What the candidates say about: Economic Development – Part 1

I was a little disappointed in some of the answers I got from my chosen slate of candidates below. I was looking for suggestions more along the lines of my cycling post last week. Cheap practical ideas that get people visiting and spending money in this town. Economic development isn’t just about manufacturing jobs, its also about creating an economic climate that gives people confidence to want to start successful businesses that then create jobs.

Steve Berman
This is the blog I wrote with my ideas for Economic Development.

http://allbeingmaster.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/election-2014-here-is-my-economic-development-plan/

Of the 6 ideas I wrote about in the blog, the one I feel is the most important, is to hire an expert.

We have watched this council waste millions of dollars, attempting to micro-manage Collingwood’s Economic Development.

- A new dock?

- A chipper?

- a concrete floor for the Eddie Bush?

- renovate the Annex?

- a new dog park?

It took this council over 3 years to make Economic Development a “priority”. I’d love to hear an incumbent explain that one to the voters.

Rick Crouch
Economic development is without question a key issue facing our area in the coming years.   As stated when I announced my candidacy, I was present in 1986 to witness the final ship constructed here slip into the harbor and with it the last 200 or so jobs of this once thriving industry. Since then we have watched helplessly as other well paying industrial jobs have slipped beneath the waves in a sea of turbulent economic change, with factories closing and in some cases the buildings demolished.   We are not the only community to have experienced this phenomena, hundreds of cities and towns across North America have endured the same heart wrenching drama of watching higher paying manufacturing jobs leave their respective communities never to return.

Frankly, I find it hard to exude much credit and or optimism for the Town’s recent initiative, opening a “Business Development Centre.” As per the Town’s own website, this facility is and I quote: “Designed to be a one-stop shop for all local business needs.” Normally I am not one for clichés however after reading the July 30th announcement issued by the Town announcing the opening of the facility two come to mind. First, we have put the “cart before the horse” establishing this entity after which we then went about hiring a Manager of Marketing and Business Development. Should we not have hired this person first, then allowed them to utilize their expertise in developing a strategic plan which may or may not have included establishing a “Business Development Centre?” Secondly, from my prior positions as a senior executive with several private and publically owned corporations, I can assure you that adopting a “build it and they will come attitude” which seems to be the sentiment with the establishment of this Centre without a well defined strategic plan is nothing more than a façade and in an election year at that.

Gail Michalenko
Economic development in today’s global economy is a complex issue with no easy answers. The one idea or notion if you of which I am a huge proponent of and must be adopted by the incoming Council is the fact that economic development cannot be fulfilled with a “made in Collingwood” solution. This is truly a “regional” issue and must be approached as such with our neighbouring municipalities. Much of our labour pool resides in Wasaga Beach, the Blue Mountains and Meaford. The volume of traffic flowing into Collingwood from Highway 26 east and west in the morning attests to this fact. The biggest draws to our area in terms of the tourism industry reside outside the municipality as does our airport. What makes us think that opening an office on Hurontario Street is going to generate any more jobs that the ones created to staff the facility itself? Engaging other area municipalities with respect to economic development creates the critical mass needed to collectively work with the County, the Province and even the Federal government if need be to attract meaningful, long term employment to the area once we have identified what types of businesses or industry we can best support.

I do have a number of ideas that relate to economic development but since housing issues have been my focus in this community for many, many years I will answer from this perspective. Most people will not see a connection between economic development and the need to have a range of housing options that meet the needs of all of our residents. As an example, historically speaking, this municipality missed the opportunity to have a large expansion that would have meant an addition 100 jobs at the Goodyear plant specifically because Goodyear looked at the housing situation in Collingwood and didn’t feel that the housing options were affordable for their employees based on the wages they would be offering. One can only speculate but perhaps that plant would still be here if it had been a larger part of Goodyear’s operations. However, I only use it as an example of why housing is a piece of the puzzle when looking at the economic development strategies needed moving forward. Economists will tell you that for every job created the ‘spinoff effect’ is equally important to the economy. In other words, that one job results in additional benefits to the local economy because the employee lives and spends here. If people cannot afford to live here – even if they come here to work- they will not be spending their dollars locally.

