Friday, January 15, 2016

7- Candidate Damin Starr

In our series entitled "7", The Hamiltonian will provide all candidates who are registered to run in the Ward 7 by-election, equal access to The Hamiltonian to get their message out. As per our standing policies, The Hamiltonian will remain nuetral and will allow all an opportunity. Our series continues with Ward 7 candidate Damin Starr. Enjoy our Q/A with Damin: 

 Why are you running for Ward 7 Councillor. What are you hoping to achieve by doing so?

My Hamilton civic engagement dates back to the early 1990’s (Citizen's Expressway Committee) where my primary role was to assist in educating residents and the public at large on the processes and impacts during the construction phases of the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP). As many of us may remember this was a tireless effort that was stalled many times by conflicting political mandates, until it opened in 2007.

Since then my municipal and provincial engagement has been in the areas of social advocacy (inclusiveness & accessibility for the disabled), electoral reform (municipal, provincial, and federal), multi-modality (mobility options & integration), and community development, all of which, I have provided delegation and facilitated discussion on. My decision to put my name forward is representative of my capacity to contribute in a meaningful way for the betterment of others and our surroundings.

I am an active participant in many community liaison committees and can often be found providing input, listening to, observing, and engaging in progressive discussion on key issues. I am motivated by a desire for all residents to achieve their full potential through opportunity and participation, building on unique strengths and collectively moving forward.

While applying a ‘healthy community approach’ to overcoming traditional issues surrounding the development and delivery of quality ‘municipal services’, I commit to continuing efforts in facing citywide challenges such as ‘affordability’, ‘tax-base imbalance’, ‘a rising infrastructure deficit’, and ‘inadequate mobility options’.

Reflecting on my commitment to citizen engagement and 20+ years experience in business, operating a parts manufacturing firm in Lincoln, Ontario … providing raw component parts for locomotive and mass transit --- including manufacturing for environmental controls associated with the steel, oil, water, and gas industries. I confidently offer my abilities to effectively represent the residents of Ward 7, delivering a balanced approach to social and fiscal responsibilities as an elected councillor at City Hall.

What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the Ward and facing the city as a whole. How would your contributions help to resolve these issues?
Realistically, traditional issues surrounding the development and delivery of quality ‘municipal services’ have been a major point of discussion. Residents will always want to know their councillor is grounded enough to provide good liaison with departments and timely resolve. City wide challenges such as ‘affordability’, ‘tax-base imbalance’, ‘a rising infrastructure deficit’, and ‘inadequate mobility options’ are key issues that cross ward boundaries. As a councillor representing Central Mountain these areas could benefit from both my practical experience in business and compassion for real world circumstances. I will encourage and support progressive well-reasoned solutions with an expectation of measurability.

What is your current assessment of this installation of City council? Are you satisfied with their performance. What, if anything, might you add to council that would be unique or new?
I know there is always room for improvement, but I can make no assumption about how difficult their jobs are. I respect their positions and cannot in good conscience banter in hypothesis.

How can people reach you to ask you about your position on matters or to otherwise engage with you?

I welcome and look forward to furthering discussion on any of the following media platforms and I also look forward to opportunities to meet in person.

Twitter: @daminstarr
Facebook: www.facebook.com/daminstarr
email: damin@daminstarr.ca
website: www.daminstarr.ca

 Tell us a little about yourself, on a personal note. Your hobbies, likes, dislikes, background etc. Anything that would have people get to know who you are on a more personal basis.

-an avid cyclist
-taking my children to city events and enjoy reading books to them.
-love music
-trained with the late Lyn Harry (Canadian Orpheus Male Choir) at the Hamilton Academy of Music as a teen
-trained with Canadian rock hero and fellow Hamiltonian Ray Lyell who re-inspired my love for performance…
-Recorded “The Music that Surrounds You” collection of Broadway and classic songs in 2004 followed by two years of live performances. Great experience.
Proud husband and father … The 6 Starr Kids are my inspiration.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

With my wife, Debra, we proudly raise our 6 children (including 2 children with developmental disabilities) in East Hamilton.

Over time, I would hope the 'outsider' label I am presently carrying may translate into a willingness for us to step outside of our comfort zones and grow into opportunities for refreshing dialog. My experience has taught me that we are not just 'Wards' made up of constituents divided by invisible lines, but integrated communities of people connected by a desire for livability.

I live with a belief that ‘City Building’ is a responsibility we all share. It is ‘simply’ not enough to cast a ballot every 4 years, because ‘the truth is’ developing desirable communities requires both interest and engagement from all residents, regardless of affluence. I am excited about Hamilton’s future, but always mindful of the importance of living in a fair and equitable society. My hope is that YOU feel the same.

Throughout this campaign I will strive to earn the support of Ward 7 residents and would be honoured to serve as their Central Mountain councillor … working diligently beyond March 21, 2016.

Damin Starr
​Ward 7 (Central Mountain) Candidate


  1. Mr Starr is a true gentleman.

  2. I think you would be a fantastic addition to our city councillors. I hope my fellow ward 7 residents also feel the same. I have been following you on Twitter for a long time. You're knowledge and understanding of our city is phenomenal. Good luck, Mr. Starr.


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