Crybaby Hull and Ditzy Doherty

Acting CrybabyAs a recent Connection story noted, our acting mayor wept openly when a decision he supported took some community flack. Seriously. He cried at a council meeting. Hardly the sort of behaviour one expects of the man chosen to replace the head of council (our much-disliked mayor who couldn’t wait to get away from his responsibilities).

You can watch the entire discussion on video on the town’s website starting from 04:53:39. Hull’s comments begin at 05:01:05; he breaks into tears around 05:01:30 and is unable to speak for about 25 seconds, then breaks up again. And again. The Connection’s story notes:

At the May 30 council meeting, Keith Hull was brought to tears while speaking to a report about the community response to the proposed archway downtown.

Tears? Over a decision about a proposed sign? And more than once? Geez, how would he respond to a real issue? Hysterics? A tantrum? (Read my previous post about the proposed gateway sign here.)

I don’t recall reading about him weeping over wasting millions of taxpayers’ dollars on sole-source contracts for the mayor’s former employers. Or over not giving local workers or businesses hurt by the pandemic lockdowns any financial support. Or when council passed the jobs-growth-and-revenue killing interim control bylaw that killed all new construction here for several years to come.

But he wept over a sign. And not even an actual sign, just a proposed one. Or rather, he wept because some residents didn’t like his decision to support the proposed downtown gateway sign and, apparently, told him so:

Hull said he was surprised by the “ferocity” of the comments from the community, with some questioning his commitment to the town and noting he wasn’t born here. Hull has been a resident for 25 years.
“It was unsettling,” he said. “To question my loyalty to this community. Whether I’m from this community is irrelevant; we genuinely try to do the best for the community.”

Hull actually said being criticized was “unsettling.” I wonder if he got midnight “prank” calls from people or had his house egged in the middle of the night (I received both during my terms in office). That’s “unsettling.”

He cries again at 05:05:35.

Aww. Cry me a river, Keith. This is POLITICS. Politicians need a thick skin to be effective and survive. Elected officials should learn very quickly that not everyone likes their decisions, nor agrees with their vote, nor supports their every choice. Even before the toxic swamp of social media, people argued angrily over political decisions and issues: letters in the newspaper, chatter in coffee shops. Politics was never a back-slapping, Pollyana support group. It’s always been a mosh pit.

Around 05:06:20 Hull says that this council “genuinely tries to do the best for this community.” I’ll dispute that statement (after I finish laughing) and suggest they actually try to do the best for themselves and their soon-to-be-former mayor. But Hull didn’t express that sentiment when he was on the 2010-14 council; his was among the voices accusing us of working against the community’s needs by not pandering to Saunderson’s demands for the town to give the YMCA a $35 million handout.

Ah, the hypocrisy. Where is his empathy towards those who criticized him? Or towards those of us who suffered similar attacks from Hull’s own friends and supporters in previous terms? Even though they cut deeply, we didn’t weep then.

Hull needed to put on his big-boy pants and move on. Get over it (and follow the guidelines about behaviour in the town’s byzantine and restrictive Code of Conduct). But instead, he grovelled. Openly. Collingwoodtoday noted that he apologized for making a decision that some people disagreed with:

“To those I offended in terms of the stance I took, I apologize,” said Hull. “For the few individuals that took direct aim – and these are people I know – who questioned my loyalty to this community, whether or not I’m from here is irrelevant.”

I suspect he went home after the meeting and spent hours searching his closet to find where he’d left his spine.

But that was after he broke into tears in front of the cameras over making a decision that not everyone liked.

Ooh, some people said stinging things in email. Hurt his feelings. Questioned his loyalty. Hold my beer, Keith, because you haven’t received a fraction of the hatred, lies, blog attacks, and accusations some of us are still getting from our 2012 council decision not to give the YMCA a $35 million handout.

It’s not like council is going to rescind your Order of Collingwood, Keith. It’s not as if council is going to send a nasty letter about you to every municipality in Ontario just to humiliate you further (as your council did to Ed Houghton). It’s not like those residents bullied you into resigning, as the mayor and his sycophants did to former councillor Comi. I didn’t see any angry residents, riled up by misinformation and lies, protesting your decision in front of town hall and shouting names when you entered the building. Or carrying signs calling on some unnamed authority to “inpeach council” as Deb Doherty’s partner did to us.

Hull also says “the community has spoken.” Well, no it hasn’t. The “community” had little say (700 responses out of more than 25,000 residents is still well below the number required for statistical relevance: see the footnote here). The people who “spoke” were a small portion who 1) diligently read the town ads in the weekly flyer wrapper (aka the Connection…) or 2) have a Facebook or Twitter account and subscribe to (and read) town posts, and 3) went to the town’s inappropriately-named, user-hostile “engage” portal and submitted their personal data to log in and post their opinion. I suspect a lot of residents, including many seniors, not only didn’t participate but didn’t even know about the survey.

The town’s flaccid “engagement” with its citizens is a passive process aimed at making council feel like it’s engaging citizens when it’s really focused on a small and select group of people online, instead of providing an effective, community-wide communications system. But I digress.

This is just a downtown sign Hull supported and others didn’t. And Hull bawled over his hurt feelings. It’s probably a good thing he’s not running again.

Doherty Files for Re-election

Ditzy DebbieMeanwhile, Councillor Deborah “Ditzy” Doherty has filed for re-election as councillor. Our flakiest councillor feels she deserves to get paid by the taxpayers again for another four years, but for what? Her contributions to the town have been slight, if any at all, although she has provided some of the most amusing WTF moments for council watchers. But don’t be fooled by that goofy exterior. There’s not a small amount of self-interest behind her smile, and a bit of malice, too.

Let’s look at some highlights of her time on the past two councils.

I could go on, but that’s sufficient fodder for readers to chew on while you ponder whether you want another four years of Doherty sucking at the public tit without giving back anything to benefit the rest of the community.

Collingwood deserves better.

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