My last word on integrity reports and douche bags:

I will guarantee that if you had an off the record candid conversation with integrity commissioner Robert Swayze after last Monday evenings fractious council meeting, he would say he has never seen anything quite like that in his professional career. He was retained by the town as an independent arbitrator, he is not part of any particular group, he has no skin in the game, he has no political axe to grind. And yet the derision and contempt that he was publicly subjected to by Kevin Lloyd was quite astounding.
I have been in possession of Mr. Swayze’s report since early last week. Contrary to some of the internet raving’s in various forms of social media about it; I didn’t find it all that damning. I decided against doing a bit on it because to be honest I am a little road weary right now and I decided it was just electronic page filler only to be read by my most ardent followers. I actually almost skipped Monday evenings council meeting. because I thought it would be another lame duck affair that has prevailed since late summer. But I thought what the hell I will go and catch up with a few familiar faces and see how the various election campaigns were going.
When I walked in, the meeting had already started. But I found it rather strange because there was complete silence and the normally staid atmosphere that surrounds these gatherings was replaced with an electric palpable sense of anticipation. I asked someone that was sitting close to me what was going on. They whispered something about “Lloyds lawyer Shaw had submitted a rebuttal of the integrity report”. I thought ah this could be more interesting than I originally thought. I also thought why would Rick Lloyd draw more attention to this thing than is necessary.
I will not get into the ins and outs of what transpired at the later portion of that council meeting, it’s well documented all over social media. The point of this post is to point out a few things that transpired in this council meeting that to me underline exactly what has been amiss (also right) with this town council. I will present it in list format:

1. The Mayor was completely silent the whole time that this farce was going on. With the exception of berating the audience’s clapping, gasps of disbelief and howls of indignation. If ever there was evidence of her complete lack of any kind of leadership roll, it was on full display Monday evening. She was out of her depth stumbling and mumbling her words, looked and acted like the small town country mouse that she really is. I have almost excepted that she will be around for another 4 years, but for God sakes folks anything is better than this vacuous puppet representing our town.

2. These people actually believe they are going to be re-elected. The arrogance that permeates from all of them is quite apparent. I have now started to second guess myself. I am not stupid enough to think that this bunch will be clean sweeped away into the annals of Collingwood’s political grave yard. But I do live in hope that at least two or three of them will be shown the door, and enough new vibrant people will get elected including, in one of the top two positions, to actually make a difference.

3. Dale West’s complete capitulation was a jaw dropper. He quite rightly stated it was a circus. Then voted along with the ringmaster and the trained monkeys. Did we all misinterpret what he was calling a circus? Was he actually saying that Gardhouse, Hull and Edwards stance was the circus? I am perplexed.

4. Rick Lloyd loves all this stuff. He comes across as the slightly rotund, jolly “Aw Shucks” everyman, with his bad suit and comb over hair. But he is the consummate puppet master. He knew full well the ruckus it would cause by letting his brief look at the Swayze document. What else is a small town lawyer going to do? Say to Lloyd “Em actually Rick he makes some good points you better go take your medicine”. Of course not he’s going to do what lawyers do best, denigrate another lawyers deposition with a counter argument in favour of his client.

5. The integrity commissioner was never put on a retainer by this council to make rock solid legal arguments, to stand the scrutiny of a court of law or someone lawyering up and shooting holes through a report. I am quite sure the intent was to guide council through the maze of what constitutes a conflict of interest in the political arena. To be honest if Lloyd thinks his dealings with Assaff do not constitute any conflict (which he doesn’t) then it is quite apparent, what many people in Collingwood have known for years, he is not fit for public office.

6. Joe Gardhouse should have run for council. His performance this term has been quite admirable and although I did not support him as Mayor. I would have quite happily returned him to council. Ditto Keith Hull both will be sorely missed.

