The Municipal Voting Debacle

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On voting day, Oct. 24, Collingwood’s online voting system suffered serious problems that prevented residents from voting. This happened not once, but twice in the same day. Voting had been open online and via paper ballot (at the library) since Oct. 3, but apparently many people decided to wait until the last day to vote. Yet on the last day, Oct. 24, barely an hour before voting was to close (8 p.m.), candidates received this message from Becky Dahl, Manager, Legislative Services/Deputy Clerk, in the … click below for more ↓

The Death of Local Democracy?

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Thirty nine per cent. That was the risible turnout of voters for the local municipal election here in Collingwood. Significantly fewer than half of our eligible voters made the effort to participate in our democracy, even though they could vote in person or on the internet for three weeks. It was never easier to cast a ballot, never been more convenient, never took less time, yet 61% of local voters chose not to. Why? That’s a question that keeps me awake at night. It’s as … click below for more ↓

Thank You for Your Support!

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Thank you to everyone who endorsed my nomination papers, who donated to my campaign, who took a lawn sign, and, of course, who voted for me in this 2022 municipal election. Three thousand, three hundred and forty seven of you believed in what I stood for and voted for me; a mere five votes shy of winning a seat on council. That was 38.1% of all the votes cast for council, and 15.1% of eligible voters, but not quite enough to get me back to … click below for more ↓

Should mayoral candidates endorse council candidates?

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One of Collingwood’s current mayoral candidates is doing meet-n-greet events and openly endorsing a fixed slate of the seven council candidates she wants to be elected with her (but not, curiously, a deputy-mayor; see below). Is this appropriate for a would-be mayor? I don’t believe so. First, in the last two terms, we’ve seen how a slate of candidates can negatively affect governance by voting en masse for whatever their leader wants regardless of its impact on Collingwood. This term, we saw how a block … click below for more ↓

How to Win an Election

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Anyone running for office should consider reading How to Win an Election, by Quintus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman. It’s a short, small book subtitled An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Princeton University Press, 2012). It contains both the Latin and the English translation of Quintus’ letter to his more famous brother, the orator Marcus Cicero. Quintus penned it in 64 BCE when Marcus decided to run for the position of Consul, the highest office in the Roman Republic. No, it won’t give you … click below for more ↓

Another Abuse of Power and Position

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As this term of council winds down, with only a few weeks before the election, it seems some members at the table can’t help themselves abusing their position and their power. Their sense of entitlement is an embarrassing display. At tomorrow’s council meeting (Sept. 20), Councillor Jeffery will make the following notice of motion: THAT Council appoint Acting Deputy Mayor McLeod as Deputy Mayor for the duration of the current term of Council. This isn’t just a change in title: it is a political gambit to … click below for more ↓

What About the Code of Conduct?

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I attended a two-hour seminar hosted by the town about Collingwood’s Code of Conduct last week. It was intended as an introduction to the policy for new candidates and a refresher for incumbents, and was presented by the town’s Integrity Commissioner, whose slides ranged from conflicts of interest to accountability, from public behaviour to confidentiality. Councillor Bob Madigan wasn’t there. Four incumbents running in this election attended (Doherty, McLeod, Hamlin, and Berman), for which I give them credit. Madigan didn’t show. Perhaps it’s because the … click below for more ↓

Just Gonna Leave This Here…

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This headline appeared in CollingwoodToday: “Town councillor, deputy-mayor candidate charged with assault.” In Simcoe.com (Collingwood Connection), the headline was “Collingwood councillor, deputy mayor candidate Bob Madigan facing assault charges.” Bob Madigan is running for deputy mayor of Collingwood. Is this the sort of behaviour you want in your elected representatives? Given his past behaviour, this latest event didn’t surprise me. But by the time this reached the local media, his arrest was already well-known around town and shared in the coffee shops and sidewalk chatter. … click below for more ↓

What Just Happened?

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I was startled to see that one of our candidates for municipal election — the third person in the deputy mayor’s race — dropped out shortly after submitting her papers. According to the town’s web page, Jordan Fleming filed her papers at 11:34 a.m. on August 19; two-and-a-half hours before nominations closed. She withdrew at 2:54 p.m. on Aug. 24. According to the interview in CollingwoodToday, she decided to drop out almost immediately because of family issues. I was surprised she hadn’t considered those issues … click below for more ↓

Please Take an Election Sign

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C ollingwood residents: I would very much appreciate it if you would  allow me to place one of my election signs on your lawn. Please fill in your name, phone and address in the comments section below. This information will NOT be published and will be deleted after the election and signs have been removed. Alternatively, send me an email or call me to request one. Signs will be placed by me or one of my team on your property within a week of your request … click below for more ↓

Hypocritical Candidate Wants to Return to Council

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Two more of our local “basket-of-deplorables” incumbent councillors (aka quidnuncs) have filed their papers for re-election: Steve Berman and Kathy “Me! Me! Me!” Jeffrey. So has former councillor Cam “Sleepy” Ecclestone, who announced he was running in the provincial election for the fringe “Consensus Party” then never appeared on the ballot. Readers will recall that both Berman and Jeffrey willingly participated in the bullying of former councillor, Tina Comi. Both signed identical copies of councillor McLeod’s complaint to the town’s integrity commissioner. Both defended their … click below for more ↓

Don’t Forget Who Blocked the Hospital Redevelopment

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Among those incumbents running for re-election, are (so far), three who were part of the cabal on the 2014-18 council that actively and aggressively tried to block the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital’s redevelopment. Their efforts did cost the hospital money and time, and set the redevelopment back at least five years. Who can forget when that previous council brought in a highly-paid lawyer and a highly-paid PR consultant (both sole-sourced) to lecture the public as to why the hospital should not be allowed to … click below for more ↓

Council’s Inappropriate Pay-Raise Decision

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Late last month — less than three months before the next municipal election — council made significant decisions about their own pay and the role of the mayor. Given that four of them have filed to run again (and a fifth is pending), and two of those are vying for the mayor’s role, this was a highly inappropriate decision and of questionable ethics. In the story in CollingwoodToday, it noted: ..council voted to approve changing the position of mayor from part-time to full-time, keeping Collingwood … click below for more ↓

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