John-Paul Danko Campaign Reflections

After 102 days of campaigning in a Ward with 40,000 eligible voters we came up just 92 votes short.

We started knocking on doors in December as soon as my nomination was official and didn’t stop until the polls closed on March 21st.

In total we knocked on 14226 doors, dropped 9350 fliers and put up 700 signs.

Our “at home” rate was around 50%, so that means we spoke to approximately 7000 individual Ward 7 residents at the door!

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Continue reading John-Paul Danko Campaign Reflections

10 Random Facts About John-Paul Danko

1. I have personally planted around 80,000 trees.

True story.  I spent the summer after my first year at McMaster University planting trees for a reforestation company in northern BC and Alberta. Incidentally, that’s also where I met my wife Dawn (that’s a long story – as you can imagine the competition was fierce).

Tree Planting

2. Family status?

I’ve been married to Dawn for 13 years – we have two children. Sadie is 9 and in grade 4 and Isaac is 7 and in grade 2.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, bob charters, charters, skelly, donna skelly

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3. Dogs or cats?

The first thing Dawn and I did after buying our house (Upper James and Inverness) was get a big ol’ Bernese Mountain Dog named Daisy.

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The thing with big dogs is they don’t live as long as you would like, so after losing Daisy we somehow ended up with three rescue cats – Tinker Bell is the mama and her two kits, Luna and Max-Cuddles.

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4. I’m a professional commercial photographer

Having access to your own personal stock photography library is a fun advantage to have during an election campaign. It also really helps to capture some great family photos.

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Here is a link to my agency portfolio:

https://www.stocksy.com/blurMEDIA

5. I played football at McMaster and won the City Championship at Sherwood vs. Hill Park

I made the McMaster University football team as a 5’10, 145 pound walk-on freshman. This was back in the mid-90’s when McMaster wasn’t exactly the football powerhouse they are now and undersized corners could always be used for the scout team.

I also won two City Championships playing football at Sherwood (OK, it was Tier II, but still a Championship!). The most memorable game I played in was against Hill Park at the old Ivor Wynne Stadium.

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6. I go to Vegas for the Rock Climbing and Hiking

Red Rock Canyon just 20 minutes outside of Vegas has some of the best climbing available anywhere – and fantastic hiking too! The last time we were there Dawn and I climbed a 7 pitch trad climb around 800 feet (80 stories).

Stock Photography JP Danko blurMEDIA

7. I helped design one of the first Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer bridge decks in Ontario

Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer aka. GFRP, aka. fibreglass is now a common material for high corrosion structural engineering applications – but 15 years ago it was not a well known material. The engineering firm I work for ELLIS Engineering Inc. designed one of the first GFRP reinforced bridge decks in Ontario.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative

8. I love gingerbread cookies

I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but there is just something about gingerbread cookies! Don’t know what to get me for my birthday, Christmas, father’s day….? The answer is always beer – but for some reason people just don’t believe me.

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9. I worked two summers as a Supie for the City of Hamilton

I worked two summers as a park Supie for the City of Hamilton in the mid-90s. I have always thought that the Supie program was one of those serviced offered by the City that never got enough credit for the service it provides in making neighbourhoods livable.

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10. I learned how to sail on Hamilton Harbour – before it was cool!

I grew up taking sailing lessons at the now defunct Hamilton Sailing School (where Williams is right now) on Hamilton Harbour. This was back when my friends though that if you touched the water your hand would melt off. As an adult I returned to sailing by racing competitively and forced by wife to learn how to sail too.

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My Top Priorities for Ward 7 – Investing In Family Friendly Neighbourhoods

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours:

As a homeowner and taxpayer in Ward 7 who is raising a young family here I have a few personal priorities that really prompted me to run for City Council.

I will outline my priorities in three posts, and I would encourage you to leave a comment and tell me yours.

Investing In Family Friendly Neighbourhoods

As a father raising two young children, the family friendly atmosphere of our neighbourhood is why my wife and I decided to raise our family here in the first place.

To me, a family friendly neighbourhood is somewhere where kids can meet up with their friends, ride their bikes safely on the road, go to the park and walk to school – where teenagers can rely on efficient public transportation and continuous cycling infrastructure to get around town without relying on their parents for a ride – and where adults and seniors can safely walk the dog at night, get a great coffee at a local cafe, play chess in the park and pick up take-out at an eclectic local restaurant.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, bob charters, charters, skelly, donna skelly

My neighbourhood is also a mix of all income levels and ethnicity which adds an exciting and inclusive vibrancy to our community that I would work to ensure exists throughout Ward 7.

