Striving for Mediocrity

On a council laden with dunces, deadwood, and dullards, it must be some consolation to our elected representatives, that they can at least claim to be less mediocre than Councillor Steve Berman. We all need someone to measure ourselves against, I suppose, and a low bar is so much easier to rise above. Berman’s first year in office was spent mostly consuming oxygen at the table … (more–>)

What would $9 Million Buy Our Town?

Back a few years ago, the 2010-14 council led by Mayor Cooper approved building for the community several important structures and buying for public ownership several properties, any of which — indeed, several of which — could have been built for less than the $9 million cost we taxpayers are burdened with paying for the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI) this term. For example, the new … (more–>)

No Enemies; No Accomplishments

Have you ever read this poem? I hadn’t, until recently. But now it makes sense. Take a moment… No Enemies You have no enemies, you say? Alas! my friend, the boast is poor; He who has mingled in the fray Of duty, that the brave endure, Must have made foes! If you have none, Small is the work that you have done. You’ve hit no traitor … (more–>)

Time and conflicts in mayoral politics

Being a mayor today, even in a small town like Collingwood, takes time. A lot of time. Time that working people are hard pressed to find in their busy days. I know from the experience of three terms that even councillors who work cannot attend every meeting, every event, every activity they are invited to. Mayors have to be on call, doing town business and dealing with … (more–>)

The campaign’s moral compass

Every politician – in fact, every human – has a personal moral compass that helps guide the way they act, debate and vote in office. While a politician’s may not be the same as the compass that they use as civilians, as family members, as employees, or as a friend, it operates similarly to direct their actions. For some, their moral compass is a strong internal … (more–>)

Saunderson’s abject desperation

I’m not sure whether I pity Brian Saunderson most for his lack of principles or for his lack of shame. Or maybe both. Desperation makes people do things that common sense would suggest won’t work. Monday we saw desperation replace both principle and shame when Saunderson made a motion to support the hospital at the end of the meeting. It was an abject, grovelling effort. Embarrassing … (more–>)

A cop on every corner and in every backyard

Councillor Kathy Jeffrey wants to get tough on crime. Serious crimes like throwing birdseed on your deck, not cutting the grass on the boulevard in front of your house, and riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. I suppose and we’re all at risk from imminent social collapse if they aren’t curtailled and the malfeasants brought to justice right away. And charged. Big, hefty, bankruptcy-threatening fines. Getting … (more–>)

Collingwood’s Reichstag fire

The Reichstag was the home of the German parliament until 1933, when it burned down just one month after Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor. The Nazis immediately blamed the fire on the Communists – their main political rivals – and used the event to suppress their opponents, repress opposition and dissent, consolidate power, while deflecting public scrutiny from their more hideous acts. Many historians believe that … (more–>)

Brian’s new campaign slogan

Brian Saunderson needs a new campaign slogan, now he’s officially filed papers in his ill-fated race to become mayor against the hard-working, well-liked, ethical, community-minded, former police chief, John Trude. It’s not good enough for Brian to run on his slogans from last election – “I’ll Show ‘Em Who’s Boss!”, “My Way or the Highway!”, “Why Be Open and Accountable When Secrecy and Deception Get My … (more–>)

Plutarch on listening, and The Block

“[W]e observe that… the great majority of persons …practise speaking before they have acquired the habit of listening.” Plutarch wrote that in his essay De Auditu, or On Listening. Reading those words immediately made me think of that group we have on Collingwood Council who never listen to anyone but themselves and frequently speak without any apparent thought behind their comments: The Block. And, no, I … (more–>)

Jeffrey’s snout back in the trough

Last Monday The Block snuck a motion into the meeting without putting it on the agenda: to allow Councillor Jeffrey to pursue her personal political goals at taxpayer expense, and chase another seat on the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) board – even though she failed to win re-election to the board in May, 2017. At the upcoming FCM meeting in Halifax she can wine and … (more–>)

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