Ward 9: New faces, old hat

By Matthew Van Dongen / Hamilton Spectator

Ward 9 councillors have regularly come and gone over the past five terms and another election means another  new face in Old Stoney Creek.

Ward 9, which includes the former city’s downtown and part of Stoney Creek Mountain, will have elected four different councillors over five council terms once the latest votes are tallied Oct. 27.

Councillor Brad Clark was the first repeat winner in the ward since amalgamation, but he won’t be back — unless it’s as mayor.

And in a city where only four council incumbents have been knocked off by challengers since 2000, two of those close-fought battles played out in Ward 9.

Dissatisfaction with amalgamation is likely one reason for the turnover in “what was really a very proud community,” said Anne Bain, former mayor of the old City of Stoney Creek.

Bain successfully won the original three-way battle to transition from Stoney Creek mayor to ward councillor, but was defeated in 2003 by fewer than 1,000 votes in a race with a former top bureaucrat, Phil Bruckler.

“It was an issue then. It still bothers people now,” Bain said of amalgamation, arguing many residents complained about a loss of identity and felt “cheated of services” within the greater City of Hamilton.

In the very next election, Bruckler was unseated by fewer than 200 votes by Clark — who opposed amalgamation at the time despite serving in the provincial Tory government that imposed the unpopular changes on municipalities.

Read the rest of this story on thespec.com

Photo: Stoney Creek has seen its share of political (and other) battles over the decades. John Rennison, Spectator File Photo

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