I believe that we need a Councillor who can personally identify with the challenges of raising a young family here in order to effectively advocate for the kind of family friendly neighbourhood that is the best place in Hamilton to grow up.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative

Specifically, in Ward 7 we need to secure investment in community recreation centers like Hill Park and Eastmount, add more splash pads, redevelop our park greenspaces, advocate for safer streets, slow down traffic on our neighbourhood roads and invest in better transit options.

The best thing about family friendly neighbourhoods is that they are not just great places to live for families – they are great places to live for everyone!

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative

Continue reading My Top Priorities for Ward 7 – Investing In Family Friendly Neighbourhoods

Q&A With Ward 7 Hamilton City Council Candidate John-Paul Danko

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours:

For her recent article “13 People Running In Ward 7 – and That’s Just The Beginning” CBC Hamilton reporter Sam Craigs asked each Hamilton Ward 7 by-election candidate four questions.

Here are my full answers:

1. How will you stand out in a crowded field?

I come from outside of Hamilton’s established political circles and I believe that I offer an alternative to the party politics and voting blocks that often seem to stand in the way of sound decision making at City Hall.

I am running for Ward 7 Councillor because I believe that we need representatives with real world experience in industry and business.  I offer a specialized skillset in structural engineering, business and project management that would be an invaluable asset on City Council.

In such a crowded field of candidates, I believe that I am the only independent candidate with the experience and community connection necessary to effectively advocate for all residents of Ward 7.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, bob charters, charters, skelly, donna skelly

2. Why do you think there’s so much interest in running?

It is an exciting time to live in Hamilton; we have one of the most diverse economies in Canada and we’re on the cusp of a massive investment in new public infrastructure – so it is understandable that a by-election would draw a large field of candidates.

Overall I think that most candidates are genuinely interested in serving the City as a whole and are running because they want to make a difference.

However, Municipal politics is often seen as a stepping stone to higher office. For those with political party aspirations this by-election could be considered an opportunity to gain experience and prepare for a future provincial or federal run.

I believe that this by-election comes at a critical time for our City. A large portion of every resident’s property taxes go to fund the Public Works department. As a professional structural engineer with a career’s worth of experience designing and building public infrastructure, Public Works is one of my main interests. I am interested in bringing a more strategic and pragmatic approach to spending our tax dollars.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, bob charters, charters, skelly, donna skelly

3. What do you think is the most important issue in Ward 7?

Ward 7 is a mix of older established communities in the north with communities still under development in the south. With such a wide range of areas, specific issues tend to vary; however, there are some key issues that are consistent throughout the Ward.

Concerns about property taxes, roadway and sidewalk maintenance, traffic and speeding are common.

Ward 7 is by far the largest Ward in the City (by population) and contributes approximately 40% more property taxes and 40% more business taxes than the average for all other Hamilton Wards.

However, we do not see investment in our Ward 7 communities that is proportional to our contribution.

For example, the City has invested in both Huntington Park Recreation Centre in Ward 6 and Westmount Recreation Centre in Ward 8, but not Hill Park Recreation Centre in Ward 7.

I believe that in order for Ward 7 to finally realize its potential, we need a City Councillor that is able to aggressively pursue investment in Ward 7 while remaining consistent with an overarching vision for the City of Hamilton as a whole.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, bob charters, charters, skelly, donna skelly

4. Do you live in Ward 7? Do you think it matters?

I live in Ward 7 with my wife and two children.

In order to truly represent the views of the residents of Ward 7, I believe that the City Councillor for Ward 7 should be personally invested here – they need to live here in order to truly understand the concerns of residents.

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, bob charters, charters, skelly, donna skelly

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Sincerely,

John-Paul Danko

John-Paul Danko – Hamilton City Council Candidate

Ward 7 Hamilton Central Mountain

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Bob Charters, Donna Skelly, Skelly, Charters

Continue reading Q&A With Ward 7 Hamilton City Council Candidate John-Paul Danko

John-Paul Danko CBC Hamilton – In The News – 13 People Running In Ward 7

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours:

With three weeks until the close of nominations, there are already 13 people registered to run in the Hamilton Central Mountain Ward 7 by-election for City Council.

Of the thirteen currently registered, only four actually live in Ward 7.

(John-Paul Danko, Tim Gordon, Phil Bradshaw and Uzma Qureshi live in Ward 7, in case you are wondering.)

CBC Hamilton recently ran an article on the crowded field of Ward 7 candidates, highlighting how important every vote will be.

You can read full the piece here:

13 People Running In Ward 7 – and That’s Just The Beginning

Here are a few excerpts:

…whoever wins will likely only get in by a few hundred votes, says Henry Jacek, a McMaster University political science professor. The winner will carry weight at the table, but it’s hard to get people interested in byelections.

