City of Hamilton Newsletter Issue No.01 April 2010
Contents: 01 Mayor’s welcome message
02 Our side of the story 04 New logo for Corporation of Hamilton 06 Councillor profile 08 Slave Ship Commemorated by Sculpture 10 City Hall celebrates 50th anniversary
Rt. Wor. Charles Gosling Mayor of Hamilton City Hall, Hamilton.
Welcome to the first edition of The Cityzen, the City’s twice yearly newsletter. This is my first opportunity to speak to you via this publication as the Mayor of Hamilton. It is a great honour to be elected to this position and my term of office has been, to say the least, an interesting period so far. Much has happened since the last newsletter was issued and we aim to bring you fully up to date in this latest edition. 2010 promises to be a memorable one for the City of Hamilton. You can read about the events surrounding the un-veiling of: ‘We Arrive’ – the sculpture in Barr’s Bay Park commemorating the arrival of the slaves from the Brig Enterprize to the shores of Hamilton. City Hall celebrates its 50th Anniversary and we have exciting news about the launch of a fresh, new-look for the City. In this edition, we also start a new series profiling Council Members to help you to get to know a bit
more about them and to start off we have an interview with Councillor Marshall Minors. As the year continues new opportunities and challenges arise - and the City is fairly well placed to meet them. As we migrate through the recession, there are exciting new
of the Municipalities Act and the proposed absorption of both municipalities’ operations into various Government ministries. You can find out more about my position on this matter on page 2. Despite the uncertain times ahead, the Corporation is
“there are exciting new developments ahead for the City of Hamilton. At the same time, the Corporation itself is facing some major challenges.” developments ahead for the City of Hamilton. At the same time, the Corporation itself is facing some major challenges. As you are no doubt aware, the future of both the Corporations of Hamilton and St Georges are currently under threat while we await the outcome of the overseas consultants’ $800,000 review
carrying on with business as usual. Our entire focus continues to be on the wellbeing of the City, and the people who live and work here.
STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 4
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Our side of the story The abolition of the Corporation of Hamilton There has been much speculation recently over the future of both the Corporation of Hamilton and St George following the Government’s announcement to reform the Municipalities Act. Last summer, then Minister without Portfolio The Hon Walter Roban JP, MP declared Government’s intention to ‘repeal the Act’ which dates back to 1923 - effectively to get rid of both the Corporations of Hamilton and St George and have its own ministries take over and absorb their respective operations. In its January 2008 Throne Speech, the Government promised to overhaul the Corporations, praising both for having served their municipalities well, but commenting further that they were outdated and did not reflect modern governance. A review of the framework and “amendments to the Municipalities Act, 1923 will be considered to modernize the Corporations, and to
better serve the people” was promised. In October that year, both Corporations presented a document to the Government outlining major reforms they wanted to make to the Municipalities Act. Other than a letter acknowledging receipt of this document, all requests
by which an appointed consultant could begin “the oversight, management and implementation of the Municipalities of Bermuda into the Government of Bermuda within one year.” The Government has now appointed a small local firm and one of America’s
The Government denies that it plans to abolish the Corporation. Yet the remit of the consultants carrying out the review includes the instructions to: ‘Seamlessly absorb operations performed by the municipalities, transfer operations to various Government ministries and to oversee the implementation
“The Mayor is strongly opposed to the abolition of the Corporation, arguing that reform rather then abolition is in the best interests of the thousands of people who live and work in Hamilton, as well as the Corporation’s 200 employees.” for consultation and meetings were ignored. In June 2009, a letter from The Cabinet Office was sent to each of the Corporations, advising both organisations that the Central Policy Unit and the Member for Constituency#1 had been through an exhaustive review - which surprisingly did not involve any consulting with either Municipality and would now, from their advice, start the process
largest law partnerships as consultants to carry out a review of the Corporation and produce a report on “reform”. This process is currently underway (at an initial cost of $800,000) and due to be completed later this year. Both Corporations are conducting ‘business as usual’, but a question mark hangs over their respective futures.
