A recent story in CollingwoodToday has the headline, “Town considering increases to development charges.” Everyone knows that increasing the development charges (DCs) adds to the cost of a new home, making housing even more expensive and less affordable. Right now, it’s extremely difficult to find anything even close to “affordable” in Collingwood. Apparently, the town wants to make it even harder and more expensive to buy new homes… unless, of course, you’re already a millionaire with money to burn.* The … click below for more!
Road salt is a huge concern in Ontario for its destructive effects on the environment and the infrastructure. Progressive municipalities across the province have been exploring alternatives for years, cutting back, looking for safer ways to manage winter roads and sidewalks. But Collingwood? Try typing “salt management plan” into the search bar of the town’s user-hostile website. Nada. You don’t get any documents; you have to wade through more of the town’s poorly-designed click-fest web pages, trying to find simple … click below for more!
I did a few facepalms while reading CollingwoodToday’s four-part piece on Collingwood Council’s first year in office. CwoodToday approached each of them with questions “about their accomplishments so far, to how this council feels they’ve set themselves apart, and to surprises they’ve experienced so far as elected officials.” No similar coverage was in the increasingly irrelevant Collingwood Connection. Given the ineffective communication techniques the town currently has to reach residents (not to mention the abysmally awkward, user-hostile website…) it is … click below for more!
Late last month, council was presented with a revised, six-page council-staff relations policy, which, according to the story in CollingwoodToday, “seeks to formalize how council and staff should interact with each other.” The story notes the first draft of the policy, a 14-page document, was presented to council in mid-September, but approval was deferred while councillors considered if it meant their impending emasculation.* Councillors Jeffrey and Doherty, and DM Fryer expressed concerns about the policy when it was first presented, … click below for more!
I recently read a good opinion piece in The Meaford Independent, titled, The Challenge of Remaining Informed & Engaged in Municipal Governance in Our Busy Modern World, In it, editor Stephen Vance opines about the difficulties of engaging the public in municipal issues and government. It’s refreshing to see an independent paper in a nation where almost all media is owned by corporations, and even more to read a salient, locally-focused editorial, something sorely lacking in our own local media … click below for more!
On August 8, Collingwood council will “consider” a proposal to spend “up to $100,000 to retain a consultant to inform the next council on how Collingwood can better protect [our] tree canopy,” according to a story in CollingwoodToday. The article says, “With Collingwood’s population rapidly increasing, the town is behind when it comes to its policies around [our] tree canopy.” (This is an expanded version of a post I put on my Campaign for Council website) Given how poorly the … click below for more!
Last week, the chair of our BIA (Business Improvement Area: our association of downtown merchants and businesses) resigned from the organization he has served on for the past seven years. In his letter (quoted in CollingwoodToday) of resignation, David Conning wrote (emphasis added): Following last evening’s council discussion, I continue to have no faith that the town councillors will support any major initiative of the BIA, even when presented with expert documentation recommending the project… I have neither the time … click below for more!
I was disappointed to learn that, after my exposing our mayor for breaking copyright law on his campaign website (by unauthorized publication of copyright material), that the town itself has probably also done so. I wasn’t surprised that our hypocritical mayor ignored our laws despite being a lawyer himself (look at how often he’s ignored his precious inquiry’s recommendations to avoid apparent conflicts of interest by voting to hire his former employers!), but I was surprised that the town would … click below for more!
A November story in CollingwoodToday about a new homeowner who got caught in the quagmire of our heritage district rules underscores the need for a thorough overhaul of the rules, a review of how the district is managed, and serious improvements in how the town and the heritage committee communicate information about the zone to both new and existing property owners. And how they treat homeowners. According to the story in CollingwoodToday, the new owners of a 1930 house on Fourth Street, renovated and painted … click below for more!
Our council’s sense of entitlement again came to light this week. A report from a consultant tabled in the Nov.1 meeting of the Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee recommends that the mayor receive a 9.5% increase, while councillors get a 5% increase (page five of the report). Nine-point-five percent? Who gets a raise like that these days? Even five percent is over the top. The justification for this egregious salary boost is stated in the report: Remuneration traditionally is intended to … click below for more!
We’re almost two years into an ongoing pandemic, yet all the lessons learned in jurisdictions worldwide about vaccinations and public safety have apparently simply drifted past our inept and gormless council. People are still getting ill and dying even in our own community, but our council is sort-of thinking about possibly sometime maybe in the future considering the potential to discuss the likelihood of looking at having a municipal vaccination policy. Or not to have one. And maybe they’ll even … click below for more!
In a story on CollingwoodToday, this week council again discussed their job-growth-and revenue-killing interim control bylaw (ICBL) that has stopped the town from issuing new home building permits for the next four or more years, until a new water treatment plant is built. Of course, none of the developers or the construction industry, or anyone in the water treatment plant business, were consulted about the ICBL before it was passed. Why would council want to set a precedent and actually engage … click below for more!
Whether you want to restore them or tear them down, you would probably like council to do SOMETHING about the decaying, century-old icon*on our waterfront. Anything, in fact. But as usual, council’s approach to actually doing something has been instead to do defer, delay, hire consultants, bloviate, ignore, pretend it doesn’t matter, and then pretend to want public input. The town’s website says: The Town of Collingwood is taking another step forward in determining the future of the Grain Terminals … click below for more!