With provincial and municipal elections on the horizon in 2018, a number of threatening clouds are gathering that may negatively impact Flamborough taxpayers. On the municipal front, consider just the following:
1.Even though Hamilton Council has moved forward with its $1 billion light rail transit (LRT) project through the lower city (from McMaster University in Westdale to Eastgate Mall in Stoney Creek), it is still not known what the impacts will be for taxpayers across the entire ‘new’ City of Hamilton. That won’t be known until Council considers the operating and maintenance agreement either late this year or early next. But by then it may be too late to pull the plug on the project.
2. Throughout the often bitter and divisive LRT debate, some supporters of the project on Council threatened to push for the elimination of area rating for public transit. That could mean that taxpayers in Rockton and Freelton and other rural communities could be forced to pay for public transit that is not available to them.
3. The matter of an expanded Council (from the current 16 members to 17 – with another councillor representing Hamilton Mountain) is now before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Proponents argue that the principle of ‘representation by population’ demands another councillor from the former City of Hamilton. If the OMB agrees, representatives from the former City of Hamilton will have an absolute majority on Council. We can only hope that the OMB recognizes that the four federal ridings in Prince Edward Island have fewer voters combined than certain big city ridings.
4. Mayor Fred Eisenberger recently mused that perhaps Hamilton’s mayor should have veto power on certain matters. His musings have sent shock waves to all who value democracy.
During next year’s election campaigns, the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) – passionately committed to serving the best interests of our incredible ‘community of communities’ – will continue a tradition by hosting community all-election debates where voters can ask the candidates what their positions are regarding the issues detailed above and others.