Tuesday, October 09, 2018

AWCA: Ward 1 Candidates Q+A

Ainslie Wood Residents and Members of the Media:

            Below are the 20 questions sent by the Ainslie Wood Community Association to each of the 2018 Ward One candidates, along with the answers of those candidates who participated, in reverse alphabetical order.
            Not a word from any of the answers has been cut or changed; I did make a few minor punctuation and formatting edits (e.g. changing a point-form list to a sentence, with semi-colons replacing the line breaks) for the sake of consistency and readability. A draft version was previously sent to the candidates for comment.
            This is a public document. Everyone is free to forward, post or otherwise share this information without permission.
            If you have follow-up questions, the email addresses of all the candidates are listed in the "to" line above.

Mark Coakley
AWCA Chair

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1. WHAT WILL BE YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES AS COUNCILLOR?
Wilson --- I have a 5-point platform: Stronger Neighbourhoods for a Stronger City; Make Smarter Investments and Plan with Purpose; Create Safe Shared Streets; Enhance Our Public Spaces; Build Better Transit.
White --- My main priorities, if elected, will focus on improving the everyday lives on individuals in Ward 1. Specific issues I plan to focus on consist of: safer streets, improved transparency, improved co-ordination between the city and other stakeholders in ward 1, improved policing as well as by-law enforcement, preserving the Hamilton Aviary, and finding cost-saving measures such as the proposed motion to change our current waste-management strategy.
Narducci --- My main priorities are Vision Zero with street safety, moving forward with our transit (LRT), and affordable housing.
Massie --- Economic Development - Small business is a catalyst for revitalizing our neighbourhoods and building wealth. I want to support young adults with opportunities for work in Ward 1 to raise incomes and move our local economy forward. I also support existing community services that address the concentration of poverty, addiction and mental illness. Infrastructure and Housing - Ward 1's economy relies on water, electrical, facilities, safety services, and transit network connections. We need to build affordable housing for growing families, first-time owners, renters, newcomers, and our seniors. Stop the conversion of single family dwellings into multi-unit rentals. For example, not supporting variance applications for rezoning and enforcement action on property standards and public safety including repurposing derelict homes and buildings. Enhance, Protect and Maintain Clean Greenspaces for Everyone - Ward 1's parks, forests and wetlands reduce air and water pollutants, provide wildlife habitat, and benefit everyone in the neighbourhood with a place for physical activity, stress reduction and community interaction.
Lazich --- My main priorities as councillor would include the following: Ensuring that council is more fiscally responsible; Ensuring that council work together for the better good of Hamilton and not just each ward; Ensuring there is visionary leadership and strong governance; Advocate for the needs of all constituents in Ward 1 to ensure those needs are met whether its development, infrastructure or specific needs.
Geffos --- My platform has 4 pillars -- Community, Housing, Accountability, and Transit. Of these, the ones that need the most work to address are housing and transit. In terms of housing, I am committed to increasing the amount of affordable housing by using the provincial inclusionary zoning legislation to mandate that developers include a percentage of affordable and/or geared-to-income units in their new developments. As a ward, we have the highest degree of income disparity in the city, and the majority of low-income residents live in Ainslie Wood. As a member of our neighbourhood, I am also very familiar with the constant battle against absentee landlords to maintain their properties and protect their tenants. Cracking down on absentee landlords via landlord licensing would not only prevent deaths by ensuring that no units are rented that are not fully compliant with the fire code, but would also allow the city and residents to track infractions against a landlord to determine if a particular landlord has a pattern of property standards and/or other bylaw infractions against them. Regarding transit, the current system is not adequately meeting the needs of West Hamilton and Ainslie Wood in particular. Many of our children rely on school route extras and the 51 University route to get them to school on time. The 51 University route must run year-round, and school route extras should never be first on the chopping block when the HSR is forced to cancel routes. I will also ensure that council fully funds the 10-year transit master plan, to make sure that our transit system is fully able to meet the needs of our growing city. In an underfunded transit system, the people who most need it are often those left behind -- as a regular transit user I can attest that busses are often unable to accommodate seniors and those with mobility devices, leaving some of the most vulnerable people in our society literally out in the cold.
Eroglu --- In Ward 1 violation of bylaws related to rental housing and property use along with noise and hygiene problems needs to be addressed. Difficulties on enforcing by-laws such as property standards, parking and absentee landlords are making the situation worse. This makes it extremely difficult to maintain a balanced neighbourhood that students and non-student residents live in harmony at a safe environment with a sense of community. The neighbourhoods around McMaster are suffering from bylaw violations for a long time. Secondly, for both Ward 1 and the City, creating safe and friendly streets that everybody feels welcomed. Enhancing a walkable, cyclable roads and developing more continuous paths for bikes are essential. In its current condition throughout our ward and the rest of the City, it is hard to say that our roads are safe to drive, walk or bike. The condition is very poor. Its been long neglected and needs our attention. Providing a reliable, accessible and affordable public transportation is vital for our ward as well as for the City as a whole. By investing in our public services wisely we can make transportation, housing and access to arts and recreation affordable and accessible to everyone. Another issue is addressing poverty. This is one of my priorities. Sadly, so many families with children in Hamilton lives under the poverty line. People living and dying on our streets, children going school with empty stomach and parents working on two-three jobs and struggle for providing basic human needs for their families are not acceptable.
Cole --- I have four main priorities highlighted below... i. Improved Public Transportation: Development and ease of accessibility to public and alternative transport, including integrated rapid-transit solutions and safe, efficient cycling options. I do strongly support integrated LRT as a means of enhancing investment, growing our economy and providing convenient access to city-wide programs, services, businesses and institutions. (Please refer to SharonCole.ca for details); ii. Economic Growth: Continued development of Ward 1 as an education and innovation hub, along with acting as a hive for small and independent businesses and services. This will be done with a keen respect and balance for the environmental and conservation needs of our vibrant and attractive community. (Please refer to SharonCole.ca for details); iii. Housing Solutions: Address the increased cost of housing with a focus on the diversified, evolving population base, the needs of established homeowners, renters and students and the challenge of affordability and quality. (Please refer to SharonCole.ca for details); iv. Government Transparency and Collaboration: Champion a unified decision-making process for the betterment of the city by strengthening Council solidarity and respecting the opinions of each of Hamilton's unique communities. (Please refer to SharonCole.ca for details).
Anderson --- I have 7 areas which I would focus on during my term: 1.1 Establishing and expanding communication throughout the Ward and between the various entities which make it up (residents, businesses, institutions) as well as between these entities and City Hall; 1.2 Education programs for residents related to City By-laws, neighbour expectations, landlord and tenant legal obligations and general home ownership or rental chores; 1.3 Safe streets for all users including cyclists, pedestrians, transit users and drivers with the goal of zero deaths and zero serious injuries due to traffic accidents; 1.4 Affordable housing for renters and home owners. For home owners this would focus on decreasing taxes by increasing density along key corridors; 1.5 Affordable, reliable and resilient infrastructure throughout the Ward and the City; 1.6 Making sure the City services you use everyday are meeting your expectations; 1.7 Making sure that your interactions with the City are mostly positive.
Allen --- My main priorities would be complete streets – striking a balance between cyclist, driver and pedestrians to ensure all can travel safely and effectively, safe neighbourhoods – ensuring by-laws are adhered to and making sure people feel safe in their neighbourhood, and smart development – ensuring development in the ward respects its neighbourhood, and continues to meet the goals of our communities.


