Mayor Fred Eisenberger not seeking re-election
Hamilton, ON – Mayor Fred Eisenberger is not seeking re-election in the upcoming municipal election.
Eisenberger says that after three terms, the last two of which were consecutive, making him the longest-serving mayor post amalgamation, it is time to move on to the next chapter of his life.
I have always done my best for the people of Hamilton, and as much as I have loved serving as your Mayor, doing my best now requires that I not put my name on the ballot in the 2022 municipal election.
Pierre Trudeau famously made his decision during a walk in the snow. For me, it was a recent walk through my old neighbourhood in Amsterdam. On a purely personal level, I have come a long way, both literally and figuratively. I have enjoyed every step of the journey. But now is the time for the journey to go in another direction.
The decision is similar to the thinking a professional athlete undergoes. Can I play another game? Another season? For me, the answer is clearly yes. As I am today, I am healthy and still have the energy and the drive. But closing in on age 70, will I still have the same energy and drive two or three years from now? I am not certain about that, but the people of Hamilton deserve that certainty. The people of Hamilton deserve one hundred percent all the time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and I don’t know any other way of doing it. The decision suddenly became easy.
I do not have any retirement plans, but I am not going to retire in the traditional sense of the word. I am open to other opportunities. In the meantime, for the next five months I will continue doing what I have always done, which is to work hard and to give the people of Hamilton my all.
It has been a privilege working with our professional City staff. The people of Hamilton are well served by them.
As Mayor, I have learned to expect the unexpected. On my first day in office I had to contend with an extreme rainstorm which threatened to overwhelm our sewer system and flood much of the lower city. For the past two years I, like all of us, have been contending with a global pandemic.
I hope I have moved the marker on several issues, such as downtown redevelopment, affordable housing, revitalizing waterfront, building our economy and public transit including the LRT, among many others. There have been contentious issues, but it is the nature of job, and you learn from them, you improve, and you achieve greater success.
I arrived in Hamilton as an eight-year-old immigrant kid not speaking a word of English. I am forever thankful to the people of Hamilton for the honour and the privilege of serving them as their Mayor.Mayor Fred Eisenberger
Mayor Fred Eisenberger has been focused on transforming Hamilton for the better, from LRT to the waterfront. At the same time, Eisenberger’s priority is always looking out for ordinary people, from skills development to affordable housing to living wage to keeping our economy humming so there are jobs for people to sustain their families.
Under Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s leadership Hamilton surpassed $2 billion worth of construction, making 2021 the first time the city has ever reached the $2 billion-dollar mark in construction value in one year. The City has reached the $1 billion milestone 11 out of the past 12 years.
Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery
The Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery provided multi-sectoral leadership and direction to guide Hamilton’s economic recovery in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has formulated an aggressive, action-driven plan to position the City of Hamilton now, for long-term, sustainable and equitable economic recovery. Here is what the task force did:
- Developed an action-driven plan to position Hamilton now and for long-term sustainable and equitable recovery.
- Established defined outcomes with specific deliverables to address priority economic impacts of the pandemic confronting industry and businesses, employers and employees.
- Identified issues and opportunities to convey to other levels of government.
- Identified “quick wins” such as Hamilton’s outdoor dining program for restaurants during the pandemic.
- Delivery of critical supports to culinary and entertainment communities including implementation of the Fair Payment for Musicians Policy, continuation of the City’s Outdoor Dining Districts program and hometownhub.ca website.
- Has done more to reduce poverty in our community than ever before.
- Eisenberger initiated a 10-year, $50-million Poverty Reduction Implementation Plan that continues to make a big impact and has already resulted in significant support to our Rapid Housing Initiative projects.
- The Poverty Reduction Investment Plan has made possible investments in Indigenous housing, social housing through our CityHousing Hamilton, units for single women and women with children experiencing homelessness and contributions to affordable housing projects with local not-for-profit Indwell.
- All these projects represent a significant addition to our affordable housing inventory in the City.
- Significantly, the Poverty Reduction Implementation Plan is entirely from non-tax and non-rate supported revenues and reserves.
- This initiative, the largest of its kind in Canada, is a historic investment in our people and demonstrates how innovative thinking is helping to reduce poverty in Hamilton.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger voted against the expansion of the urban boundary, helping to stop sprawl development and instead focusing development in established urban areas where city services such as water, sewer and transit already exist.
Downtown Entertainment District
Under Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s leadership, the City concluded approval of the Downtown Entertainment Precinct master agreement that will see a minimum $50 million FirstOntario Centre transformation, $12.5 million in capital upgrades, expansion and aesthetic enhancements to the Hamilton Convention Centre and Concert Hall, and a $2 million contribution to the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
Under Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s leadership, there has been more investment in transit in Hamilton than ever before, including:
- $3.4 billion for Hamilton’s LRT project.
- $520 million for:
- A new 60,000 square metre public transit maintenance and storage facility that will include a 30-bus maintenance area, storage for 200 conventional size buses, approximately 4000 square metres of administration space, and a four-level parking structure.
- Improvements to Hamilton’s bus transit network and upgrades to the City’s 16 km-long A-Line rapid transit corridor will result in a faster and more reliable public transit experience. The upgrades involve the construction of five new queue jump lines and 17 km of new sidewalks along 12 different segments of rapid transit roadway, the implementation of transit signal priority measures at various intersections, and improvements to approximately 19 transit stops along the corridor.
- These projects will contribute to the City of Hamilton’s network of BLAST corridors designed to connect residents from the lower city, to the mountain, to the waterfront and the airport. This gives Hamilton the tools to deliver exceptional transit to move within the city, and conveniently access regional transportation choices.
