In a recent email, Don May took several shots at me and my integrity. I expected this and similar attacks from Saunderson’s followers – and May is an admitted supporter of Brian Saunderson. I won’t bother to respond to his innuendo or unfounded allegations. However, I want to address one thing May said that is correct: he accused me of having a,
…desire to go back to our former governments of the past.
Leaving aside the obvious tautology (what else could a former government be but of the past?), he’s right: I do want to see Collingwood council return to the ethical, open, honest, publicly-engaged and moral government we had before Brian Saunderson and his cabal got elected. Yes, I want to see a council like the many we had before: one that the public trusted and that put the greater good above their own entitlements.
This term Saunderson and his minions have:
- Put up roadblocks to stop the hospital’s much-needed redevelopment after meeting behind closed doors four times, and hired a high-priced lawyer and PR consultant to chastise the hospital board in public;
- Met behind closed doors almost 50 times to decide to sell our public utility without once ever coming into the open to explain why, to present a business case for the sale or to ask for public input;
- Met behind closed doors almost 20 times to decide to sell our publicly owned airport without once ever coming into the open to explain why, to present a business case for the sale or to ask for public input;
- Raised our taxes four times while giving themselves a pay raise each time;
- Raised our town’s debt;
- Quadrupled the cost of the town’s IT services, hired three new staff and plan to hire two more for that department, plus spend millions to upgrade the system;
- Launched Saunderson’s Vindictive Judicial Inquiry which will cost taxpayers $2 to $6 million and maybe more simply to satisfy Saunderson’s personal vendettas;
- Voted an unlimited expense account for Kathy Jeffrey to fly around the country wining and dine at taxpayer expense pursuing her personal political goals.
So it’s little wonder any thoughtful person would want to return to the open, accountable and engaged governments of the past.
But May is entitled to his opinions and if he prefers the Putin-esque style of Saunderson, he’s allowed to do so. I just hope that you, dear reader, are somewhat more politically savvy and don’t want to continue the reign of secrecy, deception, public betrayal and abuse of power we’ve had these past four years.