In a recent story in CollingwoodToday, Councillor Jeffrey is reported shitting on the democratic process. Rather than respecting a previous decision of council as policy requires, she chose to bring back a vote to add another staff person to our already overstaffed townhall. In doing so, I am confident she was well aware that she was voting to further burden taxpayers, simply because she didn’t like the way the vote went when she wasn’t at the table. Coun. Kathy Jeffery … click below for more!
Council is still eyeing a massive hike to Collingwood property taxes, proving they lack any concern about the problems facing seniors and others on fixed incomes, low-income earners, and the many working-class people simply trying to make ends meet in an increasingly expensive town. Every tax increase, every utility increase, every user fee increase makes their lives harder. No one at the council table seems to have the spine to stand up to staff demands for more money, more employees, … click below for more!
A recent story in CollingwoodToday has the headline, “Town considering increases to development charges.” Everyone knows that increasing the development charges (DCs) adds to the cost of a new home, making housing even more expensive and less affordable. Right now, it’s extremely difficult to find anything even close to “affordable” in Collingwood. Apparently, the town wants to make it even harder and more expensive to buy new homes… unless, of course, you’re already a millionaire with money to burn.* The … click below for more!
Road salt is a huge concern in Ontario for its destructive effects on the environment and the infrastructure. Progressive municipalities across the province have been exploring alternatives for years, cutting back, looking for safer ways to manage winter roads and sidewalks. But Collingwood? Try typing “salt management plan” into the search bar of the town’s user-hostile website. Nada. You don’t get any documents; you have to wade through more of the town’s poorly-designed click-fest web pages, trying to find simple … click below for more!
There was a moment when I was reading The Iliad that I thought to myself, “This is it. This is what the epic is really all about.” Somehow it all seemed to come down to one particular scene and all the rest was just leading up to it. Why I had that epiphany, I’ll explain in due course. But what struck me is that the real message of this epic poem was almost hidden by all the thousands of lines … click below for more!
The final piece in the series in CollingwoodToday begins with an egregious error: “Collingwood’s Town Council, elected one year ago on Oct. 24, 2022, is celebrating their first year in office as a group.” Council’s first year in office began with their inauguration on Nov. 15, 2022. Before that, they had no official status. But local media, eh? Maybe I’m being too picayune to expect accuracy from them, but where TF is the editor? The final part of the series … click below for more!
The third part of the series in Collingwood Today asked members of council what “surprises they’ve experienced so far in their terms.” As a former councillor, I appreciate how stepping into the role for the first time is a bit of a shock; it takes a while to learn everything, everyone, all those policies, bylaws, processes, reports. And, most importantly: how to stand up to staff and represent the residents. Being on council is far more demanding, complex, and challenging … click below for more!
Hey there, conservatives (especially you conservative males!), let’s talk about the Barbie movie. Yes, I know nothing makes you want to take your AR-15 to the local Toys ‘R Us for a well-deserved shoot-up than a film about a girl’s toy (please don’t do it!). I mean, how dare anyone make a movie without guns, car chases, explosions, bullet storms, babes in skimpy outfits, and a beefy male action hero like Jason Statham or Daniel Craig to deal mayhem and … click below for more!
Part two of the series in Collingwood Today about our council’s first year asked “how councillors felt this council has set itself apart from previous Collingwood councils.” As with the previous piece, the article brought more face-palming moments as some of the council tried to justify their place at the public trough. In the article, DM Fryer is quoted saying “councillors attending many more community events, such as a regular spot at the Collingwood Farmers’ Market, this time around” sets … click below for more!
I did a few facepalms while reading CollingwoodToday’s four-part piece on Collingwood Council’s first year in office. CwoodToday approached each of them with questions “about their accomplishments so far, to how this council feels they’ve set themselves apart, and to surprises they’ve experienced so far as elected officials.” No similar coverage was in the increasingly irrelevant Collingwood Connection. Given the ineffective communication techniques the town currently has to reach residents (not to mention the abysmally awkward, user-hostile website…) it is … click below for more!
A story in CollingwoodToday says the latest draft of the town budget puts a 4.25% increase on property taxes for 2024! WTF is council thinking, adding more costs to residents during a period of high inflation? People are already struggling with rising costs for food, electricity (the Saunderson-privatized EPCOR got a 5.23% rate hike this fall*), gas (vehicle and natural), water, clothing, mortgages, transit, lumber, vehicles, and just about everything else. A property tax hike this size will send our already-steep … click below for more!
Late last month, council was presented with a revised, six-page council-staff relations policy, which, according to the story in CollingwoodToday, “seeks to formalize how council and staff should interact with each other.” The story notes the first draft of the policy, a 14-page document, was presented to council in mid-September, but approval was deferred while councillors considered if it meant their impending emasculation.* Councillors Jeffrey and Doherty, and DM Fryer expressed concerns about the policy when it was first presented, … click below for more!
Let me start with a few basic, uncomfortable truths about housing. It’s a myth that municipal politicians can, without a coordinated and regional approach that includes private developers and upper-tier levels as well as stakeholders and advocates, solve anything related to housing. And even then, it requires the involvement of provincial and sometimes the federal governments (as well as possible funding from them). Affordable housing is one of the biggest and most challenging issues for municipalities across Canada. A lot … click below for more!
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Thus begins the 1897 translation by Samuel Butler of Homer’s Odyssey. It’s just one of more than 60 translations of the book into English since the first in 1615, including one by T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) in 1932. Odysseus — Ulysses in the Latin form — mythical king of Ithaca, is a complex protagonist; sometimes hero, … click below for more!