2. DO YOU HAVE A PLAN TO REACH OUT TO THE VOTERS LIVING IN THE HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS IN THE FAR WEST PART OF THE WARD?
Wilson --- I have and will continue to personally canvass these buildings. In addition, each resident in Ward 1 will receive a Canada Post delivered flyer with an overview of my platform. My platform and other campaign activities are also available on the web and social media.
White --- It is disappointing that reaching voters within high-rises such as those found in the west part of Ainslie Wood is so difficult. My hope is that those who reside in locations that aren't easily accessible for me by foot, will notice lawn signs, my social media campaign or hear about me through word of mouth. I have also had people who live in some high-rises go door to door to inform residents about who I am, hopefully I can find someone willing to do the same for me in Ainslie Wood.
Narducci --- Entrance to apartment buildings is limited and restricted to residents only. Canada Post does offer a service to deliver flyers and information via their letter carriers. The cost is something my campaign is not investing in. There are many platforms for residents of these high rises to gain information on all city wide candidates; Joey Coleman via 155 podcast, Raise The Hammer, The Silhouette, Cable 14, Cycle Hamilton as well as each and every individuals social media platform. With limited access to these residents, perhaps your group could organize a community Meet & Greet with all Ward 1 candidates and the residents that occupy these high-rise buildings. I am willing to work with Ainslee Wood in creating strong community involvement from students, residents and perhaps a representative from each of the high-rise buildings. Alternatively, these buildings could develop a CLC (Community Liason Committee) to best bring their needs to the table.
Massie --- I am speaking with voters in all areas of the Ward, have a website http://www.electmassie.ca/ and lawn signs and doorhanger cards with my platform - I have more work to do.
Lazich --- I plan on canvassing those apartment buildings to ensure they are aware of my candidacy.
Geffos --- Yes, in fact we have already canvassed many of these voters. As an apartment dweller and someone who has worked in housing advocacy, it is very important to me that we ensure that we engage with apartment residents: statistically, they are often living at or below the poverty line and have many distinct needs in terms of funding, resources, and access. It is my intention, once elected, to hold a series of meetings in different parts of the ward in order to connect with the voters living there and to ensure that they are having their voices heard. Some of these meetings will take place in the lobbies or community rooms of high-rise apartment buildings. As an organizer, I have lived my life by the credo that you must meet people where they already are, and never expect them to simply come to you.
Eroglu --- Yes. I will try to reach every voter in Ward 1. 
Cole --- Leading up to the election I’ve maintained a fulsome communication and outreach strategy for all constituents, including those in high-rises, which appears to be working. Following the election, I will as councillor, have a comprehensive communisation strategy that encompasses a variety mediums, print, newsletter, web, social media to keep all constituents informed and engaged.
Anderson --- I see engagement of these residents as starting through their condo boards, apartment managers or the City Housing department depending on the individual building. These entities should be able to provide a common gateway to reach all residents in their buildings through already established communication channels.
Allen --- Yes I do. As I have limited time available to me for door knocking due to the shortened campaign period and the fact that I work full time outside the home, I will be using some creative strategies to reach out to those residents.


3. WILL YOU STRIVE TO BRING ABOUT A VIABLE COMMUNITY CENTRE WHICH WOULD SERVE THE LARGE AREA OF AINSLIE WOOD?
Wilson --- Yes. I believe that Ainslie Wood is presently under serviced in terms of its public amenities. Strong and healthy neighbourhoods are safe, connected, green, active and inclusive places. Public amenities are magnets in attracting permanent residents, including young families.
White --- I am assuming by the term community centre you mean a recreation facility for the community. I am not opposed to looking into the viability of that, however it is not a decision I can do on my own. It would need to make logistical sense and be advocated for by community members. Due to the many other contributing factors that go into a community centre, it is a city decision and something that we would need to convince the other councils that this project is one that is desired and will be utilized by the community. 
Narducci --- I feel this question is in alignment with your question 14, 15, 16 & 18 . I believe community rec centers and libraries are a hub for a community. They make communities livable and bring social groups and families together. Creating a Master Plan is a community initiative. I would look forward to working with your community on this with the Alexander Park/French Public School Board space. Ainslee Wood like much of Hamilton is in the process of evolution. Your streets that were once filled with young families have quieted. Having something (rec center/library/park) to go to will draw more families back. Due to the location of Ainslie Wood and McMaster there will always be a student population that will require work to create a respectful cohabitating area. I would encourage Ainslee Wood to create a Master Plan/vision as to what the area would look like, what is needed, what costs are, get the funds directed to you, fairly.
Massie --- Yes, Ainslie Woods, North, and Anislie Woods West needs a community centre - Dalewood is not close enough.
Lazich --- I believe every community should have access to their own multi use centre that provides space for a variety of activities and learning opportunities for all age groups.. A community centre is a gathering place that would help nurture a healthy community.
Geffos --- Yes. While the West End Diner and Fortino’s community room are great, they cannot and should not be the only community infrastructure available to Ainslie Wood residents when we want to meet, plan, and organize. The Ainslie Wood community hub is an important project which has my full support. As an Ainslie Wood resident, the lack of bookable community infrastructure has been deeply frustrating for me. I believe strongly that all communities do best when they have access to infrastructure that allows them to meet as a community, and given the high percentage of young families that reside in Ainslie Wood (and the apartments on Whitney and Main St W in particular) it is vital that we move forward on the Ainslie Wood community hub.
Eroglu --- I believe in investing in people. A viable community centre is necessary for Ainslie Wood area to serve the community. 
Cole --- Yes. I believe in furthering the work to bring a centre to the property adjacent to Alexander Park thus creating a truly multi-use, community and recreational environment.
Anderson --- Yes. I would like to see a partnership with the YMCA or similar organization for the operation of the facility.
Allen --- Yes. I was a vocal proponent of this initiative when I sat on PBAC in years two and thee of the initiative, and still support such a concept.


4. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE PARTICIPATORY BUDGET MONEY SET ASIDE FOR AINSLIE WOOD MUST BE SPENT IN AINSLIE WOOD? 
Wilson --- Yes.
Narducci --- Yes, I do believe that it should have been/should be. Again, having a Master Plan will enable the community to work towards something, thus justifying the money needed. At the end of the day the councilor is representing all residents of Ward 1 this includes Ainslee Wood, Strathcona, Westdale, Kirkendall and must be held accountable as such. If a particular neighborhood is in need of resources, that neighbourhood should be prioritized.
Massie --- Yes, fairness can not be taken for granted.
Lazich --- Whatever money has been specifically designated to Ainslie wood should be used / spent in Ainslie Wood and not redirected to other projects.
Geffos --- Absolutely. Ainslie Wood, and the AWCA in particular, fought hard for the designated PBAC money and it should be spent in Ainslie Wood. My understanding is that the outgoing councillor’s office worked hard in collaboration with the AWCA on this issue, and I look forward to continuing this relationship.
Eroglu --- Yes, absolutely. Participatory budget set aside for Ainslie Wood must be spend in Ainslie wood. It is not acceptable to use this budget for any other purposes and neglect the needs of the Ainslie Wood community. 
Cole --- Yes, I believe it should. In the case of unused funds, it should be the PBAC that helps determine how these funds would be further used or allocated.
Anderson --- Yes.
Allen --- Yes.


5. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE PBAC SYSTEM SHOULD CONTINUE, BE MODIFIED, OR DONE AWAY WITH ENTIRELY?
Wilson --- I was a PBAC member in 2016-2017. It was a valuable opportunity to listen and learn about the needs and circumstances of each of Ward 1's four neighbourhoods. However, it is not without its challenges. The future of PBAC will likely be determined by the next Hamilton City Council as it is directly related to a broader taxation issue. The city of Hamilton's ward boundaries (with the exception of Ward 1) have recently been redrawn to better reflect population changes across the city. There are now some new wards that include areas that did not previously have access to the annual discretionary infrastructure funding. These areas did not have access to the funding because they were outside the original 8 wards of the amalgamated City of Hamilton. The tax shift that occurred following amalgamation was to reflect the fact that the original 8 wards were paying a disproportionate share of taxation. In 2011, City Council decided that instead of passing these tax savings on to residents of Wards 1 to 8, $1.5 million would be allocated annually to the ward councillor for discretionary spending on hard infrastructure such as sidewalks. The next City Council will have to determine whether it is fair and feasible for such an arrangement to continue. Separate and apart from this, the question I have asked myself is this: is the PBAC system the best vehicle to enhance the capacity of residents to understand and participate in city building? My platform calls on each of Ward 1's neighbourhood associations to consider forming a community council to meet regularly with the Ward 1 Councillor. This is a model that is working very well for neighbourhoods in Ward 2. Neighbourhood associations are able to form relationships, learn from the best practice of others and meet regularly with their elected city councillor. If discretionary funds remain available, I would consult with each neighbourhood association to determine their views on the best capacity building method to invest these funds. Moreover, we must ensure a system of financing that is equitable and does not favour one neighbourhood over others.
White --- The Participatory Budget Advisory Committee program is a good idea in theory, but unfortunately was spent in areas with the loudest people rather than dispersed evenly through out the ward. I would modify the current system, as I like the concept of having residents decide where to spend the money, but with stricter guidelines than were in place currently.
Narducci --- When the participatory budget was introduced it was because of excess tax dollars from Ward 1. As development has increased, and growth continues, home and property owners continue to see their taxes increase despite the apparent excess $1.5 million. I believe that constituents should still be involved in community development, throughout the year, and not merely when excess funds arise. Many constituents have expressed disappointment with this slush fund of $1.5 million of extra money, that was meant for infrastructure but has been used for other, non-infrastructure related projects. It would be in the best interest of constituents to receive a tax cut, not a rainy day piggy bank.
Massie --- I am running to allocate the money competently and effectively. As a councillor I should be doing this kind of extensive citizen consultation already - I don't care for unnecessary marketing spin at taxpayers expense. I would modify the process to have practical timelines and costing to make informed decisions - cooperation between the city and residents with a focus on what the community truly wants and values.
Lazich --- I feel that the original purpose for area rating has changed considerably to the detriment of its real purpose which was for infrastructure only. There is also the issue that the PBAC does not involve all areas of Ward 1 or that money is not distributed in a fair manner. Therefore, I would like to see the Area rating money return to its original intent which is to fix our infrastructure which we need to desperately.
Geffos --- In its current form, the capital behind PBAC comes from area rating. Like many candidates throughout Hamilton, I believe that the area rating system must be abolished: at present, it causes poor transit service for the upper city and suburban wards, and places an unfair tax burden on the lower city. However, regardless of its source the councillor’s office will continue to have discretionary spending. It is my strong belief that all discretionary spending must be community driven and backed, and I believe that PBAC or something like it will continue to have a role to play in deciding how we allocate capital in our communities. I will also ensure that Ward One residents are consulted before council enters into discussions regarding the City’s general budgetary spending to ensure that the projects we need to see happen in our communities are addressed. Regardless of the future of PBAC it is vital that we bring more residents into our decisions at Council. I understand that the current structure of PBAC is not without its criticism, and given that its future will likely be determined by the outcome of the area rating conversation, I look forward to discussing the future form and structure of PBAC with residents after the election.
Eroglu --- I believe it should continue but can be modified to be more inclusive and be fair. Participatory Budgeting Advisory Committee (PBAC) oversees the process and engages residents in developing and selecting infrastructure projects in the Ward, as well as it advises the Councillor on Participatory Budgeting Issues. I think it has a lot of benefits as long as the engagement and consulting done right. 
Cole --- Yes, I believe it should continue with the understanding that new technologies for community engagement will require continued review of the processes to connect the community, including the expanded role digital engagement and social media plays in the collaborative process.
Anderson --- I think whether PBAC continues at all depends heavily on whether area rating, its current funding source, continues to exist. If it does continue, I would like to see the money split evenly between the neighbourhoods. Over the longer term I would like to see the entire City budget opened up to resident participation.
Allen --- The ForWard1 process – which I was proud to champion in is early days – has become more of a challenge recently, especially when it comes to even distribution of money, and investment in genuine needs of the community. I am proposing a re-set of the committee with renewed terms of reference, after consultation with the community.


6. WILL YOU ENSURE THAT THE SAME PROPERTY STANDARDS THAT APPLY TO HOMEOWNERS WILL ALSO APPLY TO AND BE ENFORCED WITH BUSINESSES AND THE RENTAL HOUSES THAT EXIST IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD? WE ARE REFERRING TO LAWN MAINTENANCE, SNOW AND GARBAGE REMOVAL.
Wilson --- Strong neighbourhoods are safe, clean and healthy places to live. There is little value in having the sidewalks of four houses cleared, if one or more adjacent homes leave theirs unplowed. There is growing evidence that social isolation has negative health impacts. Our older residents, particularly in the winter, are at greater risk of being shut in and losing contact with others if they are unable to safely move throughout their neighbourhoods. The City of Hamilton must act, plan and budget to support Hamilton's vision - - to be the best city to raise a child and age successfully. The enforcement of property standards must also be guided by this vision, regardless of whether the property is owned by a business or a landlord. 
White --- I can promise that any issues brought to my attention will be rectified, and no individual or business will be exempt from the rules. I intend on working with the other Councillors elected to improve the level of by-law enforcement and consistency of the enforcement.
Narducci --- I see my role as a representative of all community members. Tensions between residents are a normal part of city life. All residents can experience moments of disagreement. This is where mediation skills matter. It comes back to listening, understanding what the real concerns are and then finding ways forward that are mutually satisfying. Sometimes that might mean by-law enforcement; sometimes bringing people together for conversations is a better option. The students I’ve spoken with have expressed a need for clarity from the City on what’s expected from them as residents of Ward 1. For example, they don’t arrive knowing the garbage bylaws and that information is actually really hard to find. Suddenly a notice appears on their doors - but no one has communicated the bylaws to them. The city could do a better job of helping them find the information they need so they can avoid conflict with neighbors. They like long-term residents are frustrated with absentee landlords who don’t maintain properties.
Massie --- Yes.
Lazich --- Yes! I believe in applying /ensuring that universal property standards are met in all areas and enforced accordingly. No exemptions or special treatment.
Geffos --- Yes. Our proposed peer-to-peer proactive bylaw education and enforcement will apply to all residents of Ainslie Wood and Westdale, not just student residents. It will also free up resources currently directed primarily at student housing to ensure that we are able to appropriately maintain and enforce property standards and bylaw adherence throughout Ward One.
Eroglu --- Yes, definitely. We need to continue working with McMaster administration, landlords, businesses, developers and the City in order to solve the problem regarding by-law violation and enforce at a minimum to meet the property standards that are fair and ensures that properties are being adequately maintained.
Cole --- Yes, I believe the responsibility for the compliance of property standards rests with the property owner, regardless of how such standards/activates are delegated or devolved to renters, students, etc.
Anderson --- Yes. By-laws and their enforcement should apply equally to all properties in the Ward including those owned by the City.
Allen --- Yes. By-law enforcement is a key part of my platform, found here: http://jasonaallen.ca/#platform


7. WILL YOU SUPPORT LRT?
Wilson --- Yes, for several reasons. We have been planning for Hamilton's LRT since 1961 and over $100 million has already been invested in the project. Hamilton residents pay some of the highest property taxes in Ontario. We are also burdened with a $3 billion infrastructure deficit. Our city needs a plan of action. LRT is part of the solution. It will attract new investors, enrich our tax base, bring jobs to Hamilton and grow our local economy. LRT is an important piece in improving our overall transit system and it will also reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions.
White --- I support the LRT, the improved infrastructure that the LRT will bring as well as the improvements to transit it should facilitate. I look forward to ensuring that the LRT is the least disruptive as possible during it's construction.
Narducci --- Yes I do.
Massie --- Yes, I support LRT, and bus transit expansion and funding - a vital public utility.
Lazich --- I support the implementation of the HSR BLAST system using state of the art electric buses that will service all Hamiltonians for half the cost and we can then use the balance of the money for infrastructure needs.
Geffos --- Yes. While I know that it can sometimes be a divisive issue, as a regular user of the B line and someone with a mobility device I am strongly in favour of the LRT as the only truly accessible mass transit available to us at this time. As our residents grow older, it is vital that they are able to access health and social services downtown and in the east end in a prompt and accessible manner.
Eroglu --- I support LRT. I believe LRT will provide accessible, affordable, reliable and comfortable means of public transportation that connects residents not only within the City but provides foundation for future developments. However, I hear a lot of concerns about potential increase of residential taxes. Businesses are concerned about loosing customers during construction. These concerns are legitimate and needs to be addressed. I believe that open communication, engagement and transparency are deeply important for achieving the desired result.
Cole --- Yes. As mentioned above, I do strongly support integrated LRT as a means of enhancing investment, growing our economy and providing convenient access to city-wide programs, services, businesses and institutions. 
Anderson --- Yes, however I think some adjustments need to be made to the proposed traffic flow changes along King Street.
Allen --- Yes. I have been very outspoken on this issue, and feel my position is well known. Hamilton needs to honour its commitments and build the system so many are expecting.