Much of our economy today is based on service industry jobs and the employees who work those jobs are a very important part of our economy but they struggle to keep a roof over their heads and meet other basic needs costs. Moving forward, the next Council should be looking at developing it’s own Housing Strategy as Wasaga Beach and several other Simcoe County communities have now done. While the County of Simcoe has developed a 10 year affordable housing strategy, it is important that each municipality work in unison with the County to meet their own community’s needs. I have been appointed to the County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to move that plan forward. Collingwood has a number of gaps in the housing spectrum – affordable ownership opportunities to allow our young people to get into the market, affordable rental opportunities for the working poor, affordable rental opportunities for our growing population of low income seniors. Improving this situation is a key part of economic development.

In order for Collingwood to truly be a sustainable, inclusive and diverse community many steps need to be taken to improve our prosperity. Economic development strategies are absolutely crucial to achieving these goals.

Kathy Jeffery
To promote jobs in Collingwood you must have the intensification of population to support service, retail and small manufacturing.  Availability of the skilled workers that the employers are looking for to fill them is necessary to attract new jobs and an education/support structure for the development of jobs through entrepreneurship is critical.  It has been reported that Collingwood has slipped down the list of the most desirable places to live in Canada.   Affordable housing for families wanting to live and work in Collingwood (or the Georgian Triangle for that matter) is a challenge – to afford housing based on the wages of the majority of predominant job types, particularly for young adults starting out, is  extremely difficult even with two working adults in a household.  Town Council should be dusting off the sustainable community plan which was based on the blueprint of Vision 2020 (The People’s Vision), take into consideration the impact of the last 4 years’ decisions to it, and implement the steps necessary to turn this ship around!  All the tools and resources the Town needs to assist are already available. Every decision of Council must be weighed as to the questions:  Does this decision positively or negatively impact our goals for economic development?  Does it help the municipality deliver services in a fiscally responsible manner? Is it the best decision for the largest majority of our residents/businesses? Then you can assess all of the ideas coming to the table to make sure they are getting us where we need to go.

Brian Saunderson puts me straight on reports, committees and gabfests

I knew that after I posted my last blog I would get some kick back. Mr. Berman even devoted a blog to Chadwick,  Lloyd and I this morning.

http://allbeingmaster.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/this-stuff-has-got-to-stop/

I also received the following email from deputy mayoralty candidate Brian Saunderson. I don’t necessarily agree with either of them on all points, but it is an interesting debate. I think governance at all levels seems to have got itself  bogged down with words like consensus and community outreach. So everyone has to agree with everything, which never happens. The other extreme is this current town council who had an agenda that a good portion of the town did not agree with. Surely there is a happy medium between the two.

I have posed a question on this subject, after Brian’s email below. Please give me your input in the comment section. This is especially important 2 months prior to an election.

Nobody,

I read your blog this morning and while I understand your frustration, I don’t agree that Council members need to come to the table with all the answers.  I think Council has to come to the table with an open mind, a willingness to listen and a commitment to doing what is in the best interests of the community.  To govern and lead a municipality effectively requires leadership and a plan.  That plan is Council’s road map for its mandate and must be determined by Council with input from the residents, community stakeholders and staff.  To implement that plan involves committees, reports and dialogue.  I agree that reports have been ignored or rejected outright by this Council, but that speaks to the workings of this Council and the results speak for themselves. 

 As I said in my comments on economic development, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”.  Our Town is a municipal corporation with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and an annual budget of over $50 million. The residents are, in effect, shareholders and Council is the Board of Directors.  Moreover, the annual budget consists largely of tax dollars which are, in my opinion, trust funds held by the Town on behalf of the residents and Council has a duty to ensure those funds are used in an open, transparent way in the best interests of the community. Collingwood cannot afford to make decisions that are arbitrary and unplanned.

Any corporation of this size, public or private, has to have a business plan to operate in an effective and sustainable way and maximize its returns.  A municipal corporation is not a business that is prudently run on individual ideas and agendas, no matter how intelligent the people making the decisions are.  While planning, reports and dialogue may seem boring and plodding, they are a critical part of the system.  Most importantly, these processes done properly involve public input, staff research and planning which makes for an open and transparent decision making process and, ultimately, making sound decisions.

Brian

What do you think?

Do you want your municipal candidate to be elected with a clear plan on the direction the town needs to go? Or should your candidate be directed by committee’s, reports and public input after the election?

