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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Clr. Farr on Kearney's Compensation

In light of questions around compensation for Mr. Kerney's efforts on the participatory budgeting initiative, we asked Clr. Farr for clarity. Here is our Q/A with the Clr:

Can you confirm what the financial arrangement is between your ward’s budget and Norman Kearney’s services in the participatory budgeting initiative? What does that budget consist of in terms of Mr. Kearney’s services and are there any outstanding payments to him or to any others who are assisting? If so, how much is outstanding and what are the plans to reimburse him/them?


After Mr. Kearney's sponsorship from Reeve's Financial Services ended, he asked for compensation for his work as a facilitator. A few months ago, the PBW2 Planning Committee made up of community volunteers agreed to paying him monthly roughly 16oo. average from April through August.

.. are there any outstanding payments to him or to any others who are assisting?

Immediately after Mr. Kearney submitted his first invoice for the first three months of payment for facilitating, he had received a request from our office for clarification on a line item on the invoice. He did send clarification yesterday afternoon at 4:15p, after I had heard that this was a story from the Hamilton Spectator reporter. The corrected invoice sent yesterday is now suitable to send off through the City of Hamilton Finance for processing. That process is underway.

If so, how much is outstanding and what are the plans to reimburse him/them?

Any proper invoice sent through to our office would have been processed through Finance. I will be following-up on any other outstanding amount owed and dates proper invoices were submitted. As above, payment for facilitating (roughly 16oo./month for the first three months) did not have a proper invoice until it was sent at 4:15p yesterday afternoon.

Some of Mr. Kearney's expenses are also covered/reimbursed. Ie, a portion of Mr. Kearney's bus pass as it relates to PBW2 work, coffee for meetings, small print jobs. To date, it is my understanding Mr. Kearney has been reimbursed $200.00 thus far of these expenses.

As for any outstanding payments to others. I am only aware of meal monies outstanding to two of three volunteers who were told they would be compensated by the City of Hamilton via the Council approved 50k operating budget for PBW2 for this expenditure during a conference. Was never the case and they should never have been told that. That said, not being their fault, I have paid one of three back out of my pocket and will do so with the other two when I see them. Total amount about 130 dollars.

Thank you, Hamiltonian.
Clr. Jason Farr

Please note: The Hamiltonian will not publish comments that are off topic or unprofessional. We ask that comments be kept professional and constructive/on topic. If your submission does not appear, consider rewording it and resubmitting. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Participatory Budgeting Hamilton- A Chat with Founder Norman Kearney

Norman Kearney
Please enjoy our interview with Norman Kearney, Founder, Participatory Budgeting Hamilton

1. Tell us about participatory budgeting. How did you learn of it, why did you become involved and what outcomes are you hoping to see as a result?

Participatory budgeting is a lot more fun than it sounds. In fact, I think it needs a new name. And to be honest, I’m a lot more interested in what happens in budgeting than the final budget itself. The money is a carrot that brings people to the table, but it’s the sharing, the learning, and the resulting empathy that interests me.

Allocating scarce public resources entails making tough decisions, but it also encourages creativity. And because residents use participatory budgeting to remake their own city, which is tangible and immediate, it also brings in additional resources through volunteering and in-kind contributions. 

I learned about participatory budgeting through a seminar on Latin American politics at McMaster University. Having had a few disappointing experiences in partisan politics, participatory budgeting appealed to me as a promising tool for civic development.

Participatory budgeting is not consultation; it’s resident-led deliberation and decision-making. There must be money on the table, and residents must be able to decide how it’s spent. An additional requirement is that residents must be able to elect any positions of power in the process. My vision is that within a decade tens of thousands of Hamiltonians will determine how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year. It’s not fantasy; in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and in more than a thousand cities around the world, that’s exactly what happens.

2. Tell us about how participatory budgeting founds its legs in Ward 2.  Who were the contributors to make

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Clr. McHattie- On 18-28 King Street East Development


In light of the controversy over the development at 18-28 King Street East, we asked the following question of Clr. McHattie and Clr. Farr allowing either or both of them to reply. Here is the reply we received from Clr. McHattie. 

Q.  A bulldozer being called off at the last minute, a late discussion  for heritage designation and a condition that sees to it that heritage features of buildings will be restored if funding to do so is available, and if the city does not interfere with building plans. 

This may sound to Hamiltonians as a very chaotic process that nearly saw the demolition happen without necessary conversations and interventions. What is wrong with the process and how can it be fixed? Are you hopeful that things will work out in a way that is respectful of the heritage value of the properties in question?