That means it could come down to who has more friends in the ward, or who has just a few more volunteers.

Not surprisingly, most of the candidates who live in the ward say it matters, while those who don’t say it doesn’t.

I’d like to know what you think – would you vote for a Ward 7 representative who doesn’t actually live in Ward 7?

Is living on “the mountain” close enough?

Personally, I believe that your Ward 7 City Councillor should certainly live in Ward 7. If you don’t live here you cannot be personally invested in what happens here – it is as simple as that.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Sincerely,

John-Paul Danko

John-Paul Danko – Hamilton City Council Candidate

Ward 7 Hamilton Central Mountain

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Bob Charters, Donna Skelly, Skelly, Charters

Continue reading John-Paul Danko CBC Hamilton – In The News – 13 People Running In Ward 7

Why Are Political Parties Interested In Hamilton City Hall?

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours,

Andrew Dreschel’s recent commentary in the Hamilton Spectator “NDP Split In Ward 7 Byelection” raises a question that will be of interest to Ward 7 voters: why are political parties interested in Hamilton City Hall?

There are several NDP, Liberal and Conservative Party affiliated candidates running in the Hamilton Ward 7 by-election to take over from MP Scott Duvall.

In the case of Ward 7, the NDP has an obvious interest in retaining their grip on the Hamilton Mountain.

Other political party candidates may see a municipal race as an opportunity to gain experience and prepare for a provincial or federal run – and a win would certainly improve their chances of being elected to higher office in the future.

Yet even as the campaign is just getting underway, we are already seeing how party politics can impact city governance, as a party turf war has broken out between those supporting NDP candidates Uzma Qureshi and Geraldine McMullen.

(To his credit, MP Scott Duvall has so far remained impartial – a pragmatic approach as he will have to work with whomever is ultimately elected.)

I believe that political party affiliation may ultimately lead to conflicted interests at City Council.

For example, will a party affiliated Hamilton City Councillor vote for what their constituents want or what their party wants?

Will a party affiliated City Councillor be pressured to forward certain issues that might cost another party popularity.

Will a party affiliated City Councillor work to block certain City business if it is not in the best interests of their party?

As an independent candidate, I come from outside of Hamilton’s established political circles.

I believe that I offer an alternative to the party politics and voting blocks that often seem to stand in the way of sound decision making at City Hall.

If you are a Ward 7 by-election voter and are concerned about party politics at City Hall the solution is simple:

Before you vote, ask your preferred Ward 7 candidate: are you a member of a political party?

Sincerely,

John-Paul Danko

John-Paul Danko – Hamilton City Council Candidate

Ward 7 Hamilton Central Mountain

John-Paul Danko, JP Danko, Ward 7, Hamilton, Central Mountain, 2016, Byelection, by-election, Damin Starr, Tim Gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, Robert Bolton, Philip Bradshaw, Doug Farraway, Gregory Lenko, Anthony Nicholl, Howard Rabb, Uzma Qureshi, Chris Charlton, Monique Taylor, Scott Duvall, NDP, Liberal, Conservative

Continue reading Why Are Political Parties Interested In Hamilton City Hall?

Hamilton LRT Construction Promises Jobs for Local Union Labour Trades

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours,

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President Keanin Loomis has been busy recently, promoting the business case for Hamilton’s LRT (read “Business Group Intends to Counter Negative Voices on LRT”) and when necessary, bringing a voice of reason to City Hall(read “LRT Planning: Motion Before Council is a Block On Progress”).

In addition to the business case for Hamilton’s LRT, at the Hamilton Citizens’ Jury on Transit public meetings last month, I was excited to learn that a key social benefit of building the LRT is a promise of many new local jobs for Union labour and trades workers.

As a structural engineer who works daily with skilled labour, general labour, iron workers, welders, concrete finishers, carpenters, electricians, pipe layers, equipment operators, and technicians in the field, the inclusion of local labour requirements as part of the Metrolinx LRT construction contract is very encouraging news for Hamilton.

Continue reading for my thoughts on some of the opportunities and issues involved with specifying local labour requirements for a construction contract of this magnitude.

Continue reading Hamilton LRT Construction Promises Jobs for Local Union Labour Trades

No Hamilton New Years HSR Transit Service Is A Missed Opportunity

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours,

This New Years my wife and I found ourselves in the odd position of not having any fixed plans.

The kids were with the grandparents and we had a few friends coming over, but nothing really planned out.

