How they voted

By Matthew Van Dongen

MG 0266.JPGOn the surface your city councillors seemed a co-operative bunch over the past four years, even in the face of obvious controversy.

City manager Chris Murray noted the trend in a look-back speech last month: a “strong majority” of councillors voted together 75 per cent of the time. That’s quite a unified front for a group criticized as being at loggerheads — even dysfunctional — in the previous term.

The suburban-urban taxation divide? Councillors unanimously endorsed a unique area rating compromise.

An unprecedented censure of Mayor Bob Bratina? His worship was the only dissenting vote.

Even on the contentious topic of LRT — at $811 million, the costliest single project ever proposed for Hamilton — an increasingly leery council has twice overwhelmingly voted to move forward. (With 100 per cent provincial funding, of course.)

In reality, a lot of arguing and horse-trading happened behind closed doors before critical votes as councillors sought to quash the perception of a council bitterly divided. But some votes still reflected the differences that come with a council serving a diverse and far-flung population.

The Spectator revisited some of the biggest issues of the term — and a couple stretching further back — to help voters evaluate incumbents on past decisions.

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