Comment 84653

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 02, 2013 at 22:56:01

Why do we need the Mayor, Councillors and a City Manager in Hamilton, when we have Tim McCabe?

Staff secrecy around 18-28 King Street East should not come as a surprise to Hamilton's residents. In fact there is very little we know about who exactly runs our City Hall.

It is crying shame that we have to witness what is going on at Gore Park South and Sanford Avenue.

It is bigger shame that we have put our trust in people like Councillor Ferguson who sit on our Municipal Heritage Committee. He is one maverick we don't need in OUR CITY HALL.

The City of Hamilton is not a private business enterprise, Mr. Ferguson, least of all, it is not a family inheritance:

“Trust me.” That’s what Tim McCabe, Hamilton’s general manager of economic development, told city councillors when he asked them to approve a $395-million deal with Maple Leaf that city staff had been secretly pursuing for months.

Thursday was the first time that Hamilton city staff were able to speak publicly about landing the deal. Four city staff and their departments were the core workhorses behind the project: McCabe, director of economic development Neil Everson, growth management senior director Tony Sergi and real estate manager Bill Farkas. The deal was kept so secret that some city staffers working on the project didn’t tell their spouses.

For months, staff worked on land issues, sewer and servicing plans and finalizing a real estate option for a slice of land near Glover and Twenty Road East. Consultants were hired, the land was examined and investments were made.

“We went out and spent all this money without council approval on the understanding it was subject to council approval,” McCabe said.

“It was awkward, and there was some risk that we took in not telling anyone, but … this business deal had to be done that way.”

Other councillors say they are also thrilled with staff’s work on the deal.

Lloyd Ferguson, who managed a construction firm for 30 years before becoming a city councillor, said that’s how professional businesses should operate. “As the manager of a large corporation, I used to set the strategy, put the tools in place, and surround myself with people who are smarter than me to get out and execute. And that’s exactly what happened here,” he said. “They did exactly what they were supposed to do. And we’re very proud of them.”

~ Emma Reilly, Fri Oct 21 2011 - Kitchener's loss, Hamilton's gain: How Hamilton landed $395-million Maple Leaf

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2013-01-03 00:07:50

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