Connection Got It Wrong

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The story in this weekend’s Connection about Block 9 underground parking incorrectly suggests council is doing something right when it was actually trying to do something wrong. But they tried to take credit for doing good when their efforts at malice failed. I expect mistakes like this from the Enterprise-Bulletin because it doesn’t have anyone on staff with a history that goes back very far (aside, that is, from the generally bad, mistake-prone writing that makes it painful to read…), but not the Connection. The story notes: … click below for more ↓

Block Nine Revisited

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I went down to the harbour today to take a couple of photographs of the piece of town land known as “Block 9.” I wanted to show my readers just how little a piece it is and what condition it’s in now. The aerial photo above shows the property outlined in orange (the photograph is several years out of date, but the property lines remain the same). The photograph below shows the land from the northwest corner, looking southeast. Notice the water that has collected because … click below for more ↓

Creating a New Citizens’ Group

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Recently, I’ve been told that what this town needs is a new citizen’s action group. I imagine it will be a group of residents concerned that the precedents set by the last council might spread to this one. That’s clearly a worrisome trend to some folks. Like progress, good ideas must be nipped in the bud. What this town needs, it seems, is a group of citizens who will eagerly file OMB challenges to stop any chance at growth, development, prosperity and jobs before they become endemic. Citizens who will fight to retain … click below for more ↓

Sit on Your Hands

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Sit on your hands and don’t do anything. That’s in essence the advice in the editorial of the Enterprise-Bulletin, June 3. It’s a strongly anti-business message: telling the business community, the municipality, developers, and everyone around us that Collingwood is, once again, closed for business. Which coincides with the anti-business attitude of several members of the current council, but is hardly good for the community’s economic health. The editorial concludes: By all means, let the waterfront plan and the strategic plan pursue their course and hold off … click below for more ↓

Waterfront No-Brainer

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Two terms ago, the public and media often referred to council as “the gong show” – no doubt from the number of inane comments and witless questions made at the table. One wonders if that nickname should not be revisited for this term. This week’s gong for inanity goes to Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson for his comments after a public presentation by a local developer about purchasing an unused bit of town land. Saunderson clearly hasn’t grasped the procedure by which council members should not … click below for more ↓

Killing Our Culture

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Collingwood has killed Jazz & Blues at the Station – a popular, long-running, local cultural event second in audience only to the Elvis Festival. It brought some of Ontario’s top jazz and blues talent to play at the Museum. The hundreds of people assembled every Wednesday for the free concert – sometimes more than 400 in a single night, many of them coming from Blue Mountain, Clearview and Wasaga Beach – will be disappointed. As are the organizers, who have been trying unsuccessfully since late last year … click below for more ↓

Good News for the Rec Facilities

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A story in this week’s Collingwood Connection vindicates the decision to build the two new rec facilities last term. According to the story, usage of the two facilities – the new arena at Central Park and the renovated Centennial Pool – is soaring. Plus as an added benefit, Centennial pool is able to host competitions all year round – and it does. Just drive by it on a swim meet weekend and you’ll see the parking lot full; dozens of families attend, many of them … click below for more ↓

Openness and Transparency?

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Legitimacy is earned through accountability. Accountability is produced through transparency. Those words are from an opinion piece by Ian Lee, published in the Ottawa Citizen, back in 2008. Important words; words that should be carved above our own council table in large letters. Although it seems like he was writing about Collingwood Council, Lee was actually writing about the need for more accountability and openness in the public sector, especially about stating expenses and costs of federal government projects and initiatives. Lee wanted to “…ensure the … click below for more ↓

Propaganda?

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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 those they reviled last term… Let’s not dwell on the hypocrisy of the sycophants and bloggers, else we will … click below for more ↓

Illegal or Just Inappropriate Meetings?

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Collingwood’s three standing committees consist solely of three members of council, each.* These committees of three each hold regular, published monthly meetings, hear public delegations, address public issues, post an agenda, receive staff reports, vote on issues, have recorded minutes, have staff to record them, and make recommendations back to council. In other words they are treated identically to any regular council meeting.  Their recommendations are read into the council minutes and voted upon. Yet none of these committees has a quorum (majority) of council on it. When one person … click below for more ↓

Chinese Wisdom

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As I promised in an earlier post, here are some of the epithets and sayings found in some of the Four Books of the Chinese canon. I think these are particularly relevant to politics, especially local politics. Hence my commentary after several of them.* Wikipedia gives us an overview of Confucius’ political philosophy in the Analects: Confucius’ political beliefs were rooted in his belief that a good ruler would be self-disciplined, would govern his subjects through education and by his own example, and would seek … click below for more ↓

Signs – of the Apocalypse?

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Councillor Cam Ecclestone made a comment at council earlier this month that he had been contacted by several residents concerned about the new sign on the Rexall Drug store on Huron Street, its size and colours. Coun. Doherty chimed in about it with similar comments. Aside from the question why anyone would contact a member of council whose sluggish performance at the table would win an award for best impersonation of a somnambulist, one has to wonder who these residents are who are so concerned about … click below for more ↓

The Not-My-Fault Dance

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There’s a story in this weekend’s Collingwood Connection about the PUC board meeting this week. The board confirmed that council’s dumping unexpected costs on the utility will mean an unplanned increase in the cost of your water this year. One of our council representatives tried to dance around it as if he wasn’t among the causes of that increase. This hurtful rate increase happened because council unwisely moved the budgeted cost of hydrant maintenance from the town’s fire service budget – where it had had been for years with no additional impact on taxes … click below for more ↓

Rethinking Parking

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Parking in Collingwood – especially downtown – has been a contentious issue since at least the mid-1980s. Numerous studies have been done advocating a variety of answers, none of them entirely satisfactory to everyone. The factions of free versus paid parking have been warring as long as I can recall. No council has managed to fully come to grips with the issue. To compound the issue, town staff have tended to weigh in on the side of paid parking in no small part because of … click below for more ↓

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