New Planning Director

The following letter was sent recently to City Manager Chris Murray by the FCC:

The Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) shares the passion of Council and staff to make Hamilton ‘the best place to raise a child.’ In our humble opinion, the key to making that happen lies with a vibrant and sustainable local economy.

We note with considerable interest there are two leadership positions that are currently vacant in Hamilton’s Planning Department. As you consider who to appoint to fill these crucial and strategic positions, we would urge you to appoint individuals who understand the importance of local economic development (complete with the creation of new jobs and the provision of new tax revenues) especially within the context of a growing global economy.

In our humble opinion, we need visionary leaders in these positions who are committed to creative solutions and determined to remove barriers – especially those related to ‘red tape.’

Chris, there appears to be a perception among many (I hear it all the time from members of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce) that Hamilton – unlike neighbouring and competing jurisdictions (such as Burlington and Brantford) – is ‘not open for business.’ I repeatedly get complaints that Hamilton’s Planning Department appears to be much more interested in ‘putting up roadblocks’ rather than facilitating solutions.

As a former community newspaper editor, I know from personal experience the weaknesses of the ‘perception’ argument. But – for better or worse – ‘perception is reality’ for many.

As the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce demonstrated during the ‘area rating’ debate, we are committed to ‘city building’ and truly making the ‘new’ Hamilton a wonderful ‘community of communities.’ If there is anything we can do to assist in the recruitment and/or appointment process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Arend Kersten
Executive Director
Flamborough Chamber of Commerce

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