 

 

One thing this town is really good at……………

If there were a prize for striking up committees and writing up reports, this town would be a leading recipient of it. Town councils in Collingwood are also great at ignoring most of the reports that they sanction.  I honestly think that ‎they do this stuff just to make it look like they are busy doing something. Even if what they are doing accomplishes absolutely nothing.

I am talking about, in this instance,  the Active Transportation Plan available on the towns Web site here:

http://www.collingwood.ca/files/photos/Final%20ATP%20-%20Received%20by%20Council%20Jan%202013_reducedsize.pdf

I read some of this ‎thing earlier in the week, it was pretty heavy going. Lots of graphs and big ideas, none of which will ever get implemented by anyone. I was directed to it by its author Rob Voigt. All be it anonymously through the comment section of my “Cycling” blog. He caught me out. I breezed through it for a few minutes and after my mind was wandering to stuff like “I need to put some clothes into the dryer” I abandoned ship and made the following comment in answer to his comment:

“Just read a bunch of it. (I hadn’t ) Looks to me like a make work project for the people writing the report. (Sorry Rob) There are probably a bunch of these types of things gathering dust at town hall. (That part is true) The report is the problem rather than a solution.” (No the people ignoring the report are the problem).

Rob and anyone else drafting these reports. Why don’t you make it part of the deal that you do a brief synopsis on your proposals so dummies like me  can get a quick overview on what you are proposing? There was much too much planning/legal speak  to many graphs and too many analytics to hold my attention for more than a brief few minutes.

Same thing happened three years ago when they struck up the Central Park Steering Committee to decide what to do at Central Park a report was drafted which recommended a multi use facility, then was promptly ignored by this council. I bet less than 50 people in Collingwood read the report that came from this steering committee. So council decided to erect tents instead for a cool $14 million.

I have a message for the new council coming in. If I voted for you let’s not bother with the committees, studies and gabfests. Have a platform when you are electioneering, so I know what you stand for. Then get consensus with the other 8 council members then implement that platform after you get elected‎. No surprises and no running by the seat of your pants after you get voted in, like this current council has done for 4 years. If I have one problem with my non-incumbent candidates, whom I intend to support. It’s their propensity to default to the political gab speak at every opportunity they get. No matter how much I ask them to keep it simple.

I talk to a lot of people about politics in this town and they are sick of it. No wonder Rob Ford was such a populist, he would say what he meant and meant what he said. A rare commodity these days (I think he might be off the crack too).

Here’s a novel idea how about running a campaign and talking in plain language about what you intend to do to make this town a better place to live. Lets have some ideas that do not involve committees, town hall meetings, reports and blab-fests.

Simples.

Economic Development – One Quick Idea……………

My next question to the candidates is about economic development in Collingwood. Before I post their suggestions, in the next day or so, I have a cheap and easy idea as follows:

Myself and a few of my soccer buddies have taken up cycling in the form of road bike riding this past summer. My reason for cycling now, instead of running, which I have been doing for many years. Was with running, it eventually got to the stage where I was spending more time nursing injuries than I was actually running (I have started to play goalie in soccer for the same reason. Much to the chagrin of my teammates). Cycling is a lot easier on the body.
I had an idea the other day while I was riding. Road bike riding is huge now in this area, take a drive up Grey Rd 19 or Fairgrounds Rd on a Saturday or Sunday morning it is a constant stream of people of all ages and all abilities riding their bikes. But you would not think it. Go to any restaurant or coffee shop in the area and see how many bike racks you find. I usually end up leaning my bike on some fence somewhere and try and sit with my bike in view, or don’t enjoy my meal because I am worrying about it getting stolen, which is a big problem in Collingwood. Also I lost count of the times I have been riding along one of these back roads and some red neck in a truck with 3ft wheels and a couple of chrome chimneys coming out of the bed, overtakes a little too closely at 120 kph leaning on his horn. Not much you can do about that (you can’t fix stupid). But from an economic development perspective I do have some ideas in this regard.

1. As a town we make the decision that Collingwood is open for business as far as cycling is concerned. We make local cycling groups ie Collingwood Cycling Club part of this process.

2. After the above decision is made we pick a weekend in the summer and hold a cycling race. Yeah I know we already have the Centurion but that is Village at Blue and very little benefit comes to Collingwood.

