling the many important issues and exciting opportunities that we will face as a council in the coming year."

Let me translate ~ Nothing to see here, so please move along.

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By Jedi (anonymous) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 15:27:22

"All taxpayers need to know" "Unfortunate distraction" "detail-schmentail" "de-amalgamation" "west-harbour" "confederation park" "Maple Leaf is bad" "Maple Leaf is Good" "We will have Light Rail" "I'm not championing Light Rail" "I didn't give a raise" "I did give a raise" "i did throw a pen" "it was Fred's fault" "I'm for decorum" "decorum...what decorum?"

Anyone see a pattern here?

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 16:36:55

Council, if you're reading this, please make this guy pay for his continued lies. As long as he continues to get away with it, there is no reason for him to stop. Please show the voting public that you, as councilors, will stand up for us and not allow this disgusting behavior and disrespect to continue.

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By Core-B (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 17:38:39 in reply to Comment 72087

Well said but do you really think Council is reading this? Don't they have enought distractions to deal with?

Comment edited by Core-B on 2011-12-09 17:39:15

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2011 at 20:41:20

Impression. Regret. Clarification. Inference. Intention. Suggest. Unfortunate. Distraction.

Yes, I recognize all of these words. They're all used in Bratina's statement today. The one word that isn't in Bratina's statement is a word all good leaders, and for that matter all good people, use. That word is "Sorry".

Unfortunately, it's a word that does not appear in Bratina's statement. And that is indeed a sorry omission.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 23:10:09

Fabritina? Or does Fibratina work better?

You're leaving an awesome legacy Bob, after only Year One of Platform Schmatform. Congrats.

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 08:43:20

Looks like the Integrity Commissioner will have something to investigate. Bob has jumped the shark.

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 09:08:43

I am not defending the mayor, but his words and actions make me wonder if he has some kind of health problem.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:27:28 in reply to Comment 72100

Like an uncontrollable compulsion to lie?

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By Gabriel (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 10:13:08

I just wonder how the Cable 14 O Show heard of this, because their PR people broke this, I believe, on Tuesday's show.

The Spectator reported it on Wednesday.

any thoughts?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 14:23:22 in reply to Comment 72101

According to a comment at the Spec, Peggy leaked it to Cable 14.

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By gabriel (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:37:17 in reply to Comment 72101

also, doesn't being a 'Chief of Staff' imply that you have staff?

2 outside consultants don't count. As much as Peggy references 'Our Staff', they actually answer to the City of Hamilton, and not her.

Chief of the Mayor's Ego Booster. That definitely deserved a 30,000 raise.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 10:51:44

Alright Bratina, you made a mistake, got caught in a lie and manned up.

So why other then cronyism was she given such a massive raise again?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 10, 2011 at 14:31:38

I wonder if, when Council votes to censure Bob, he will vote with them so he doesn't have a 15 to 1 vote that becomes part of his record, dare I say legacy? You know, like that previous Mayor Bob is always referencing. You know, the one with principles.

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By concerned (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 16:00:38

I'm concerned that RTH not turn into just a gossip sheet like Dreschel's columns for 20 or so years. Dresch is after all a gossip monger with a telephone. Wanna compare? Go into a Spec archive, publicly available, and read the city columns that Bill Dunphy was BRIEFLY allowed to write in the Spec in 2003, around and about that city election time. Yes, we know Graham, above and in his window, doesn't trust and dislikes Bob Bratina. Maybe the salary for the Mayor's exec or chief of staff 'should' get the new amount, after all the consideration of how. Danger is in getting distracted from real city-urban-all-Hamilton issues. Spec and CHML would like nothing better--makes their job easier--and as for the Cable 14 columnist hosts, one of them did get close examination finally and lost and has resented every second since. But those were on issues of real city consequence and real, big, $$--in a city 'project', and in real campaign illegality. It's fun to heckle, it really is, but when that episode's over, get back looking hard at real things.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 23:54:06 in reply to Comment 72107

It's kind of hard to move onto "real" issues when council seems to have no momentum or direction. Bob's self-directed priorities are all things that the city has little to no control over (like all day GO transit service).

So I don't know if we're getting distracted, because I have the feeling there is very little else going on at city hall.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 11, 2011 at 09:55:18 in reply to Comment 72115

So I don't know if we're getting distracted, because I have the feeling there is very little else going on at city hall.

