Collingwood: are you fed up yet?
If you follow our local municipal politics, you should be fed up. Fed up with the secrecy, the back room deals, the unrestricted spending, the lack of public consultation, the ruin of our reputation and our relationships with our neighbours. This has to stop. Your vote this fall can bring about much-needed change.
Collingwood was once a regional leader, a progressive community. Collingwood used to be respected by our municipal neighbours. We had warm relationships with them. Collingwood used to balance its quality of life with its taxation. Collingwood used to have control over its spending and its debt. Collingwood used to put its people first, not its politicians. Not this term. This term we have seen:
- Council and town administration put up roadblocks to prevent our hospital from starting its much-needed redevelopment for two years, starting in 2016. As a result, redevelopment has been delayed up to ten years! Trying to overcome those roadblocks cost the hospital $200,000 in legal and consulting fees and cost taxpayers more than $50,000 to oppose the hospital.
- Council sold our electricity utility to an out-of-province, for-profit corporation without even one single meeting to present the reason why, or to ask public opinion.
- Council sold our airport to a private company without one single public meeting to present the reason why, or to ask our opinion.
- No one has presented a business model or shown any analysis as to why the sale of our publicly-owned assets is good for the town. Most of the money we will receive from these sales will go to pay the costs of an unnecessary judicial inquiry this council approved.
- Council has made all its major decisions about the town and public assets in closed-door meetings instead of in the public where issues should be discussed. There were almost 50 closed-door meetings about the electricity utility, almost 20 about the airport, and several more about opposing our hospital.
- Taxes have gone up and because of poor governance and poor fiscal management will continue to rise to meet out-of-control expenses and excessive hiring costs. For example, IT department costs have quadrupled in the past year! In the last four years, your taxes have risen four times. And every time they go up, council has voted itself a pay raise!
- A recently-released study shows the town needs to spend $20-$25 million in the next few years to accommodate all the new staff being hired. How can taxpayers afford that?
Collingwood deserves better!
We need to support our hospital and medical community to get the redevelopment going here – and not see it move to a more welcoming community outside our borders.
We need a council that makes its decision in public, not in secrecy.
Taxpayers cannot afford to keep shelling out like this. We need to control spending and stop hiring new staff. We need to manage the rapidly rising debt this council has burdened us with – a debt that will last generations.
If you are fed up with this council and want new leadership, if you want more ethical politicians and open, accountable government, and want a sustainable fiscal policy for the town, then elect Ian Chadwick as your next deputy mayor. I was on council for three terms from 2003-11. Before that I owned and ran a local retail business, and before that I was in local media for a dozen years. I’ve served on local boards and committees, volunteered for service clubs and the humane society. I currently sit on the county’s museum, archives and library board, and the South Georgian Bay source water protection committee. And I’m communications director for a non-profit associations that advocates for municipal water and utilities.
I know the processes, I have the experience, I have the passion to help return us to open, ethical and sustainable government. Give me the opportunity to help fix Collingwood: vote for me as your next Deputy Mayor.
Collingwood deserves better. You can help us accomplish that this election.
For more information see: www.ianchadwick.com/election2018