8. WILL YOU ENDEAVOR TO CONDUCT YOURSELF IN A RESPECTFUL AND NON-PARTISAN MANNER WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES AT CITY HALL?

Wilson --- My commitment is to serve as a role model for our youngest residents, including my children. I have received endorsements from city leaders of all different political stripes. This is proof that I have demonstrated the ability to work with others, find common ground and lead.
White --- At the end of the day, politics is about compromise. It is about finding the best possible solution for any and all stakeholders involved in a given situation. If elected, I look forward to working with my colleagues of all political affiliations and hold no outright contempt for any personal basis. That being said, I will not back down on issues that I do not agree with, or feel will be negative for my constituents, or the City of Hamilton as a whole.
Narducci --- Saddens me that this has to be a question, it should be expected of all elected officials.
Massie --- Yes, in order to get things done you have to look for common ground and be willing to work together.
Lazich --- Yes! I will ensure that I conduct myself in nothing less than a professional manner, respecting my fellow councillors despite any differences that might arise.
Geffos --- Yes. While I do have a background in partisan politics, I am very experienced at sitting on committees and advocacy groups where not all individuals share the same political affiliation. I believe very strongly that municipal governance and local issues are spaces where everyone, regardless of political affiliation, can and should come together to work on the material issues that affect us as residents, regardless of what our backgrounds are.
Eroglu --- I am proud of my non-partisan campaign. I am not affiliated to any political entity and will be only serving to the community. I profoundly care about this community and I know I can make a real impact and represent Ward 1 in a transparent, engaging, and progressive manner with the interests of people always prioritized. For me, it is all about community and leadership, it is not about politics but people. 
Cole --- Yes. As mentioned above, I believe in a unified decision-making process for the betterment of the city by strengthening Council solidarity and respecting each other’s opinions, including the opinions of each of Hamilton's unique communities.
Anderson --- Yes. However this does not mean that there will not be disagreements.
Allen --- I always conduct myself in a respectful and non-partisan way. That won’t change once I’m elected.


9. THE BOARDED UP PROPERTIES ON MAIN ST. W. BETWEEN EWEN AND RIFLE RANGE, AS WELL THE EMPTY PROPERTY BETWEEN THE RAIL TRAIL ON RIFLE RANGE AND MAIN ST. W. ARE EYESORES IN OUR COMMUNITY. THEY ARE LITTERED WITH GARBAGE AND GRAFFITI. THIS AREA IS A HIGHLY VISIBLE AND WELL-TRAVELLED AREA AS IT IS CLOSE TO MCMASTER UNIVERSITY AND INNOVATION PARK. HOW WILL YOU ENSURE THE CLEAN-UP AND CONTINUED MAINTENANCE OF THESE PROPERTIES AS WELL AS OTHER BUSINESSES WHO DON'T SEEM TO HAVE TO ADHERE TO THE SAME PROPERTY STANDARDS AS HOMEOWNERS?
Wilson --- There are no neutral spaces in cities. Each space is a result of choice and a reflection of values. When a space is made ugly by unwanted graffiti and litter on a consistent basis it means that we have allowed our expectations for that space to be lowered and our city building practices, including enforcement, are living up to those lowered expectations. We need to change our expectations and the city must lead by showing others that the space is valued. As a ward 1 Councillor, I would meet with senior city management to set out the expectations of the space and request regular ongoing activity reports on how our enforcement activity is supporting the value we give to the space. If municipal government does not lead in caring for its public space, how can we expect private businesses to follow suit? I would meet personally with business owners and relay the same expectations. I will attend as many neighbourhood BIA meetings as possible and convey to business owners and operators the expectations our neighbourhood has of their spaces. Conversations and relationship building is important. I will be vigilant and do all that is legally possible to raise the expectations we have of both public and private spaces.
White --- I am not ashamed to admit that currently I am unsure of who owns that property and will need to look into it. I believe that abandoned and ignored problems are not an issue for any one part of Hamilton but rather a city issue. I hope to work with other Councillors to ensure a city-wide strategy, such as increasing fines for recurring offenders, to improve property management in all forms. Snow removal is a major priority for me as it is more than just an eyesore, it is a safety hazard. As a safety hazard as well as an accessibility issue, I believe snow and ice removal should be treated more seriously than other forms of property maintenance. 
Narducci --- This past weekend I participated in a city wide Alley Beautification event. I support community interests in being proactive in caring for our spaces, regardless of where or whom garbage and graffiti comes from. Businesses should be held accountable to the same standard. Let’s look at why there are gaps in this enforcement or lack of interest on behalf of the business owners to comply.
Massie --- I would apply steps from the private and unionized sector that get results: have an objective (a clean, attractive community space), determine the tasks (city manpower, cost, garbage  disposal and graffiti removal, proper enforcement, community clean up help, tree planting, lighting, etc), timescale, and monitor/measure progress.
Lazich --- As mentioned, I would ensure that a universal property standards document be implemented so that all the same rules and regulations apply to all homeowners, landlords and tenants. Should these rules and regulations not be followed then strict fines should be implemented . Everyone needs to be held accountable for their property.
Geffos --- The owners of these properties must be held accountable for their maintenance. One of the reasons that I am excited about our proposed peer-to-peer bylaw education and enforcement program (as referenced above and which is detailed on page 9 of my platform available at sophiegeffros.ca/platform) is that it will free up resources to ensure that all properties in Ward One are maintained, and will ensure there are consequences for property owners who do not maintain their lots. These people must be held to the same standards as all property owners in our city. It is also worth noting that this is not just an issue of aesthetics -- the litter present attracts wildlife at a time when Hamilton is dealing with a rabies outbreak. I take these issues very seriously and will ensure that these property owners are held accountable for their actions or lack thereof.
Eroglu --- Constant and open communication between landlords, businesses, developers and the City is very important in order to solve the problems around property standards and by-law violation. Enforcement of by-law regardless of the ownership must for at a minimum to meet the property standards that are fair and ensures that properties are being adequately maintained.
Cole --- I believe in enforcement initiatives and penalties up to and including expropriation as a means of both clean-up and redevelopment to transform the ward’s derelict and/or vacant brownfields and properties and put life back into those long-lost industrial, business and residential locations.
Anderson --- By-law enforcement is the main tool available to address these issues however it is mostly complaint based. I would reach out to the property owners to attempt to determine what could be done to reduce the repeated issues. I would also work with City staff to determine whether additional garbage cans could be placed in these areas until the construction begins.
Allen --- By law standards need to be adhered to regardless of whether the property is owned by a business or a resident. I will work with by law enforcement to ensure the properties are either brought into compliance, or city staff be tasked with doing the work, and the cost then added to the property tax bill.


