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Is the Discovery Centre for sale? Jason Farr says its not for sale, but that Council’s giving the “first right of negotiation” to whichever developer wins the right to buy Pier 8 lands from the City. So, not for sale, unless it’s for sale.
Thursday’s meeting was expected to be tense; with residents taken by surprise by the idea of selling the Centre. The meeting took an unexpected turn as Farr accused residents of having personal issues with him, called Graham Crawford his “nemesis”, and to another “some residents are not happy and they will never be” about the Waterfront Trust.
I’m very happy to share that The Public Record’s expanding to provide in-depth issues coverage of our municipal election, with Rob Fiedler joining as our first contributor. Rob’s unique blend of academic knowledge and on-the-ground community experience will provide us a unique informed lenses into planning, urban development, and community engagement.
Rob’s first column explains how the proposed Downtown Secondary Plan maximum heights do not automatically mean developers can build to the limit; the plan subjects tall buildings to appropriate location, and create a system which encourages development on surface parking lots.
- Joey Coleman
- TheSpec’s Matthew Van Dongen keeps a close eye on the CityHousing Hamilton Board and shares with us CHH’s redevelopment plan to renew existing units and add more units to Hamilton’s social housing stock.
- Work continues on the creation of a Secondary Plan for the former Town of Dundas with discussions underway about urban design guidelines and what should go onto the existing large commercial properties housing the Canadian Tire and Beer Store on the eastern gateway into Downtown Dundas.
- Ontario PC leader Doug Ford supports Hamilton’s LRT plan, which his highest profile local candidate does not. This is being hailed as a victory by local LRT proponents, Metrolinx bureaucrats say they are working to get contracts for construction signed later this year, but we still know what Ford’s position will be if Council theoretically changes course after the fall election.
- The Ontario Municipal Board will conduct a 12 day hearing into what the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board should be paying in compensation for the expropriation of the former Scott Park High School where the Board is now building a new high school. The hearing starts Feb 11 2019, and is scheduled for 14 days.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger rode along with Tom Flood’s six-year-old son for a commute to school last Tuesday. After leaving the school, and starting to bicycle downtown, Eisenberger nearly collided with a vehicle which entered the bicycle lane.
- Student journalists at McMaster’s The Silhouette were not impressed by the HSR’s PR stunt last week, and politicians using their public office budgets on pre-election advertising campaign. The Sil’s editorial this week discusses how they responded to these events.
- Current Stoney Creek Public School Trustee Jeff Beattie is “deliberating” a run for City Council, says Kevin Werner in a story for HCN. Whenever a politician is “deliberating” and informs a journalist, it is because they are running and looking to gain pre-campaign media coverage. Beattie’s represented Stoney Creek well on the public school board, and came to the table with a city-wide view to the needs of education across Hamilton. It will be a very competitive candidate for Council; and in Winona, his family name carries great weight – both his mother and father held elected office in Stoney Creek prior to amalgamation.
- Hamilton’s Elections Manager says it isn’t his job to enforce election rules, in an interview with Kevin Werner of HCN. Tony Fallis is quoted as says that the job of enforcing the Municipal Elections Act falls onto the City of Hamilton City Clerk. The City Clerk has delegated that authority to Fallis, so it is actually his job.
Fallis’ latest error comes only weeks after he lied about missing a critical election deadline to complete updating voter information.
Fallis continues to have the full support of City Manager Chris Murray and City Council.
- The new H-A-M-I-L-T-O-N sign is nearing completion, with the company building it posting images of the letters lit up yesterday on its Facebook page.
The Public Record Recommends:
- The future of the suburban shopping mall, Police training centre? In Sarnia, the local police force is looking to rent a vacant part of the shopping mall to use as their non-lethal use of force training centre
- This is a horrible story of NIMBYism (and calling it NIMBY is being generous) in Thornill where a Muslim community has been seeking to build a sub-division surrounding their community centre since 2014, have given surrounding neighbours many concessions, and have now have to go to the OMB to seek permission to develop.
A quick note that McMaster University is hosting four free lectures entitled “The Trump Talks” on Wednesdays this month at their Jackson Square location. More information here: https://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/worthmentioning/the-trump-talks-free-public-lecture-series/ (These are not listed below as they are outside of TPR’s civic focus, but we note as many of you may be interested in attending.)
- *new* April 9, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., 100 Main Street West: City of Hamilton Open House on Downtown Secondary Plan.
- April 9, 7pm, Hamilton City Hall: Ministry of Municipal Affairs information session for potential municipal election candidates.
- *Location Announced* April 10, 7pm, Mills Hardware, 95 King Street East Useful Knowledge Society “Let’s Talk About Hamilton’s Downtown Secondary Plan” with General Manager of Economic Development and Planning Jason Thorne on the proposed Downtown Secondary Plan.
- April 10, 6pm, 294 James Street North: Public Info Session on Central Park Redevelopment details
Newsletter top photo: The crowd at Thursday’s public meeting on the possible sale of the Discovery Centre.