Alien nations

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The latest salvo in what has become a nasty de-amalgamation battle is now coming from Glanbrook.

Don Barlow, chair of the Glanbrook Freedom Train, sent a letter last month to the city of Hamilton, implying it had violated the Municipal Act when it comes to amalgamation. Barlow said he's waiting for further legal clarification before his group makes a formal announcement to fight for Hamilton to be de-amalgamated.

Mayor Larry Di Ianni acknowledged the city received the letter and officials were reviewing its contents. But he dismissed the"bizarre" missive, indicating that Barlow and his group are nothing more than "negative individuals."

Just like their de-amalgamation cousins in Flamborough, members of the Freedom Train have met their MPP, Liberal Jennifer Mossop, and representatives of the Municipal Affairs Ministry to convince them that Glanbrook should be separated from Hamilton. "We go about it more quieter than Flamborough," said Barlow. "If we can carry some dead bodies away we will."

The reasons for de-amalgamating from Hamilton haven't dissipated since the forced merger five years ago. Glanbrook residents remain bitter at how Hamilton treats them, from poor garbage pickup and healthy trees cut down on Airport Road to unkempt cemeteries that force seniors to walk through weeds to pray at the graves of loved ones.

But Barlow adds a further wrinkle: why are residents paying for mega-projects, such as the Red Hill Creek Highway, the Hamilton Four-Pad Arena, or Copps Coliseum, that Glanbrook residents will never use?

It's that type of disconnect among suburban residents from the rest of Hamilton that is prompting Di Ianni to suggest some radical changes to how suburban residents govern themselves, such as how the community councils in Flamborough and Glanbrook operate. The mayor's office was behind the creation of both entities last year, in an attempt to reach out to those impotent communities.

Community councils in Ancaster, Dundas and Stoney Creek would also benefit from the changes. Di Ianni has talked about reviewing the recommendations contained in the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel report. The document recommends delegating local transactional decision-making authority. It would allow local residents to decide on street signs, installation of speed bumps, and sign variances. Ideas include creating administrative tribunals to hear residents' appeals of staff decisions, and holding a minimum of four "engagement sessions" with the local communities to provide input into key issues such as strategic direction and budgets. Further ideas being bounced around involve having members of the community council elected and possibly providing them with authority over how to allocate money and other resources. Di Ianni said he would like to see the changes implemented for the next council term. But can these ideas in salve suburban angst?

Barlow doesn't believe so. He isn't "familiar" with Glanbrook's community council, and even if he were, he doesn't think it will help the community.

"All we get is lip service from the city," he says. "I've seen it too often up here.

"I'm already looking to vote for anybody but Larry in the next election."

Kevin Werner is regional reporter for Brabant Newspapers. He can be reached by calling 905-308-7757, ext. 36, or by email at kwerner@brabantnewspapers.com

Alien nations

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The latest salvo in what has become a nasty de-amalgamation battle is now coming from Glanbrook.

Don Barlow, chair of the Glanbrook Freedom Train, sent a letter last month to the city of Hamilton, implying it had violated the Municipal Act when it comes to amalgamation. Barlow said he's waiting for further legal clarification before his group makes a formal announcement to fight for Hamilton to be de-amalgamated.

Mayor Larry Di Ianni acknowledged the city received the letter and officials were reviewing its contents. But he dismissed the"bizarre" missive, indicating that Barlow and his group are nothing more than "negative individuals."

Just like their de-amalgamation cousins in Flamborough, members of the Freedom Train have met their MPP, Liberal Jennifer Mossop, and representatives of the Municipal Affairs Ministry to convince them that Glanbrook should be separated from Hamilton. "We go about it more quieter than Flamborough," said Barlow. "If we can carry some dead bodies away we will."

The reasons for de-amalgamating from Hamilton haven't dissipated since the forced merger five years ago. Glanbrook residents remain bitter at how Hamilton treats them, from poor garbage pickup and healthy trees cut down on Airport Road to unkempt cemeteries that force seniors to walk through weeds to pray at the graves of loved ones.

But Barlow adds a further wrinkle: why are residents paying for mega-projects, such as the Red Hill Creek Highway, the Hamilton Four-Pad Arena, or Copps Coliseum, that Glanbrook residents will never use?