of the plan until the transfer is complete.’ Hamilton’s Mayor - Charles Gosling - is concerned by the inclusion of such terminology within the “review” instructions set out in the Request for Proposal; “It indicates that the abolition of the Corporation is a foregone conclusion, that the decision has already been made and the Government is simply going through the
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motions of a review before taking over the Corporation’s role in providing services to the City of Hamilton and managing its $500 million worth of assets.” The Corporation continues to seek clarification from the Government on this matter and recently held a public meeting to discuss the situation. The Mayor is strongly opposed to the abolition of the Corporation, arguing that reform rather than abolition is in the best interests of the thousands of people who live and work in Hamilton, as well as the Corporation’s 200 employees. “The role of city government is vital to the smooth running of the City of Hamilton. We are able to respond quickly and appropriately to local issues. In contrast, central government has a specific role to respond to national issues affecting the entire country. Quite simply, it’s very difficult to deal with local issues from central government.” The Mayor disagrees with the Government’s claim that the Corporation ‘does not reflect good modern governance’ and cites some major changes that have already taken place to the way it operates. “One of the criticisms the Government levelled at the Corporation was that it met in secret and the public had no knowledge of how or why decisions were
made. Since November 2009, all Corporation Board meetings have been opened up to the public – so people can see for themselves how the organisation operates. As we introduce further changes, the public will be able to get involved with the decisionmaking process, ask questions, make comments and presentations prior to the board discussing and voting on an issue.” In its recommendations to the Government, nine months prior to last July’s election, the Corporation proposed expanding the franchise, “to include any individual who is on the parliamentary register, and lives in the city boundaries to vote in Corporation elections. Eligibility would no longer be tied to outdated factors such as ownership of property, marital status or taxation as it is at present,” explains the Mayor, “but due to a lack of action from Government, we have been unable to move forward with this, and so one more election was determined by what we all recognise as an incomplete franchise.” While he acknowledges that there is always room for improvement in terms of the way the Corporation operates, Mayor Gosling points out that, “We have already reached a similar level of transparency as Government. We are now looking at ways in which
interested members of the public can participate in a set format in the decision making process of the board. We are hoping to introduce this in April. Our members have signed their commitment to follow a published Code of Conduct (www.cityofhamilton.bm Document Centre) and given to their fellow members and the Corporation Secretary a Declaration of their Interests. The Corporation has its financial statements audited each year and published in the local paper without any qualifications being added by the auditors.” Exactly how the abolition of the Corporation would affect employees and tax payers remains a matter for concern. “Overall, the Corporation has done a good job. Budgets have been adhered to, we are debt free and the city infrastructure is in good shape, but if the take-over goes ahead, then it is possible that some services will be duplicated and ultimately this will be at a cost to tax payers.” Mayor Gosling summarises; “The Government needs to make its intentions clear. This situation is of great concern, not only for the people of Hamilton, but for the whole of Bermuda. If the Corporation goes - local residents will no longer have a voice. Having the Corporation in place is a basic
part of the structure of modern western democracy. The double tier of both central and city government helps to keep a certain level of checks and balances in place. By creating a team of Bermudian individuals from both sides - not an American group of consultants who are literally foreign to the way Bermuda’s laws, culture and heritage work, the Municipalities Act can be examined fully so that reforms are brought about. With appropriate changes made and better policies in place, the Corporation is well positioned to continue doing what it does best - serving the City of Hamilton successfully.”
What do you think? If you have comments, opinions or questions on this issue then please write to The Mayor, City Hall, Hamilton or send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mark your letter or email: ‘Municipalities Act Review.’ Editor’s Comment: Since writing this article Minister Roban did respond to the Mayor saying, “The Government is committed to the repeal of The Municipalities Act 1923.” Shortly after the release of this letter the Minister responsible for the Municipality “review” was replaced. It is not known if there is any connection.