10. THE AINSLIE WOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD CONTINUALLY STRUGGLES WITH PARKING VIOLATIONS ON THEIR STREETS. WHY IS THIS ONLY ADDRESSED ON A COMPLAINT BASIS WHERE WESTDALE AREA SEEMS TO HAVE PROACTIVE ENFORCEMENT?
Wilson --- Similar to my answer in question 9, the councillor for the ward must be clear in setting out the expectations for how a neighbourhood is to be cared for and administered. My commitment is to ensure that each of Ward 1's four neighbourhoods are treated equitably and fairly. My immediate and ongoing meetings with enforcement officials would convey this expectation very clearly. My commitment to meeting with Ward 1 neighbourhood associations would provide me insight from residents as to whether the city is practicing what we are preaching.
White --- I cannot speak for the current structure of the by-law enforcement. I am unsure on their directives or their specific policies regarding patrol. I know that by-law patrol and enforcement is a very underfunded venture which at times often makes enforcement seem sporadic. I plan on working with the rest of the city to improve by-law enforcement. It is clear that the current system is not working. I believe it is an issue of poor policy rather than an intentional ignorance. 
Narducci --- I would be interested in knowing exact numbers. How much enforcement there is in Westdale compared to Ainslee Wood. Can you find that out? Having lived in the Ward 1 area for over 30 years we too have experienced this. It has been my experience that my community as well has had to be proactive with parking violations. The neighbors watch and when needed a call to City Hall is made for enforcement. There is a fire hydrant on my corner which regularly has vehicles parked in front of and a call is made.
Massie --- Parking issues are not new, but the number of complaints has increased. Many enforcement requests include overnight parking, parking for more than set hours, vehicles parked too  close to driveways, and commercial vehicles parked on residential streets. Also intensification means that less space is available to park passenger vehicles - all new developments  need to have planned parking for more than the number of units, improve existing public road allowances, and move to a citywide operational and not reactionary enforcement.
Lazich --- Parking violations are a universal problem and once again should be dealt with on a consistent basis. No matter where the violations occur especially for those who pay for permit parking and can’t park, the fines should be extremely high in order to deter illegal parking.
Geffos --- Street parking is an issue throughout the ward, but particularly in Ainslie Wood and Westdale. Conversations in other parts of the ward have led to discussions about what a street-by-street parking strategy looks like in this ward. Some areas would like parking by permit only on residential streets, while others would like designated parking spots for street parking whose use is enforced. I strongly believe that proactive enforcement is vital: as above, my proposed proactive education campaign would free up community, bylaw, and policing resources which can then be dedicated to issues such as parking and safer streets. Ainslie Wood is often forgotten about in discussions about Ward One, which I find both ridiculous on a political level and mildly offensive as an Ainslie Wood resident. Ainslie Wood residents deserve to have our complaints and voices taken as seriously as those who reside in other areas of the ward.
Eroglu --- I am aware of the problem and agree that it is ignored for a long time. The enforcement should be the same for every part of Ward 1. I will make sure that all the neighbourhood in Ward 1 gets the same amount of resources and attention. 
Cole --- I ask the same question. Enforcement should be proactive, not just reactive; however that is just one factor in the equation. It also takes education, raising awareness and assessing the adequacy of the current systems/resources being put forward to assist with enforcement. 
Anderson --- It would be interesting to review the tickets issued over the past few years and compare the two areas. I do not have access to this information so I cannot provide a factual response. However I suspect that the potential difference is partly due to the Westdale BIA and the fact that Westdale has areas of metered parking. It seems to me that metered parking would make it easier to prove that a vehicle has been parked for longer than their allotted time and therefore make it easier to issue tickets.
Allen --- I can’t speak to the history of this decision, but I support expanding the commissionaire program into Ainslie Wood, and will investigate expanding this shortly after taking office.


11. FOUR STUDENTS HAVE BEEN HIRED BY THE CITY TO DEAL WITH PROPERTY STANDARDS ENFORCEMENT FOR THIS AREA. HOW IS IT THAT COMPLAINTS STILL MUST BE MADE TO HAVE THESE BYLAWS ENFORCED?
Wilson --- Probably because property standards is not considered a priority and the city has lowered its expectations regarding student housing/absentee landlords. The ward councillor must champion this cause and set out expectations.
White --- I believe that this is again an issue of poor policy and implementation. I believe that current policies likely encourage by-law officers to focus on specific enforcement, such as meter parking, rather than say permit parking. I plan on seriously reviewing the by-law enforcement protocol if elected.
Narducci --- This is community involvement. Bylaw cannot be everywhere seeing every violation. I’m sure that they are grateful that the community is engaged with them so they can do their job.
Massie --- We cannot rely on tenants and neighbours to collect all the property standard violations on their own. Too many landlords are absentee and need to be held accountable. It requires more staff manpower and time to enforce bylaws and fines need to levied to cover successful prosecution costs. You have to pick your battles given the scale of the problem and the resources available - I would start by targeting problematic landlords.
Lazich --- This is evidence that this project is ineffective and should be reviewed. It needs to be assessed with all stakeholders involved to ensure these students were given the tools /information and authority to complete their tasks. If all requirements were met without success then the program needs to reassessed.
Geffos --- This is a problem: despite these investments property standards continue to be enforced on a complaint basis. That’s why I am committed to a peer-to-peer proactive bylaw education and enforcement for all residents of Ainslie Wood and Westdale, not just students. I look forward to partnering with these property standards officers, McMaster University, and the City of Hamilton to ensure that everyone -- not just student residents -- will be able to benefit from proactive peer-to-peer bylaw education and enforcement. It is always better to address problems before they become sources of distress for the neighbourhood, whether or not it reaches a point that is legally actionable.
Eroglu --- This is something needs to be addressed. I believe open communication, transparency and public engagement. Bylaw violation is violation whether somebody complains about it or not. City should be proactive enforcing non-conformance.
Cole --- Like my response to question #10, I again ask the same question and respond similarly. Enforcement should be proactive, not just reactive; however that is just one factor in the equation. It also takes education, raising awareness and assessing the adequacy of the current systems/resources being put forward to assist with enforcement, including enhancing licensing bylaws, increasing enforcement officers, etc. 
Anderson --- I think proactive by-law enforcement is something that must be carefully approached. It is quite possible that a number of residents are unknowingly violating by-laws which are not disturbing anyone (e.g. garbage stored responsibly in side yards is against the by-law which says all garbage containers must be in rear yards or inside the garage). Complaints indicate which by-law violations are causing problems for neighbours and therefore should be a priority for enforcement. If left to the discretion of the officers the program may result in over enthusiastic ticketing which can quickly become a nuisance for all residents.
Allen --- The two efforts should complement each other. Four students on a part-time basis can’t be everywhere, but should be addressing by-law issues when they see them. With the additional input of residents, we can reach the goal of ensuring by-laws in Ainslie Wood are adhered to.


12. DO YOU OPPOSE OR SUPPORT WIDENING THE 403 TO ALLOW INCREASED VEHICLE TRAFFIC (AND AIR POLLUTION) BESIDE AINSLIE WOOD?
Wilson --- Oppose. There is absolutely no evidence to prove that widening of highways assists in mitigating congestion. As the famous urbanist Lewis Mumford said, "Building new roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity."
White --- No, I do not believe the 403 needs to be widened at this time.
Narducci --- The 403 is a provincial highway governed by provincial government. I am personally not a commuter but over the years in having to do daily travel to Burlington for my daughter’s gymnastics, traffic is horrible. The reality is that there is traffic. I would much rather have this flow of traffic on the highways than through our city streets. As a city we need to be aware of strategies to combat and help the environment with air pollution management.
Massie --- I think that all options need to be considered and deliberated on behalf of Ainslie Woods community who will be affected by any highway widening - just building an extra lane will help but not solve the causes of congestion and bottleneck issues on the 403.
Lazich --- The issue of the 403 is a provincial matter but if all studies do not meet required healthy living standards then the project needs to be revisited.
Geffos --- I oppose this. Studies have shown that widening highways not only increases air pollution but perhaps counter-intuitively it has little to no impact on road congestion and some studies show that it actually increases congestion.
Eroglu --- I don’t support widening the 403. I support improving public transportation and less cars on roads. 
Cole --- There are differing opinions with respect to whether widening increases traffic and/or air pollution. The 403 section being referred to, routinely faces significant traffic congestion issues which results in vehicles travelling slower or idling which does negatively impact pollution from emissions. While I generally support the logic of widening as a means of moving traffic faster, it is still premature to fully comment given that the Transportation Ministry is still conducting environmental assessments and design studies on the entire 403 route plan.
Anderson --- If a 403 widening needed to occur I would propose the alternative of building a second level above the current driving surface and enclosing the stretch of 403 from Iroquois Heights Conservation Area to the Aberdeen Interchange in a concrete tunnel. The tunnel could have its exterior surface designed to look similar to the escarpment and possibly be designed to accommodate recreational purposes. The tunnel venting would be designed to direct pollutants away from residential areas and possibly incorporate scrubbers. Pollution levels should also decrease over time as more electric vehicles displace gas powered ones.
Allen --- I oppose this idea. Nor am I aware of any viable proposal to do so.


