Tim Fryer’s fictitious candidate

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maskYou have to wonder who is being described on Tim Fryer’s campaign website when you read about claims of:

  • Transparent and Trustworthy Leadership.
  • Responsible and Accountable
  • Creative and Open Minded
  • Socially & Environmentally Conscious

Is Fryer advertising for another candidate? One not so deeply joined to Brian Saunderson and his personal agendas? One who actually stood up and fought for open, accountable meetings and public consultation when privatizing our electricity utility instead of shambling into almost 50 closed-door meetings to plot the sale?

One who refused to sideline our hospital redevelopment and delay it three to ten years? One who demanded an open process when council decided to sell our publicly-owned airport instead of sneaking into one of 16 closed-door meetings to plot its sale? Who fought against the unethical process and administration’s harassment when council fired all members of both our water and electricity utility boards and replacing them with malleable puppets? Who voted against twice extending the contract of the $200,000-a-year interim CAO?

Obviously it wasn’t Fryer. Or any of his servile co-minions. Maybe it’s someone not even on the ballot yet? Maybe his imaginary friend?

I can’t think of a single way any of those words describe Tim. I can’t think of a single initiative he has launched this term. I can’t think of a single cause for the greater good he has advocated this term. None. I can’t think of a single example of Tim’s being creative or environmentally conscious like he claims.

Maybe those are all things he thought he could be while he sat in the many, many secretive, closed-door meetings this council has held. In public, though, Tim should be saying, like Bob Dylan sang, “It ain’t me babe.”

Think hard: what does Tim actually stand for? Aside from supporting Brian Saunderson, that is. What are his causes, his issues, what does he advocate for on your behalf? Time’s up… no, I couldn’t name one, either. And yet he wants to be deputy mayor.

That position requires experience, initiative, acuity of thought, a clear strategic vision, financial and political savvy, the ability to work collaboratively with municipal and county staff and councillors, and the ability to communicate coherently and clearly.

None of which attributes he has shown at the council table this term.

Fryer claims that being a lifelong resident in town “…and my former role as Chief Financial Officer for Collingwood’s utility companies, will provide the tools to help me enhance the Fiscal Policies of Council.”

(Yes, I too grimaced over the wacky, random capitalization in his text there and elsewhere on his site). How would being a “lifelong resident” help anything in governance? Does residence alone confer wisdom? Skill? Talent? Clearly not. And one wonders why – if indeed he’s singing his own praises – he never used those “tools” to help enhance anything THIS term?

Perhaps Tim was waiting for Brian to leave council so Tim could act like he was elected to do and actually show some initiative, and then come out from under his bushel and shine. But then, who will tell Tim what to do, how to vote, and most importantly: what to think, when Brian is gone?

One has to wonder how, as the CFO he brags he was, what “tools” he used to miss a massive double billing error for our water utility for so many years? Would he use those same “tools” to miss something in our town budget? Or the county’s budget?

Maybe the past four years sucking on the public teat were just for learning. They certainly weren’t for doing, Tim-wise. At least not for the greater good. But even though he has not shown any inclination to support our community, our utilities or our hospital, Tim wants to step up to deputy mayor!

I am committed to the wise use of our tax dollars while working towards achieving the goals of our strategic plan and vision

This from a guy who voted to raise your taxes four times in four years (while voting himself a pay raise each time), who voted to privatize our public utility – even though our utility had shown a 50% growth in value in five years, and could be worth a whole lot more in another five – and in voting he stopped the town receiving its annual dividend of around $200,000 (and most of the money we get from the sale will go to pay off Saunderson’s Vindictive Judicial Inquiry…). Who voted to create a town IT department instead of sharing the services with Collus as we did previously – and pushing IT costs from $150,000 a year to over $600,000 in its first year alone! Who voted in favour of Saunderson’s Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI) which will cost taxpayers between $2 and $6 million just to serve Brian’s vendetta.

Wise? As in wise guy. He’s pulling your leg. Maybe he made a typo and meant “vise use” – squeezing the taxpayer for every cent is more like Tim’s style.

Tim Fryer, he tells us, believes in “Public engagement.” But yet this council has had more closed-door meetings than the last three councils combined. And this council sold our public electricity utility to a for-profit company from Edmonton without a SINGLE public meeting, without once asking for your opinion on how our public asset should be managed. And then voted to privatize our airport without a single public meeting.

More closed-door meetings, more sole-sourced contracts handed out, more backroom deals is what we can expect from more Tim at the table.

How engaged is that? How public is that? How ethical?

Tim Fryer believes in “Effective partnerships” yet this council destroyed the working partnership between Collus and the town, and as a result the costs of IT services quadrupled in one year! This council destroyed the good working relationships with Wasaga Beach and Clearview at the airport – they were so insulted by this council that these two municipalities both withdrew their funding support and quit the airport board! This council alienated the hospital board and our neighbouring communities that shared the facility by putting up roadblocks to its redevelopment and destroyed the town’s relationship with the health community across the region. How effective was any of that?

You might ask his former coworkers and colleagues in our electricity utility how they feel about his “effective partnerships” and his leadership during his years in the utility. Or how they feel about his behaviour on council when he helped Brian’s Block privatize our utility.

