It’s coming to the end of another beautiful fall day in Hamilton and a perfect time to reflect upon the important milestone that last night’s City Council meeting represented for the Hamilton Community Foundation. As I listened to the inspiring presentations by the citizen-led planning teams, filled with vision, courage and hope, I was reminded that none of it was possible but for the initial and consistent leadership of HCF in partnership with the City.
Our work in assisting challenged neighbourhoods is hard, complex and will continue for a generation. Success is far from guaranteed. But without the early leadership of Carolyn Milne and Joe-Anne Priel and the support of earlier HCF boards, none of it could have happened. Without the skill and dedication of workers such as Sharon Charters and David Derbyshire over many years, we would never have gained the essential trust and commitment of our citizen partners.
And finally, because of the initial leadership of Sheree Meredith and the current leadership of Matt Goodman and his HCF team, together with Paul Johnson and Suzanne Brown and their City of Hamilton team (with unwavering support from an outstanding City Manager and Council), that early vision has culminated in actionable neighbourhood plans that will change the future of Hamilton for the better.
Last night was a historic moment of hope and possibility in Hamilton City Council chambers. Thanks to all of you and many others whose names I will have overlooked for caring enough to lead and for making a profound difference. Our great city owes to each of you a debt of gratitude.