Assuming you're not being glib, this in itself is fodder for a great discussion. I'd love to have a panel where we actually find out from 'players' what is going on these days at City Hall, on a purely objective basis.

I fear that most of us don't fully comprehend or appreciate. (I'm not commenting on how these activities are being executed. Just that they are.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-12-11 09:56:10

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 14:48:26 in reply to Comment 72120

No, I think you're right, I would like to know what is actually going on at city hall, what are they doing, and particularly what is going on in some departments that are of interest to me (like LRT, and all-day GO).

I'm sure everyone at city hall is doing something...perhaps what I'm less sure about is how much of it is busy-work that isn't amounting to much, and how much of it is trying to tackle issues which would help move the city forward (like getting rid of some of the red tape currently choking the city).

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2011 at 15:02:14 in reply to Comment 72167

In fairness, how much of most anyone's time at work in so many jobs is 'busy-work'?

As for tackling issues in the way you're suggesting... I highly doubt that this is happening. I'm not aware of any concerted effort to do so...especially when the Mayor is seen live, online, on The Spec with the paper's editorial board, declaring that things are 'hunky-dory'...when there are myriad tales to be told about corruption, about procedures being overlooked, about turf being protected. Never mind the old bugaboo about who actually sets policy, Council or Staff.

As I'm looking at possible 'issue-related' town halls for 2012, maybe one would be a series of forums providing insight into how City Hall actually does work.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 10, 2011 at 17:03:47

@ concerned

Given that you do mention me by name, I wanted to offer a response in a tone I hope is as respectful as your own. I think you make a very fair comment. We must not let ourselves be distracted by minor issues.

While the city is facing enormous issues, some of which I have written about in some detail, the utter lack of professionalism and vision demonstrated by our mayor is, in my view, no small issue. This is a pattern of behaviour that is hurting us, likely in ways we're not even aware of at the moment. Some of which we are.

As for my disagreements with the mayor, please don't assume they are personal. They are now, have always been, and will continue to be professional in nature and in focus. I hold my elected officials to a high standard. I don't enjoy average. I demand excellence. I am not getting it. They chose to run for office. It comes with the territory and that should not have been a secret to anybody who made the very personal decision to run for office.

While I may use my window and my experience as a copywriter to convey some of my messages via cheeky posters, they seem to be doing exactly what they were intended to do - gain attention and get people talking. My articles in urbanicity are also intended to provoke thought, although using a different approach and focus. So too are my op ed pieces in the Spectator. The pieces I have written for this forum have their own personality too.

I don't want to be, nor do I believe I am, a one trick pony. Diversity of thought, style and message can come from the same person. I believe the messages are quite consistent, even if the style is different. I know I'm not alone in this belief or behaviour. It's one of the things I find refreshing about the engaged citizens I have had the good fortune to meet and to spend time with in Hamilton.

Again, I think your comment is a very fair one. The challenge, as in so many things, is to try to strike the right balance. I may not have the balance quite right, but I really work at trying not to lose sight of the goal. Foster a better community for all. Even though I don't know who you are, I suspect you believe in a similar goal.

Comment edited by H+H on 2011-12-10 17:06:25

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By TnT (registered) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 08:33:18 in reply to Comment 72108

It stands in stark contrast because there is so little of it. Graham I would consider a pioneer of civic critique. All points are fair game IMHO and as the political process is owned by him, me and everyone it is a right, almost a duty, to comment.

Comment edited by TnT on 2011-12-12 08:33:58

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By Bobby1 (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2011 at 18:18:12

Hard to believe the Mayor misled people like this? He is a politician,is he not tough enough to take the heat for his own decision? HR Department must be totally demoralized,will someone get even with them later because they blew the whistle? The hugggge raise is questionable,but the deceit is much worse an issue! Council can't continue to let this go without making their own statement! Bad decisions one thing, deceit much different,much worse! Just an opinion!

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted December 11, 2011 at 07:28:31

There is a qualitative difference between issuing a release that says "I regret"

http://web.tigerwoods.com/news/article/200912027740572/news/

and making a public statement that "I am sorry":

http://web.tigerwoods.com/news/article/201002198096934/news/

We know how the first version was received.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/02/tiger-is-sorry-he%E2%80%99s-very-very-sorry-also-he%E2%80%99s-sorry/

One way is generally seen as calculated and cowardly, the other as candid and honest.

But if either one comes off sounding like a robot, the take-away is not contrition. It is cynicism.