The challenging fashion in which this unfolded is a function of the recent lack of proactive heritage planning in Hamilton. Over the past decade, the prevailing view of Hamilton City Council has been a reticence to designate significant heritage buildings (or heritage conservation districts)believing that the interests of a private property owner supercedes the greater public good of protecting our city's history.

In a related example, the list of 7,000 potentially significant heritage properties assembled by the former area municipalities and brought together at amalgamation has still not been ground-truthed and none of those properties have protection. There is now a staff project to examine the 1,000 downtown Hamilton properties on the list, and others are determining the best way to tackle the remaining 6,000 properties.

In the meantime, and in this case, heritage protection efforts are pursued on an ad hoc basis usually when development threatens heritage properties. This almost always proceeds on a somewhat chaotic basis as you describe.

Councillor Farr and I are hopeful that 22-28 King Street East in the Gore will be be protected through the developer removing the heritage façade, demolishing the building, building the new development, and re-installing the heritage façade on all five Gore Wall properties. An imperfect solution to be sure, but the best possible given the demolition permits sought and obtained by the developer - the demolition permits issued due to the lack of any formal heritage protection status for these buildings, or indeed the entire Gore District.

Thanks
Brian

Brian McHattie, Councillor
Ward 1, Chedoke-Cootes

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Way We Were- Video of the Moment

As found on Youtube by Mathew Green




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Clr. Ferguson on PSB and DeCaire

Clr. Ferguson will serve as a temporary replacement for Clr. Terry Whitehead on the Police Services Board, pending the outcome of the investigation against Clr. Whitehead due to his conduct as a board member. This replacement may or may not be in place for long, depending on the outcome of a legal opinion that has been sought concerning the legality of doing so. 

In the interim, we thought we'd attempt to clear the air between the apparent angst to fill the vacant council position and how it may relate to Chief DeCaire's upcoming performance review. Here is our Q/A with Clr. Ferguson:

Q. Some have speculated that a driving factor to get you on the Police Services Board as a replacement for Clr. Whitehead, is to deal with Chief DeCaire's performance appraisal. Some further suggest that the Chief may be unfairly targeted due to the fall out of the police budget talks.

How do you respond to this and can you assure Hamiltonians that Chief DeCaire, who has been very well received by Hamiltonians will be given fair consideration.


A. You can be assured Chief DeCaire will be given fair consideration on this and all matters. I have no agenda I just want to offer my help and experience.

Lloyd Ferguson
Ancaster Councillor
Ward 12

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Media Release- Storm Update

Hamilton Storm Update

July 23, 2013 – City staff continue to respond to impacts from the weekend storm; all staff, equipment, and external contractors are being utilized and reassigned (where necessary) towards clean-up efforts. Health and safety issues continue to be a high priority for clean-up.

Approximately 1,500 storm related calls have been received relating to tree damage. 30% of calls have now been addressed and all known trees or branches on hydro wires have been removed. Crews continue to work extended hours on clean-up efforts.

Progress Updates & Information for Residents:


Media Release- Participatory Budgeting Ward 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Residents of Ward 2 are preparing to decide how to spend $1 million on improving their neighbourhoods. Eight assemblies spent six weeks developing 56 proposals, which are under review by City staff and a committee made up of delegates chosen by the assemblies. The proposals are available here: www.pbhamont.ca/pbw2/projects/proposals2013.pdf.

An HSR bus has been chartered for the delegates to tour the proposed sites of select proposals on Saturday, July 27, 2013. The bus will visit each of Ward 2’s six neighbourhoods, and a complete schedule of times and locations will be posted later this week at www.pbhamont.ca/tour.

The delegates have spent the past two weeks developing criteria to score the proposals. They are working to agree on a way to fairly distribute the $1 million. On Wednesday, August 7, 2013, they will report back to


Media Release- Hamilton groups demand focus on Affordable Housing when Premiers meet this week

July 22, 2013

Hamilton groups demand focus on Affordable Housing when Premiers meet this week

Local anti-poverty and housing groups in Hamilton are joining national organizations calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to make affordable housing the priority during the Council of the Federation meeting in Niagara on the Lake later this week.

YWCA Hamilton, Social Planning Council of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Good Shepherd Centres, the Hamilton Street Youth Collaborative and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction are

Monday, July 22, 2013

Media Release - Hamilton Storm Update & Next Steps

For immediate release

Hamilton Storm Update & Next Steps

Hamilton, ON – July 22, 2013 – The City of Hamilton’s Public Works Department continues to respond to impacts from this weekend’s storm, which caused power outages and tree damage in a number of areas across the City.

