media initiatives

Simmons, Tim

ts“As your city councillor, I want to move Ward 3 beyond the “Code Red” poverty label. Our problems can be solved and our community recognised as a great place to live, work and raise a family.

I am the owner/operator of Heritage Weddings & Coordinators. My wife, Kyoung-Ju is the owner/operator of Asiana Hair Salon. We are proud to live in Ward 3 with our boys, Roland and Beau.

I have a proven track record for making positive changes in our schools and community. For the last eight years I have been the Public School Board Trustee for Ward 3. In addition, I have held the positions of Vice Chair and Chair of the Board. During this time I have advocated for my constituents. I’ve worked to bring respectability back to our city’s core schools. We have improved our facilities and we have implemented programs that follow each student as they transition through each grade. I now hope to take the skills and experience I have gained and apply them to the role of Hamilton City Councillor.
Housing: Housing connects all of us both socially and economically. I support Hamilton’s Housing and Homelessness Action Plan. As a councillor, I can work to ensure Ward 3 gets its share of the funding to bring upgrades to affordable housing units. Our neighbourhoods need a blend of incomes levels with an abundance of single family homes, interspersed with affordable, dignified rental units.

I aim to create a Housing Officer/Ambassador position for Ward 3. Their job would be to walk the streets of Ward 3 looking for substandard rental housing as well as illegal activity. The Officer/Ambassador could then take action to rectify the situation for the tenant, the landlord and the neighbourhood.

In addition, there is a growing need for residential care facilities for seniors throughout our entire city. Correctional facilities and halfway houses should not be ghettoized in just one or two wards. A complete transit system will help share our social responsibilities with the rest of the city.

Transit: A modern city needs a modern public transit system that includes space for pedestrians, bicycles, trucks and cars. I support LRT if the province bears the full cost. LRT can bring commercial investment and jobs along our ward’s commercial corridors. However, LRT alone is not enough to make our community more prosperous.

We need rapid busing (BRT) throughout the entire amalgamated city. BRT needs to operate like an LRT so we can connect our communities and function as one municipality. Without a modern transit system reaching everyone, we cannot hope to share social housing and residential care facilities equally throughout the rest of the city.

Small Business: Hamilton needs local jobs in order to reduce the pressure on our tax base due to our aging population. As small business owners, my wife and I know the bureaucratic road blocks that can sometimes make it difficult for entrepreneurs to launch a new business. Over the past few years, Hamilton has worked to be a better facilitator for small business, but I believe we can do more to help our entrepreneurs place their “OPEN” sign in the window. For the small time entrepreneur the difference of a few months can make or break the business.
The Arts: Hamilton’s Artists of all genres make a significant social, cultural and economic contribution to our city. In essence, The Arts makes Hamilton more interesting and vibrant. There are plenty of things a municipality can do to increase their positive impact. A 2012 research report by Kelly Hill indicates that Hamilton public contributions for the arts are well below the average, including smaller cities like Waterloo. In addition to dollars, pre-zoning artistic spaces can be a terrific way of repurposing unused private lands. When we look to improve areas such a Barton Street, musicians and other artists can play a significant role in the resurgence.
October 27th will be a pivotal day for the residents of Ward 3. This ward has not had a newly elected councillor for 23 years. I have both experience and a proven track record in municipal service. I can bring the weight of that experience to the council table and build respect for our Ward that will lead to more positive, safer and resilient neighbourhoods. I am offering myself for the position of Councillor in Ward 3.

I have been Ward 3 Public School Board Trustee since 2006.

I live in Ward 3 with my wife and two children. I have a track record of informed, responsible and consistent service to our Ward as your Public School Trustee. In 2006, I saw neglect in our schools and in many parts of the Ward; however, I want to prove to myself as well as to constituents that I could procure positive results. Over the last eight years I believe the changes and capital investments made in our schools shows that I have acquired the experience needed to sit as a councillor. We now have some of the best schools in Hamilton. I now want to bring resources and respect to the rest of our Ward.

We need both fully funded LRT and Rapid Buses to connect our communities throughout the entire amalgamated city. LRT is good for Ward 3 because it will bring capital investment and jobs along our main corridors. It will then be possible to spread social services, affordable housing, residential care facilities and half-way houses more evenly throughout the rest of Hamilton. I will advocate for a transit strategy that will illustrate a complete city overview for cars, trucks, buses, LRT, bikes and pedestrian traffic as well as plans for one way and two way streets. We have to stop doing transit piece meal. Every part of a transit strategy will inevitably affect the other parts, so let’s look at it in its entirety.

Housing connects all of us both socially and economically. I support Hamilton’s Housing and Homelessness Action Plan. As a councillor, I can work to ensure Ward 3 gets is share of the funding to bring upgrades to affordable housing units. I hope to create a Housing Officer/Ambassador position for Ward 3. Their job would be to walk the streets of Ward 3 looking for situations of substandard rental housing as well as illegal activity. The Officer/Ambassador could then take immediate action to begin rectifying the situation for the tenant and the landlord.

It is up to Council to decide what kind of development is needed and for which area of the city. Development needs to be part of a long term strategy to meet certain goals for density, renewal, green space, recreation, housing, tax base… etc. all within timelines. The type of developers hired should reflect Council’s goals.

My public service has taught me that nothing happens without support from others. Initially, a critical mass for the change is needed in the community. This may or may not come from the most vocal group. A good councillor can measure true support even when social media seems so dominant. There are cost issues in every aspect of our personal lives and this holds true with public dollars. If you are going to spend exorbitant dollars the project needs to reflect the value to the public and weighed against other projects that will inevitably take a backseat. The best ideas are the ones that help everyone or those who are most in need. In addition, fellow councillors also need to be in support. This won’t happen if you are going to leave the cupboard bare for their priorities. Initiatives must be aligned to overall strategies and directions. A good councillor can usually find a way to do this. To do the things you need to do when you want to do it, there needs to be a flexible administration, transparent and streamlined governance procedures, a diversified and expanding tax base and a way to provide extraordinary service at a reasonable cost.

Yes, increasing transparency at city hall is a good thing. Councillor’s expenses should also be public.

According to CFIB, small business accounts for 71 % of Hamilton’s economy. My wife and I are both small business owners. The city needs small business facilitators with the sole purpose of getting an “OPEN” sign up as soon as possible. Barton and Kenilworth will become vibrant again on the strength of Ottawa Street and with pre-zoning areas for business, arts, entertainment and housing. Shifting traffic patterns to be able to make left turns from Barton to Kenilworth and Ottawa and from Kenilworth and Ottawa onto Barton will help. Do away with any tax breaks for vacant businesses and fix the road.

I want to move beyond the “Code Red” poverty labels that often define Ward 3. We need to build neighbourhoods with a healthy mix of people from all social and economic backgrounds. City Hall needs a cultural shift towards more transparency and where councillors make decisions within the context of approved strategic directions. I believe that if we fix the problems in Ward 3, we will have solved the problems in the rest of the city.”

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