13. DO YOU HAVE A PLAN TO INCREASE PUBLIC GREENSPACE IN AINSLIE WOOD?
Wilson --- My platform recognizes connected greenspace as an urban amenity and ecological necessity. The City of Hamilton is presently constructing an urban forest strategy (take the survey available on the City's website) with a report scheduled for Council's consideration in December, 2018. I would support a strategy that aimed to: Develop an inventory of Hamilton's street canopy. New York City has used open data and collaborate learning to inventory every single street tree in the Big Apple. The inventory includes the size, condition and species of each tree and it forms the basis of the city's urban forestry strategy. Over 2000 volunteers were trained and provided with user-friendly survey tools. The city has made this inventory available online and residents are encouraged to contribute to the database, organize tree-care groups, highlight their favourite trees and submit service requests. Set targets for greenspace. (Re)design utility corridors to ensure they can also function as greenspace. Ensure that tree canopy targets and policies are adhered to the city's development review policies. Explore partnerships with other public agencies to enhance greenspace.
White --- I have a plan to improve beautification of all areas in Ward 1 and the City of Hamilton. I would like to see improved green spaces wherever possible, but that is not always easy. Ward 1 has a significant amount of green space already, more than anywhere else in the city. I look forward to preserving the spaces we already have, but establishing new green space will be difficult with the need for increased housing. I plan on following the master plan for parks and trails in Hamilton, in which Ainslie Wood holds an important role. I would be open to hearing any suggestions regarding preservation or implementation of public green space in Ainslie Wood.
Narducci --- I support creating and increasing greenspaces in all areas of Ward 1 and Hamilton. Urban Forest Strategy has a plan that would benefit areas like Ainslee Wood. We need to leverage off wheels that are already in motion.
Massie --- It is a key part of my platform to enhance, maintain, clean and protect the greenspaces like Alexander Park and Stroud Park, and look for opportunities for the city to acquire or improve existing greenspaces. Also need a community centre for year round healthy activities.
Lazich --- The more greenspace the better! however this would need to be presented to the constituents for their input and comments to determine the needs, whether its parks or walking paths etc there needs to be a public consultation to determine best practices.
Geffos --- Yes. I am very committed to increasing public greenspace throughout the Ward, and members of my campaign team were heavily involved in OPIRG’s “Save Our Street Trees” campaign. I believe that all areas of our ward should have publicly available green space, and am excited about the possibility of community partnerships to increase the number of community gardens and allotments throughout the ward, but particularly Ainslie Wood and Strathcona North.
Eroglu --- Yes. Every opportunity should be seized to create and protect green spaces. Greenspaces should be considered outdoor community centers where enables citizens use for activities and invest in for its health benefits and for protecting wildlife and nature. When we improve parks, we’re really improving quality of life.
Cole --- I believe that development must respect and apply safe, green technologies, which are not only good for the environment, but provide assurances to residents that re-development protects Ward 1’s vibrant green spaces and wetlands.
Anderson --- I would like the City to look into enhancing properties it already owns such as the rail trail and Alexander Park, in particular paving the rail trail to Old Ancaster Road. I would also like the City to partner with private interests such as McMaster University, the Forest Glen Condominium, and the White Chapel Memorial Gardens to increase the connectivity of the existing trail systems of Ainslie Wood, as well as making better use of privately held park space by the Condominium and McMaster by allowing the surrounding community to share their green space with the City providing enhancements such as playgrounds and new trail connections to the community. I would also work with Alectra to make better use of the hydro corridors throughout Ainslie Wood where it is safe to do so. In addition I would like the City to review the possibility of purchasing the lot next to the Yeshiva of Hamilton (formerly Princess Elizabeth Montessori School) on Bowman Street and the lot in the SW corner of Alexander Park.
Allen --- I’m not sure how you increase greenspace in a fully developed neighbourhood without expropriating property, and I’m not prepared to do that. That said, I intend to focus on enhancing those green spaces and making them more enjoyable and safe for everyone.


14. WARD ONE'S CURRENT COUNCILLOR SPENT MOST OF THE AREA RATING MONEY IN KIRKENDALL AND WESTDALE, WHICH ALREADY HAVE MUCH MORE PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE THAN THE REST OF THE WARD. STRATHCONA GOT VERY LITTLE AREA RATING SPENDING AND AINSLIE WOOD -- THE POOREST AND THE LEAST-SERVICED OF ALL OF THE WARD ONE NEIGHBOURHOODS -- GOT ALMOST ZERO AREA RATING SPENDING. AS COUNCILLOR, WILL YOU TREAT "HAVE-NOT" NEIGHBOURHOODS MORE FAIRLY?
Wilson --- We need a transparent and consistent approach to every aspect of city building to maintain the confidence of residents and to ensure all residents, regardless of their postal code, are treated fairly. For example, when we require residents to petition for speed reduction mechanism (such as speed bumps) we necessarily favour residents who are best equipped to advocate. Other residents, for reasons of language, knowledge, shift work and length of residency may not be able to access government and advocate for necessary changes.
White --- If elected to council, I look forward to implementing a more equal approach to the ward. As a resident in the Strathcona neighbourhood I think that the current councillor did cater more towards Westdale and Kirkendall than the other neighbourhoods. I believe this to be a result of the PBAC system implemented and would reform the current program to make spending more equitable. 
Narducci --- See question 3
Massie --- Yes, for political reasons you may focus on certain parts of a Ward to win, but as an elected councillor you must govern for all. 
Lazich --- I believe each area should be fairly treated and money allocated accordingly. However with respect to Area Rating, I believe the original concept of area rating was to be used for infrastructure and therefore would prefer that money to be used as it was originally intended.
Geffos --- Absolutely. I was born in low-income housing in Ward One, live in the far west end of Ainslie Wood, and have family in Strathcona North: I am intimately familiar with the way that working class and low-income neighbourhoods and buildings are viewed and treated both by wealthier neighbourhoods and by Council. In fact, one of the reasons I am running is because I felt and saw this disparity: when discussing the possibility of my run with friends who live in Kirkendall, they didn’t understand why I felt under-represented: their neighbourhood has always had their concerns addressed promptly by Council. I don’t need to tell you that this is often not the case for Ainslie Wood. I look forward to working with all communities in our ward to ensure that all voices are well-represented at City Hall, not just those who live in well-resources and wealthy neighbourhoods.
Eroglu --- Absolutely. I believe in open, transparent and public engagement. Fairness in allocating recourses is deeply important for a more inclusive and prosper communities. 
Cole --- Simply put, yes. I believe for the most part in abolishing ward area rating across the city to more fairly and equitably distribute costs which have demonstrated to be of benefit to the city as a whole. I still believe in establishing reserves which should continue to be allocated to Wards for their unique needs and as mentioned above with respect to PBAC, I believe in having the community’s PBAC help determine how these funds would be used and if necessary, re-allocated.
Anderson --- As Councillor I would review the current distribution of public infrastructure throughout the Ward and work with staff to identify under serviced areas. I would then attempt to improve those areas while balancing the needs of the rest of the Ward for repairs and replacements of existing infrastructure. Where servicing is equal I would strive to make sure that the funding for required repairs and replacements is evenly distributed throughout the Ward. My first priority for all projects will be public safety. This may mean that certain areas receive more funds in some years in order to address projects with a greater safety concern. For area rating specifically, if it continues, I would adjust the participatory budget process to ensure each neighbourhood receives roughly the same amount for neighbourhood specific projects.
Allen --- My comments about the ForWard1 process are above.


