Propaganda?

Last term, when council sent out community newsletters to keep residents informed, the illiterati screamed these were ‘propaganda’ and a waste of tax dollars.* Now this council has done the same thing and these nattering nabobs of negativity have raised their voices and screamed… nothing. Their silence is deafening. Well, they wouldn’t want to embarrass their friends on council, would they? Even if this council repeats the same practice as … (more–>)

My BIA ACM Speech

This is the speech I gave at the BIA-ACO all-candidates’ meeting, Wednesday evening. The question all candidates had to answer was, “What is your vision to ensure that Downtown Collingwood thrives as a vital economic and cultural part of our community?” We had two minutes to respond. Here’s what I said: For our downtown to thrive, it needs people. The town can help bring them here. … (more–>)

Green initiatives for next term

Collingwood should be in the forefront for green initiatives in Ontario, not lagging behind. There’s no reason we should not be leaders in exploring new ways to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce our carbon footprint, promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly strategies, and reduce our energy costs. These will be some of my top goals for the 2014-18 council, if I’m re-elected. In the energy world, we have a … (more–>)

Twenty years of strategic planning

Twenty years ago – May, 1994 – the Town of Collingwood started a community-based strategic plan. That report was released in October, 1995. Then in October, 2000, Vision 2020 released its Blueprint Collingwood. These two documents are generally forgotten by the general public today, but they have been the basis of planning, of policy and strategic targets by councils and staff ever since. No particular council or … (more–>)

Collingwood: 2114

I had one of those odd dreams recently; a crazy mix of future and past, where rotary dial phones and smart phones co-existed, where past and future intersected. A retro-future dream. I was in Collingwood, an odd Collingwood, but it was still my home town: recognizable,familiar,  but also changed. Modernized in striking ways, old-fashioned in others. A calendar  told me it was 2114. It looked a … (more–>)

The Enemies List

Canadians barely lifted an eyebrow in surprise when it was revealed that our Prime Minister had an “enemies list” compiled as a warning to newly-minted cabinet ministers laying out who they can’t trust. I mean, we’ve lived with Harper as leader long enough not be shocked by anything that seems petty, autocratic, paranoid or Republican. So what if the list was so long it had to … (more–>)

The Municipal Act and Recorded Votes

A recent motion was made to make all council votes recorded votes. This has generated some confusion among council watchers about voting and both what we can and cannot do. The Municipal Act makes it clear that calling for a recorded vote is every councillor’s right. It is not staff’s right. See Section 246: Recorded vote 246. (1) If a member present at a meeting at … (more–>)

Should we sell naming rights to public property?

I was recently forwarded a link to a blog post about selling naming rights for public buildings to corporations. The author writes, Last week, I wrote about “the halo effect” on events, buildings, and properties that have had multiple names, all of which have been commercial. The other area we often advise on is the sponsorship naming rights of iconic buildings “owned” by the community or named … (more–>)

Council’s 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my council gave to me: An interim CAO. On the second day of Christmas, my council gave to me: Two tax hikes, And an interim CAO. On the third day of Christmas, my council gave to me: Three sole-sourced contracts, two tax hikes, And an interim CAO. On the fourth day of Christmas, my council gave to me: Four integrity … (more–>)

Council’s First Year Reviewed

As we come close to the end of 2015, it’s time to take stock of what your Collingwood Council has accomplished in its first year in office. Let me start by saying it’s up to you to decide whether we have the best people at the table to represent our needs. Or  are they gormless, brainless, pursing a political agenda set for them by unelected outsiders, and/or blindly … (more–>)

Nailing Collingwood’s Door Shut to Business

Councillor Deb Doherty seems eager to cement this council’s already ugly but deserved reputation for being hostile to business. This week she made a motion to re-open the always-contentious sign bylaw, apparently in order to impose draconian restrictions on business signs THAT Council direct Staff to review Sign By-law 2012-110 with respect to sign height and any other revisions or amendments as deemed appropriate by the Chief Building … (more–>)

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