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Thecityzen WELCOME FROM PAGE 1
Despite the uncertain times ahead, the Corporation is carrying on with business as usual. Our entire focus continues to be on the wellbeing of the City, and the people who live and work here. As part of our plans to achieve this, we have made some
significant changes to the way the Corporation operates. We now have greater transparency, having opened up our monthly board meetings to the public last November. People are now able to participate in town hall meetings, and shortly at committee level. The Corporation’s decisions affect
all constituents, so it makes for good governance to make the process more inclusive. We will continue to enhance the infrastructure of the City, developing plans to better handle increasing demands. We take great pride in our City and are committed to serving the people of Hamilton
New logo for Corporation of Hamilton A brand new logo is set to appear throughout the City of Hamilton later this year. Outlining the City’s skyline in blue, with the tag line ‘Bermuda at its best’ the logo captures the essence of Hamilton - featuring clearly recognisable landmarks - both old and new. Mayor Charles Gosling explains: “The new logo will help to better identify the services that the Corporation of Hamilton delivers. It reflects the City’s warm, welcoming nature and helps to positively portray the image of the City, demonstrating what it is that people recognise and love about Hamilton.”
Above: New City of Hamilton Brand Marks
“A brand is an important part of any city’s identity. There are certain iconic features that are identifiable and really capture the heartbeat of the city. In New York it’s the Statue of Liberty, in London it’s Big Ben, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, while Sydney is immediately associated with its Opera House. Similarly, in Hamilton’s case, we have our own impressive skyline which includes the City Hall, the Cathedral and the House of Parliament.”
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The new logo is part of the Corporation’s fresh new image and represents its commitment to continual improvement and modernisation. It conveys emotional and historic aspects of the city’s personality while the tag line reinforces its positive image. Mayor Gosling says, “The logo is part of our new corporate identity which communicates and celebrates the Corporation’s new direction. The new brand or visual identity for the City defines who we are and what we do. With its simple, distinctive look and feel it promotes instant public recognition. Hamilton is a small community with a rich history and while aware of our past - the City is looking forward to re-development, commercial growth and residential revitalisation.”
“It reflects the City’s warm, welcoming nature and helps to positively portray the image of the City, demonstrating what it is that people recognise and love about Hamilton.”
Friday, May 7th 5:00pm-8:00pm ARt in tHE DARk
FREE Event to take place around the City of Hamilton bringing arts, family, food, and fun back to the Heart of the City For more information please find us at www.cityhall.bm
Stroll the city at sunset and enjoy a citywide happy hour at participating bars and restaurants. View and buy artwork while mingling with friends.
Saturday, May 8th 10:00am-2:00pm ARt MARkEt
BSOA will be hosting a craft fair on City Hall’s front lawn. Buy all your mother’s day gifts - jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture and more.
Sunday, May 9th 2:00pm-5:00pm ARt in tHE PARk
In conjunction with the Department of Cultural Affairs join us at Par-la-Ville Park for an afternoon of music, performance artists, still art, food, children’s crafts. Bring your mom, she’ll love it too!
“We believe the new logo is a strong visual representation of the City’s heritage, values and connections. Logos have to work in many ways - from usage on large banners to business cards. It has to look good both in colour and black and white, to stand alone or to work with a text tag line - and in this sense we feel that our new logo ticks all the boxes.”
Throughout the weekend take the self guided Art Walk
The new Hamilton skyline logo will be applied to a full range of materials from stationery, print items, publicity materials, vehicles, Corporation clothing, uniforms, signage, the website and all advertising. The new look branding is a move away from the Corporation’s original logo (the crest) which is a more traditional look. However, the Corporation will retain the existing logo for various legal documents and contracts. The new logo has been designed by local agency AAC Saatchi & Saatchi who worked closely with the Corporation to create the fresh, bold new look.