15. WILL YOU PURCHASE THE PROPERTY TO THE SOUTH-WEST OF ALEXANDER PARK, FOR BOTH COMMUNITY USE AND AS POTENTIAL CONSIDERATION FOR A REC-CENTRE DEAL WITH THE FRENCH PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD?
Wilson --- Very unlikely. My understanding is that the building is for sale (a place of worship at present) but I am unaware of the price and of any condition of sale. There is an existing facility close to the parking lot presently in use by the minor baseball association but this use is seasonal. A possible partnership with the association would make better sense to me in terms of financial viability.
White --- This is not a decision I alone can make. Be wary of any candidate that makes a promise like this, it is not a promise they can make. A decision like that would require approval from council, so it would really depend on the ability of the candidate to work with other councillors to demonstrate the importance of this decision. I would love to work with residents of Ainslie Wood to demonstrate to other councillors why this is a decision the city should invest in.
Narducci --- See question 3
Massie --- I am open to considering all options, if we don't have the tax revenue to do it then we use private public partnerships to get what benefits the community.
Lazich --- Once again , since I am not privy to all the discussions / information and dealings that have occurred regarding this property I would prefer to study the project in detail prior to making any final decisions. Having said that I totally support a rec-centre/community centre as it would bring the neighbourhood together and provide a place that would provide extracurricular activities for all.
Geffos --- I would strongly consider it. My understanding is that if the French School Board no longer wishes to develop the land for a school, it will be tendered for purchase and the province, city, and school boards will have priority. If it does come up for purchase, I will strongly advocate for its purchase by the city for the eventual purpose of a rec centre / community hub.
Eroglu --- This is something needs to be discussed and decided with the community input into the matter. I support everything that benefits the public and creates opportunities for improving the health and wellbeing of the community. 
Cole --- I strongly support the intent; however it would be premature for me to provide a definitive yes or no. These are considerations which I am still learning about and require further research and consultation on my part.
Anderson --- Yes. However it will be subject to Council approval.
Allen --- While that property is for sale, the cost of it would likely leave nothing for construction. There has been $300K set aside from area rating money for a facility at the park. It’s possible that the baseball building could be expanded, but in both cases, we are left with the fact that there is no money in the city budget to expand programming to these locations. That’s why in 2014 when this discussion came up, I proposed not a city run rec centre, but a community run centre similar in principal to the Eva Rothwell centre. If this came to pass, as a councillor, I would work with community groups to take up residence in the building and provide programming (and possible child care) for people living in Ainslie Wood.


16. AS AINSLIE WOOD IS THE LEAST RESOURCED NEIGHBORHOOD IN WARD 1, WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE AINSLIE WOOD IS GIVEN FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SERVICES AND PUBLIC SPACES TO MOVE TOWARDS EQUALITY WITH THE OTHER WARD 1 NEIGHBORHOODS? 
Wilson --- I'll work closely with the neighbourhood association to identify priorities. I will advocate within the city's budget for enhanced Ainslie Wood services. Finally, I will review the allocation of area rating money to ensure fair allocation between ward 1 neighbourhoods in light of historic allocations and attempting to seek fairness.
White --- I have not seen any information that suggests a significant discrepancy in access to public facilities in Ward 1. I need some clarification on what you mean by less resourced, as every neighbourhood in Ward 1 and the City of Hamilton has different levels of access to a plethora of facilities and resources. 
Narducci --- See question 3
Massie --- Why haven't we moved to equality? It's a really good question. I think this is where politicians are going to have to develop a spine and say "So no, in this Ward what we do as a community is look after people".
Lazich --- As mentioned I feel that every neighbourhood be treated fairly and would advocate as such . The same as I would for Strathcona, Westdale and Kirkendall. The needs of each area should be defined but the ward needs to work together as one.
Geffos --- I believe strongly that funding should always be based on need and never on the ability of a community to be the loudest, as this often results in money going to neighbourhoods where people already have the resources and financial capital to mobilize around an issue. I aim to build capacity and civic engagement in all areas of the ward, but particularly in under-resourced neighbourhoods like Ainslie Wood and parts of the North End of Strathcona. I will work with residents, community organizations, and grassroots organizers to ensure that we address areas where the needs are the greatest and not simply those who are able to be loudest.
Eroglu --- Absolutely. I will make sure that no neighbourhood falls behind and ignored. Fair treatment is vital. 
Cole --- Again, I believe I have stated my position above on equitable funding and changes that need to occur on a city-wide basis.
Anderson --- I would review the projects being proposed for the Ward as part of the City's budget process and prioritize any new infrastructure projects based on the infrastructure gaps identified for the various neighbourhoods. This should result in a more equal distribution of infrastructure throughout the Ward.
Allen --- My introduction to neighbourhood disparity in Ward 1 was during the ForWared1 process, when I represented Strathcona on the committee. I am very aware of the lack of investment in Ainslie Wood, and would prioritize it and Strathcona for any opportunity for investment in the ward beyond just that Forward1 process.


17. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON BIKE LANES IN THE WEST END?
Wilson --- It is the interest of car drivers and cyclists for the city to design, build and implement a consistent approach to bike lane design across the west end, Ward 1 and the city. My campaign calls for a connected, continuous and protected series of bike lanes.
White --- I support the gradual implementation of bike lanes throughout the city. I would like to see completed bike circuits and improved ridership on these areas rather than single bike lanes on streets. I believe that cycling is important, but it needs to be implemented in reality. I would like to see protected bike lanes on major streets as most research demonstrates that this makes both cyclist and driver feel safer. I believe we need stricter enforcement on biking by-laws and this can be used to increase funding. I also believe Hamilton needs to at the very least reach the level of spending outlined in the City Master Plan for cycling. Currently we are only spending about half of what was recommended. Studies have demonstrated that when bike lanes are built properly, and provide access to major community centres,rider ship improves and so does economic performance. Protected bike lanes have also resulted in a reduction in car-on-car collisions, car-on-cyclist collisions and finally car-on-pedestrian collisions. Bike lanes can provide significant benefits to those in the west end if implemented properly.
Narducci --- I would like to see bikes lanes extended through the west end and all the way to Dundas.
Massie --- Not much work has been done at the city on bike lanes in the west end - my involvement with Cycle Hamilton so far has led me to believe that local citizens have already figured out the optimal safest routes and deficiencies and need to be at the planning table for any actions to be taken.
Lazich --- I think that we need to have smart planning in place for bike lanes as well as any other new developments or initiatives that occur . Its about “collective travel” and considering the “Vision Zero”.
Geffos --- I am strongly in favour of protected bike lanes. As it stands, east-west cycling infrastructure exists in the West End (the rail trail, Sanders, King St.) but North-South infrastructure is lacking. I will work with residents to develop a street plan that works for all of us, and which ensures that we are all able to get where we need to go regardless of what method of transportation we choose.
Eroglu --- Cycling is in my platform. I believe dedicated, protected bike lanes should be part of every road design. I believe that every road with a speed limits of over 30 km/hr should have a protected bike lane. I will work with other councillors to implement a strategy that includes safe and continuous routes that connects communities across the city and motivates people to ride their bikes more. Increasing the number of protected bike lanes is vital not only for Ward 1 but also for Hamilton in general. Riding on streets mixed with fast moving cars is unsafe and stressful. Protected lanes will help reduce stress not only for cyclists but also for drivers and reduce the conflicts between all road users. It encourages more people to ride their bikes and promotes health. Protected bike lanes and protected intersections are key for biking accessible for cyclists ranging from experienced to those who are just starting. I think it should be mandatory design element for all new road designs and incorporated into the existing roads if possible.
Cole --- I believe in the spirit of ‘Vision Zero’ adopted by a number of municipalities around the globe, which challenges all of us to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries, by re-thinking road safety. To make human error part of the equation and thereby aim for safer streets through improved education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation and engagement. I believe in bike lanes for the west-end that incorporate engineering designs, including identifiers, warning systems and barriers to alert motorists and protect cyclists and pedestrians.
Anderson --- Bike lanes need to be improved with continuity (i.e. no abrupt lane terminations) being a key focus. Data from the Sobi Bikes would need to be reviewed to identify the most common routes used by cyclists in order to prioritize projects.
Allen --- I support bike lanes, but doing them in a strategic way. The current network of bike lanes appears to the casual observer to be ad hoc and poorly planned. I would work to ensure that bike lanes go on streets that make sense, and connect to form an effective route for traveling both in the west end and beyond.