7. Ian Chadwick started his Scripturient blog post today with the following:
“Last night at council I referred to seeing what I believed was a post hoc fallacy in a report, or more properly a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Yeah, I probably annoyed some folks in the audience because I used Latin words and that confused them. But hey, they already think I’m a jerk because I can spell words like egregious and nefarious without using spellcheck, so I doubt I lost any votes over it”.
Thereby alienating 95% of his constituency. What a douche bag!!! The sooner he gets supplanted by other more worthy councillors, to the dustbin of the local political scene the better.

Some memorable quotes from Monday 20th October Collingwood town council meeting:

A very red faced Kevin Lloyd to Robert Swayze, Collingwood’s newly appointed integrity commissioner:
“Sir I suggest your report shows a complete lack of integrity.”

Dale West to no one in particular:
“I am not going to be a part to this circus”. Then proceeds to put on the red nose, bald ginger wig, size 20 shoes and jumps in the clown car with the other 4 members of council and drives off down Hurontario St with doors, hood and trunk flying off in different directions.

Mike Edwards to the rest of council:
“I see no problem in receiving this report. What exactly is the problem here?”

Mayor Cooper mumbling to herself:
“How was I supposed to vote again”.

Rick Lloyd peeping through the crack in the door of council chambers:
“Psst Sandra you vote against the motion to receive the report”.

Ian Chadwick pontificating to the whole world:
“Blah Blah Blah ……. It behooves us as an elected body ……….. Blah Blah ………. post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy in this report …….. Blah ……… Politically motivated by a select few, unhappy about decisions this council has made”.

Robert Swayze addressing the council:
“How can a lawyer offer a legal opinion on this matter when they haven’t even had a discussion with me either in person or on the phone”.

Mayor Cooper to the people in the gallery:
“Can I have some order please, I demand that members of the public show respect for this council chamber”. (Even though herself and her voting bloc show zero respect for her office, her constituents or the council chamber she is sitting in).

Joe Gardhouse to the rest of the council:
“We have already received Mr. Shaw’s report and it is in the minutes of this council meeting. If we do not receive Mr. Swayze’s report it will look rather stupid”. (Why oh why Joe did you not just run for council again?)

Keith Hull to the rest of council:
“We hired an integrity commissioner and refuse to accept his first report because we don’t like what he says. Do any of you see the irony in this?”

Town hall janitor in the reception area outside council chamber. Bubble above his head:
“How come this guy in the bad suit is always hanging around out here peeking through the crack in the door”.

Sandy Cunningham to the rest of council:
“I have absolutely nothing of relevance or importance to add to this conversation but I support my good friend Rick Lloyd”.

Paul Brian New Enterprise Bulletin reporter:
“What the f**k have I got myself into here”.

Robert Swayze in his car on the way home talking to his wife on the phone:
“You know that new client I got up in Collingwood? Well it turns out they don’t actually want me to investigate anything and write reports. They just want to pay me a retainer each month”.

Politburo politics comes to Collingwood

If you get a chance watch tonight’s council meeting on Rogers. You have to see it to believe it. This bunch and their supporters accused Chris Carrier’s administration of being dysfunctional. But they put the D in DYSFUNCTIONAL.
The town hired an integrity commissioner Robert Swayze earlier this year. The first case that came up was the well documented conflict of Rick Lloyd having Steve Assaff as his fundraising chair for his run in this current election for Deputy Mayor. Then not excusing himself on the Admiral Collingwood Place site remediation agreement discussion and votes. So after a bunch of wrangling including a last minute letter being presented and accepted before council by legal firm Shaw McLellan and Ironside saying that the integrity commissioners report was flawed. Then the obvious Kevin Lloyd, Ian Chadwick, Sandy Cunningham saying they would vote against council receiving the report.

