Our series continues with Ward 7 candidate Jeanne Lise Pacey. Enjoy our Q/A with Jeanne Lise:
1. Why are you running for Ward 7 Councillor. What are you hoping to achieve by doing so?
I am proud to call Ward 7 my home. Ward 7 is where I grew up and it’s been my home for more than forty years. I am very familiar with the amenities, the businesses and the community. I am a patron of our local businesses and I have friends and colleagues living here. As a resident, I know there needs to be improvements made to better maintain our infrastructure while retaining the heritage of this community. I want to be your Ward 7 Councillor so that I can speak at City Hall about the concerns we all share about recreation facilities, transportation, pedestrian safety and the need for improved accessibility throughout the city. My strengths are not only my familiarity with the ward, but that I have worked for the City of Hamilton for a number of years in community development, and I have strong organizational skills and like to get a job done right. I have also worked in community and healthcare advocacy and I am self-employed.
In my opinion, City Hall needs to offer more opportunities for residents, groups and businesses to be heard. More public consultations could be incorporated into decision-making so that Hamiltonians are more involved and have of a say in how this city is run.
My goal is to improve the quality of life for people of all ages in Hamilton, whether it is seeing that much needed bus shelters are installed or by bringing new businesses and more affordable housing to both our ward and the city. I am committed to working with Mayor, the members of council and community leaders not only for the betterment of Hamilton but for Central Mountain. I recognize that safe and healthy communities are created through partnerships and strong collaborative relationships amongst individuals, community groups, businesses across the City of Hamilton. As your City Councillor, I will listen to you and work to improve the services that are vital to making Ward 7 an amazing place to live, work and play.
2. 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?
The need for improved public transportation remains the number one concern. In order that I could better understand this issue from both sides, I have already spoken with city staff as well as I have been speaking regularity with community members about their concerns about transit. We need to ensure that transit issues are properly addressed in the City’s budget.
Affordable housing also continues to be an ongoing issue so we need the province of Ontario to make good on their commitment of funds to ensure more units of affordable housing are built in Ward 7 and in Hamilton.
As I have been out meeting and speaking to community groups and leaders, I find that there appears to be a serious sense of disconnection about what everyone is doing, expecting and offering. There seems to be no central base that people feel they can go to, and it seems people are not really sure what is happening across the ward. Some of my skills are in developing partnerships and seeing projects through to their expected results and I am offering to be that much needed ‘go-to-person’ for the ward. As your Councillor and I will be able to bring Ward 7 together.
I also want to mention that there is a revision of Hamilton’s ward boundaries in the works. When the report is issued this June, it will be important for our Ward 7 councillor to consider how best to not disrupt our neighbourhoods any more than necessary.
3. 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 am pleased to see that City Council appears to be functioning more as a team than has happened in previous years. Because I do believe that fresh perspectives are what keeps council members thinking of how to make their city vibrant and attractive, I think there should limitations on the number of terms a councillor can sit. Job experience is important; it can make things run smoothly, but running and managing any city well also involves bringing in new ideas. Community issues change and evolve which means we need to ensure that we reach out to all Hamiltonians and give them all an opportunity to be heard. Strengthening relationships and including all voices will only help to inform and improve City Hall’s decision-making. I look forward to working together with other city councillors and improving the great City of Hamilton.
4. How can people reach you to ask you about your position on matters or to otherwise engage with you?
I am always open to meeting groups or individuals face-to-face. It is critical that there is a good relationship between a ward councillor and the stakeholders in the neighbourhood. I would love to hear from you.
5. 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.
My two children are adults now, but they were born and raised in this community. My first job was at Hill Park Recreation Centre. After I attended Mohawk College, I continued to work in the community. Eventually, I worked in community development which included downtown Hamilton development, commercial improvement initiatives, parks, and involved collaborating with our local Business Improvement Associations (BIAs). I attended Mohawk College, worked for the City of Hamilton and the City of Brantford for a number of years. I am now self-employed and have been working as a health care consultant and advocate in our community and across the province. You will often see me running or hiking in the Hamilton area or at the YMCA or at one of our local businesses or restaurants. I enjoy reading, travelling, and meeting people.
6. Is there anything else you would like to add?
My interest is at a local level; I do not have any interest to use this position as a stepping stone for other levels of government.
Every election is important. It is your opportunity to vote for representation, so please do vote at either an advanced poll March 10 or 12 or on Election Day, March 21. Proxy notes are available at City Hall for those who are away during the month of March.