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 noted that the Nov. 20 … click below for more ↓

More Oppressive Budget Bullshit

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Council is still eyeing a massive hike to Collingwood property taxes, proving they lack any concern about the problems facing seniors and others on fixed incomes, low-income earners, and the many working-class people simply trying to make ends meet in an increasingly expensive town. Every tax increase, every utility increase, every user fee increase makes their lives harder. No one at the council table seems to have the spine to stand up to staff demands for more money, more employees, more stuff in their offices … click below for more ↓

4.25% Tax Increase! WTF Is Council Thinking?

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A story in CollingwoodToday says the latest draft of the town budget puts a 4.25% increase on property taxes for 2024! WTF is council thinking, adding more costs to residents during a period of high inflation? People are already struggling with rising costs for food, electricity (the Saunderson-privatized EPCOR got a 5.23% rate hike this fall*), gas (vehicle and natural), water, clothing, mortgages, transit, lumber, vehicles, and just about everything else. A property tax hike this size will send our already-steep rental prices soaring even more. … click below for more ↓

The Affordable Housing Myth

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Let me start with a few basic, uncomfortable truths about housing. It’s a myth that municipal politicians can, without a coordinated and regional approach that includes private developers and upper-tier levels as well as stakeholders and advocates, solve anything related to housing. And even then, it requires the involvement of provincial and sometimes the federal governments (as well as possible funding from them). Affordable housing is one of the biggest and most challenging issues for municipalities across Canada. A lot of councils (or at least … click below for more ↓

Let Them Eat Cake

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The Continued Arrogance of Brian Saunderson Our gormless backbencher, the CONservative MPP Brian Saunderson, recently exposed his egregious arrogance in a comment to CollingwoodToday about the province again burdening municipalities by downloading more costs onto them. For Collingwood, that means another $615,000 added to our expenses.* He didn’t even bother trying to explain — let alone justify — the downloading, merely shrugged it away. That’s arrogantly disrespectful of how the town deals with spending and what burden it puts on our residents, Saunderson said the … click below for more ↓

Council’s Inappropriate Pay-Raise Decision

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Late last month — less than three months before the next municipal election — council made significant decisions about their own pay and the role of the mayor. Given that four of them have filed to run again (and a fifth is pending), and two of those are vying for the mayor’s role, this was a highly inappropriate decision and of questionable ethics. In the story in CollingwoodToday, it noted: ..council voted to approve changing the position of mayor from part-time to full-time, keeping Collingwood … 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 ↓

How Can Anyone Afford a New House Here?

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My sources suggest that a local retailer recently bought the Blue Shores house shown on the right, paying more than $100,000 over the asking price, for a total of $1.15 million By my standards, that’s a helluva lot of money. Where would anyone working in retail get the funds to buy and maintain a home that sold for that much? I did some rough calculations. The minimum down-payment for a house selling at more than $1 million requires a $230,000 (20%) down-payment, plus another $19,000 … click below for more ↓

Why is Millennium Park so Poorly Maintained?

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We took a walk along the sidewalk and trail into the inappropriately-named “Millennium” Park* this week and were deeply disappointed by the lack of maintenance there. Aside from seeing a private pickup truck driving on the sidewalk for 100 or more metres before turning onto Waterside Lane (where were the police when you need them?) and the trees along the eastern side of the road that were abandoned to die, it was the poor condition of the trail at the north end, the sinkholes, and … click below for more ↓

The $100 Million Mayor?

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In a story on CollingwoodToday, our mayor, Brian Saunderson, shrugs off the costs of his Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (the SVJI) as being but a drop in the bucket for the town’s annual budget: He noted the town’s annual budget is nearly $100 million, and the inquiry costs amount to less than ten per cent of the yearly budget. Perhaps he was flustered by being challenged over the egregious waste of taxpayers’ money on the SVJI and just pulled that budget figure out of his hat. … click below for more ↓

My Report About the Report About the Report

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As I predicted (correctly) late last year, Collingwood Council was given a dumbed-down, $700,000-as-important-as-clean-drinking-water-report-about-the-judicial-inquiry-report. More than 900 pages of the original report reduced to a mere 15 to report on the report. And as I also predicted, it would include pie charts.  You can read it here: “STAFF REPORT #CAO2021-02 Phase One – Collingwood Judicial Inquiry Next Steps. You can also look at the PowerPoint presentation made to council — which, as I also correctly predicted, would have the report “reduced to a dozen bullets … click below for more ↓

The towering heights of the SVJI

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Four hundred and twenty seven thousand, two hundred and sixty five. That’s how many documents have been submitted to the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI) to date, according to a story in Collingwood Today.* There is no indication if more are expected after that, but it wasn’t ruled out, either. More than 425,000 documents. The sheer volume is gobsmacking. Let’s take a look at what that might mean. It isn’t specified if these are single or multiple page documents. We have to assume at least … click below for more ↓

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