Fixing the Broken Committee System

Some days, the irony just pours from council news. In a story on CollingwoodToday, we learned that council, …will be considering changes to their procedural bylaw, which will include making a recommendation whether they will continue with the existing committee structure, or move to a committee of the whole structure. (Nothing on this change has yet appeared on the Collingwood Connection website, but no surprises there…). … (more–>)

Heritage District Rules Need Repair

A recent story in CollingwoodToday about a new homeowner who got caught in the quagmire of our heritage district rules underscores the need for a thorough overhaul of the rules, a review of how the district is managed, and serious improvements in how the town and the heritage committee communicate information about the zone to both new and existing property owners. And how they treat homeowners. … (more–>)

Utter Disrespect for Local Media and Citizens

Recently, CollingwoodToday ran a six-part series asking all members of council to express — without editing or Berman’s censorship “fact-checking” — their thoughts on what they had done on council, what they hoped to do, what challenges they faced, what they thought was their “enduring” legacy (stop laughing!) and whether they planned to run again. Our mayor — who is expected to set an example for … (more–>)

The Sad Neglect of Collingwood’s Terminals

Whether you want to restore them or tear them down, you would probably like council to do SOMETHING about the decaying, century-old icon*on our waterfront. Anything, in fact. But as usual, council’s approach to actually doing something has been instead to do defer, delay, hire consultants, bloviate, ignore, pretend it doesn’t matter, and then pretend to want public input. The town’s website says: The Town of … (more–>)

Yet Another WTF Were They Smoking Decision from Council

Council has decided to close Maple Street to vehicular traffic at the end of this month, to make the street safe for bicycles as a one-month trial. Yes, I’m serious: they’re closing Maple Street, and it’s being done without even the pretense of consulting with the residents. But, in their typical manner of secrecy and deception, council will ask for residents’ feedback on the town’s website … (more–>)

Are Cwood’s Symbolic Gestures Mere Platitudes?

I’ve been wondering what the purpose is of the declaration that now starts every council and standing committee meeting. It’s a symbolic gesture, of course, but I cannot fathom what it’s meant to accomplish or who its audience is. The most recent declaration reads: For more than 15,000 years the First Nations walked upon, and cared for, the lands we now call home: Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Ojibwe, … (more–>)

Council Wants to Give Away Our Parkland to Strangers

On July 29, 2020, Councillor Jeffrey (the Queen of the Unlimited Expense Account), seconded by Councillor Hamelin made a motion to give away a very large piece of Harbourview Park to a group that few if any had heard of before that date. GIVE AWAY OUR PUBLIC WATERFRONT PROPERTY! There was no public consultation, residents were not asked whether we felt handing our parkland to an … (more–>)

Failures in Cwood’s Typography and Design

Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form. Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style (Hartley & Marks Publishers, 2001) I’m neither a graphic designer nor a typographer, but I spent many, many years working with design and type, as well as designers and typographers, enough to acquire at least a patina of their arts. I’ve read and studied them enough … (more–>)

Chris Potts Nails It

Nailed it! In his latest blog post, former Town of Collingwood employee, Chris Potts writes about our council’s ill-conceived plan to hire a “climate change specialist” to add to the already egregiously expensive and bloated town payroll that taxpayers are burdened with: The Town of Collingwood seems to just hire and hire and hire, the next time we see this the position will be a coordinator, … (more–>)

More Secrecy, More Deception, More Conflicts

Once again our council scurried behind closed doors to discuss town business that should have been discussed in the open. But openness was never a watchword for this council. However, secretive and deceptive seem appropriate adjectives. Two of the three items on Friday’s (June 11) “special” council meeting were about or related to the job-and-revenue-killing interim control bylaw (ICBL) that was passed in late April without … (more–>)

Saunderson’s Job-Killing ICBL Continued

James Madison, one of the US’s Founding Fathers said that a government “…without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a tragedy or a farce, or perhaps both.” Sure reads like someone describing our own council and their refusal to listen to the public during their discussion on the recent interim control bylaw (ICBL) that killed growth, development, and jobs … (more–>)

Quidnuncs on Council

A quidnunc is “a small-minded person, focused on petty things.” That’s how Gord Hume describes them in chapter five of his book, Taking Back Our Cities (Municipal World, 2011). Hume adds, “We have far too many of them on municipal councils across Canada.” I wonder what he’d say if he learned we had nine of them on ours? Hume continues: It’s the councillor who pops up … (more–>)

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