Nobody gets himself “schooled” in the Centurion Race.

Let’s take a brief break from municipal election talk for a moment. I rode in the Centurion cycling event this past weekend. Not the main 100 mile race (I am not that much of a masochist) but the secondary 50 mile race. Before you get too impressed, my time was very tortoise like. I was so slow at one point an old geezer, getting his mail, on a motorized scooter overtook me as I rode up Epping Hill (or as I was calling it Sunday “That Effing Hill”). It was quite the experience rolling out with a thousand other cyclists at the start of the race. The only thing was no one told me the race didn’t actually start until you get to the bottom of Grey Rd 19. So I was flying along passing everyone and thinking to myself “this is easy I might even win this thing”. Then over the next three and a half hours, one by excruciating one, the four hundred or so people I passed at the start gradually overtook me on every little incline. They closed down Blue Mountain Road, Osler Bluff Road and the first part of Grey Rd 19. So it was great riding and not having to worry about buddy in his dually wheeled behemoth with the bull horns, flying past us with inches to spare. The people that run this thing should be commended, it was such a well-organized event. I do hear though that Blue Mountain gets very little business from it, as apparently athletes including cyclists are notoriously cheap when it comes to restaurants and hotels. I can attest to this by the fact that a bunch of us went to Tholo’s for a celebratory lunch after the ride and it was pretty much empty. Which is amazing considering close to a thousand riders had finished this race over the previous couple of hours or so.

As I said in a previous post, this is my first year of cycling, I am really enjoying it. On Sunday while I was labouring away on the ride I was planning in my head this blog post. I was thinking Collingwood should hold a cycling event, not a road race like the Centurion, but what cyclists call a Criterium race. Which is a short course cycling race usually around one or one and a half miles and it consists of lap racing.

I hear you all saying “Your crazy Nobody why would we want to turn our town over to a bunch of el cheapo, skinflint, cyclists, that don’t spend any money?” Well here’s the thing – Criterium racing is a much more spectator friendly sport rather than long distance road racing, like the Centurion. The one thing with the race this past weekend, if someone wants to come and watch, most of the action is happening up in the Niagara Escarpment and some of the roads close to the race, are shut down or have limited access. My kids came up to watch me and the sum total of the experience was around 30 seconds of watching me huff and puff across the finish line, then 10 minutes of listening to me moan and groan about how hard it was. When it comes to spending money spectators are a different story. If someone has shelled out the money to drive all the way to Collingwood to watch a cycling event, then they usually don’t mind parting with their hard-earned shekels at a local eating establishment or hotel. The other thing is if we want to continue to keep kidding ourselves that Collingwood is an active, four season destination, we have to start doing things and promoting things to make that actually the case. At present we just hang off the coat tails of Blue Mountain Resort, which actually has earned its chops as a year round activity filled destination.

One thing I will say though, before you get too busy about the above idea (I now have to delve back into election territory again). My impression of most of the members of this current council is that they seem to think local sports, for anyone over 40 or 50 only happens on a golf course or on a ski hill. So if you ever want to see any sporting based events, along with the sacrosanct Elvis Festival held in this town, you might have to look to others to make that happen.

I Could Not Let This Stand:

I received the following comment on my last blog post, announcing that VFAN is supporting Chris Carrier for Mayor of Collingwood:

Jake on September 14, 2014 at 10:10 am said:

Chris seems like a nice guy and I am sure his intentions are honourable, however he has had his shot and proved he could was not a leader and could not get consensus or harmony on Council. Council meetings were at times hard to watch as they could be dysfunctional.
The mere fact that we are still referring to those patios proves the pettiness of the last Council.
Say what you want about Mayor Copper, but she runs meetings well and keeps things business-like and professional. I wish she had more big picture vision and passion but comparing her one term against Chris’ experience, Copper wins hands down.

I tried not to respond. I really did, the last thing I need to do is put people off from commenting on this site. But Jake, with all due respect, you are talking complete crap!!!

