Mayoral candidate Michael Baldasaro's revised platform.
By Michael Baldasaro
Published October 15, 2014
I entered the 2014 G.H.A. "Greater Hamilton Area", Municipal Election because of what, my fellow Plebeians/Common Folk advise me, as the Chief Magistrate, of the G.H.A. "Greater Hamilton Area", needs to be done:
AUSTERITY: As Mayor I'll cut my salary by 1/3 and create an OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE to be chaired by my Runner-up to Office. The Chairperson will be provided an Office and will share 1/3 of the operating budget of the Mayor's Office for its operation.
I will then ask all Councillors to take a 15% cut in their salaries to create a General Office for their Runner-ups to Staff the Oversight Committee. The Councillors will be asked to provide 15% of their Operating Budget to help maintain the General Office and Staff workstations of the Committee.
The purpose of an Over-Sight Committee is to over-see the dealings of Council and report to the Citizens. Their job is to assist the Incumbents and reach out to help support Community Groups, so we may better understand their concerns, and bring those concerns before Council. The Committee will foster more competition for incumbents at election time.
The Municipal Elections Act should be amended to include a Preliminary run-off of Candidates prior to an Election. This could be held by Committees throughout the G.H.A., organized by the Oversight Committee. The top 4 Candidates per Office could be democratically identified and chosen. This would level the playing field and help citizens and the media identify and focus attention on the Candidates who make it through the run-off, to the General Election.
In this way fringe candidates will be given an opportunity to work their way up, through open forums and debates, and earn the right, democratically, to be taken seriously. Run-offs work well on television shows such as "America's Got Talent" etc. And all this greater representation can be achieved without costing Taxpayers one red cent.
CITIZEN I.D. CARDS: As your Chief Magistrate, I shall work to see that everyone has an Electronic Citizen I.D. Card. One Card for all your I.D. needs. All you have to do is vote at every Municipal Election to obtain and maintain one. And Citizenship has its privileges. Citizens of the G.H.A. qualify to ride the Downtown LRT LOOP from Go to Go, (see below), without charge. The Card will be photo I.D. for use at financial institutions and all Municipal Business and food banks, etc.
REFERRENDUMS: Issues of public importance should be on the ballot, so we may vote on them, at election time.
ISSUES missing in this election, SUCH AS:
Fluoride Do we want it in your drinking water? I for one do not.
Term Limits Should an Incumbents reign be limited? And if so, how many terms should they be limited to as Councillors two and/or three terms?
LRT Do you agree with an East/West LRT and/or a North South LRT LOOP from Go Bus to Go Train Stations, connecting the entire G.H.A. to the Downtown via the HSR BRT Station on MacNab and servicing our beautiful Bayfront Parks? And if so, do you believe this service should be free to all Citizens of Hamilton?
Right to Vote Do you agree that s. 3 of the Constitution is being violated by the Municipal Elections Act in that it excludes persons under the age of 19 from exercising their constitutional right to vote, if not able in person, via proxy, through their parents and/or guardians, pending exercising their right to vote, whenever they so choose? Charter Democratic Rights Section 3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of a legislative assembly. And if so, should the Municipal Elections Act be amended to allow for the exercise of their constitutional right to vote, Charter s. 15. "Without discrimination based on, age or mental or physical disability"?
EQUALITY RIGHTS Do you agree that Canada's National Anthem discriminates against women based on sex by virtue of the lyrics "in all our son's command"?And if so, do you agree that "in all our son's command" be struck from the Anthem and be replaced by the lyrics "in all of us command"
By-Laws Do you agree that all dogs must be licensed and tested for obedience. And if so
WARD BOUNDARIES must be reevaluated to fairly represent all Wards.
RIGHT TO VOTE Section 3 of the Municipal Elections Act discriminates by reason of age by excluding those under the age of 19 from voting. We never get too old to vote! Can't remember your name? No problem, your vote may be counted via PROXY by your Spouse, children, family member and/or a friend etc. So why not the other way around, they vote for you?
Note: Alcohol should not be a youths coming of age rite, voting should. Perhaps this would make a good issue for a plebiscite at election time. Try debating this issue with your children and/or parents, over dinner. Voting should be a child's coming of age rite, not alcohol. And the child can choose when to exercise their right to vote.