We briefly discussed going out for dinner and drinks, until we realized that there was not going to be any 2:00 a.m. HSR service – and since getting a cab on New Year Eve is more trouble than its worth we decided to just stay home and play Scrabble.

Continue reading for the rest of the story.

Continue reading No Hamilton New Years HSR Transit Service Is A Missed Opportunity

Strategies To Reduce Hamilton’s Property Tax Burden

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours,

I am an engineer and a small business owner, not a politician.

As such, I have noticed that politicians often have a hard time speaking openly and honestly about money – and in particular taxes.

I understand the emotional and ideological baggage that any discussion about taxes inevitably carries – after all I own a house in Ward 7 – and just like you, I pay some of the highest property tax rates in the country.

However, it is important to remember that property taxes pay for the core municipal services we all depend on – like roads, transit, water, sewers, garbage collection, snow plowing, police, fire, EMS etc.

So if we want to have a frank discussion about reducing Hamilton’s property tax burden while maintaining municipal services, there are three fairly simple business principals (listed below in order of importance) that can be applied to maximize both revenue to the City and services provided to residents:

  1. Utilize Efficiencies
  2. Generate New Income From Existing Assets
  3. Acquire New Clients

Please continue reading to find out how each business principal can be applied to the City of Hamilton to reduce your property tax bill.

Continue reading Strategies To Reduce Hamilton’s Property Tax Burden

The Issues – What Hamilton Wards Are Really Pulling Their Weight?

Dear Ward 7 Neighbours,

The Hamilton Central Mountain – Ward 7 is by far the largest electoral district in the City of Hamilton (by population) and one of the most important in terms of economic activity.

According to the 2014 municipal tax data, Ward 7 is 41% larger than the average Hamilton Ward by population.  Further, with nearly 60,000 residents, Ward 7 is more than three times the size of Hamiton’s least populated Ward (Ward 14 with just over 17,000 residents).

Because of the relative population of Ward 7 compared to Hamilton’s other Wards, the residential taxpayers of Ward 7 (residential and multi-residential) also contribute 40% more taxes to the City of Hamilton than the average for all other Wards.

And, what might be the most surprising statistic of all – Ward 7’s businesses (commercial, industrial & other) contribute 39% more business taxes to the City of Hamilton than the average for all other Wards!

No matter how you look at it – population, residential tax contribution or business tax contribution – Ward 7 is key to the success of Hamilton as a whole.

Until the democratic imbalance created by the current Hamilton Ward boundaries can be fixed (a top priority for me), it will be critical for the newly elected Ward 7 Councillor to aggressively pursue investment in Ward 7 proportional to its status and contribution to the City as a whole.

Sincerely,

John-Paul Danko

John-Paul Danko – Hamilton City Council Candidate

Ward 7 Hamilton Central Mountain

2016 hamilton byelection, byelection, city council, hamilton, john-paul danko, jp danko, danko, ward 7, damin starr, tim gordon, Geraldine McMullen, Hans Zuriel, robert bolton, Philip Bradshaw, doug farraway, gregory lenko, anthony nicholl, howard rabb, uzma qureshi, chris charlton, monique taylor, scott duvall, by election, central mountain, 2016, mcmullen, farraway, lenko, rabb, qureshi, duvall

WHAT YOUR NEIGHBOURS SAY ABOUT JOHN-PAUL DANKO

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Finally a candidate I can get excited about voting for! John-Paul has integrity, vision and a very personal stake in the future of Ward 7.

Dee College Teacher, Resident-Ward 7, Hamilton Central Mountain December 9, 2015

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JP's passion for city planning and infrastructure coupled with his extensive business experience will make him a force to be reconned with on City Council.

Randy Retail Manager, Resident-Ward 7, Hamilton Central Mountain December 9, 2015

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I met you for the first time at my door this afternoon. I like the fact that you are an independent,born and continue to live in the ward and know the issues in the ward.
I firmly believe that we need fresh faces, NEW ideas in this city from top to bottom in order to move forward.
My first impression.....you got my vote on March 21st.

Paul Ward 7 Resident - Hamilton Central Mountain February 1, 2016

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Having worked with John-Paul on a project recently I was most impressed with his willingness to look at a problem from every angle and perspective, this is not a guy who is afraid to think outside the box and advocate for what he believes in.

Duane Civil Engineer, Grimsby December 9, 2015

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I wish John-Paul Danko had been the Councillor for Ward 7 during the ARC, he has already proven he wouldn't have been afraid to get involved with the process, get his hands dirty and work with the community! I will be voting for him on March 21st!

Stefanie Store Manager, Resident-Ward 7, Hamilton Central Mountain December 9, 2015