And you can't apologize for a bad apology. You make amends or you make it worse.

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2011 at 10:45:59 in reply to Comment 72117

"I met personally with Helen Hale Tomasik yesterday, and this morning over the phone to personally and directly apologize to her. I also read to her the following statement which I am now forwarding to you, members of City Council."

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/638553--mayor-apologizes-for-misunderstanding-on-pay-hike

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By Yoshi (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2011 at 10:48:54 in reply to Comment 72196

"There's no pistachio-crunching in apologies!"

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By '68 Walnut (anonymous) | Posted December 11, 2011 at 07:57:28

"Our business will be conducted by me on your behalf with courtesy in language and deportment, and respectful of all."

Remember when?

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By Stossdolch (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:36:57

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:44:48 in reply to Comment 72152

Alright...well given that the mayor is attempting the apologize (poorly in my opinion) for his own indiscretion, I can't really say that calling him out on that indiscretion as a "BS campaign". Especially given that

A)It's backed by fact that even the mayor acknowledges (although feels isn't a big deal, which I suppose is subjective)

and B) Isn't the first time the mayor has done something controversial in the public eye.

Frankly, if any other politician tried to use his bureaucracy as a scapegoat for an unpopular decision he made and got caught in the act, I wouldn't want him to get away with it either without some kind of punishment as a result.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-12-12 22:50:51

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2011 at 13:34:19 in reply to Comment 72152

Not that H+H needs to be defended...I'm sure he's quite capable of looking after himself, thankyouverymuch...but I'm going to step in here...if only a little.

First off, take issue with how Graham sees what he does, but it's plainly not reasonable for you to be judging these declarations as 'porkies'.

Secondly, you referring to anything that Graham has done as 'BS' automatically labels your response 'personal'.

As for whether or not Graham or anyone else on this forum feel personally slighted as a result of the former mayor not getting re-elected...never mind the quite condescending descriptive used involving the Pied Piper of Hamelin...well, this too reveals your personal interpretation more than anything else.

Now, you almost gain back something when you point out the 'little cluster of progressives', something here on RTH that I've previously referred to as an 'endless-loop echo-chamber'...but then you go and decide that the viewpoints of said cluster don't 'bear any resemblance to reality'. Which is an opinion...which is a personal observation.

Finally, 'normal Hamiltonians' don't have to 'suffer the clamor created by an entire neighbourhood of people romancing the sound of their own voice.' (Though I did giggle at your phrasing.) 'Normal Hamiltonians'...you know, the 60% of the electorate that regularly decides not to vote...don't give a flying expletive. They're too busy being busy at other busyness. (Never mind the quite un-savoury aspect of your point that smacks of intolerance of freedom-of-speech. You know, making it personal. Again.) So while I think it's marvellous that you've appointed yourself this group's representative, I do believe that the taskmaster here is as ill-equipped to function at the level at which they're attempting as the spokesperson clearly is.

P.S. While I have your attention, regarding how Graham sees this issue and how he's consistently seen the mayor's conduct and behaviour and general performance: I was at the Downtown Mosque last week for their press conference addressing the recent hate crime. What I witnessed there in the Mayor's ad-libbed statement was consistent in what's been offered up by Mayor Bratina within the time-frame being considered, what has been fodder for Graham's poster efforts, and certainly what many nay-sayers have been yammering on about here on RTH and elsewhere. No, my reaction wasn't so much a 'personal' one as it was one of an informed observer with less a need to slag someone off as a desire to perhaps promote dialogue about how (and if) within the current set of circumstances, we can strive to make things better. Try it sometime. You just might find it more rewarding than lobbing nicely-turned put-downs.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-12-12 13:57:55

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By Stossdolch (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 14:07:40 in reply to Comment 72160

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2011 at 14:20:12 in reply to Comment 72162

You lot...

For the record, "I don't want to be a member of any (lot) that would have me as a member." But thanks for the presumption and the generalizing.

...you'll find that Fred was a chronic no-show at countless community events such as the one you describe...

I haven't one whit of interest as to what 'Fred's Reign' was like. Not a one. I'm interested in the now...entirely independent of Graham's agenda...or anyone else's, for that matter. (Please refer to the initial point.)

...however please know that you are surrounded by frauds.

Thanks, but I'm not 'surrounded' by anyone. I drop by here regularly, comment when appropriate...and then scoot.