All clean-up efforts are prioritized to address life threatening situations, downed power lines or electrical, blocked roads, blocked driveways, damage to private/public property, and general clean-up. Complete clean-up of the City is expected to take several weeks.

Overview of Impacts & Clean Up Activities:

· Trees – the City has received approximately 1,100 calls relating to damaged trees. All calls are prioritized,


Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Alternative to the Blanchard Block Development - by Mahesh P. Butani.

"The Blanchard Block can be developed without damaging or tearing down the heritage buildings facing Gore Park."  

It's a bold statement that we are sure, many of us wish could come to fruition.  The statement is an assertion by Mashesh Butani, and below is an article he has submitted for consideration. It presents an alternative to the thinking behind this development. Have a read. 

The Blanchard Block can be developed without damaging or tearing down the heritage buildings facing Gore Park. 

The profitability of Blanchard's development can only increase with the total restoration of the Gore Park buildings (from front to rear), and their successful design incorporation into the new development in a phased

Friday, July 19, 2013

Link of the Moment

Click here to read Mayor Bratina's piece in the Globe and Mail. It is the fifth letter down entitled Memories of Colville

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- Sips and bites July 2013

Cornerstone Winery - Jerry and Nina Kopanski
Sips and Bites - July 2013  A great deal is going on and while I present some highlights here, I’d invite readers to mention other events in the comments section.

The July 18-24, 2013 edition of Hamilton’s View Magazine is their annual “Best of Food 2013” Edition and you can see the winners (located in both Hamilton and Burlington) on the website or simply extract the double fold ratings from the print edition for future reference. While there are some well-deserved victors, I’m frankly surprised at who’s missing from the list, but who am I to argue with the voters?

I’m always astonished at the number of categories people get to vote in, and thankful the ratings here are simple (gold, silver) rather than the confusing categorizations I’ve seen elsewhere and which I suspect are made up to further maximise advertising revenue. (Do we really need four sandwich categories over and above subs and pitas? Who knows if Platinum trumps Gold but not Diamond?)

A possible future contender when it opens in late summer (Sept?) may be the 28 Lister Chophouse Grill


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Legal Opinion Limbo

We followed up with officials at the Ministry of the Attorney General on the legal opinion with respect to whether the Police Services Board can appoint a replacement for Clr. Terry Whitehead, pending the review of the investigation into his conduct on the board. 

You will note that our question did not encroach upon what the legal opinion is, or any of its details. We are simply asked if the opinion has been rendered and what stage of review it is at. Here is our Q/A.

Could you provide an update as to the status of the legal opinion that the Commission has sought. Is it in hand? If not, when is it expected and is there any other information you can provide at this juncture?

Due to confidentiality obligations on the Commission under the Police Services Act and given the Commission’s responsibilities as an adjudicative tribunal, the Commission cannot comment on specific matters. As such, any matters between the Commission and the Hamilton Police Services Board must remain between those two entities.

For general information about the work of the Commission, please view our website. The Commission has significantly upgraded its site to provide this information.


Are you satisfied with the reply? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Media Release - Heat Alert continues for the City of Hamilton

Heat Alert continues for the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – July 17, 2013 - As the City of Hamilton continues in a Stage 3 Heat Alert measures such as cool places, water distribution, and extended outdoor pool hours will remain in effect. The City has also extended spray pad hours of operation from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. The City’s emergency operations group is also monitoring the situation and will respond if required.

The Medical Officer of Health would like to remind citizens that the risk of heat-related illness can be reduced by following these recommendations:

· Check on your neighbours and family. Especially isolated adults and seniors who may not have air-conditioning or transportation.

· Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on hot days.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Link of the Moment

On Aerotropolis OMB Decision. Click here

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back to the Future?

In our previous article, Dollars and Sense with Mayor Bratina, we considered the risk of plugging a multi-million dollar funding gap for the Pan Am precinct improvements. 

Since then, Clr. Merulla has suggested  a new solution to this funding gap; that being, using the profits the city will make from selling the vacant west harbour lands, to developers. (see Spec article here)  The Clr. believes that the demand is there for the land, which in 2009 was purchased for 10 million dollars and which now, according to the Clr. may be worth double that.

However, the 10 million dollars used to buy the land in 2009, was borrowed from the Future Fund, leading some to wonder why the plan would not first including giving 10 million Back to the Future fund?  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ditch or Pitch the Snitch Line?