3. Take a piece of land from the parking lot at the pool tent next to the fire hall build a post and beam open concept structure and make that a purpose build center for cycling. Set up a compressor for pumping up tires. You also invite a couple of local cycling stores/coffee shop to set up a stall on a Saturday and Sunday morning to sell cycling bits and pieces or coffee and muffins. Set up a large message board to leave messages for other cyclists. This place can act as a meeting place for cycling groups to meet. Also allows people in town alone to arrive and join cycling groups

4. Have discounts in local hotels and restaurants for cycling groups and people. Get some bike racks in these locations. These locations could supply bike locks so cyclists don’t have to drag a lock around with them.

5. Start setting up an extensive network of bike lanes that are in effect from April until October. There is no point having bike lanes in the winter in Canada.

6. Have a conversation with Town of Blue Mountain and see about paving and widening the Georgian Trail between Collingwood and Thornbury. Make half for running/walking the other half for biking. The reason for this is there are some very good rides around the Thornbury area the only way to get to them is slogging up Grey Road 19 (beyond your casual rider) or the “Death Race 2000” Highway 26.

7. Pick a couple of roads I suggest Grey Road 19 and Fairgrounds Rd and make them local access only for vehicle traffic from say 8am – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. And instead of the cops sitting at the local roundabouts on the east side of town. Have them patrol those roads handing out tickets to anyone who does not have a good reason for being on those roads apart from it being easier to get to Feversham and Creemore.

8. Start promoting Collingwood in cycling magazines, websites, chamber of commerce as a cycling friendly location that accommodates and is open for business to cyclists.

9. Post signs around the area saying that this is a bike friendly community please share the road with cyclists.

10. This one is for cyclist’s. Stop taking yourselves so seriously. I know that you think you are pretty hot stuff on your $5,000 bike and “Team Cinzano” cycling outfit. Give a wave or a nod to the newbie that you pass on the road, it encourages and enhances the sport.

Some of the above would take some cooperation with neighboring municipalities and townships. We already have the downhill biking happening at Village of Blue, which is a huge draw for them. We also have some great mountain biking at 3 stages and Kolopor Highlands. My ideas above could bring this all together and make this area a biking Mecca. Your comments suggestions and ideas would be very much appreciated below, I know that most of the people running for council read this blog.

What the candidates say about: Collingwood OPP Investigation Part 2

(Continued)

Steve Berman
What will I do personally, to change that perception?

The main thing I can do, is lead by example. I will be as open as the public wants. I will share everything that I am allowed to share, when it comes to town business. I will work to make sure that every question is answered, by myself or the appropriate staff member. If there are untrue rumours about town business, I will put them to rest rather than have them linger.

Most importantly, any residents who are are cynical, need to tell myself and others, what they need to see to regain their trust.

Have you been interviewed by the OPP in connection with this investigation?

I was first interviewed by the OPP around April 2nd, 2013. I have regularly communicated with them since that time.

Deb Doherty
Today there seems to be an unprecedented amount of cynicism about politics and politicians, not just in Collingwood, but at every level of government – municipal, provincial and federal. I think that voters have done it to themselves – voter participation is declining, voters seem to take less interest in the candidates and the issues than they might have done a couple of decades ago. Moreover, our communities seem no longer to expect, let alone demand, accountability from our politicians – politically, ethically or morally. As a recent article in Maclean’s observed, the average voter today is too beleaguered with family, job, and domestic economics even to take an interest in their neighbours, let alone the larger issues that face our towns and our country. (Maclean’s; The End of Neighbours; August 18, 2014). Certainly this apathy was obvious at the sparsely attended local all candidates meeting for the recent provincial election.

Added to this is the sad reality, in my view anyway, that our political culture in this particular town is one of intolerance of dissent. Citizens, either individually or in advocacy groups, who take issue with Council on action or policy run the risk of being publically bullied by Council and/or by the media. It is small wonder that many Collingwood residents believe that they are powerless to influence change.

