I see from emails he has been sending out that former councillor Cam “Sleepy” Ecclestone has decided to run in the upcoming provincial election as a member of the Consensus Party — an unknown, fringe party that hasn’t got the proverbial snowball’s hope in hell of getting a seat, especially not in this riding. That takes guts. Or maybe utter stu… but you have to admire him for putting himself on the firing line like this. The same way you … click below for more!
Anyone having supervisory responsibility for the completion of a task will invariably protest that more resources are needed. Hacker’s Law of Personnel, coined by Andrew Hacker in The End of the American Era, Atheneum, 1970. At the end of the Feb. 8 virtual meeting of Collingwood’s “Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee,” under “other business,” Councillor Jeffrey (~2:02:20) worries about the “lack of staff resources” the mayor has at his beck and call. She wants to “make sure he has the benefit … click below for more!
In a recent story on CollingwoodToday about the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI), Councillor Bob “Lapdog” Madigan commented that he wanted, “…those who are responsible for this need to be held accountable.” Since neither the inquiry nor the OPP found anything illegal or criminal in the proceedings (no charges have been laid, although the OPP began its investigation in 2014!), the basis for a lawsuit would be… what? Council’s opinion? Or just Madigan’s umbrage? We assume from the story’s headline, … click below for more!
Was it worth more than $7.7 million of your tax dollars? That’s roughly $8,400 a page (including, yes, the blank pages). That includes $232,866 in town staff salaries and $48,008 in staff travel expenses. Fifty-seven percent of that total went to legal costs, including $1.58 million on the town’s own legal costs. I can’t tell from the article linked above if the total includes the cost of having to rent commercial space downtown for the treasury department during the inquiry. … click below for more!
NB: As a candidate for Deputy Mayor in the upcoming municipal election, I receive questions from residents about my stand on various issues and policies. I have posted my responses here for everyone to read. My responses are in italics, below. 1. What is your vision for the transportation system here in Collingwood over the next 4 years? Are there any specific projects you would champion around the Council table? What role do you see transit and active transportation playing … click below for more!
In their book, Small Town Rules (Pearson Education Inc., USA, 2012), authors Barry Moltz and Becky McCray explain seven rules for businesses that use the model of a small town to offer advice on growing and maintaining a business n the “connected economy.” And while most of their rules are aimed at businesses, I suggest some are equally applicable to small towns like Collingwood. Don’t get me wrong: a municipality is not a business and despite some common functions and … click below for more!
In his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, author Robert Prisig wrote about how dealing with the small things of daily life – like fixing his wayward motorcycle – could teach us about the world at large. A sort of microcosm-becomes-macrocosm perspective, with the vagarities of motorcycle repair to colour the learning. What we learn in one we can apply to the other. * Baking bread, too, offers a meta-window into other arts and crafts, in particular (for me), politics. … click below for more!
A few of the apocalyptic headlines from the past few days: Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’ – BBC news Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out – Al Jazeera news Scientists Just Laid Out Paths to Solve Climate Change. We Aren’t on Track to Do Any of Them –Time magazine Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn – CNN Earth has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, … click below for more!
Inflammatory is the word I was told the Connection used this week in rejecting an ad by mayoral candidate John Trude*. That ad challenged some of the claims of one of his opponents by stating what actually happened at council this term in four areas: open and accountable government, the hospital redevelopment, working together with our municipal neighbours and sole-source contracts on major expenditures. All of Trude’s comments are backed up by facts taken from the media, town agendas and … click below for more!
Have you received the robocall yet? Many Collingwood residents have, and every one I’ve spoken to thinks they are in appallingly bad taste. And they are right. It starts out pretending to be a survey asking who you will vote for in the municipal campaign, but after three questions it turns into a nasty attack ad against mayoral candidate John Trude. As nasty as the candidate for whose campaign it was created. How low, how cheap and immature a tactic … click below for more!
Candidates throughout Simcoe County were sent a series of questions by AWARE Simcoe, which describes itself as “…a citizens’ group with members in all Simcoe County municipalities as well as in Barrie and Orillia. We work to protect water, the environment and health through transparency and accountability in government.” I have included the questions and my responses, below. 1. Water is a finite resource. Do you feel there is a need to protect water, wetlands and recharge areas from development, … click below for more!
I was invited, along with the other candidates for this municipal election, to address residents at Rupert’s Landing this week. Each candidate was provided a list of ten questions and given three minutes to respond to one of them. I will comment on the other nine in a future post, but for now, I wanted to talk about question two, which I chose to answer: There is insufficient affordable housing in Collingwood. What are your plans for increasing affordable housing … click below for more!
A small but very irate number of residents have broached with me the topic of installing red light cameras at Collingwood’s traffic intersections. I hadn’t really thought about it – except to acknowledge that traffic seems to be getting busier. I’ve seen traffic backed up for 500-1,000m at numerous intersections in town – even on weekday afternoons, and seen it enough times to recognize it is the future here. More cars means an increase in the number of bad, inattentive … click below for more!
Being a mayor today, even in a small town like Collingwood, takes time. A lot of time. Time that working people are hard pressed to find in their busy days. I know from the experience of three terms that even councillors who work cannot attend every meeting, every event, every activity they are invited to. Mayors have to be on call, doing town business and dealing with residents’ calls during every day, and many, many evenings. Even on weekends they have … click below for more!