With talk of the illegal dumping pilot project and results that did not meet up with ROI expectations, as well as a new idea floated by Clr. Merulla for a tip line for residents to report illegal dumping and littering.we asked bylaw services director Marty Hazell the following:

1. With respect to the illegal dumping pilot, The Hamilton Spectator stated the following: "Hazell told councillors that complaints have tumbled considerably since the program began. But in the absence of hard numbers in the staff report - a cause of concern for councillors - Hazell was mainly winging data from memory."


In the context of a pilot project, Hamiltonians may be wondering how we could have proceeded without having a structured way of collecting data that would either prove the merit of the pilot or not. Is there such data and if so, can you share it with Hamiltonians.

Staff reported on the Council approved performance measures for the pilot which were:

- cost recovery from fines and through Court actions;
- compliance rates and measurably improved conditions in the specific trouble locations in each Ward as previously identified in Report PW11052/PED11127 and other areas across the City; and,
- reduced complaints about illegal dumping.

2. If the idea of a "snitch line" as contemplated by Clr. Merulla is approved, how would the city respond to the influx of calls that may range from very legitimate complaints to those that are less so. Will you have the capacity to respond to the calls, the ability to screen them and then the ability to respond and investigate in a timely manner? If not, do you envision asking for additional resources and how will you ensure such a call for additional resources is backed by a reliable way of knowing whether such an investment will be worthwhile in terms of proper stewardship of public funds?

While Councillor Merulla made a suggestion for a "snitch line", he advised Committee that he would pursue the idea with staff "off line" therefore we are not in a position to comment at this point.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Link of the Moment

Pan Am Stadium to be named "Tim Hortons Field" for 10 years. See Spec. story by clicking here.


Dollars and Sense- with Mayor Bob Bratina

A 17 million dollar commitment to a joint school and recreation centre near the new Pan Am stadium seems like an alarming investment given that the sources of funding have not been defined. In essence, we may be venturing into a major expenditure with significant risk to tax dollars. Clr. Merulla has referred to this in the context of city building, and appeared confident (as quoted in The Spec), that the money will be found. Are you as comfortable with this, from a spending perspective? What message do you have for Hamiltonians who may be concerned about this type of spending that appears to be surrounded by uncertainty?

Council has correctly in my opinion asked for more information and the time to consider before moving ahead with the recommendation. What we have been asked to do right now is commit to a project that may not happen, with money we don't have.
Mayor Bob Bratina

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Media Statement- 24, 28 King St. Gore Park buildings

Media Statement
Councillor Jason Farr, Councillor Ward 2

July 9, 2013 – Hamilton, ON - Early this afternoon, Councillor Jason Farr, Mr. David Blanchard and his representatives, city staff from Planning & Economic Development including Heritage Planning, as well as staff from the City Manager’s Office met. At that meeting Councillor Farr requested and it was agreed that any demolition would be stopped on the 24, 28 King St. Gore Park buildings as a solution is sought to maintain the architectural and heritage character of the Gore properties. This interim step allows time for continued community input, as well as dialogue between Mr. Blanchard and city staff.

Furthermore, staff have also requested that an independent peer review be done of the engineering report undertaken by the owner of these properties as an immediate next step.

“I want to thank Mr. Blanchard for his willingness to seek a solution”, said Councillor Jason Farr. “There has been a significant focus on citizen input and engagement the last little while and it is important that it be considered in our decision making process.”

“Gore Park is important to this entire community. I remain committed to finding a solution that allows us to maintain the architectural and heritage character of Gore Park while also trying to move forward with this exciting project,” added Councillor Farr.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Made in Hamilton Solution Showing Measureable Results

Click here to read Chief DeCaire's piece in The Hamilton Spectator which describes the merits of a new made in Hamilton solution - The Social Navigator role  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Chief DeCaire, on the Police Services Board Replacement Member issue.

With all the talk about the need to appoint a replacement on the Police Services Board, we touched base with Hamilton's Chief of Police Glenn DeCaire. Enjoy our Q/A with the Chief.

Much has been written about the delay in getting clarity around whether it is legal to appoint a temporary replacement to the Police Services Board, pending a resolution of the Clr. Whitehead matter. The need to get on with the business of the board as it relates to police matters has been cited.

