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Hamilton council briefs: LRT’s Bay Street stop still alive; wishing Pasuta a speedy recovery
Feb. 25, 2017
Kevin Werner

Hamilton politicians kept the idea of a proposed Bay Street light-rail transit stop alive, referring the issue Feb. 22 to a future subcommittee meeting.
Stoney Creek News
By Kevin Werner
The proposed Bay Street light-rail transit stop still has life.

After the idea to include a Bay Street stop was rejected at the general issues committee meeting, Hamilton politicians in a close 8 to 7 vote at the Feb. 22 council meeting referred the issue to the light-rail subcommittee for further review.

One of the supporters of the Bay Street stop was Mountain Coun. Terry Whitehead, despite his skepticism of building the $1 billion project.

“There is a compelling argument for the stop,” he said. “This is a good place for it.”

Whitehead, and other supporters, like the idea of a Bay Street stop since a number of venues are within walking distance of the LRT, including FirstOntario Centre, Jackson Square, the David Braley Health Science Centre, Hamilton Place and the Hamilton Art Gallery. The nearest LRT stops in the downtown are at Queen Street and James Street.

The proposed stop, which would cost an estimated $2.6 million, would add about 50 seconds to the LRT route.

Supporting the referral motion were councillors Aidan Johnson, Maria Pearson, Sam Merulla, Matthew Green, Jason Farr, Tom Jackson, Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Whitehead. Against the idea were councillors Doug Conley, Lloyd Ferguson, Brenda Johnson, Arlene VanderBeek, Judi Partridge, Donna Skelly and Chad Collins.

The idea for the Bay Street stop had originally been proposed by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce last fall.

Flamborough Coun. Robert Pasuta’s absence

Hamilton politicians approved a motion at their Feb. 22 council meeting allowing the absence of Flamborough Coun. Robert Pasuta to continue from all city meetings.

“Rob, I know you are watching. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery. We all miss you,” said Flamborough Coun. Judi Partridge.

Pasuta, who has served as the Ward 14 representative since 2006, fell off a tractor and has suffered concentration issues. He has been undergoing medical tests.

Pasuta and his family operate a 300-acre farm in Flamborough, while also conducting his daily council and constituent business.

Council is required to extend Pasuta’s leave of absence under the Municipal Act if the period is beyond the three-month period.

In his absence, Pasuta’s administrative staff has been handling constituents’ inquiries, while Partridge and Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson has also contributed some time to Flamborough issues.

“Myself and Lloyd Ferguson and others around the table are certainly pitching in where there is a need,” said Partridge.

Ferguson also wished Pasuta a “speedy” recovery. He said he has “dealt with” three or four issues so far. “And I am happy to take on more.”

 Hamilton solicitor retiring

Hamilton solicitor Janice Atwood-Petkovski is retiring from the City of Hamilton.

A retirement party was held for her Feb. 24.

Atwood-Petkovski, who graduated from Osgood Hall Law School, has been working for the city since Feb. 2013. Before that, she was city solicitor for the City of Vaughan for six years from 2006-2012, and was director of litigation for the City of Brampton from 1989 to 2004.

Councillors praised Atwood-Petkovski for her time at the city. They applauded the positive changes she initiated, including reducing the high cost of hiring outside lawyers to represent the city.

“She was a breath of fresh air,” said Mountain Coun. Terry Whitehead.

Replacing Atwood-Petkovski will be Nicole Auty, who had worked as St. Catharines’ city solicitor for six years. She also had worked for nine years in the private sector.