I will take you at your word on the previous council and I will agree that it was at times dysfunctional. But in our municipal governance system the mayor is but a small cog in the wheel and Carrier was continually undermined by his Deputy Mayor – Sandra Cooper, plus others who were on that council. This election if the voters elected Carrier as Mayor and Brian Saunderson as Deputy Mayor, plus a handful of the very capable councillors who are running, you will get the big picture vision that you are looking for above.
I have attended a few council meetings this past year and a half, it has been quite apparent to myself and many others in attendance that Copper is constantly being guided by her puppeteer Rick Lloyd. She and Lloyd have voted exactly the same way 100% of the time in recorded votes. In fact sometimes when it came time to vote she would look over at Lloyd to check the way she is supposed to be voting. Rick Lloyd has been told three times in 1991, 1997 and 2006 that this town is not interested in him becoming Mayor. So he decided to do an end run around the electorate by getting the kindly faced “Grammy Cooper” installed and then got to run the town anyway from the Deputy Mayors office instead. You say you wish she had more “big vision”. That is very difficult when you are a small town mouse who likes the status quo and sees nothing wrong with the way she and her backroom cronies have foisted various unpopular decisions on this town. Jake the only thing that has kept things business like and professional, is the fact that her voting bloc and others have rubber stamped everything including recreation tents, unneeded dog parks, cleaning up her buddy’s mess at the corner of Hume and Hurontario, selling Collus to make the books look palatable to a gullible public, firing the very popular Kim Wingrove and installing another one of their cronies as CAO of the town. Same faces another OPP investigation. On and on it went. With a couple of unbiased councillors with integrity and some intestinal fortitude, you might have seen a very different council session this past term. It would have looked every bit as dysfunctional as the previous council. But that is democracy for you. Read Barman’s blog he has systematically documented everyone of this current administration’s, headed up by Cooper, continual misdeeds.
You are drinking the Kool-Aid Jake and by the look of all the houses with Cooper and Lloyd signs on their front lawns so are many others in town. Or maybe they just don’t care.

VFAN Supports Chris Carrier for Mayor of Collingwood

2pm today officially marks the start of the 2014 municipal election campaign. It is also the cut off for any new candidates to throw their hat in the ring. After that time what you see is what you get.

Until 3 weeks ago I was on the fence on who I intended to support as Mayor, Chris Carrier or Joe Gardhouse. Today prior to the official kick off of the campaign I would like to announce that I am supporting Chris Carrier for Mayor of Collingwood.

I have not always been very kind to Chris in this space. I have to admit though one of the things that I respect about him is he did not meekly accept my drive by attacks, he confronted me head on. Over a few meetings for coffee and some email conversations, he has enlightened me on some misconceptions that I had about him and his previous tenure as Mayor of Collingwood. I will deal with that later, first though I want to deal with why I am not supporting or voting for Joe Gardhouse.

In this current term Joe has impressed me with his measured intelligent approach to a number of issues. I haven’t always agreed with him but he has been his own person and he and Keith Hull have been the only two councillors, on a consistent basis, to stand up for the people of Collingwood against the voting bloc of five. If Joe were running for a council position I would vote for and support him in a heartbeat but the mayors chair? I have some serious misgivings about his capacity in that roll. The first is the fact that back in 2004-05 Joe caused a ruckus in town by quitting his council position in the Geddes council. I voted for Joe and that sat very badly with me at the time. I did a question and answer session with Joe here:

When I asked Joe about this situation his answer to me was “I resigned in 2005 due to irreconcilable differences with the head of council. I did it for ethical and governance reasons that I will not rehash.” You know what Joe? You are running as Chief Magistrate of our town, if ever there was a time to “rehash” this issue it was then when you declared your intention to run for the highest political office in town. I’m sure your opponent’s will. How do we know that half way through your tenure as Mayor a few council members will piss you off and you end up throwing your toys out the stroller and quit as Mayor this time around. It is a question of character. My other issue with Joe is; as many of you know I have been doing a “What the candidates say about…….” series of posts. Which judging by the views was very popular with you my readers. Around half way through that series Joe stopped responding to the questions. No explanation, no other communication with me. So if that is an example of Joes engagement with members of the public now what will he be like as Mayor of our town? I got the impression that Joe just got bored with the whole thing. My last comment on Joe is; I do not think that Joe has the kind of support that it will take to beat the incumbent Mayor Cooper, he will split the vote and drain much needed votes away from Chris Carrier. So a vote for Joe is basically a vote for the incumbent ribbon cutting Mayor (or her puppeteer Rick Lloyd).

Back to Chris. I suggest that if you have any reservations about him and his last tenure as Mayor you should email him at unlike others in council and running for various positions he answers all emails and will engage in dialog with you.
The following puts the record straight on some common misconceptions about Chris Carriers tenure as Mayor of Collingwood:

1. He wanted the patios next to curb downtown. He actually voted for them to be next to the buildings in a 4 – 5 vote Carrier, Cooper, Chadwick, Edwards For – Sandberg, Foley, McNabb, Jeffery, Labelle Against.
2. He initiated and instigated the reversal of the decision to allow a 6 story building at Admiral Collingwood Place. VOTE appealed the previous councils decision to ignore the Heritage Height Assessment to the OMB. Carrier fast tracked the project with a negotiated settlement between both parties with a 5 story compromise.
3. He and his council racked up unprecedented amounts of debt during its tenure. That council completed a huge amount of infrastructure work that needed to be done. Including upgrades to water sewer mains at various locations around town. Downtown and First Street rehabilitation projects. New Library (I didn’t agree with this one but apparently I was in a minority). Carriers council also took advantage of various grants that were available with a net benefit to the town of $20M.