BRT/LRT If the Province lives up to its promise to fund Public Transportation, my business plan supports beefing up BRT service, shortening wait.
My business plan includes an LRT-LOOP from GO BUS STATION on Hunter to GO RAIL STATION on James N. Travelling N. & S. on Bay, James, & John, East and west on King and Hunter, it encompass the new HSR BRT Station on MacNab. It reaches our Bayfront Parks. The HEART of the system to follow. GO to GO connects all BRT Routes through-out the G.H.A.
An LRT LOOP will boost local and out-of-town tourism and Commuters from the G.T.A. to our downtown and Condos. It's our best opportunity of creating a sustainable and expandable BRT/LRT which benefits everyone. Proposed route: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154652522340624&set=pcb.536710489792812&type=1&theater.
Note: This is not written in stone. The Route may be altered depending on resident input and possibly routing for maximum efficiency and service to John St., etc.
STREET SIGNS Easy to read and OVER-SIZED on ALL major intersections, in need;
PAVEMENT and sidewalks repaired, cracks sealed to prevent pot holes. Roadway lane markings repainted;
CONUNDRUMS Settle long drawn out conundrums like Red Hill Creek Parkway;
LANDLORD & TENANT Create legislation to better govern absentee and abusive Landlords and Tenants. Make it easier to access Courts to rid neighborhoods of crack houses and unkempt properties. Make it easier for property owners to obtain building permits and find guidance to resolve issues, perhaps with the help of the Oversight Committee;
URBAN SPRAWL Put an end to it now;
DRUGS Stop criminalizing drug addicts. Treat drug laws as the medical non-criminal Federal Health Regulations they are. McMaster being the cornerstone for treatment. We must find ways to house and supply addicts with drugs they would otherwise procure illegally. Attempting to stop people from using drugs society condemns, creates an underworld of crime and violence we cannot afford to police and/or correct. Note: Health Canada is responsible to cover the costs of Federal Health Regulations, not Municipal Taxes. Alcohol, the worst drug, stepping stone to "stupid stupors", filling our courts and jails and emptying Municipal Coffers;
UN-ASSUMED ALLEYWAYS Secure them. They are walking parkways and provide access for emergency vehicles;
CYCLING license bicycles and riders using main streets and compel Police/By-Law Control Officers to enforce infractions of the H.T.A. as they do automobiles. i.e. No riding on sidewalks or wrong way on one way streets etc.;
POLICING, Officers, purchase your own tools, Tasers etc., like any other Tradesperson. End suspensions with pay. Officers must live in the City they police. New Teams built of Rookie and/or Un-armed Officers to enforce jay-walking, noise complaints and parking infractions etc. and especially when City Enforcement is not available, as on Lawless Sundays, which is the By-Law Control Officers, across the board, day off.
ACCOUNTABILITY. In 1989, with the help of the late, Reverend Walter A. Tucker, I held Hamilton Council accountable for their passed February 14, 1989. Council agreed to lease Ivor Wynne Stadium to Mr. Braley and the Tiger Cat Football Club he was attempting to purchase from Harold Ballard. The lease included the Stadium, concessions, advertising rights and scoreboard advertising revenue, for $1.00 per year, over 3 years.
In light of questions of law raised by Hamilton's Legal Department, on February 27, 1989, we instituted an Action against the City, in the Supreme Court, File 6489\89, citing the Legal Departments concerns, the motion was "contrary to the provisions of the Municipal Act, Section 112, and a violation of the provisions of the Canada Act, Section 31., and a breach of the Criminal Code, Sections 122 and 126 (1)".
Within Courtroom proceedings May 10th, 1989, Kim Edwards, Counsel for the City, advised that City Council ad quashed their Motion the day before. The Learned Justice noted on the record that there was no doubt, "council quashed their motion because of our Action". The very day after we instituted the Action, Mr. Ballard cut the $500,000.00 he was asking for the Score Board, in half, saving us $250,000.00.
Over the next 3 years, the City earned $300,000.00 on the lease alone, not including revenue it earned on the Concessions. The integrity and dignity of the Hamilton Tiger Cats remain intact to this day. Oskee Wee Wee! R.I.P. Pigskin Pete III, Sept. 10, 2014.
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