Thursday, 7 August 2014

Committee Matters

Last night, I attended my second Hamilton Cycling Committee meeting since declaring my candidacy and it was great to be "back".

The last one actually occurred on the day I submitted my nomination forms. There was some uncertainty as to whether I was still a member of the Committee upon becoming a candidate. Erring on the side of caution seemed the smart thing to do so I recused myself from any voting until we had further clarification from the Clerks Department.

About two weeks ago, we got the green light from the City. I am still a member in good standing but I was advised to refrain from campaigning while at the meetings. No problem!

Our Committee is one of a number of Volunteer Committees of Council and we report to the Public Works Committee on cycling-related matters throughout the City. Council can also ask us for our opinion on cycling related questions. For instance, we were recently asked to provide Council with a position on e-bikes (actually a fairly hot topic these days).

We are appointed by Council through an application process and we serve the same four-year term as it does. The goal is to have approximately equal distribution of Committee members from around the City. Aside from being Vice-All (like Vice-Chair but with the added duty of being Vice-Treasurer as well), I am one of three members representing Ward 13, which is a little on the heavy side but when you consider just how many cyclists there are in Dundas, it seems appropriate.

Aside from our advisory work, we do a lot of advocacy and outreach work. We review plans for road reconstruction and improvements and do our best to ensure that the City complies with its own Cycling Master Plan. We also review cycling-related correspondence that comes to the City.

One of our most popular programs is our "Share the Road" car magnets. You've probably seen them all around town and you may even have one on your own car. We devote a significant amount of our budget to this initiative and we still can't seem to keep up with demand!

Hot commodity!
I'm very proud of the work I've done with the Committee and am really happy to have met so many passionate Hamiltonians, Councillors and Staff members along the way. I encourage everyone to find out more about the Volunteer Committees at the City. Since this is an election year, all the current Committees will be dissolved and repopulated in the new year.

There is something for almost every interest from local history to aboriginal issues. (You can find the list of Committees for the current term here: It's a great form of public service and you smile every time you feel you've made the City a better place.

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