Strat Plan Part 2: The Shuffle Game

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In the second part of my critique of Collingwood’s woo-hoo strategic plan, I will look at the shuffle game. This is where consultants give contestants – I mean participants – a limited series of options and ask them to shuffle these around in order of their perceived priority. Then the results are collated and the one whose list looks most like the final version wins. There are five separate lists given to contestants. Think of them as strategic plan bingo cards: Accountable Local Government Public … click below for more ↓

Strategic Planning, Part One: The Woo-Hoo Factor

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There are, in general, two kinds of municipal strategic plans. One is pragmatic and practical. It tells you what you need to build, fix or replace, when you need to do it, how much it will cost, and where the money will come from. This is the stuff a council grounded in reality can use to budget, plan sensibly, and maintain the community’s infrastructure. It’s a roadmap that leads to a well-defined destination. The other kind of plan is best described by the term woo-hoo. It’s … click below for more ↓

Fiddling While Rome Burns

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You know that legend about Nero fiddling while around him Rome was burning? It’s a popular metaphor for political cluelessness, for inaction, procrastination, for politicians oblivious to the important business of the city while they play games. For municipal leaders who focus on the petty, the trivial, the irrelevant and the self-serving, while major issues are ignored. Pretty much sums up Collingwood Council’s record to date. Fiddling with irrelevancies. To be fair, they’ve only been in office eight months and probably haven’t got around to focusing on important things. Still, … click below for more ↓

Another Secretive, Self-Serving Committee

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This week, Collingwood Council passed a motion to appoint the Block Five to a new standing committee. The standing committee system, you will recall, is a system of secretive committees that operates predominantly out of the public eye, with limited council attendance, and often without even media presence. Committees conduct town business beyond the pale of accountability. Here’s what they passed (in a 6-3 vote*): THAT Council approve the Striking Committee recommendation and appoint the following members to the Environmental Services Standing Committee: Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson, Councillor … click below for more ↓

Nailing Collingwood’s Door Shut to Business

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Councillor Deb Doherty seems eager to cement this council’s already ugly but deserved reputation for being hostile to business. This week she made a motion to re-open the always-contentious sign bylaw, apparently in order to impose draconian restrictions on business signs THAT Council direct Staff to review Sign By-law 2012-110 with respect to sign height and any other revisions or amendments as deemed appropriate by the Chief Building Official; AND FURTHER THAT the report be presented through the Development and Operations Standing Committee not later than August 31, 2015. … click below for more ↓

Reincarnation as a Consultant or a Psychic?

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  A wag met Nasrudin. In his pocket he had an egg. “Tell me, Mullah, are you any good at guessing games?” “Not bad,” said Nasrudin. “Very well then: tell me what I have in my pocket.” “Give me a clue, then.” “It is shaped like an egg, it is yellow and white inside, and it looks like an egg.” “Some sort of cake,” said Nasrudin.* Should I have the chance to do my life all over again, I’m not sure which career I would … click below for more ↓

The Antis at Sunset Point

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There are always those who don’t want change. Any change upsets them. Anything that’s new, different, exciting, challenging or just unusual bothers them and want it stopped. They want a steady state, where nothing happens, nothing changes, nothing is new. Stop growth, stop development, stop change. Some of them are the ‘last in’ crowd – the recent arrivals who don’t want any more newcomers because newcomers will change things, and they will change the reasons the ‘last-in’ group came here. They want to be the … click below for more ↓

It’s Official: Collingwood is Closed for Business

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As I predicted, Collingwood Council officially closed the town to business, growth and development, last Monday night. And just for good measure, council sprinkled the ground with the salt of malice, just to further deter a particular developer from building here. Which sends a message to everyone about how this town respects and values development. Anyone who doesn’t think this is about ideology or doesn’t know this is a personal and petty vendetta hasn’t been paying attention to local politics this past decade. The process of closing our … click below for more ↓

Collingwood Turns a Blind Eye to Hydro One Sale

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It would seem that much of Ontario, and many of its stronger municipal councils, are voicing opposition to the province’s ill-advised plan to sell Hydro One to a private, for-profit group, and are writing to the premier to protest.* The popular sentiment is that selling an essential utility like hydro – that brings the province almost $340 million annually – makes about as much sense as throwing your paycheque out the car window while giving the car keys to a total stranger. It will only … click below for more ↓

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 ↓

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 ↓

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 ↓

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 ↓

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