Two months ago, in this Bay Observer space John Best generously provides, I wrote about occupying the Mayor’s office in the city of Hamilton and assured, in a non-serious manner that any Green for Mayor campaign would consist of one lawn sign being moved from lawn to lawn, therefore assuring my former CHML colleague Bob Bratina he should have few concerns about any challenge from me in this year’s municipal election.
The Mayor’s recent announcement he would not seek re-election surprised more than a few and resulted in an increased in-flow of contact from individual citizens, as well as a number of business owners actively urging me to enter the race, with an offer to work on assembling a campaign team.
None of these business owners is among my circle of friends and acquaintances in the city, which made the encouragement and offers of logistical support even more appreciated.
I gather the Green for Mayor rumours had made some noise on the street because the Spectator asked for comment. My response was and remains I have no plan to seek to succeed Mayor Bratina.
This is not because I have no interest in participating in the municipal governance of Hamilton, but rather because I am focussed on a very personal and challenging family matter, while simultaneously remaining committed to my Corus radio network weekend program, heard on CHML.
I am though deeply appreciative of the confidence long-time listeners and business owners are demonstrating by their encouragement.
In fact, I’m quite surprised. I’ve often said anyone considering me as a possible political representative would have to be prepared for a fairly abrupt ending to the ‘business as usual’ model of governance. While my daily encounters over the years with members of Hamilton council introduced me to capable individuals and created a few away from the microphone friendships, I also found as a broadcaster that Hamilton council had the capacity to become the most frustrating and sometimes obtusely so group of politicians.
There have been changes to council’s makeup since 2007, when my wife’s health issues and the availability of our Quebec hideaway caused me to end my daily on air encounters with you at CHML. I’ve heard interesting things about the current Hamilton city council. Among them, that these councillors actually got some things done for the city.
One friend added, “sure, this council has been unified …. in its opposition to Mayor Bob.” Exactly the kind of one-liner I always appreciated and knew could be counted on during my ML broadcasts.
If elected I will not serve: Roy Green
Do I miss Hamilton? Only every day. Precisely because people say what’s on their minds, making talk radio a blast. I’m sure my pal Bill Kelly would concur and have no doubts Bob Bratina has fond memories of turning on the mic and taking a run at someone. Quite often that someone would have been me.
While the Mayor and I may have had difficulty agreeing on most things political and societal, I never doubted Brat’s love and passion for the city and deeply respected his affection for and dedication to Canada’s military veterans. When I began the tradition of the Remembrance Day broadcasts at the Hamilton cenotaph, Bob would always join me on air and his passion for the men and women in uniform, past, present and no doubt future, was clearly evident.
Before I get completely lost in a haze of memories, let me close out the subject of Green running for Mayor of Hamilton. I’m quite sure that had my cap sailed into the ring, in addition to the support, there would have been a significant and instant chorus of “no way, no thanks” there to greet it.
To those who strongly believe I could make a positive contribution to managing the interests and future of Hamilton, “thank you”. To those who don’t, you have nothing to worry about.
By: Roy Green