Read this rather incoherent statement from Fryer and see if you can figure out what he’s rambling about:

I believe Collingwood is at a crossroad of sorts and the direction it takes over the next four years will dramatically determine how successful its’ (sic) long-term future will be. Council is going to have to exercise well thought out judgment. Similar to what occurred 150 years ago, when a major decision by Collingwood Council to invest in railway infrastructure, led to the secession of the Town of the Blue Mountains(formerly Collingwood Township) from the County of Simcoe and over to Grey County.
The investment determination was a very good decision but there is no doubt that in the long term it also created a more difficult circumstance, one that both communities have had to continue to deal with on an on-going basis. For example when the Provincial government undertook municipal reform steps for the County of Simcoe in the 1990’s (sic), apparently to maximize efficiencies, they emphatically stated that “county boundaries were sacred and cannot be altered” (sic). So there was little effort in the restructuring consideration about the TBM, our closest neighbor(sic). Even though that might have been where the greatest efficiency impact could have been achieved. My point here is that a lesson that must be learned, from an outcome such as this, is that our key decisions will in most cases have major long-term consequences so we have to be very careful with our interventions.

Huh?

Crossroads – of sorts? How can a cliché be an almost cliché? Its’? He seems as challenged by the simple English possessive form as the rest of his cabal. “Council is going to have to exercise well thought out judgment…” aside from the annoying passive voice, it’s too bad he didn’t exercise “well-thought-out” anything this term so why does he think he can do it next term? “Similar to what occurred 150 years ago…” isn’t a sentence. It’s a phrase. A long-winded, meandering phrase. But it’s about… what? A railroad built 150 years ago? The Town of the Blue Mountains seceding? From what? Grey County? WTF is he on about?

“Investment determination” – is that a bloviated way of saying investment? It created “..a more difficult circumstance, one that both communities have had to continue to deal with on an on-going basis.” Huh? is he suggesting the two municipalities are in trouble because a railroad that shut down two generations ago was built in the mid-19th century? 1990’s – is missing a word (the plural would be 1990s – but Fryer uses the possessive without identifying what the 1990s possess). Maximize efficiencies – is this the script for a Dilbert comic? And whose quote is he referring to who said boundaries were “sacred”? And WHAT lesson is he referring to?

I can’t find anything in those two paragraphs that make any sense. It’s like one of those computer programs that generate phony business text full of clichés and hackneyed phrases. He goes on and on and on spouting words but never actually saying anything.
Corporate BS
Tim also wrote:

I have a steadfast belief in “giving back to our community”(sic)… I want to “give back” (sic) and use my expertise to assist Collingwood in taking the fundamental steps that will be required to ensure that it will continue to be a vibrant and thriving community.

You know about the abuse of quotation marks, right? How writers put quotation marks around a word or phrase to suggest it means something other than what it appears to. It’s a nudge-nudge-wink-wink way of saying the opposite of what you mean. So Tim wants to “give back” as he notes – which I can only assume means the opposite, otherwise why frame it in quotation marks?

What fundamental steps is he talking about? It’s not just that he doesn’t list any – this municipality has been operating for 160 years now, and has been vibrant and thriving for most of that time. It’s not like we’ve been in a doldrum and Tim suddenly discovered a secret formula to make us happy again. In fact, the hardest time this town has had since the shipyards closed has been suffering through this council’s depredations. The only fundamental step he can take to alleviate that is to withdraw from the race.

He adds,

Recently I have been providing financial expertise services as President/CEO of Electric & Water Financial Services Inc. I have continued to enhance my knowledge base and worked with municipal utilities from Parry Sound to Bradford providing analysis in organizational/process reviews and valuation determinations.

Does anyone else think there might be a HUGE conflict of interest here? He is in a business that sells consulting services to utilities – yet Fryer has voted to privatize our own electricity utility, to fire and replace utility board members, to dismember the shared services agreement with our utilities, and sat through in-camera meetings to discuss utility business without – as far as I’ve seen – noting his business or even hinting there might be a conflict of interest.*

I dunno about you, but when I read about his utility consulting business, and consider his past actions and votes about our town utilities and their boards, something stinks.

“…valuation determinations”? Who writes this stuff? WTF is a valuation determination – aside from a puffed-up slough of verbiage?

I could go on tearing apart his claims and his boasts and prick his many risible, grammatically-challenged bloviations, but it’s too easy and would take too much space to cover it all. Suffice to say it’s a work of self-serving fiction (poorly written, ungrammatical fiction at that).

Fryer, like his fellow Blockheads, has contributed nothing for the good of the community this term, just abused their power, ramped up their own entitlements and done evertyhing important in secret without public engagement. He championed nothing at the table for the community’s benefit, advocated no cause or issue for the betterment of the town. But he has helped raise taxes, alienate our municipal neighbours, privatize our electricity utility without public consultation, delay our hospital’s redevelopment by three to ten years, keep on an unpopular administrator at great cost and generally done Brian’s bidding without question…

Fryer says we need “Intelligent Intervention” – and in that he’s right: we need intelligent intervention from the voters to throw Fryer and all of Saunderson’s Block off the council and try some real democracy again.

Collingwood deserves better.

~~~~~

* I’m not sure how valuable his advice would be to other utilities. In May, 2015, Fryer made a statement at council about water rates that suggest he didn’t understand what they meant or how they worked and suggested an unsustainable yet whimsical approach to taxation and rates.

Fryer sat on the former public utility (aka water utility) board. In June, 2015, he recused himself from the vote to disband it (in violation of town bylaws) because of his position on that board, but then voted in favour of putting himself back on the new board (populated entirely with Saunderson and his puppets). His inconsistency is as notable as his self-interest.

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