In your view, are their crucial issues that require the board to reassemble quickly. If so, can you give us a sense for those. And, notwithstanding, are there other mechanisms that allow business to proceed in absence of the board meeting and, if so, what are those? How concerned should Hamiltonians be that the board has not met pending clarification on the temporary replacement for Clr. Whitehead front?

We respect the Hamilton Police Services Board’s governance role and the dedication, experience and commitment of Board members. The Board and the Service share the same goal of community safety and providing excellence in policing services.

Operations continue, uninterrupted, at Hamilton Police Service as we respond to all calls for service, advance investigations, respond and support victims of crime and continue our education and prevention programs to protect our citizens. All business will proceed and be reported to the Board at the time of the next meeting.

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak

Vinexx marks the spot - A Hamilton-based fine wine business

The façade of the Kirkendall-neighbourhood house belies what lies within. This is not just a gracious residence, but the ground floor is the headquarters of Vinexx, a Hamilton wine business employing about ten people and turning over a respectable $5 Million a year in a competitive market dominated by big brands.

Somehow, years ago, I found myself invited to a tasting of wines in Oakville which is where I first met Vinexx Special Projects Manager, Johanne Desautels. She organized the event: I had fun, ate some nice nibblies and tasted some decent wine.

Over the years it was always a pleasure to hear from Johanne about an upcoming tasting. I always enjoyed the events, and occasionally ordered a wine or two that I particularly enjoyed from her. The beauty of the events was the reliable mix of wines. Different varieties, at different price points, some available by private order, but many listed at the LCBO. Instant gratification, more or less.

In March, 2013 I found myself at Seasons Restaurant in Oakville, again tasting a variety of wines and


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Clr. Farr on Nations Fresh Food

Enjoy our Q/A with Ward 2 Clr. Jason Farr about the recent opening of Nations Fresh Food.

Q. The opening of Nations is certainly a good news story for Hamilton. You must be very pleased. Can you describe for us what the factors were that enabled this venture to go forward and succeed? What did we ((the collective we, (but feel free to identify contributors)) do right to make this happen?


Factors that enabled this venture to go forward and succeed?

The climate. In the Fall, Council will receive a report on private investment in the downtown. I anticipate that the dollar figure attached to this investment will float around 200 million. Frank (Nations owner) and myself have had many consultations with staff over the last year. He never failed to share that he was very impressed with this investment and that he himself was making a prudent move in leasing out 55k square feet from Yale.

Yale too deserves a great deal of the credit in their pursuit of this tenant. They have virtually transformed the south-west side of Jackson Square and served a vital community need in the process.

What did we do right to make this happen?

I would say we kept the need alive through Economic Development and Urban Renewal. The residents have spoken out strongly as well. I heard loud and clear the desire for a walkable, urban supermarket and throughout the facilitation process until now, I have projected that desire as best I could.

This great new addition to Downtown Hamilton is the result of this, and previous Councils commitment to the core. Whether through supporting enhanced incentives or voting unanimously to making downtown a strategic priority, council has not failed in this support. The positive results are all around us.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spin or a Win?

"...Simple. He didn't break into a vault and steal 1M he took 200 dollars a day. We are a $1.5 billion entity." 

"...Criminals are clever and the 10 biggest embezzlement cases are in the private sector. Also we are insured."

"...Our due diligence lead to crime being investigated and pursued followed by public disclosure. Thanks buddy! #good"

"...The status quo is what caught the crime! improvement would be sage advice. Remember the City of Ham blew the whistle"

"...All keep in mind that the City did catch the fraud through due diligence but it took too long"

"...My goal is accountability through proactive investigations. I call it accountability office n U call Auditor General"


The above statements were made on Twitter by Clr. Sam Merulla in relation to the city staffer who was eventually caught and subsequently admitted to stealing over 1 million dollars from the public purse, over the span of a nine year period. While city management cannot be happy about this revelation and appeared justifiably uncomfortable with this faux pas in good financial stewardship, Clr. Merulla seems to have focused on the positive side of this mis-hap.

Do you agree with Clr. Merulla's characterization of this ordeal, or do think his characterizations got mashed up in the spin cycle?

Link of the Moment

Mayor Bratina speaks to Nations new grocery outlet. Click here to go there.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Unlawful"?

Is a temporary replacement for Clr. Terry Whitehead on the Police Services Board, pending the result of an investigation against him for his conduct as a board member unlawful? Was the Hamilton Police Services Board so advised? Those answers are proving difficult to attain, as you can see by our Q/As with a representative from the Ontario Civilian Police Commission ,Ministry of the Attorney General.

