Individual poinsettia plants on a Christmas tree frame inside Hamilton City Hall Credit: Joey Coleman

Joey’s Live Notepad is my effort to move off the platform formerly known as Twitter. I’ll post short notes, updates, and links throughout the day.

It’s the first Thursday of December. Three meetings at City Hall today: Audit, Finance, and Administration at 9:30 a.m., Emergency and Community Services at 1:30 p.m., and Committee of Adjustment at 9:00 a.m.

EC&S adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. Update

AODA Upgrades and Lower-City Recreation Facilities

Councillors on the Emergency and Community Services Committee discussed the challenges of bringing the City’s public recreation facilities up to current Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) design standards.

(Note: I am not using the term “compliance” because facilities comply with standards. Standards are based upon when the facility was built or renovated.)

On September 21, Council asked staff to provide a report on accessibility in lower-city recreation centres.

$18-million (in current dollars) is the estimated cost to bring four arenas and six recreation centres up to current standards.

Staff are working on a “Recreation Master Plan Implementation Strategy” which will be brought to Council in 2024. It will include a new ten-year capital plan.

Councillors asked staff to bring back a report in January regarding what it would cost, and how to finance, upgrades in 2024.

AF&A adjourned at 12:11 p.m.

12:00 Noon Update

Strong Mayor Powers and Board of Health Reform

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko successfully raised a point-of-order that Council’s Audit, Finance, and Administration Committee cannot change the composition of a standing committee due to the new Municipal Act Strong Mayor Powers.

Instead of approving the staff recommendation to change the composition of the Board of Health, Council is recommending the Mayor change the composition.

The AF&A vote to recommend the changes passed 8-0.

The members of AF&A are: Kroetsch (Chair), Beattie, Clark, Hwang, Spadafora, Tadeson, Alex Wilson, and Maureen Wilson.

10:30 a.m. Update

Danko debates Damptey again at Board of Health

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko continued arguing with Kojo Damptey during this morning’s Audit, Finance, and Administration meeting.

At issue: changing Hamilton’s Board of Health to make it semi-autonomous with six City Council members, six community representatives, and one education representative.

Damptey delegated in support of the change. Danko opposes the change, saying that Council is elected and accountable to the public.

Two weeks ago, Danko challenged Damptey at the Governance Committee in a display which brought widespread criticism against Danko. [I was in Windsor on a professional development study tour and was not present at this meeting.]

Today, Danko challenged Damptey’s use of a McMaster University presentation template and his role as a sessional instructor.

Danko used questions implying that Damptey was presenting his views as those of McMaster University. Damptey responded that he was speaking as a sessional instructor.

Ward 1 Councillor Maureen Wilson chimed in a few minutes later, noting that many academics have presented to Council without being challenged for using institutional branding.

Hamilton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson is recommending Council adopt the semi-autonomous model. Council would retain final approval over budget and the appointment of the Medical Officers of Health.


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v. 1.2.0
Published: December 7, 2023
Last edited: December 7, 2023
Author: Joey Coleman
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v. 1.0.0 original version with 10:30 a.m. update
v. 1.1.0 12 noon updates
v. 1.2.0 2:30pm updates