Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina talked to CBC Hamilton executive producer Roger Gillespie Friday about the mayor's plans to run again, the unanimous council vote to censure him, civility at city hall and his priorities. A few excerpts:
Are you going to run for re-election?
"It’s premature to say what I’ll do for the 2014 election but I have no reason not to consider that I would run again."
"I’ve taken a pummeling about who I am, and my character and all of that, which has led some people to believe that I’ve been scared into a corner and I’ll just quietly walk into the sunset."
What are your plans for the rest of your term in office?
"It's an important critical time in the city's history. Things have changed and I intend to see that those things which have been put in to motion continue. There are some other serious issues that were always part of my priorities like a nutritious breakfast for all children. The other thing is vulnerable seniors."
Are you a polarizing figure?
"Something has to change and that means I have to confront a lot of situations and try to make them change. What you’re seeing is the reaction from people who may not want to change against the person trying to make change, and I accept that."
How do you explain that you were censured by city council?
"I can't. If you asked me what the censure was, I'm not sure I could tell you."
Is there a different way to manage conflict, to conduct those conversations?
"The example I am going to give you is the (Mohammed) Ali/ (George) Forman fight in the jungle. Ali played rope a dope. He laid back on the ropes and let Foreman pound him. The outcome was Foreman lying on the canvas, Ali wins."
What is your commitment to improving civility at city council?
"We have a noted higher level of decorum in the council meetings. You don't confront councillors. If they happen to say unfortunate things you don't agree with sometimes you just have to sit there and let it be said. The public will make its mind up in the next election."