I get that you've had it with the cross-section of rabble here. I get that you've had it up to here with much of what gets presented as 'social discourse' here on RTH. And I get that you're dismissive. But I can't quite figure out what it is that you want, or how differently you'd like things to be. (Save for wanting Graham to put a sock in it...?)

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2011 at 14:31:28 in reply to Comment 72163

You are debating a frequent and particularly vile RTH troll who alternately goes by the usernames Ajax, Akbar, Anthrax, Blenda, Dreck, Grom, Logo, Me 109, Stechkin, TedN and a number of others. His comments are unfailingly ugly, intimidating, personally invective and without merit or redeeming value.

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By Stossdolch (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 20:07:27 in reply to Comment 72164

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:41:50 in reply to Comment 72179

I agree, with one of your points (I think). I think the Ti-Cats do add something meaningful to the city and I'm glad in the end they are going back to Ivor Wynne instead of pulling out when the West Harbour got regrettably pulled from the table.

However, your comments about Fred and the Khmer Rouge pretty much confirm that this post has been a waste of time. It takes a certain type to make such a poor and offensive sweeping generalization. The few points you might bring up that I could get behind, are obscured by a raving writing style and I would say, does border on "insult spam"

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2011 at 14:45:04 in reply to Comment 72164

Well... I wouldn't call it a 'debate'.

And I disagree that his contributions are entirely 'without merit or redeeming value'. There are some intriguing notions buried in there.

Never mind witnessing what someone with an IQ of 112 tends to share.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-12-12 14:45:19

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By smartHomer (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 18:16:59 in reply to Comment 72166

"Never mind witnessing what someone with an IQ of 112 tends to share."---um, 112 is, like, prety good eh, like I bet YOU don't know what IQ stands for, right?? it like means I-t Q-ualifies you for a job bcaus you gotta take the IQ or get it from a doctor or police check, right, or you wont get the job doesnt matter if its a doctor or at mcdonalds. becaus if you dont have the IQ then you can get a shot to make sure you dont catch it right? the guy who does the math on this websight-he van tell us what the avrage IQ on this websight is? and who was IQ anyway, like those are his initails, right? oh and I got my freind to help me figur out what 12 by 3 is so I could put this on your sihgt.

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By !Q (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 18:27:54 in reply to Comment 72174

insult spam from banned user deleted

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By ohHomer! (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 18:36:11 in reply to Comment 72176

I think--know what I think? !Q above doesn't know the difference between sarcasm(!) and other forms of parody and satire. And know what else?? Homer said and spelled it "I am s-mart!! S-M-R-T!" Bet you don't remember that bit of Homer-smart wisdom. And he was even in College!

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By !Q (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 18:40:34 in reply to Comment 72177

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:28:07

Seriously, I hope council just outright says "We are censuring Mayor Bratina, not only for his comments regarding HR and giving a pay hike to his direct advisor but for his multiple, unclear reversals of positions on LRT, De-amalgamation, the Stadium Issue, the Maple Leaf plant and his unprofessional demeanor as mayor with his United Way photo-op debacle, constant appearances on the Bill Kelly show, constant dueling with councilor Whitehead (we'll get to him in a bit too), derisive and somewhat untruthful comments made at the former mayor, sponsoring of the Liberal party during the election, and his outright deception in this case.

I think while I'm at it, I think I'll sound off on the rest of council too.

Brian McHattie - While he doesn't seem to come up with new ideas, he supports the right ideas. The velodrome, pushing walkability and he's a big supporter of curbing sprawl, which I like. Not a lot to complain about.

Jason Farr - Has some good ideas and seems to catch and deal with a lot of city work that slips through the cracks. Proof that fresh blood is needed on council. I just hope the Federal Building or his buddy buddy stance with Bratina early in his term doesn't come back to bite him.

Bernie Morelli - Does good in my eyes as he's constantly drawing attention to the bad red tape Hamilton suffers from. Too bad not a lot of progress has been made to clear it out. Keep fighting the good fight Morelli.

Sam Merulla - Makes very good points about budgetary responsibility and infrastructure spending. It's just too bad what points he makes are done in such an incendiary way that they are neigh impossible to take seriously. There is a time and a place for anger, and everyday is not the right time.

Chad Collins - There's not a lot I can really say bad about councilor Collins. I wouldn't want him to be mayor as I don't think he could take the reigns but he does his job, makes good decisions and understands he's answerable to his ward.