Did you know: All City lawns and gardens are weeded several times a week, and mowed at greater heights to keep weed growth down. And we haven’t used an ounce of pesticide in more than seven years. That’s clean.
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Councillor Profile/Spotlight on: Councillor Marshall Minors
Marshall Minors Education: Elliott Primary, Bermuda Technical Institute; Kitson College, Leeds, England; St. Mary’s University, Canada; Technical University of Nova Scotia Qualifications OND Engineering Technology Employment Bermuda Building Services – Owner/Managing Director Age: 56 Family: Married, 2 daughters Interests: Sailing
This is my first term in office and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve always been a civil servant and wanted to continue making a contribution to the community. My background is in infrastructure. I was with the Department of Works and Engineering for 20 years and then went on to become the General Manager at the airport. I have a real interest in the development of the infrastructure of the City of Hamilton. I felt my knowledge and skills could help make a useful contribution to the development of the City, so I put myself forward for election and here I am. In this role, you need to be a people person with good listening skills. My task is to find out what the key issues are, put appropriate plans in place to address these issues and assemble a team to get the work done. We are lucky in that we have great people working for the City who are motivated
and interested in what they are doing.
transport and go anywhere they want on the island.
I am part of the Development Committee which looks at the future of the City. We comment on and review applications for new developments. We are also responsible for the re-development of the Waterfront. I’m also on the Infrastructure Committee which is responsible for roads, lighting, garbage collection, sewage disposal, general infrastructure maintenance and operational issues. I get great personal gratification from improving the environment and helping to enhance the experience of people living, working in or visiting the City.
I think it’s important that people take an interest in the Corporation of Hamilton’s activities. It’s our City and we all have a say in how it functions, how it looks, how it is maintained. The City should truly reflect Bermudian people. The only way to guarantee this is to get involved. There are lots of ways to have your say - you can vote if you are eligible, you can even put your name forward as a nominee and run for office.
I enjoy all the projects I’m involved in though I guess one of the most exciting at present is the Water front development and the plans for a new transportation hub. Located at Albouy’s Point, this will be a central processing point for cruise ship visitors coming in from Dockyard. From here they will be able to access local
If you are interested in learning more about the Corporation of Hamilton, please visit our website www.cityofhamilton.bm for up to date information on all our activities and objectives. Or come and talk to us directly - we’d love to hear from you
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Some amazing facts you might not know about Hamilton. Our City is bigger than the Louvre.
People in Perth, Australia look up to us.
At a solid one-quarter square mile, Hamilton is more than four times bigger than the world’s most famous art museum. But beyond size, we’re very much alike. For starters, our City and Paris’ le Musée du Louvre both date back to the 1790s. We both hold treasures that people from around the world come to see. And we’re both small communities with a huge daily influx of workers and visitors. As such, we have to ensure that all our services run perfectly at peak. We do that well, and we’re working around the clock to do it even better.
They have to; we’re Perth’s northern antipodes. If you dig down from Perth through the center of the Earth, you’ll come up right in Victoria Park. G’day mate.
We’re scattered. It’s right there in our City motto: Sparsa Collegit, Latin for bringing together the scattered. The residents of our City, just like the visitors to our City, hail from many continents, nations, cultures, languages, religions, disciplines and experiences. We’ve got plenty of differences; we know it and we love it. It makes the history and culture we share even more valuable. It also reminds us every day that we have to listen carefully to each other, and be sure our City is meeting people’s needs.
We thrive on criticism. Honestly.