- The investments under Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s leadership represent a historic, generational investment in transit in Hamilton. This will allow us to expand transit like never before, making it faster, more affordable, more reliable, and more convenient. This in turn will attract more riders than ever before, which in turn makes roads less congested and is good for the environment.
- Under the leadership of Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Hamilton signed the Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project memorandum of understanding with Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation, re-establishing the Hamilton LRT project and office.
- The federal and provincial governments are together contributing $3.4 billion to the project, making it the largest infrastructure project in the history of Hamilton.
- The result will be a 14-kilometre LRT line from McMaster University to Eastgate Square in Stoney Creek.
- This historic investment will help support the city’s long-term prosperity and growth while offering a sustainable, rapid transit option to residents and those visiting Hamilton. The LRT is really an investment in the people of Hamilton.
Cycling: Hamilton Bike Share
- Sustained operating funding for Hamilton Bike Share Inc. (HBSI).
- There is now sustained annual contributions by the City and which means Hamilton Bike Share will be funded like any other form of public transportation.
- Achievement of key milestones in the development of new housing, commercial uses and public spaces on the City’s West Harbour lands which will be known as Waterfront Shores.
- Opening of Copps’ Pier (Pier 8 promenade), and new public space and boardwalk on Piers 6 and 7 in Hamilton’s West Harbour and initiation of construction for a new West Harbour Gateway.
- In partnership with Aeon Studios Group, the establishment of the new Bayfront Studio District which will be an economic cluster with studios for the production of film, television, gaming, animation and music.
- It will feature artist live-work spaces, office space for creative industry companies, industry event spaces, and learning & training spaces to build the local workforce.
- Hamilton is now the second busiest municipality in Ontario for film shoots.
- There are over 900 Hamilton-based film-related businesses employing around 9000 people.
Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Skills Development
Mayor Fred Eisenberger launched the first-ever Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Skills Development which was founded to close the skills gap between people looking for jobs and jobs. The Task Force, made a series of recommendations under five broad areas:
- Build Hamilton’s local workforce capacity
- Develop initiatives to create and sustain local jobs
- Achieve greater alignment between employer needs and skills development
- Create a local system to connect job-seekers with local employers
- Address negative perceptions about the City of Hamilton
- Under the leadership of Mayor Fred Eisenberger, the City established its first ever Climate Change Action Plan.
- Under this plan, the City has set a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- Also, under Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s leadership, the establishment of the City’s Corporate Climate Change Task Force (CCCTF) made up of staff from all departments working collaboratively to identify, coordinate, and advance climate change actions and priorities across the City of Hamilton. The Task Force aims to support a culture shift ensuring that climate change is understood as a collective corporate responsibility and that a climate change lens is incorporated into routine work across all City departments.
- Central to environmental sustainability and climate resiliency is changing how the City works and conducts City business and understanding how municipal policy can have a climate-positive impact on the corporation and in the community as a whole.
- Also, under Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s leadership, the Bay Area Climate Change Council (BACCC) was established as a broad-based collaborative of numerous organizations across Hamilton and Burlington working to drive climate action. BACCC's vision is for the Bay Area to be a thriving and resilient net-zero carbon community by 2050.
Diversity and Inclusion
- The City of Hamilton’s first-ever Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Framework was approved by Council in February 2019 as a result of a motion moved by Mayor Fred Eisenberger, adopting a report written under the auspices of his office.
- This resulted in the appointment of our City Manager as our Diversity and Inclusion Champion and mandating mandatory training for Council members, Senior Leadership Team, all city staff above the level of supervisor, and executives of unions representing City workers.
- The Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (HARRC) was launched by Council in 2018 and, following extensive community consultation in 2019, a new board was appointed in 2020 and a new executive director was appointed in 2021. HARRC is funded by the City but operates independently supported by a community advisory board.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger continues to provide leadership on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity EDI through the development of an EDI lens to guide our work as a city.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger provided support and leadership through a Mayor's Taskforce on Syrian Refugees in 2015.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger has provided support to French language immigration to Hamilton through the French Immigration Network.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger has established a Community Anti-Islamophobia Leadership Council with wide representation of Muslim leadership from across the City of Hamilton.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger has been meeting with a group of Black Community Leaders to provide support on issues involving anti-Racism and Black History Month.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger has declared the permanent flying of the Metis, Six Nations, Tapiriit Nations, and the Mississauagas of the Credit First Nation flags at City Hall.
- Brought stability to the Hamilton Police Services Board.
- Achieved increased diversity on the Police Services Board. Three of seven members (40 per cent) are a member of a First Nation or a diverse community. The Chair is both a woman and a member of a First Nation.
- We have improved police relations with the community, in part through the appointment of the first full-time Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Liaison officer to work with Hamilton’s Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community.
- Our police service has taken concrete steps towards meaningful change by, for example, undertaking a diversity audit in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, as well as starting a Diversity and Inclusion Internal Support Network to support increased understanding of diversity, inclusion and equity by our police services members.
- We have increased engagement and consultation with the public including, for example, through virtual townhalls.
Order of Hamilton
- Mayor Eisenberger established a new award of merit to be called the Order of Hamilton, recognizing “People’s Champions”, the everyday person who has made significant volunteer accomplishments in service to, and in building community within the City of Hamilton.
- The award acknowledges praiseworthy volunteer service within the City of Hamilton.
The HAMILTON sign was fully funded by generous sponsors and fabricated by local Dundas business Hamilton Scenic Specialty Inc.with no cost to the public. Community groups can request the sign be booked to demonstrate community support, for example, red and white for cancer research.