Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, January 4, 2014

McHattie makes 2014 mayoral run official

Brian McHattie has fired the first official salvo in a 10-month mayoral battle by suggesting the incumbent is missing in action.

Mayor Bob Bratina, meanwhile, says he’s happy to stand on his record — even if he won’t confirm his widely-expected candidacy.

McHattie was the first to register for a shot at the big chair in the Oct. 27 election, vowing Thursday to be a more activist and co-operative council leader on issues such as poverty, transit, air quality and jobs for youth.

The veteran Ward 1 councillor labelled Bratina “a bit of a funny mayor” who “hasn’t been that involved” in critical council business.

“It’s not really clear to us at council what he’s doing at Queen’s Park or in Ottawa,” he said.

McHattie also suggested the mayor has at times alienated other council members and been sidelined as a result. “I think this has largely been a term driven by councillors.”

That relationship boiled over in 2011 when councillors moved to limit Bratina’s ability to lobby senior levels of government. The mayor was later censured for misleading councillors and the public over who initiated a $30,000 pay raise for his chief of staff.

The mayor argued his relationship with council has been good when it mattered. “I had support for issues that I championed, that were close to me,” he said Thursday.

Bratina listed successes such as all-day GO transit and the Pan Am stadium compromise.

Bratina has also pointed to Hamilton’s success in landing government cash for the Randle Reef cleanup and more recent P3 funding for a possible sludge incinerator. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)