Comment 55371

By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:00:39

Sent this morning

Dear Mayor and Councillors.

My name is Gregory Galante. I am a lifelong Hamilton resident. I am a home owner and business owner. I live in Ward 3, by choice. I am writitng you today to express my opinion and wishes for the upcoming COW meeting with respect to the Pan Am stadium issue.

I have followed the Pan Am stadium issue in the city closely. I have participated in community input meetings on it, attended COW meetings that dealt with it, attended rallies, written my councillor, been engaged in various media in support of the stadium.

My emotions on the issue have begun with optimism , became extremely optimistic when West Harbour was reaffirmed by council, moved to dismay at the actions of the Hamilton Tiger Cats in rejecting West Harbour at the eleventh hour, have swung to outrage at the continued attempt by that organization to hijack what was to be a public process. My feelings now are that of stoney resolve. Resolve that my elected officials refuse to allow a money losing private business to manipulate our City Council into spending taxpayers money to satisfy a whim. A whim that is based on obsolete sports management principles and one that will bring no benefit to this communtiy.

My hope is that council will vote to reaffirm West Harbour ONCE AGAIN, and elect to build a very modern, scalable stadium that at some point may be home to a CFL team (hopefully the Tiger Cats) and perhaps one day a professional soccer team. We must not forget however that this facility will also be home to over a hundred community events per year as well as provide the opportunity to hold concerts, out door festivals, expositions. We also have an opportunity to become home to the Canadian Soccer Association. These are worthwhile goals that will provide a lasting legacy to the community and help jumpstart development in the West Harbour area, including accelerating all day GO train service in the north corridor.

There has been an argument put for that Hamilton does not need a "small time" stadium. This is petty and regressive thinking in my opinion. The Hamilton Tiger Cats have played a game of brinkmanship, and emotional blackmail with this issue. They have done so without any real options to move anywhere. It is clear that they are looking to build a new facility on the public purse. Were this not the case Mr Young would have arranged his own consortium and built his drive way to driveway playland somewhere off a highway ramp near you already.

A scaleable stadium in the West Harbour allows Hamilton to take advantage of the Pan Am games to establish badly needed facilities in this city (including lets not forget a velodrome) , while also being able to develop a brown field area in this city. This has implications for LRT, residential and business development as well.

Hamilton has garnered a reputation whether deserved or not as a backward, regressive, rust belt, lunch bucket factory town. We have an opportunity with the Pan Am games to snuff out that mind set and display our city and our waterfront to the world and shed the shackles that identifying ourselves with the steel industry and the Tiger Cats for the last 100 plus years have placed on us. We are more than that. Lets prove it.

I implore and encourage all of you to vote once again for the West Harbour and a scalable stadium/velodrome/community facility for West Harbour.

Thank You

Gregory J Galante

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