4. Carrier as Mayor presided over the most dysfunctional Collingwood town council in decades. That council actually got a lot accomplished considering the 2008 recession and the backstabbing. It is also the only town council in the past eleven years that has not been investigated by the OPP. Another factor is that after Carrier indorsed Helena Guergis instead of Cooper’s brother Paul Bonwick in the 2006 Federal election the gloves were off. Deputy Mayor Cooper and Chadwick behind the scenes did there level best to undermine Carrier throughout his tenure as Mayor.

I know that some of my regular readers still dislike Chris Carrier with a passion. I am also sure some of you have some items that you can add to the above list. Chris is a regular reader of this blog, if you have anything that you want to add please leave it in the comment section below, if you are uncomfortable emailing him directly. Unlike others that are running in this election, he will deal with your issues head on, I am quite sure.

All Candidates Meeting Announced

The following was pointed out to me by Paul (Thanks Paul) today on the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce website. Time for the all candidates meeting below is Councillors 4pm – 6pm. Deputy Mayors and Mayors 7pm – 9pm.

The strange thing is Chris Carrier had not been informed of this event, which is rather weird because being a Mayoralty candidate he should not be getting this information second hand from myself and Paul. Maybe they are trying to tell you something Chris???

Municipal All Candidates Meeting

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Location: 490 Ontario Street

On Wednesday October 1st, the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce along with The Collingwood Connection, Rogers TV, 97.7 The Beach, The Enterprise Bulletin and 95.1 The Peak will be holding an All Candidates Meeting for the Collingwood Municipal Election.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. #63 has kindly donated the venue which is located at 490 Ontario Street, Collingwood

All Candidates will/have been invited to participate in the event.

The meeting will be moderated. Each Councillor candidate will have 3 minutes to speak, Deputy Mayor candidates will have 4 minutes each to speak and all Mayor candidate will have 5 minutes to speak. Afterwards there will be a question and answer period initiated by our media panel followed by 30 minutes of questions from our audience. Audience questions will be collected on cards and read by the moderator. Due to time constraints, questions submitted by the audience will be randomly pulled from a hat by the moderator.

Please note, for safety reasons, signs and props will not be allowed inside the Royal Canadian Legion.

For more information contact the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce.

More details to be confirmed soon!
Contact: Trish Irwin

Captain Chris says Elect not to Re-elect

A regular contributor to my blog posted the following in my comment section on my Chadwick blog:

I recently moved here from Toronto to create a better life for myself and my young family. We thought Collingwood was progressive. In some ways it may be, but I found any discussion of local politics with my friends to be met with a roll of the eyes or a “nothing can be done” attitude. As a newcomer I find that disheartening and it concerns me.

It also concerns me that the current Mayor and council is under OPP investigation and yet could potentially be voted back into office due to a lack of voter attendance or name recognition.

So this website has two purposes. First, and most important, we must recognize that sometimes, any change is positive and to get different results, we must elect different people.

Second, I am trying to educate myself about the local politicians. We can only pick 7 of the 8 candidates running for Council. If I can pass some of that information along to anyone else that is interested or wants to make an educated choice…all the better.

So PLEASE take a look at what some of the running Candidates have to say. If not, at the very least PRINT out this page and take it with you to the polls on October 27th if you are interested in putting different faces on your council.

If you are interested in change in this town please forward this to your friends and simply ELECT NOT TO RE-ELECT.

And pass it on! Print the sign below and put it in your car, your office, your window … ELECT NOT TO RE-ELECT.

Elect not Re-Elect

Why couldn’t Chadwick have done us all a favour……………

‎Ok for the record, this isn’t going to be a series. I couldn’t highlight (or was it low light) Mike Edwards performance as a serial municipal election candidate without doing the same on Chadwick. Yeah I know I’ve devoted pages and pages of electronic ink to this preening pompous councilor and promised I would not waste anymore time on him. But it’s so easy and such fun………..

I was driving along Pretty River Parkway yesterday and noticed one of Chadwick’s oversized election signs. Of course Chadwick couldn’t just put a sign up that says re-elect me. He, as always, has to one up everyone else with his “Experience, Vision, Passion” under his name. Chadwick has “Experience” like my 12 year old running shoes have experience. I laughed at the second one “Vision”. If foisting the town with recreation tents, that will cost a fortune to run and will look like crap in 10 years qualifies as vision, then I guess we can tick that box as well. Passion. This one puzzled me. He was passionate in his first term, I’ll give him that. Second term he was passionately against anything Chris Carrier did and blogged incessantly about it. This last term – overbearing, sneaky, arrogant, pompous are all words I would use to describe Chadwick. Passionate not so much.

