#SavetheGore – A good Mayor can make the difference!

#SavetheGore is possible with the support of the Mayor.

On August 15, 2013 – the blog, Raise the Hammer, noted the inaction of Hamilton City Council to the heritage concerns surrounding the Gore Park buildings.  Several readers commented on the success that Oakville was having with their heritage properties.

Hamilton City Hall
Hamilton City Hall

In response, I wrote the following on August 18th:

My impression is that the current and past Mayors of Oakville have played a vital role in promoting the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings.

As a result, Oakville is becoming a real success story, combining the best of the past with the best of the present.

People often get frustrated with individual councillors for not adopting a wider vision.

This lack of vision shouldn’t be so surprising.

It is natural for councillors to be most concern about their own wards, unless they have a special interest in heritage.

This is why the Mayor’s position is so important.

While the Mayor has only one vote, he or she has the power to promote a vision to council and to the voters in each of the wards.

So, having a pro-heritage Mayor is key.

Unfortunately, pro-heritage voters are spread across the city.

Within each ward, they are unlikely to have the numbers to make a difference at election time (unless it is a close race).

This is why councillors may feel free to ignore their concerns.

The Mayor’s position is different.

All pro-heritage voters can participate in the election of the next Mayor.

Furthermore, the current Mayor does not have a lock on re-election.

Anyone who is proud of Hamilton and wants this City to be great should have no problems with the kinds of visions being discussed on this blog (Raise the Hammer).

It is time for the Mayor to do the right thing.

Saving historical buildings is more than about saving history, it is about a city that actively promotes good transit, strong neighbourhoods and creative industries.

It is time for creative city advocates to remind the Mayor to do the right thing.

 

Published by Chris Erskine

Inspired by architecture and landscapes, my art explores our relationship to place, memory and identity. As a mid career artist, my art practice includes: painting, murals, short films, and sound art.

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