Ward 3 Councillor Candidate Responses to SHN Questions

Ward 3 Councillor Candidate

Dan Smith

This is something I wanted to do for a long time since 2006. My obligations as father are now permitting me to run; my children are now 7 and 10. I offer a valuable skill set to Ward 3 of Hamilton; my education ( MBA in Finance) and my project management experience ( ie Skygragon) demonstrate that I have the ability to manage projects within a budget; If elected as councillor, I will help other grassroots organizations revitalize Ward 3. I know what it takes to get grassroots organization to be successful and really understand the challenges grassroots organizations face. Being in an influential position to help grassroots and new organizations develop our city is inspiring me to run.

My first mention is Culantro Peruvian Restaurant, with great authentic Peruvian food; the owner Juan is such a great host everytime we go. My second is Woodlands Park - the outdoor gym: my kids and I always have fun. It is great to help promote active living in the area. Third mention is Duarte's, a favourite of mine when I need a nutritious lunch while doing property management. Last but not least, The Capitol Bar is another great place to unwind and have a beer.

More coordination of efforts when upgrading infrastructure. I have seen streets repaved only to have a water line upgraded after which leaves a huge potential for sinkholes forming. Informing residents and helping them upgrade before roads are resurfaced would save a lot on infrastructure costs.

Specifically, what are your priorities for infrastructure and facilities investment? What would you propose to ensure these are addressed?

My primary interest is creating more housing. I have been a property manager for years and have seen the availability of units shrink dramatically over the past few years as homelessness has increased. It is disheartening to see people unable to find adequate housing. Traffic calming. Many families with young children live in ward 3 and it needs to be made safer for the odd 3 year olds on trikes who find their way into the middle of the road.

I will always put my ward first unless it conflicts with serious needs in other wards, i.e., natural disasters, such as flooding.

How will you approach the challenge of navigating (actual or perceived) tensions between the interests of Ward 3 and the City as a whole?

I will attend as many community group meetings as possible. The Stinson Community Association offers great community events such as music and barbeques in Carter park. In addition, I will use e-mail and Facebook , and publish newsletters to communicate with those who are not using social media. Most importantly, I will meet with residents of the ward personally to discuss any issues, concerns and ideas. During my rounds of canvassing, I hear some distinct messages our residents: we need to calm traffic.

How will you communicate, stay in touch, and be responsive to the people in Ward 3? What sorts of relationships do you expect to have with community groups?

I will do my best to see that the needs and desires of residents are put first over all else. I think the best way to deal with many of these issues is to have integrated communities where people of all walks of life interact regularly. Encouraging mixed use buildings and development of affordable housing in a way that does not concentrate certain classes in certain areas will help us to see each other as neighbours and reduce the aforementioned issues.

How will you engage with and address issues such as classism, racism, oppression and privilege?

I would like to see if some of the city's stock of vacant buildings could be put to use sooner rather than later. These buildings could provide homes, meeting spaces and economic benefits. When I started at Skydragon Co-op, we sought a partnership with the city, only to be turned away. We could do more to work with grassroots organizations to enhance our ward by leveraging our engaged residents.

Specifically, what are your priorities for social and economic programmes? How will you ensure that these priority areas addressed?

I would take super speed from The Flash in order to get more things done in a day. I will call myself the Do-er.

Bonus* if you were to find yourself stuck in a mutagenic yet fortuitous puddle of phosphorescent ooze and would emerge with a superpower of your choosing, what would it be? and what would you call yourself?

I do know there is a conflict on council between rural and urban ones. I think too much conflict can stall progress, but on the other hand, a healthy amount of conflict prevents group think from happening and bad decisions being made. I have worked in environments where there were conflicting interests and have usually been the person to calm things down. Cooler heads can prevail.

What are your thoughts on the sometimes adversarial nature of municipal politics and its effect on council function? How will you negotiate that environment?

I have a M.B.A. in finance as well as an undergraduate degree in physics and have worked as a mechanical designer. I think an understanding of design and finance would be a great asset on council. I have also been part of getting a building downtown rejuvenated when it was on the verge of collapse.

What knowledge, skills, perspectives, or experiences would you bring to the role of councillor?

I will be innovative in working to find more housing; for example, a review of existing zoning by-laws that limit density in the lower city needs to be done. I would also like to work to make more areas pedestrian friendly so new businesses can thrive. Local government could work closely with non-profits in the city to restore some of the city's stock of properties. Ideas like bump out sidewalks so a food establishment could have a patio and traffic calmed is something I would like to see more of. Possibly some idea like rebuilding the incline railway as a tourist attraction.

How will you be innovative? What are your new or fresh ideas for the city?

Why did you decide to run for council this term?

What are your favourite Ward 3 Assets?

What are your primary areas of policy interest, and why are these important to you?

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