The thing is, Mr. Swayze’s report did not recommend sanction against Rick Lloyd, it was more of a procedural report with recommendations on how to deal with situations like this in the future. If they had accepted it, this whole thing would have just gone down as more voting bloc nonsense and been forgotten about. But oh no that is not the way with our arrogant, self-righteous voting bloc and the fool Dale West.
In a recorded vote council voted on whether to receive the report before council – after already receiving the report from Shaw, McLellan and Ironside. Council voted 5 (Lloyd, Chadwick, Cunningham, West and Cooper) to 3 (Gardhouse, Hull and Edwards) against receiving the report. (fingers in ears saying La La La I can’t hear you).

So we have an integrity commissioner which the town pays your hard earned taxes for, who writes a report. But your town council will only receive that report before council, if it agrees with its findings. Sounds like something the old Soviet Union Politburo would do just prior to sending the wayward Integrity Commissioner to the gulag.

I will do a full report on these shenanigan’s tomorrow.

VFAN 2014 Collingwood Municipal Election Predictions:

VFAN is here to serve you my loyal readers.

Behind the scenes this past few weeks we have had a team of volunteers cold calling members of the public in Collingwood and asking some carefully crafted questions. To get an idea how you intend to vote in the upcoming election. After we received all the information we sent it down to the Department of Statistical Sciences at The University of Toronto, where they have tabulated all the answers and sent us back some interesting results. The following is accurate 19 times out of 20 and within the accepted 3% margin for error.

VFAN scientifically predicts the following election results for the 2014 Collingwood Municipal Election:

Mayor:
Sandra Cooper

Deputy Mayor:
Brian Saunderson

Councillors:
Mike Edwards
Kevin Lloyd
Steve Berman
Rick Crouch
Tim Fryer
Deb Doherty
Kathy Jeffery

*
*
*
*
*

The above prediction is a parody and is my opinion only.

Our favorite councillor vents in a self-pitying, self-serving blog post.

I was pointed in the direction of our favorite councillors blog first thing this morning. It’s called The Mote and the Beam. I had heard this term before but had to Google it’s meaning. It is a saying apparently used by Jesus, when he gave the Sermon on the Mount. “The discourse is fairly brief, and begins by telling his disciples not to judge others, arguing that they too would be judged by the same standard”…….

(Bring it on I say!!!)

It actually ties in quite handily with Mariane McLeod’s offering from yesterday here:

http://mcleodsmusingswithmarianemcleod.blogspot.ca/2014/10/sausage-and-democracy.html

On a side note please bookmark Marians blog. She is an excellent writer (puts me to shame actually) and sometimes gives me tips and advice on my offerings. In my mind she does not contribute enough to the local blogosphere. When she does it is always very engaging.

But I digress…… In Marians post she complains about the complete lack of due diligence a couple of local low information voters gave to their decisions in their voting choices. She in the end, with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, comes to the conclusion strong-man rule is the way to go, as long as she is the strong man.

The tie in with Mr. Chadwick’s post is – In a very roundabout way he comes to the same conclusion, although his tongue is nowhere near his cheek. He does not mind the low information voter in fact he prefers it that way. In his mind he hates the fact that in this social media driven world it gives a voice to anyone that disagrees with him. He mentions “Angry Bloggers” a few times in his post. I suppose I am included in that group of miscreants. The truth is I am not angry; disappointed, disgusted, disillusioned, all come to mind, never angry. He also complains “Any opportunity for an engaging debate on the issues, even for simple explanation and exchange of views, was scorched away by the ongoing vitriol. Who can be heard over the continual schoolyard shouting, the lies and taunts?” But he has proven time and time again that he is not interested in engaging debate. Believe me, prior to and since I started with this blog, I tried on many occasions to discuss issues with him. It always leads to the same place he blocks and will not engage with anyone other than his most loyal pliant supporters.

