Councillor Shits on Democracy

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In a recent story in CollingwoodToday, Councillor Jeffrey is reported shitting on the democratic process. Rather than respecting a previous decision of council as policy requires, she chose to bring back a vote to add another staff person to our already overstaffed townhall. In doing so, I am confident she was well aware that she was voting to further burden taxpayers, simply because she didn’t like the way the vote went when she wasn’t at the table. Coun. Kathy Jeffery … 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, … click below for more!

The Municipal Voting Debacle

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On voting day, Oct. 24, Collingwood’s online voting system suffered serious problems that prevented residents from voting. This happened not once, but twice in the same day. Voting had been open online and via paper ballot (at the library) since Oct. 3, but apparently many people decided to wait until the last day to vote. Yet on the last day, Oct. 24, barely an hour before voting was to close (8 p.m.), candidates received this message from Becky Dahl, Manager, … 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 … click below for more!

Council Misses the Bus. Again.

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Council’s latest plan will make life harder for low-income and senior residents by making our public transit less accessible, less affordable, and then replacing the schedule with random access buses just to confound riders. All because a well-paid consultant said it was a good idea and well-paid staff agreed. Another WTF-were-they-thinking moment from town hall. And I have no doubt, our pro-privatization, anti-public-ownership mayor would love to privatize our transit service — without any public consultation, of course — as … 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 … click below for more!

Our Scruffy, Run-Down Town

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There’s a gravel trail that runs along the waterfront, north of the Shipyards development, that’s been blocked by barricades since the spring. It’s been that way at least six months, perhaps longer. The path suffered erosion and some holes opened up along it. These were marked by barricades. Sort of. Most of the barricades collapsed some weeks (months?) ago, but no one from the town has bothered to pick them up. Yet someone from the town regularly fills the nearby … click below for more!

Are Cwood’s Symbolic Gestures Mere Platitudes?

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I’ve been wondering what the purpose is of the declaration that now starts every council and standing committee meeting. It’s a symbolic gesture, of course, but I cannot fathom what it’s meant to accomplish or who its audience is. The most recent declaration reads: For more than 15,000 years the First Nations walked upon, and cared for, the lands we now call home: Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Ojibwe, and many others who cared for their families and communities, the way we now … click below for more!

Failures in Cwood’s Typography and Design

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Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form. Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style (Hartley & Marks Publishers, 2001) I’m neither a graphic designer nor a typographer, but I spent many, many years working with design and type, as well as designers and typographers, enough to acquire at least a patina of their arts. I’ve read and studied them enough to know the basics, more than enough to see when they have not been … click below for more!

Chris Potts Nails It

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Nailed it! In his latest blog post, former Town of Collingwood employee, Chris Potts writes about our council’s ill-conceived plan to hire a “climate change specialist” to add to the already egregiously expensive and bloated town payroll that taxpayers are burdened with: The Town of Collingwood seems to just hire and hire and hire, the next time we see this the position will be a coordinator, or director and listed on the sunshine list. Lets get to the real point … click below for more!

Let’s Play “Spread the Virus!”

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I see Collingwood Council wants the province to end the lockdown, but hasn’t said anything about improving public safety or accelerating the vaccinations if that happens. That suggests to me they are okay if the coronavirus spreads again, and strains our hospital’s already stretched capacity to deal with it. At least, that’s the message I got from the latest facepalm-worthy discussion and motion by council this week. As reported on CollingwoodToday: Collingwood council is demanding an explanation from the province … click below for more!

The Hypocrisy Goes On

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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!

Will Madigan Pay for Inquiry Costs?

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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!

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