Ward 3 Councillor Candidate Responses to SHN Questions

Ward 3 Councillor Candidate

Stephen Rowe

I decided to run for Ward Councilor because I see many opportunities for Ward 3 and the City of Hamilton to move forward to great heights. I feel that my 30 years as a resident of Ward 3, my 25 years experience dealing with large budgets and multiple layer government regulations as an International Logistics Professional, and my 20 years of grassroots community work give me a unique set of skills that I hope to bring forward to Ward 3.

My favourite 'asset' for ward 3 will always the diverse group of people that call the ward home. From a bricks and mortar standpoint, some of my favorite places are those non-profit public spaces not put forth by the Government such as the Eva Rothwell Centre and HARRRP. These stand as a testament to the great work that individuals can accomplish when they put the good of the community to the forefront. Also they are great examples of breathing new life into historical buildings, for community benefit. Another favourite asset of the ward is the Hamilton Port...Quietly the largest consolidation of good paying working class jobs in the city. Home to over 120 individual employers.

Roads, Transit and Affordable Housing all need attention. The City of Hamilton and its budgets are a complex thing. By exploring where and how money is spent new efficiencies can be found to address these issues

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

Economic Development, Audit and Finance, and Public Works. As the price of running a City continues to rise I want to lessen those tax burdens on the residential taxpayers by attracting new, clean, good paying corporate residents, unfold why everything that we pay for now is so expensive and promote the efficient use of resources already in place to keep the City moving forward. By growing the industrial and commercial tax base, while keeping cost under control, new resources can be brought to bear on other issues such as affordable housing and transit.

Somewhere along the line we developed a strategy of seeing everything in black and white at city council. Interests of Ward 3 do not have to conflict with those of the City as a whole. More work needs to be done to understand, and help others understand how the interests of Ward 3 can coexist with those of the City as a whole as well as the interests of the City coexisting with those of Ward 3.

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

Ward 3 has an amazing network of community groups that have never really been given their due as the grassroots movement that they are. These are the people working to make their individual communities better. I would like to encourage, support and facilitate these groups further and formalize regularly scheduled meetings to understand challenges faced in the communities. Together we are all stronger.

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?

There are many great advocates within the City of Hamilton who, daily, address true classism, racism, oppression and privilege and I will always support them in their fight. However, I feel that the role of the City Councillor is to be inside city hall working to address these issues, not as a public face to take up these issues.

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

The City streets seem to be becoming more unsafe, be that in road safety or crime. By supporting groups that advocate for street safety or preventative and preemptive crime management we can move away from being a reactive society once the unthinkable has happened (or nearly happened) to being a proactive society to keep people safe.

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

It may sound odd, but I'd really like to be able to speak to animals. It would be very interesting to know what they think of what we do and how we act. I would be The Critter Consigliere.

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?

The adversarial nature seen at City Council is disruptive and is the one main thing standing in the way of Hamilton moving forward. My conflict management skills, gained in my career, have aided me in working well in the community and I see no reason why those skills will not be attributable to city council. An understanding of where both sides of an adversarial nature comes from is needed to be able to find.

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

From my professional career I bring skills such as large scale budgeting and forecasting; negotiations; strategic planning and analysis; regulatory understanding and compliance; policy/procedure design; and conflict management and resolution. From my community career I bring skills such as communication and collaboration, facilitation, leadership and understanding, budget restraint, determination, and caring.

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

The best way to understand what is needed in the ward is to talk to its residents. I intend to have regular meetings with community groups to take advice on what is seen as being needed in the ward.

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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