While the problem extends way beyond Collingwood, change has to start at the grass roots level, one politician at a time. We need to restore trust in our elected officials, and I believe that I can contribute to that in four ways:
1. Holding my own performance to the highest level of effort and the highest ethical and moral standards.
2. I must be seen as applying the same rules and standards equally across the community – residents, businesses and developers – no exceptions, no blatant favouritism, no back room deals.
3. I will promote more open lines of informal communication between residents and Council. I am advocating for regular “Evenings with Council” – separate from traditional Council Meetings, where the public can participate in a casual question and answer session with Council. Presently Council has a similar forum – the “Coffee with Council” events, but I would promote a forum with the same objective but more frequent and more convenient than 9am on a Saturday morning.
4. I embrace the new Governance model in principal as a more streamlined and efficient form of governance but I will be advocating for sufficient numbers of resident/stakeholders occupying meaningful roles on each committee.
All that said, the residents of this community also have a responsibility to learn about the issues, and the candidates, and then exercise their rights to vote. So far, I am not aware of any scheduled All Candidates Meetings, and I sincerely hope that thoughtful residents and stakeholders like the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Probus and/or Better Together Collingwood, will organize one or more of these events before the ballots are mailed during the first week of October. Change takes effort, and nothing changes if nothing changes.

Your second question – was I interviewed by the OPP as part of their investigation of Council? With respect, I will decline to answer this question until the investigation is finished and the results are released.

Tim Fryer
Yes I would agree that although the saying is something like “any national or provincial news coverage at all is good advertising” that particular CBC coverage should only be looked at as having a negative impact for Collingwood. Unfortunately it appears that cynicism amongst voters can be considered somewhat of a natural reaction resulting from numerous unfortunate happenings in recent months. Not just locally on the political front but both nationally and provincially due to events such as: the senate scandal, the Premier of Alberta’s resignation, the Rob Ford saga, the Mayor of Montreal’s arrest, the Mayor of London’s verdict etc. In my discussions with other townspeople, while I was making the decision about entering the election race, I too heard concern amongst many that nothing will change after the election. It appears that the trigger point to much of this attitude goes back to the form of leadership that was exhibited and the process that was used in making the major decision and implementing it in regards to the new recreation facilities. Hopefully one of the mechanisms in the new council’s term that will help change the perception, will come from me following through on my intention to always be transparent and accountable and follow proper process when fulfilling the duties and responsibilities I will have as a Town Councilor. I believe strongly that this will be a major step towards easing some of the concern that the public has. A sort of mantra of my campaign is that “together we can make a difference” so my planned approach will be that it is imperative that all of Town Council and the public work well together. Certainly Town Council must show strong and thoughtful Leadership moving forward and find other ways to eliminate the cynicism and positively engage the public as there are many opportunities for them to help us reach our goals and vision.

Regarding the second part of your question I would say that in the event of it happening I would always readily cooperate with any request by the police authority. Likewise if there ever was a situation that I thought possibly involved questionable action I would immediately make the authorities aware of the situation. I would also respect any request for confidentiality that would result from an instance. Additionally even if something occurred that I was unsure about but it brought about enough of a concern for me I can emphatically say that I would make sure to bring my concern forward to the proper person in the hierarchy of the public authority that it was applicable to. In my role as Town Councilor I will follow these same principles and hopefully that will help ensure that there is never any need for any of this type of intervention.

In summary on this subject and to address most specifically the feeling you refer to as being expressed amongst some, “that nothing will change in spite of who they vote for”, I would strongly urge everyone to please participate in the democratic process. I believe it is of utmost importance that everyone exercises their voting rights whenever the opportunity occurs. I also believe in the statement that while elections do determine who is in power, they do not determine how the power is used. Stay fully engaged! Successful municipalities are community operated so we must work together to maximize our effectiveness and ensure our long-term vibrancy.

Gail Michalenko
I personally have no knowledge of the nature of the OPP investigation other than what has appeared in the media from time to time. Since it is an ongoing investigation it is not appropriate to comment or speculate at this time subject. However, to avoid any similar doubt cast on how Council business is conducted, if elected I would want to ensure that the way Council proceedings are as transparent as possible with a minimum of in camera sessions that are conducted within the guidelines set out in the Municipal Act. It is also very important that there a fair transparent tendering process for all major purchases and contracts. I would be very careful about ensuring that conflict of interest guidelines are followed to the letter of the law. I would want to hear from the public through surveys or public hearings regarding major decisions that have implications for all residents of Collingwood or particular sectors before Council votes on a particular issues. I would carefully research and consider the recommendations of the Municipal staff before deciding how to cast my vote. We have very well qualified staff and I believe Council should be able to rely more upon their expertise. Most importantly my vote will be my vote based on the research, consideration on public input and the recommendations and information provided by our well qualified staff. Lastly, I do not believe that municipal government should have anything to hide and I will do my best to ensure that transparency and integrity are key to how Council conducts itself. It is how I conduct myself personally and it is how I expect any organization I am associated with to be run.

