Lister Block

Forehead Slap

By RTH Staff
Published April 30, 2008

Scott Urquhart from CHCH just interviewed Kathy Drewitt, executive director of the Downtown BIA, on how local merchants are affected by the collapse and demolition of the Balfour Building.

Wow. Just - wow.

An honourable head-shake mention goes to Tim McCabe the city's director of planning and economic development. Asked about the deafening silence from the city throughout this ordeal, McCabe responded, "I think we dropped the ball on better communication, and - and we certainly would, um, do that a lot differently in the future."

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted April 30, 2008 at 13:07:58

"what.. would you say... ya DO here?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=600ScEjNt...

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By adrian (registered) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 13:23:19

Absolutely unbelievable. I really, really feel for the owners of Thai Memory. It's a great restaurant with fantastic ambiance and excellent food. This is appalling. The city needs to do something!

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By anon1 (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 13:47:28

McCabe, Drewitt and Eisenberger should be ashamed of themselves. Why does it take a media conference that focused on the plight of business owners and residents along King William to get these three to come outside and do what should come naturally - talk to people! Two are paid staff people. One is a paid elected official. None have the compassion to do what is right for people who are facing a crisis that is not of their own making. Isn't this why we have government and associations?

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By Tom Smykowski (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 15:23:37

I have people skills! I am GOOD at DEALING with PEOPLE! Can't you understand that? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?!

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By Trey (registered) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 16:54:40

McCabe lives in Kitchener Drewitt lives in Caledonia

that might clear things up a little. Hamilton is just their paycheque not their passion.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 17:29:47

McCabe lives in Kitchener??? Wow...no wonder we don't see any EcDev happening in our city or downtown...none of these people pay taxes here. Only hire people who live here and watch how fast they start doing a good job. If for no other reason then to lower their own taxes.

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By Anon1 (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 17:43:28

It's true, the person who is in charge of planning and economic development for the entire City of Hamilton doesn't pay a penny in property taxes. Not to mention buy groceries, use a community centre, go out for dinner, volunteer in an after work program, and the list goes on. The only thing he takes home from work, on his way home to Kitchener, is his paycheque. And this guy wants to be City Manager! Give me strength. Perhaps we should outsource the Mayor's job too?

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By Balance (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 21:10:18

Finally, people who have the same beliefs as I. I find it truly astonishing that the City hires people from out of town. We have many bright minds in this municipality and they go abroad. These people don't care about this community at all, as you said, they simply care about their paycheques. Maybe if the City hired more people who actually live with their families here so much money wouldn't be blown on stupid things.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 30, 2008 at 22:24:45

I'm really stunned by this. I'm not saying it's impossible for someone from out of town to do a good job here, but I know people who live on the central mountain who are clueless about what makes good urban life downtown. Will someone from Caledonia understand???

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By Jon (registered) - website | Posted May 01, 2008 at 16:02:46

Let's be fair, not living in hamilton does not equate to apathy towards Hamilton and I'm sure as far as McCabe's job is concerned, he is there on the merits of his performance.

Nicole Macintyre does an excellent job reporting on city hall issues, and is clearly passionate about it, but she doesn't live in Hamilton either.

That said, I agree that city hall should give preference to local applicants when hiring for all positions. Perhaps this is contrary to labour regulations? I have never seen a job posting stating a preference for locality, only many that demand that you have a reliable vehicle.

And finally, anyone who has the means should go to Thai Memory every night for a week if they get through this ordeal. The only thing city hall can do to help them is to give cash. They won't, and that explains all the bullshitting on the issue.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 01, 2008 at 17:09:08

what the heck is this?? does anyone live in Hamilton??

Great idea about Thai Memory btw. A bunch of us are planning the same thing IF they are able to re-open. Spread the word.

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By Anon2 (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2008 at 20:43:05

You people are really naive. How many Hamiltonians have good jobs in Burlingon, Niagara Falls, Toronto, or Mississauga....should they not be hired. Talk about things that matter and don't show your lack of sophistication.

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By Anon1 (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2008 at 22:37:06

We seem to be confusing general employment in or out of town with the employment of a senior officer of the City who is responsible for managing, and therefore making decisions with and for, dozens of people who look after the planning and economic development of the city. McCabe is a Vice President at Ford, Manulife, Gennum or Maple Leaf Foods. He makes decisions that directly affect residents all over the city. His job is as much administrative as it is social. Simply put, knowledge of community informs decisions about community. All politicians will tell you that they learn a ton about issues in the city from being out and about talking to citizens, no matter how informal. I think this matters! Not to mention the optics.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 01, 2008 at 22:48:02

and it certainly matters on the ground. Some of these guys wouldn't dream of allowing a sludge plant or pig plant to locate near their home, but when it's someone else's home in another city, suddenly the reality changes. I'd hope they are all professional enough to overcome this, but based on what we've heard from the Downtown BIA in recent years, I'm not convinced.

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By Anon1 (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2008 at 01:58:54

Sludge and pigs indeed.
BTW, I meant to say in my previous post that McCabe IS NOT a Vice President at....meaning that this is not just any senior job.

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By Bada Bing (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2008 at 08:30:10

Again, lack of sophistication and tolerance. A sad, sad lack.

So, Anon1 and Jason, if I lived in Flamborough, near Guelph, I should not be hired as City Manager or EcDev GM? Because I don't live near the industrial zone or downtown?

Give your heads a shake!

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By Anon1 (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2008 at 10:34:29

If you lived in Flamborough, you'd be living in Hamilton! Remember amalgamation? This has nothing to do with which part of the City you live in, just that you do live in the City for which you make important and long lasting decisions. Decisions that will affect future generations of residents. You know, the ones who pay the taxes that keep the whole thing afloat.

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By Anon2 (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2008 at 10:53:26

I agree with Bada's sentiment. Anon1, you are suggesting that handsomely paid professionals aren't able to deliver good services because they don't 'pay the taxes that keep the whole thing afloat'...have to disagree. This is parochialism gone wild; it's the same kind of game that has infected City Council; witness the tax grab against Flamborough by Councillors who are not elected by that community; I maintain that we should be responsible for the 'big' picture whether we are bureaucrats or elected officials. But if we have suspicions based on 'where' people live, we are not building a trusting relationship! And that is naive and unsophisticated, not to mention destructive to what you are advocating: a caring, passionate society.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 02, 2008 at 13:00:39

Larry DiIanni's recent column gives a little more context to the slots revenue issue.

www.chrisecklund.com/diianni_column.html

Apparently when the province informed the region that they would be getting a casino, there were a number of bidders. The only reason Flamborough was chosen was because of the tie-in with the racetrack. For Flamborough to imagine that it is entitled to keep the slots revenue inperpetuity, is like the proverbial 'being born on third and thinking you've hit a triple'.

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