Tom Jackson - I disagree with many of Jackson's positions but he conducts himself well enough. He seems to be pro-sprawl and pro-car traffic. I do like the work he's done with the bay restoration council though. Not a fan of his political party choice either, but at least he seems to be a voice of loyal opposition for the city. I'd still replace him with an anti-sprawl candidate in a heartbeat though.

Scott Duval - I just don't hear enough from him to make a worthwhile opinion, which isn't exactly what I want to see on council.

Terry Whitehead - I am sick and tired of Whitehead acting like the anti-Bratina and constantly dueling with Bratina over everything. Whitehead doesn't add a lot to discussion, as he's too busy trying to be a foil to others. Also, I still can't believe West 5th has never had proper sidewalks throughout his entire tenure on council. Stonechurch finally getting them seemed like a bloody miracle.

Brad Clark - Not a fan of conservatives, but he at least tries to hold people accountable. Also I like that he opposes the mid-pen highway and (I could be wrong) wants trucks sticking to the Red Hill Parkway, as was the intention behind building it.

The other councilors of Wards 10-15 - In my opinion, they are good at staying out of a lot of issues and maintaining the status quo unless it directly effects their own wards. That's my experience with the 'amalgamated' wards. They strike me as similar to Duval in that I can't really make too much of an educated opinion on them.

So all in all, I support our Council more then our mayor and hope they teach Bratina a lesson. Some new blood on council though couldn't hurt.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-12-12 22:55:31

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 13, 2011 at 08:46:06 in reply to Comment 72182

There's a fair amount of good stuff in here. Even when -Hammer- admits he/she can't offer up an informed opinion, that in itself speaks volumes.

I came across a great JPEG the other day. I don't know how to post it here, so I'll just type out the text:

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision."

So I'll pose this question, in light of the effort -Hammer- put into the comment: How much authentic, genuine, articulated 'vision' do you believe exists on Council currently?'

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 13, 2011 at 18:38:18 in reply to Comment 72193

I think Farr, McHattie, Morelli and Collins have the right stuff. Jackson also has vision, I just completely reject it.

Merulla has dedication but I wouldn't say vision. I truly do wonder what Sam Merulla would do if suddenly Hamilton got itself out of debt and managed to get it's infrastructure completely updated and budgeted for proper maintenance.

Clark is more of a watchdog then a visionary, which is how a conservative should act towards both government and the private sector.

The deamalgamated wards are tough for me, mainly because I've always got this impression that their vision ends at the end of their ward, because there is this feeling that their wards aren't really a true part of Hamilton (which I suppose is an understandable position). Powers and to a lesser extent Ferguson doesn't really fall into this and neither does Johnson although she seems to be a bit too bleeding heart liberal for my liking, but at least they understand that the rest of the city exists. The others though, I just don't quite see much looking at the city as a whole.

Just my two cents, don't want to offend anyone.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-12-13 18:38:39

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By Bob Lee (anonymous) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 23:45:36

Stossdolch, aka telstar at the Spec. Same song and dance: quivering paranoiac deathly afraid of other people accomplishing something in their lives, figured out some time ago that 'he didn't really want to go to those parties' anyway and now is happy to lob featherballs from the sidelines. It goes like this: hey ___, you are like [fantastical noun: astroboy; the ghost of christmas past; Marguerite de Navarre] with the [overblown adjective: simpering; antedeluvian; post-structuralist] way you always [condescending verb: jive; blow; waffle] about issues no one in Hamilton could care about, why don't you go back to your hipster hangout on James N.

This is honestly all you will get from him, ever. Whoever you are: grow up. You too can make friends one day and influence your surroundings.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted December 13, 2011 at 07:14:22

I wonder what happened with Jason's crass lately? This kind of rancor is right up his... alley!

I doubt that a guy with 3599 comments under his belt would simply disappear. NO JOKE! I know he is still very much here although cloaked, in blue briefs that he's soaked.

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2011-12-13 07:35:40

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By Bumper Cart (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2011 at 10:43:07

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLH32F6Xvkw

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By littlemor (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2011 at 16:20:48

Bratina in future will be more careful. But anyways, Homer sad, Homer get sucked into exchange yesterday with with real troll what lives under a bridge. Homer say, IQ OK, if you know what the initials stand for (what are those words?) For troll--The big moron and the little moron were standing on a cliff. The big moron fell off. Why didn't the little moron? --Life under bridge cool eh.

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