Q. Can you confirm that the Hamilton Police Services Board has been advised that to temporarily replace a board member is not permissible as it would be seen as exceeding the maximum membership of 7 members? Can you also provide us with a reference as to what policy, piece of legislation or other document has been relied upon the make this determination.Please feel free to include any other additional information you may believe is useful to know.


In response to your inquiry, the Commission is not in a position to comment as the question you raise is of a legal nature. The Commission has sought a legal opinion on this matter.

For more information about the Commission please view our website at www.ocpc.ca and consult the Police Services Act (under the ‘About Us’ section). As well, you may read our decisions which will answer many questions about the Commission’s processes. They are available under the ‘Decision Information’ section of our website.


If you have any questions about navigating our website, do let me know. 

We understand however, perhaps you can answer this part of the question, as it is with respect to a past action:  Can you confirm that the Hamilton Police Services Board has been advised that to temporarily replace a board member is not permissible as it would be seen as exceeding the maximum membership of 7 members?

Hello,
I am not in a position to comment further.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Do You Feel Assured/Insured?

No doubt the City is feeling frustrated and perhaps even embarrassed at the revelation that a staffer had been stealing money to the tune of over 1 million dollars, over the course of nine years. It is not an easy situation to confront and The Hamiltonian hopes that the handling of this matter is done in such a way that offers Hamiltonians assurance that this will not happen again and justice will be had. It is our impression that the city is approaching this with the best of intention and we wish them well in this regard.

The City had indicated that they would be seeking coverage under its insurance policy to claim for all or some of the money that had been stolen. We thus asked the following question:

Could you provide us with a copy (excerpt), from the city’s insurance policy that you would be referring to when attempting to claim the cost (in whole or in part), of the missing over 1 Million dollars that a staff person admitted to defrauding the city of. For clarity, we are asking for a copy of the clauses in the policy that enables, and sets the eligibility conditions for such claims

The intent of our question was to ascertain what type of tests that the city would have to meet in order to successfully make a claim for the money. Given that the crime occurred undetected for a period of nine years, we wondered whether an insurance policy would consider what  reasonable measures were taken to guard against such a claim having to materialize.

In response, we were told that the exact wording of the City's crime policy is proprietary. We were further advised that the primary policy has a limit of $1,000,000.00 and an excess policy which will respond if the amount exceeds $1,000,000.00. We were also directed to speak to any insurance broker who could provide us with standard wording for crime policies.

Having received this response, we questioned how the wording of an insurance policy could be considered proprietary, if the client for which the policy was purchased, is Hamiltonians. The City replied as follows: 

"By the terms of our contract with our insurers we are obligated to act at their direction. There is also the issue of disclosing confidential information which is considered confidential by the terms of the City's competitive bid process. At this point we have provided as much as we are able to at the direction of our insurers and in keeping with the City's procurement program.'

Do you believe the City has or should have an obligation to share the provisions of the insurance policy with Hamiltonians, particularly if they are to access it to attempt to offset this financial loss? 

Campview and Canada Day

Nothing says summer better than a backyard deck barbecue party with family and friends. The deck featured in the picture you see to the left is part of a unique property found on Campview Rd. in Stoney Creek. A stone's throw away from the beach, it is nestled between greenery and sand. 

Just as unique is how owner J.F. James came to acquire it. Born in Pakistan and having moved to Hamilton in 1974, J.F. enjoyed a successful career in electronics and technology. In 1995, he went on a backpack excursion in Australia and fell in love with the country. So much so that in 1997, he bought a property in Perth and moved there.

His love for Hamilton however never died and based on his continued interest in the area, and the fact that loved ones remain here, J.F. purchased the Campview property in 2005, site unseen. In other words. J.F. bought the property from Australia, by viewing pictures of the property online. Since then, he has made it a point to spend Australian winters (which he advises are not so wintery at all), here at Campview. The Campview site was/is ideal for family get togethers and, as J.F. is also involved in the music world (having an affiliation with Cole Clark guitars), he ensured the two tier deck easily served as a stage for backyard performances.

J.F. has decided to sell this property based on some circumstances that have changed, related to some family members who are no longer able to care for the property while J.F.  is at home in Perth.  As J.F. is also a photographer, he has provided a few other pictures of the property, which can be seen by clicking here. The property is with Apex Results Realty Inc. with Bob Van de Vrande. He can be reached by clicking here.

Happy Canada Day to all!

The Hamiltonian

(note- the article above is not a paid advertisement. The Hamiltonian remains non profit).