Hamilton is a City with plenty of vision and plans for growth and development. We know that great decisions are made when people enquire of each other, speak freely We have more parks per and are heard clearly. Our Council resident than any other city invites ideas, welcomes suggestions, in the world. and pledges openness as we who We love our open spaces; in our City live and work here together address of just 700 residents we have seven parks. (If New Yorkers wanted the same pressing issues with practical ratio, they’d have to have 16,000 parks.) solutions and far-reaching plans. You don’t have to visit all seven of We’re prepared to make good Hamilton’s parks in one day, but many of us do! From the ramparts and tunnels decisions that will last a long time. So join us: all of our meetings are of Fort Hamilton (the guardian of our City) to the bandstand of Victoria Park, open. If you miss one, you’ll find there are a thousand reasons here in everything that happened online. town to stay outdoors.
Hamilton City council is growing at a rate of 0% per annum. Since 1795 when we held our first elections, our City has been run by a freely elected council of one mayor, three aldermen and five councillors. We’ve never seen a need to make it bigger. Our entire city staff—the experts who run all the City services in the capital—number fewer than 200. Small team for a job that’s getting bigger every year. That’s why our council is reaching out to residents, and beyond them to every Bermudian with a stake in our Hamilton’s future. We want you involved.
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Slave Ship Commemorated by Sculpture A bronze sculpture commemorating the arrival of Bermuda’s last known slaves has been unveiled in Barr’s Bay Park. On February 11, 1835, a ship called ‘Enterprize’ was on its way to Charleston, South Carolina when it was caught in a storm and blown off course. It was forced to dock in Bermuda. Aboard were 78 people men, women and children, all of whom faced a life of slavery.
Below: “We Arrive” statue at Barr’s Bay Park
“I thought long and hard about the project before committing to anything, wondering how best to depict the slaves arriving in Bermuda,” says Mr Trott. “I imagined the thoughts and feelings they might have had as they disembarked from the ship at Barr’s Bay. The end result ‘We Arrive’ is a semi-abstract wrap-around sculpture, but the figures are recognisable.
“Each figure’s head is tilted in a way that indicates their range of emotions. I felt that some folk might have been relieved to Slavery had been abolished have arrived in Bermuda, while in Bermuda a year earlier and some would have felt dejected once it became known locally - imagining a life of slavery - so that there were slaves on board, these are the figures that are a writ was issued and the slaves looking down. Others must were offered the chance to have felt joy and happiness on continue on to Charleston seeing a country as beautiful as or live a free life in Bermuda. Bermuda. They would perhaps All of them except one woman be excited about the new and her five children chose lives waiting for them and are to remain on the island. depicted with their heads up – as if looking towards the future. The Corporation of Hamilton commissioned local artist “The work took place bit by bit and sculptor Chesley Trott to over several months,” explains produce a memorial to those Mr Trott. “First, I came up with who were freed 175 years ago. the idea and developed the
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Right: Mayor Charles Gosling, Artist Chesley Trott and Ross Smith from The Bermudian Heritage Museum
Left: Attendees at the We Arrive Ceremony
Below: Local African Dancers
concept. Initially, I made a model in wax - or a maquette as it is known. The model was then sent to a foundry in upstate New York where an enlarged version of it was created in clay.” Mr Trott travelled to the USA to work on the eight foot high clay piece. Once he was happy with the clay model, the foundry then cast his sculpture in bronze. The finished sculpture was shipped
back to Bermuda and installed in its new location. Mr Trott says, “To see the sculpture being unveiled at the special ceremony in Barr’s Bay Park was a very moving experience for me. It took place in the evening and with the lights shining on it - it was a beautiful sight. It was a very satisfying project to have worked on.”
There has been a great response to the ‘We Arrive’ sculpture so far according to Mr Trott. “Everybody seems to be singing its praises and people like it. It tells a nice story and it’s an unusual piece. I’m very proud to have worked on this project which records such an important historical event.”
