Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath at her Inauguration on November 16, 2022. Credit: Joey Coleman

TL;DR: Having Joanne Santucci and Mark John Stewart as co-chairs is a good decision. A more hurried set of co-chairs would not have resulted in a better pair.

“Better late than never” would be an easy opening for this post.

After all, Mayor Andrea Horwath promised to launch her task force within the first 90 days of taking office.

On Day 322, Tuesday, October 3rd, Mayor Horwath announced the co-chairs who will steer the Mayor’s Task Force on Transparency, Access and Accountability: Joanne Santucci and Mark John Stewart.

Their backgrounds, skill sets, and personalities will be a good match for achieving comprehensive and actionable recommendations.

Santucci recently retired as CEO of Hamilton Food Share. Her experience interacting with the City’s bureaucracy, especially dealing with challenges gaining information to apply for grants, permits, and the need to navigate City Hall silos, brings a perspective that is not easily obtained.

Retired, she can speak about these problems without the bureaucracy having leverage to retaliate against her.

Stewart is a more interesting choice. His CV is one of progressive learning and advancement. He was a critical advisor and leader in the creation of Empowerment Square, he’s sat on numerous boards, and is an instructor in strategic management at McMaster University.

He knows how to create actionable strategic plans to implement change. He brings great knowledge of how to do this in large organizations.

Stewart is an intelligent listener. When chairing meetings, he knows how to assist people in getting to the point.

The Task Force’s $50,000 budget will not go far, maybe a few public town halls and smaller conversation meetings.

Both the co-chairs know how to stretch resources.

Applications are open for people to apply for the three remaining seats on the Task Force. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 3.

I will submit ideas to the task force when it holds public hearings.

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Published: October 13, 2023
Last edited: October 13, 2023
Author: Joey Coleman
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