When Hamilton was a two-tier regional municipality, observers were always struck with the difference in decorum between Regional Council and Hamilton City Council. Hamilton City Council, then, as now was made up of colourful personalities and the meetings could be loud and long. Personal attacks, both verbal and occasionally physical were not unheard of. Council met at night, and members sometimes appeared over-refreshed after a pre-council dinner at a local bistro. The suburban contingent by contrast, were models of decorum, civility and common sense, and Bill Sears fit well into the latter category as he served with fellow regional councillors like Bob Wade, Ann Sloat and Glen Ehterington. Bill served as Mayor of Stoney Creek and as Regional Chair until 1994. As a member of a constituent assembly set up to study amalgamation, Bill recommended amalgamation but saw the need for local advisory committees in each of the constituent suburbs. Bill Sears who died last Sunday at age 87, was an engineer throughout his political career and afterwards and was widely regarded as a gentleman who brought knowledge and common sense to the council table.
With a basic command of both French and Spanish Bill carried out assignments for CIDA and CESO at home and abroad. His obituary notes, “Born and raised in “La République du Madawaska” (Edmunston, NB). Bill was a true Renaissance Man, musician, politician, and consulting engineer. After a brief tour with the RCAF followed by a BSc at the University of New Brunswick he came to Ontario and worked in construction and municipal engineering. Named Engineer of the Year in 1986 he had established his practice in 1965. He carried out projects in Canada and elsewhere and volunteered his time with CESO both internationally and in Aboriginal communities here at home.”
“Bill was a great engineer, respected former regional chairman and former Mayor of Stoney Creek,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger in a statement today. “I enjoyed the counsel he provided and will miss him greatly. He served the community of Stoney Creek with enthusiasm and dedication. Hamilton has lost a passionate advocate for our community. My sincere condolences to Bill’s family and loved ones on his passing.”
Bill is survived by his wife Judy, four children: Susan, Lewis (Susan), Brenda (Alex) and Cynthia Summers along with his eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Municipal flags in Hamilton and Stoney Creek are lowered in honor of Mr. Sears.