Brian Saunderson Candidate for Deputy Mayor
There is no doubt that the fact of the investigation is a black eye for our community. I have not been interviewed by the OPP and am not familiar with the issues under investigation.
‎Municipal government more than any other level of government is about dialogue between the elected representatives and the constituents. Trust is fundamental to this dialogue and the fact of the OPP investigation has critically damaged the trust and the dialogue. That said, a number of key decisions by the current Council had damaged the dialogue between Council and the residents as well as the level of public trust in Council before the investigation became public.
How Council conducts itself and makes decisions is as important as the decisions it makes. Residents judge Council by the transparency of its decision making processes and the soundness of the decisions it makes – these two aspects are an inseparable part of Council’s performance.
The next Council needs to make transparency a priority. It needs to ensure its processes are open and accessible to the public and that Council holds itself accountable to the public for its actions. This includes engaging the public in the strategic planning process to chart the future of our community, adopting a robust Code of Conduct which includes sanctions for contravention, investigate a lobbyist registry to track municipal business dealings, adopt a more comprehensive and robust procurement policy to prohibit sole sourcing of all large contracts, ‎and make public input processes more accessible (ie. remove any pre-screeng of deputation to Council). The fact of the matter is that process is important and to open the doors to our local government we must ensure we have the processes in place to do that.
‎It is my intention to work with the next Council to put these processes in place.

Joe Gardhouse Candidate for Mayor

Did not respond to this question.

An Absolute Tragedy

As part of this current town councils recreation facility overall planning. They managed to turn this:

Dome Soccer

into this:

Dome Down 2

and this:

Dome 1

into this:

Dome Down 1

this:

Dome Down 3

and this:

Dome Down 4

This is a complete tragedy and the incompetent boobs in your town council did not do anything to try and keep this well needed facility in our town. Remember this in October and make sure you vote.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses………………..

As I said in an earlier post I have been very interested in Islamic State lately, going so far as to start following a few of its members on Twitter. I thought this was a bit of a lark until last night.

I visited my Twitter feed after work and was catching up with a few people I follow. Then on a chap named @hyperTerrorist’s feed came “Breaking News please watch this video”. As I said before, I watch a lot of video on line, so I clicked on the link. It started off with President Obama’s speech announcing the bombing of IS positions. I thought pretty mundane stuff and I was just about to turn it off, then the video switched to a scene in a desert. There was an orange jump suited white man with a shaved head kneeling next to another man dressed in black middle eastern clothes. As usual with these terrorists, you could not see his face just his eyes and it looked like he had dark skin. The white guy with no script started reciting what was obviously a prepared statement
He spoke of his “beloved parents” and requests they not receive any compensation from the government and his brother, “John,” a member of the U.S. air force, to “think about who made the decision to bomb Iraq recently.”
“I died that day, John. When your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people they signed my death certificate,” the man says.

I kind of knew what was coming but was mesmerized by the whole scene, remember this was about two hours prior to anything being on any news channel. It was then the IS guys turn to speak. What amazed me was he had a very broad cockney (London) English accent. He said “Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their right of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” and spouted some other Islamo-Nazi propaganda. He pulled out a knife with about a 1ft long blade and moved it towards the neck of the knelling white guy. I then averted my eyes. The next picture was a still of this poor fellow laying on his back with his head on his chest and lots of blood. What I had unwittingly just witnessed almost in real time was the brutal execution of journalist James Wright Foley. It’s all fun and games until someone loses a head. The last picture was another orange clad white guy (Steven Sotloff of Miami) being held roughly by the scruff of his neck. Then goes to a black screen and a white caption says “Obama this man’s life is in your hands”.

I was pretty incensed. Up until that point I had been just a casual observer, but not now. So I went on a Twitter offensive. I can no longer post @truthMaster’s side of the conversation because he has since been blocked by Twitter but you get the gist as follows:

Capture1

Capture 2

Capture 3

Capture4

Capture5Capture6

There was more but you get the gist. I have now since started a new Twitter account Templar@Levantcrusader to continue the fight against these thugs. I have also stopped following any IS on my VFAN account. To be honest these people scare the shit out of me and VFAN Twitter posts a lot of stuff about where I live and what I do. I also would not want any of you to inadvertently stumble upon what I did yesterday. I will keep you all posted.