18. WHAT IS YOUR VISION/PLAN FOR ALEXANDER PARK AS A WHOLE, IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT A MASTER PLAN WAS NEVER DEVELOPED?
Wilson --- Champion the need for a master plan, in partnership with the neighbourhood association. My vision for the Park is that it reflect the needs and hopes of the neighbourhood, including a facility to host neighbourhood events because parks have always played a role in connecting neighbours and building social capital. My own personal view of parks is that they make space for different kinds of needs (passive, active) and cater to all ages, that they offer shade, sitting areas, and are accessible.
White --- To be honest I do not have a vision for Alexander park specifically. I was unaware that there was no master plan for the park, and find it fairly ridiculous that one was not created. I would like to work with residents of Ainslie Wood to establish a realistic outline for what we hope to see at Alexander park in the future. As someone who played tee-ball there as a kid, I realize the importance of the park to residents and the need for a concrete plan to improve the facility.
Narducci --- See question 3
Massie --- I envision a community centre that everyone can use year round.
Lazich --- I understand that new splash pads were just installed which is a great start , however I believe more can be done to make it a more inclusive active community focal point. These could include expanded play area, maybe a rec centre of some sort, a nature activity centre possibly that would be educational for all.. there are many options that could expand upon the park’s viability but all stakeholders need to be involved.
Geffos --- My understanding is that when the splash pad was developed, there was also consideration given to the installation of a skate park. I am strongly in favour of this and of other community infrastructure in Alexander Park, and will work with the neighbourhood residents to develop a master plan for Alexander Park. I believe that Carter Park in the Stinson neighbourhood is a model of what parks can be in our city. It is constantly in use by both independent groups and the community association, there are barbecues and community meetings frequently, and the splash pad, playground equipment, and basketball infrastructure are in constant use. We have a real need for outdoor athletic infrastructure that is not operated by McMaster University or the school board. In 2015 when I was training for the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, and therefore training upwards of 40 hours a week, I had to leave Ainslie Wood in order to access outdoor basketball courts, often bussing to Victoria Park. In an ideal world, Alexander Park would function as a park and community hub, with outdoor athletic infrastructure and a community centre with bookable spaces.
Eroglu --- It is something that the community must to come together and decide the best use of the park for the best interest of the community. I will support and be behind any project that the community wants to implement. 
Cole --- Alexander Park represents some of the best of what the city’s green spaces offer to people of all ages - sports, recreation, scenic beauty, trails, falls, the escarpment. My vision would be to maintain this attractive green space and only consider outdoor recreational developments that compliment the natural beauty of the space, respect the environment and encourage outdoor recreational use. As mentioned above I’m also supportive in principle of adjacent development that addresses the community’s recreational & community centre needs.
Anderson --- Construction of a community centre in the NW corner, with or without a school board partnership. Re-establish the hydro line trail from Whitney/Emerson to Iona and include a new paved trail to the splash pad area from this trail cutting across the park between the ball diamonds. A community garden, nuttery and orchard in the SW corner and southern end of the park, complete with a walking trail and raised garden beds designed to accommodate those with mobility issues and including an accessible public washroom. The interior border of the park transformed into a living hedge for a wildlife corridor complete with plants for pollinators. The entire space should be designed in a way which is flexible enough to accommodate community events.
Allen --- I fully support a master plan process for Alexander Park. I was involved in the end of the Victoria Park master plan, and believe the process can be a valuable tool for understanding what amenities residents are looking for, and what they dream of for their green space.


19. IF AINSLIE WOOD'S DESIGNATED AREA RATING MONEY WERE TO BE SPENT IN ANOTHER NEIGHBOURHOOD, WOULD YOU CONSIDER THAT CORRUPTION AND WOULD THAT JUSTIFY A LAWSUIT OR A COMPLAINT TO THE INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER AGAINST THE COUNCILLOR?
Wilson --- No. It is my understanding that $1.5 million has been set aside for Ainslie Wood from the PBAC exercise. It was and remains my position that this money is earmarked for Ainslie Wood and I support this assumption.
White --- Again this question is unclear. Officially speaking no area rating money is designated for a specific neighbourhood. I cannot speak for any unofficial promises made by previous incumbents. I would like to see the money spent more evenly across the neighbourhoods, as I feel that Westdale and Kirkendall got significant funding for a variety of projects that have not been seen in recent years. Again, since there is no official documentation stating that the Ainslie Wood neighbourhood was entitled to x dollars of the area rating fund it cannot be considered, in the official sense, as corruption. But it was likely a corruption of trust between citizens and the councillor, something I do not intend to repeat. I hope you can tell through my answers to these questions that I am an honest candidate. I plan to be upfront with constituents and not make false promises I cannot keep. 
Narducci --- I can only speak as to what I would do as councilor and if that means money designated for a particular area, then it should be spent there.
Massie --- If money is earmarked for Ainslie Woods and there are clear rules to follow then the underlying foundation of the complaint is sufficient to seek legal advice.
Lazich --- As mentioned, I feel that area rating money should be used as it was originally intended, which would / should resolve any “misspending” done.
Geffos --- Yes.
Eroglu --- I don’t think it is fair and would not support designated area rating money to be spend for somewhere else. Whether or not it is considered corruption, I don’t know. It is out of my expertise, but I know and believe that it is not right.
Cole --- As mentioned above, I believe for the most part in abolishing ward area rating across the city to more fairly and equitably distribute costs which have demonstrated to be of benefit to the city as a whole. I still believe in establishing reserves which should continued to be allocated to Wards for their unique needs and as mentioned above with respect to PBAC, I believe in having the community’s PBAC help determine how these funds would be used and if necessary re-allocated.
Anderson --- Money which has been set aside for a specific project should be spent on the project it was designated for. The only exception should be if the neighbourhood that the money was set aside for determined as a group that they wished the money to be spent on a different project within the same neighbourhood.
Allen --- I’m not sure how to answer this question, as it seems to have been driven by a specific incident that I do not have knowledge of. I think a healthy dialogue and mutual respect between the Councillor and the neighbourhood would avoid such unpleasantness.


20. DO YOU LIVE IN WARD ONE?
Wilson --- Yes.
White --- Yes, I reside in the Strathcona neighbourhood and have been a resident all of my life. 
Narducci --- Yes I do and have lived in this area for over 30 years. I do believe that it is important to live in the community that you are seeking to represent. I’ve seen the transition in this community from quiet walkable streets to now heavy traffic speeding through our neighborhoods, where, with these speeds, all it takes is a sneeze and pedestrians’ lives are threatened. I’ve seen the students and homeowners in McMaster area struggle as progress has been made towards respectful cohabitating. I’ve seen the increase in homelessness on our street corners and the lines growing longer at our local churches for food vouchers. By living here I also see the benefits of the energy and ideas of the many people moving here and think about how to make this city great for all of us. These things you see, living in a ward, there’s issues but also progress and opportunities. By living in and experiencing the community you have a deeper understanding of the work that needs to be done.
Massie --- No, I live on the boundary close enough that my wife walks to McMaster to work, our kids play in Jackson Playground, Victoria Park, Churchill and Beulah Park, we biked to our community garden in the aviary, and walk the trails at Chedoke and Cootes - I deliberately chose to run in Ward 1 - I have no favourites. I have experience living beside a very large student residence, transit issues, high taxes, and stood up against intensification development that ignores bylaws and citizens rights, and comes at the expense of green space and wildlife habitat. I understand the local issues large and small. I have proven business leadership. I am running to represent ALL areas and people of Ward 1. 
Lazich --- Yes! I have lived in Ward 1 for over 30 years and married into a family who has had (still has) a business in Ward 1 for over 65 years.
Geffos --- Yes. I’m a proud resident of Ainslie Wood.
Eroglu --- My family and I moved to West Hamilton in 2003 and lived in communities of Strathcona, Westdale and Ainslie Wood. I raised my son, Matthew, here in West Hamilton. He went to school from elementary, middle school at Dalewood and to high school at Westdale Secondary. I launched and operated a cafĂ© business in Westdale Village that was sold in 2007. Although currently I live in an adjacent community, for many years I lived in west Hamilton, raised my family there. We had to move to a place that is within a walking distance to my work due to an accident that I broke my knee and could not drive to work. I know the area and the community very well and I have deep connections with having family members currently living in the area. It is a place with loving memories, a special place for me and my family.
Cole --- No. I live on the border of Wards 1 and 2. I do believe you have to fully understand and experience the community you represent and that only comes from having a long-term relationship with the community. Our child was born at the McMaster University Medical Centre. And our child attended McMaster as part of his post-secondary education. We have friends and family that live in Ward 1. Ward 1 is where I shop, where we by our groceries, where we access health care and our pharmacy, where we dine out and entertain, and where we hike, bike and enjoy life. I have worked in the Ward, and now provide services through my business to other businesses and services within the Ward. 
Anderson --- Yes. In Ainslie Wood East.
Allen --- Yes.

[end of questions]