Extra Virginity

Loading

For some time before I got this book, I’ve been aware that there is more to olive oil than meets the eye. Or tongue. How much more really was startling. When I started reading Tom Mueller’s 2012 book, Extra Virginity: the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, I was simply amazed at how little I really knew about the stuff (and of course you already know how much I love learning new things). Recently, the good folks at the Collingwood Olive Oil Company (on St. … click below for more ↓

No Data Are Better Than Bad Data

Loading

The full name of an article I read today is, “The Fallacy of Online Surveys: No Data Are Better Than Bad Data.” It’s from 2010 and very good. You can find it on the Responsive Management website. It makes some key points about the invalidity of online surveys: For a study to be unbiased, every member of the population under study must have an equal chance of participating. When online surveys are accessible to anyone who visits a website, the researcher has no control over sample … click below for more ↓

The OPP Investigation

Loading

In order to clear up the misinformation, rumours and outright lies about the OPP investigation, spreading on social media by some candidates and among the angry bloggers, let me set the record straight. Here’s what we know: Approximately eighteen months ago, someone local went to the police and and filed a formal complaint. The police opened an investigation. The police have not interviewed the Mayor, Deputy  mayor, Councillors Lloyd, Cunningham, West, Edwards or myself in that time. After more than 18 months, no one has been charged with … click below for more ↓

Green initiatives for next term

Loading

Collingwood should be in the forefront for green initiatives in Ontario, not lagging behind. There’s no reason we should not be leaders in exploring new ways to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce our carbon footprint, promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly strategies, and reduce our energy costs. These will be some of my top goals for the 2014-18 council, if I’m re-elected. In the energy world, we have a great partner with Powerstream, which has already explored many of these areas and taken steps in other municipalities. We … click below for more ↓

Looking forward to 2015-18

Loading

Looking forward to 2015 and beyond, here are some of the things I would like to see Collingwood Council and the town staff accomplish in the upcoming term. I have laid these out in my campaign website and literature already, but thought I should include something in my blog to complement those sources. Maintain our current fiscal stability and sustainability. This council has been very proactive in keeping taxes and spending low, without compromising on any essential services or infrastructure. We have paid down $11 of the … click below for more ↓

Our 21st Century Library

Loading

In the 20-plus years I’ve been on the Collingwood Library board, I have watched the functions of the library and its role in the community evolve and change to keep pace with the needs and demands of its growing number of users. It’s been a remarkable, exciting journey. Of all our civic institutions, I believe the library has best adapted to the new technologies and the changing community demographics.  In sheer numbers, it is our most popular, most well-used community facility. And the library continues to … click below for more ↓

Why Term Limits Are a Bad Idea for Municipal Government

Loading

Leo Longo wrote in three recent Municipal World articles (April, May, June, 2014) that it is time to consider setting term limits on municipal politicians. I beg to disagree. Is municipal democracy in such dire straits that it needs restrictions that no provincial or federal politician faces? Are voters so ignorant and ill-informed that they need outsiders to guide their choices? Applying arbitrary term limits goes against the grain of representational democracy, suggesting the arbitrator knows what is better for the electorate than the electors … click below for more ↓

Twenty years of strategic planning

Loading

Twenty years ago – May, 1994 – the Town of Collingwood started a community-based strategic plan. That report was released in October, 1995. Then in October, 2000, Vision 2020 released its Blueprint Collingwood. These two documents are generally forgotten by the general public today, but they have been the basis of planning, of policy and strategic targets by councils and staff ever since. No particular council or mayor can take credit for the accomplishments; they’ve been achieved over more than two decades of effort and resolve. … click below for more ↓

The ACDC/AVI Site Remediation

Loading

Earlier this week, members of council received this email from Ian Adams of the Enterprise Bulletin about the upcoming motion on remediation of the empty property at Hume and Hurontario Streets: I was wondering if I could get your thoughts with regard to extending/not extending the site remediation agreement for the ACDC/AVI property, and whether an extension should be granted/not granted. Ian Adams, Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin The site remediation agreement is unique: it is, as I have been told by the Planning Department, the only one of … click below for more ↓

Irony and cognitive dissonance

Loading

Politics is as full of irony as it is full of cognitive dissonance. And I don’t mean simply in politicians and their agencies: it is everyone and every group, every agency and every organization that dabbles in politics. Sooner or later, the irony comes out. And the cognitive dissonance sets in. Irony is a difference between the appearance of something and its reality. As Google brings up the definition: “a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and … click below for more ↓

Getting solid numbers makes sense

Loading

I recently was directed to read a statement that I had “…put forward a notice of motion calling on the municipality to spend the money to put a concrete floor in the building, without any kind of business case …” That is incorrect. The notice simply asked the town to put out a ‘request for proposal” (RFP). If the writer had asked me about my notice of motion (or asked any of the other councillors or senior staff with whom I discussed it), I would … click below for more ↓

CPLUG songs and more

Loading

CPLUG – the Collingwood Public Library Ukulele Group – has so far proven a very popular group. We started with 17 people at our first monthly meeting and more have attended each time: 34 people came out last month! I’m hoping to continue this trend and see as many this week at our next meeting (March 19). You can read about our group in this newspaper story, here. We are dedicated to enjoying making and learning music in a friendly, supportive community group setting. We … click below for more ↓

Litter, litter, everywhere

Loading

Pop cans. Coffee cups. Candy bar wrappers. Fast food wrappers. Cigarette packages. Cigarette butts. Dog feces. Bags of dog feces. Flyers. Cellophane package wrap. Water bottles. Juice bottles. Chip bags. Beer cans and bottles. Disposable lighters and pens. Cardboard beer boxes. Discarded newspapers and junk mail. Plastic grocery bags. I just don’t get littering. I’ve never gotten littering. These are just some of the items I’ve seen stuck into snow banks and hedges in my neighbourhood, or dropped on the road the past few weeks. … click below for more ↓

Conspiracy Theories: 2014 Update

Loading

It’s time to update a piece I wrote in December, 2012, outlining the secret deals, backroom negotiations and “barbecue politics” that our council has been involved in since that date, more than a year ago. So here comes the update, the emperor without his clothes: Secret meetings: none Backroom negotiations: none Barbecue deals: none Sorry, I know this is a disappointment to local conspiracy theorists and bloggers, coming hard on the failure of the world to end as per the Mayan Calendar, or the failure … click below for more ↓

Back to Top