Thursday, December 22, 2011

...the way I see it, anyway.

Over the past 18 months or so, since I began paying attention to local politics (no apologies for that), there have been myriad reasons to feel not only the standard cynicism, naysaying nihilism to augment the area's decades-old psychic burden, but also disheartedness, disillusionment...and utter resignation.

However, unlike many in Hamilton, my focus isn't the natural one, that of 'the politicians'. It's not that I hold them blameless (hardly), it's not that I expect less than most and therefore aren't offended by what's presented as 'good governance' (ha!), and it's not that I'm eternally hopeful that somewhere in the mix, we're going to see a shining star reveal itself and guide us to a better place. (puhlease.)

I don't focus on 'them' simply because I believe fervently that-

Well, allow me to step back a bit and provide some context.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh, good Lord...there's more...

I think I might have to once again wade into the murky waters (for some, anyway) of 'How The Retail Landscape Has Changed, And Why Parking Meters Aren't The Villain'.

In the meantime, another one of Mr. Robertson's letters.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I love the smell of conflation in the afternoon. It reminds me of...


The situation in Hamilton regarding the 'Peggy Chapman's Getting a Raise' kerfuffle is getting a little ripe.

Witness this commentary over at Raise the Hammer by Michael Borrelli, co-hort of mine on the inaugural Town Halls Hamilton effort.

So, given the title of this post, I'd like to pose a few questions.

Yeah, it always comes back to Stoney Creek, doesn't it...?

This letter made it into the Stoney Creek News this week:

Olde Town needs merchants with vision
Re; Fresh ideas needed for Stoney Creek, not user fees, Letters, Dec. 8
Few things make me sadder than when someone gets it right… while getting it so wrong.
W. Robertson’s letter of Dec. 8 is a great example. Yes, ‘fresh ideas are needed for Stoney Creek,’ specifically for ‘Olde Town Stoney Creek.’ But the villain isn’t “user fees.” I agree wholeheartedly with much of what the letter writer says, especially when they focus on the loss of community spirit. But I disagree with his verdict.
I have explored this topic ad nauseam on my community blog My Stoney Creek, examined the issues from every angle, looked at the history of the street, the market trends over 40-plus years, the whole paid-parking brouhaha, amalgamation with Hamilton, virtually the entire gamut of variables and contributing factors.
To answer the primary question as to why, on a Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. there are virtually no cars parked on King Street (aside from the simple answer that they’re parking for free in Municipal Lot 3), this: “There’s no ‘there,’ there.”
There’s very little reason for anyone to make the trip downtown. There’s insufficient incentive for people to venture into Olde Town Stoney Creek.  Not because of parking fees...Dundas has a thriving downtown and they have weekday fees as well...but because what’s presented simply doesn’t compel people to travel there to shop.
This has little to do with politicians, no matter how great the urge is to look at parking fees as the great battle issue. This has to do with market trends and a lack of vision on the parts of property owners, with the emphasis on the latter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Of hubris, of fomenting...and of silliness.

Ted Brellisford/The Hamilton Spectator

The recent mishandling by Mayor Bratina of Peggy Chapman's 'pay raise' is proving to be surpassed by those in the city who are now-

Well, how about I just post the quote?

All of us have talents as people, and Mr. Bratina does as well, particularly as a public figure OUTSIDE of politics. However, given recent events and the seemingly endless conflicts that have been a feature of his administration, I am left worndering if I am the only person who thinks he is not suited to the position of Mayor of Hamilton. Therefore, I would post an 11th wish: that Mr. Bratina do the right thing and resign.

(From this comment over at Raise the Hammer)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


In the Dec 1 Spec, there was a column by Gwyn Morgan.

I responded to it there, but because we live in the Twitter age of brevity, I really only addressed one aspect of the gentleman's article. 

"There is an adage that goes: “If you’re young and you’re not a socialist, you have no heart. If you’re older and you’re still a socialist, you have no brains.” So there’s some reason to hope that some of those young, ideologically misguided protesters may grow up to become productive, contributing members of society. There might even be a young Steve Jobs carrying one of those placards."

What a fabulous testimony to how clued-out someone can be. Never mind being egregiously dismissive and mired in arrogance. 

I've Googled Mr. Morgan, and it's clear that he's been a mover-and-a-shaker with a social conscience...which just makes this column seem even more hilarious...and saddening. But to paraphrase, there's some reason to hope that this older, ideological captain-of-industry may evolve into a far more insightful and empathetic citizen. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

What do you get with less-than-great governance...?

Back in October, over at Town Halls Hamilton, I posted an editorial about 'The Great Governance Formula'. 

I saw the accompanying photo online, and I was reminded of how much a part 'vision' plays in great governance.