Someone should actually explain democracy to our learned councillor because he obviously does not have a clue what it means. I believe that Mr. Chadwick would like nothing better than to ban certain people from voicing their opposing opinions on social media. He makes that quite clear in his post and in his behavior. In this post he says “I never understood bullying. And now we have the local cyber-bullies pointing their fingers at us and call us bullies” and then says “Ah, the hypocrisy never ends, does it?” This from a man that very publicly threatened a local businessman because he had the temerity to show support for a candidate that Mr. Chadwick deemed was part of the ‘Angry Mob’ in this election. He justifies this by saying “Who will want to have their private conversations on Facebook aired in public for ridicule and accusation?”
Excuse me??? We all read his vitriol, we all read his threats made to a person with no ‘Axe to Grind’. A person that was a previous voter and supporter of his, and is in fact still featured prominently on Mr. Chadwick’s Facebook page.

His idea of democracy is once every four years he will engage in open transparent conversations with anyone that pumps up his tires and tells him what a wonderful job he has done. The rest of the time he wants to make all the hard decisions for us, with a voting bloc that rubber stamps an agenda that is being forwarded and promoted from behind the scenes. We are all to keep our mouths shut and let our betters make all the tough decisions for us.

As many of you can tell, I love social media. It gives all of us ‘Nobody’s’ a voice. Chadwick openly despises us “oik’s from the hoi polloi” (read ‘About this Blog’ above) and the voice we now have. In the not too distant past the kind of interaction between Shawn and Chadwick last week would have been done in a quiet “Get that sign off your lawn or else” type of way and it would be denied as hearsay and unfounded rumour. Nowadays his contempt for any person that disagrees with him is exposed in all its glory in written word for all to see. And this from a person who has the audacity to write and publish a book called “Digital Connections” Pontificating on the correct use of social media.

By the way the people that Chadwick likes to call (in his back stabbing round about way) “subversive” are people like: Keith Hull, Rick Crouch, Brian Saunderson, Deb Doherty, Marg Sheban-Eday, Steve Berman, Chris Carrier, Joe Gardhouse, Ian Adams, Mariane McLeod, Gail Michalenko, Betty Donaher on and on the list goes of decent highly regarded members of this community that have made a difference and continue to make a difference in this town. I don’t give a crap what he calls me, I have a thick skin and a loud mouth. But I do object to him referring to the above people as part of “An angry mob” because its easy to throw barbs around at anonymous detractors. A lot harder when you put names and faces to them.

If you wish to read his self-pitying, self-serving blog you can find it here:

http://ianchadwick.com/blog/the-mote-and-the-beam/

Lets talk about election signs………..

It seems from all the comments and emails that I am getting, there have been around 30 cases of sign damage reported mainly by the Carrier, Crouch, Saunderson, Docherty, Michalenko campaign teams. The other side of that coin is I have not heard of one case of any incumbent sign damage. So what does that tell you???
Another funny anecdote on election signs is actually the opposite of disappearing signs, namely signs that mysteriously appear in the front of people’s houses overnight without an actual request by the owner. Apparently if you agreed to have a sign in the last municipal election campaign Cooper and Lloyd have been automatically putting a sign up outside your house. I have one case in particular that comes to mind; a good friend of mine has a Cooper sign outside his house. I was walking the dog one night and saw it. When I got home I immediately emailed him to ask him what was going on. He sheepishly replied “I was wondering when I would hear from you, I’m not voting for her. She asked if she could put a sign up because we did last election and we were too embarrassed to say no”. We all had a good laugh at that one.

You have to wonder how much that dynamic has played itself out in this election, in a small town if someone who is perceived as being in a position of power asks you or just goes ahead and puts a sign outside your house how many people would just leave the sign in place and vote a different way? I had the opposite problem a couple of the candidates I wanted to support had run out of signs and could not provide me with a sign.

One last thing with the advent of camera phones, Go-Pro camera’s, motion activated cameras and such every thing these days seems to get caught on film and ends up on YouTube. With the exception apparently of the rampant election sign abuse that seems to prevail in Collingwood. As I stated before I am trying to get my own bit of footage on this subject. I’ll pay a reward myself for anything that gets forwarded to me. I will get it on YouTube and post it in a blog as quick as a flash.