It's that type of disconnect among suburban residents from the rest of Hamilton that is prompting Di Ianni to suggest some radical changes to how suburban residents govern themselves, such as how the community councils in Flamborough and Glanbrook operate. The mayor's office was behind the creation of both entities last year, in an attempt to reach out to those impotent communities.

Community councils in Ancaster, Dundas and Stoney Creek would also benefit from the changes. Di Ianni has talked about reviewing the recommendations contained in the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel report. The document recommends delegating local transactional decision-making authority. It would allow local residents to decide on street signs, installation of speed bumps, and sign variances. Ideas include creating administrative tribunals to hear residents' appeals of staff decisions, and holding a minimum of four "engagement sessions" with the local communities to provide input into key issues such as strategic direction and budgets. Further ideas being bounced around involve having members of the community council elected and possibly providing them with authority over how to allocate money and other resources. Di Ianni said he would like to see the changes implemented for the next council term. But can these ideas in salve suburban angst?

Barlow doesn't believe so. He isn't "familiar" with Glanbrook's community council, and even if he were, he doesn't think it will help the community.

"All we get is lip service from the city," he says. "I've seen it too often up here.

"I'm already looking to vote for anybody but Larry in the next election."

Kevin Werner is regional reporter for Brabant Newspapers. He can be reached by calling 905-308-7757, ext. 36, or by email at kwerner@brabantnewspapers.com

Alien nations

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The latest salvo in what has become a nasty de-amalgamation battle is now coming from Glanbrook.

Don Barlow, chair of the Glanbrook Freedom Train, sent a letter last month to the city of Hamilton, implying it had violated the Municipal Act when it comes to amalgamation. Barlow said he's waiting for further legal clarification before his group makes a formal announcement to fight for Hamilton to be de-amalgamated.

Mayor Larry Di Ianni acknowledged the city received the letter and officials were reviewing its contents. But he dismissed the"bizarre" missive, indicating that Barlow and his group are nothing more than "negative individuals."

Just like their de-amalgamation cousins in Flamborough, members of the Freedom Train have met their MPP, Liberal Jennifer Mossop, and representatives of the Municipal Affairs Ministry to convince them that Glanbrook should be separated from Hamilton. "We go about it more quieter than Flamborough," said Barlow. "If we can carry some dead bodies away we will."

The reasons for de-amalgamating from Hamilton haven't dissipated since the forced merger five years ago. Glanbrook residents remain bitter at how Hamilton treats them, from poor garbage pickup and healthy trees cut down on Airport Road to unkempt cemeteries that force seniors to walk through weeds to pray at the graves of loved ones.

But Barlow adds a further wrinkle: why are residents paying for mega-projects, such as the Red Hill Creek Highway, the Hamilton Four-Pad Arena, or Copps Coliseum, that Glanbrook residents will never use?

It's that type of disconnect among suburban residents from the rest of Hamilton that is prompting Di Ianni to suggest some radical changes to how suburban residents govern themselves, such as how the community councils in Flamborough and Glanbrook operate. The mayor's office was behind the creation of both entities last year, in an attempt to reach out to those impotent communities.

Community councils in Ancaster, Dundas and Stoney Creek would also benefit from the changes. Di Ianni has talked about reviewing the recommendations contained in the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel report. The document recommends delegating local transactional decision-making authority. It would allow local residents to decide on street signs, installation of speed bumps, and sign variances. Ideas include creating administrative tribunals to hear residents' appeals of staff decisions, and holding a minimum of four "engagement sessions" with the local communities to provide input into key issues such as strategic direction and budgets. Further ideas being bounced around involve having members of the community council elected and possibly providing them with authority over how to allocate money and other resources. Di Ianni said he would like to see the changes implemented for the next council term. But can these ideas in salve suburban angst?

Barlow doesn't believe so. He isn't "familiar" with Glanbrook's community council, and even if he were, he doesn't think it will help the community.

"All we get is lip service from the city," he says. "I've seen it too often up here.

"I'm already looking to vote for anybody but Larry in the next election."

Kevin Werner is regional reporter for Brabant Newspapers. He can be reached by calling 905-308-7757, ext. 36, or by email at kwerner@brabantnewspapers.com