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City Hall celebrates 50th anniversary The City Hall in Hamilton is 50 years old and is spending the whole of 2010 celebrating! Events kicked off with a special ceremony on February 11 to mark 50 years since it first opened its doors to the public. For the last five decades, the iconic building has provided a centre for arts and culture in Hamilton. It is home to the administrative offices of the Corporation of Hamilton, two art galleries and the theatre. In his commemorative speech at the special anniversary event, Mayor Charles Gosling commented on the important role played by the building over the years. “The City Hall Theatre stage has seen many performances from ballet to jazz, one man shows, hip hop and timeless classics to new Bermuda playwrights staging their works here for the first time. The theatre has been a place for Bermuda’s residents and visitors to come together to experience some of the best talent Bermuda has to offer and to delight in the international
artists featured in the Bermuda Festivals. City Hall also plays proud host to the Bermuda Society of Arts and the Bermuda National Gallery.” The original location of the Town Hall was on the second floor of the Customs Warehouse on the corner of Front and Court Streets (where No. 3 Supreme Court is located today.) In 1933, a Miss Catherine Tucker bequeathed a considerable sum of money to the Corporation to build the City Hall in memory of her father George Somers Tucker, Alderman and former Speaker of The House of Assembly. However, the outbreak of the Second World War meant that construction didn’t begin until the 1950’s.
Mayor of Hamilton, Rt. Wor. Charles Gosling, Governor of Bermuda Sir Richard Gozney and Geoffrey Bird, First City Engineer.
Mayor Charles Gosling said, “The 50th anniversary celebrations are set to continue with new exhibits in the City Hall’s foyer every other month focusing on the building’s past present and future. Everyone is invited to drop by and learn a little more about this landmark building which is an integral part of our community.”
Local firm Onions and Bouchard were appointed and Chief Architect Wil Onions designed the City Hall to include certain features of a traditional Bermuda cottage, while modelling the building on Stockholm’s City Hall. The current City Hall was
originally opened on February 11, 1960 by Governor Sir Julian Gascoigne who cut the ribbon at a special ceremony. Built on the site of the former Hamilton Hotel, the City Hall is constructed from Bermuda limestone block. It is one of the last large buildings in Bermuda to make extensive use of local cedar - examples of which can be seen in its impressive front doors, staircase balustrade and flooring in the Mayor’s parlour.
Ed Christopher, Hamilton Town Crier
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Tentative schedule for 2010 City events DATE
Summer Sundays in the Park (Classics, Soul and R&B)
3pm – 8pm
Four Seasons – Art Festival
May 7th – 11th
Summer Sundays in the Park (Island Flavors)
3pm – 8pm
Summer Sundays in the Park (Rock n Roll)
3pm – 8pm
Summer Sundays in the Park (Gospel)
3pm – 8pm
Four Seasons – Family Festival
Summer Sundays in the Park (Reggae)
3pm – 8pm
Four Seasons – Fashion Festival
City Scavenger Hunt
New Years Eve in the City
8pm until late
Please visit our website regularly as new events are added constantly – www.cityofhamilton.bm Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
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We are a cityâ€Ś â€Ś in which each citizen has a voice; in which the needs of the community are promptly addressed; in which the efforts of our workers, the generosity of our volunteers and the energy of our entrepreneurs are supported daily; in which the beauty of nature is treasured and protected; in which our goals and achievements are openly and willingly shared; in which our differences are respected â€” even celebrated; in which change is welcomed while tradition is respected; in which honest enquiry is invited and appreciated; in which meaningful jobs are created and livelihoods sustained; in which city staff have the knowledge and the authority to serve fully; in which programs are creatively designed and enthusiastically delivered; in which service is continuously improved; in which the Mayor and members of Council work as a team in open and transparent collaboration with those who live, work and play here; and in which the machinery of City government runs smoothly and cost effectively in the service of all.
We call this city Hamilton. We are Charles Gosling, Glen Smith, John Harvey, Pamela Ferreira, Walter Cross, Marshall Minors, Pamela Quarterly, Nicholas Swan, Dennis Tucker and the 130 dedicated professionals who work for the Corporation of Hamilton. www.cityofhamilton.bm
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