The Anti-Environmentalists in Town Hall are at it Again

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WTF is wrong with town hall these days? Why do they dislike trees so much? Last week town staff presented another plan to make Sixth Street even more of a speedway than it already is, and in doing so they want to remove three dozen mature trees along the north side. The technical term for that is “deforestation.” You might remember how last term, staff had more than 50 mature trees chopped down along Hurontario Street so they could build a sidewalk on the east … click below for more ↓

Higher Taxes, But Fewer Services in Collingwood

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Collingwood Council is currently debating some major changes to the town’s bylaws, many of which appear to mean fewer services and less support for our residents. This council has once again increased our property taxes and user fees (while giving themselves yet another pay raise as their reward for doing so!). There have been annual tax hikes in Collingwood every year for the past decade. And where has all that money gone if not to providing more and better services to residents? The town is … click below for more ↓

Council’s Affordable Housing Con

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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 proposed increases include (emphasis added): … click below for more ↓

Council’s First Year Considered

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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 good for readers to hear … click below for more ↓

The Subservience of Council

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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, mostly about the size it … click below for more ↓

Our Troubled Urban Forest

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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 town maintains those few trees … click below for more ↓

What is Council Doing to Our BIA?

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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 nor the inclination to invest … click below for more ↓

Collingwood and Copyright Law

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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 do so. And that neither … click below for more ↓

Heritage District Rules Need Repair

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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 the building in violation of … click below for more ↓

Our Council’s Reprehensible Greed

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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 provide some form of compensation … click below for more ↓

Council Considers Possibly Thinking About Maybe Doing Something Important Sometime in the Future

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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 think about discussing the possibility … click below for more ↓

Another Council Facepalm Moment

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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 anyone that their dictates affected?

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