Like Edwards, Chadwick has been hanging around town hall since 2003. Another fixture in the place, just like the coat of arms and picture of the queen in council chambers.
What really did annoy me and showed Chadwick’s true colours, was his sudden and complete withdrawal from social media this term. He used to be one of my best sources for information on the local political scene. I guess it was very easy when all he had to do was sit back and criticise previous mayors and other council members. A lot harder when you are the one making the bad decisions, then having to justify them. In all his current social media dabbling’s, Chadwick now seems to have a Stalingrad type mentality in everything he engages in. If you challenge him on anything he will block you so quickly it will make your head spin.

The big difference between Edwards and Chadwick, is unlike Edwards, Chadwick does stand up and get counted, but his decisions get distorted by his petty elitist political idealism and his own special interests that cloud his judgement on a variety of issues that face this town.

I defy any of you to find another town of similar size to Collingwood that has 3 dog parks‎. Don’t get me wrong I am a dog owner but I would never consider taking my dog to one of these things. I had to laugh the other day, I was out riding my bike around the “Pawplar Park Dog Town” and there were two ladies of, how can I say this delicately “ample proportions” sitting in lawn chairs while their dogs were frolicking and playing in the park. The bubble above Nobody’s head said if these two ladies would actually take their dogs for a walk now and again, it might shed some of the excess weight. My thought on dog parks is although good for dogs to socialize with other dogs, they give lazy dog owners an excuse to sit around rather than getting some exercise by actually taking the dog for a walk. These dog parks are Chadwick’s bailiwick, God only knows how much horse trading this has cost us as a town to bring this “non-issue” to the forefront of town hall business.

For your convenience I did a relative comparison on what other towns offer for dog owners:

1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Alliston
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Orillia
3 Dog Friendly Attractions in Richmond Hill
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Markham
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Ajax
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Huntsville
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Oshawa
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Stratford
1 Dog Friendly Attractions in Hamilton

Richmond Hill has a population of 185,000 and has the same amount of dog parks as Collingwood whose population is 20,000. Every motion that has been brought forward for the implementation on anything to do with dog parks in Collingwood has been brought forth by Chadwick.

Actually it is a bit silly of me the title of this post, because the preening arrogant Chadwick would never consider the idea of not gracing us with his sage presence on town council, let alone to think it would be doing us all a favour to retire into the sunset of his waffling’s about Shakespeare, Socrates, tequila and ukulele’s.
Unfortunately it will take you the good people of Collingwood to make that decision for him‎. Which I hope you all do next month. If that happens he will blame his electoral demise, not on his own sneaky, bloc voting, abysmal performance this past council session. But will blame it on the likes of Berman and a behind the scenes coup dé·tat by Carrier and his former VOTE cronies.
So there you have it that is what Chadwick has been up to this past few years. Please do not vote for Chadwick, he needs to be forcibly retired from politics in this town.

Why couldn’t Mike Edwards have done us all a favour………………..

Up to this point I have kept a self imposed rule not to acknowledge or comment on any of the incumbents filing their nomination papers. Today I will make an exception to that rule.
I want to talk about Mike Edwards filing his nomination papers for a Collingwood council position this past Friday. I had thought being that he had left it so late, he would do everyone in town a favour and not run for any position in this municipal election cycle. But alas no, he has decided to water down the election pot of soup even more than it is already.
Mike Edwards is the poster boy for term limits in municipal politics. I believe that there should be a three term limit in any position. So that if you have been voted in three terms as a councilor, your only option is to run for Mayor or Deputy Mayor and so on. That way the serial candidates, that hang around way past their sell by date, get put to the curb by the actual process. I am quite sure there are lots of people that would run for local council positions if the way were cleared of the Edward’s and Chadwick’s of this world.
I can’t think of one thing that Mike Edwards has brought to the table this term. Last term he voted to revoke the Heritage Impact Assessment on Admiral Place and paid absolutely no political price for it, unlike others on that council. He is the epitomic “Teflon Man” he should change his name to “Dalton”. He could have played an important part as an elder statesman in this current council but has chosen instead to just get along rather than protecting the interests of the people that voted for him. He is not quite one of the voting bloc of five but is pretty close to being its sixth inducted member.
I single out Mike Edwards in this blog post because he managed to garner the most votes of any candidate for a councilor position last time in 2010 with 4,925 votes, myself included. You the voting public need to know what a complete waste of space he has been this past term. He sits at the far right hand end of the council table and says and does absolutely nothing of importance. He was absent for around 3 weeks earlier this year and I don’t think anyone even noticed.
Why do people like Edwards keep coming back? Surely it can’t be for the money. I can think of a lot easier ways of making $25k per year. Do they enjoy the public recognition that they get, or that it gives them some kind of gravitas within the community? If so I have news for Mike Edwards. To have a legacy you have to build one first, which you most certainly have not.
He is an example of what is wrong with politics in our town. No new thought’s or ideas. He’s been hanging around town hall for so long he has now become part of the furniture. As much as I can’t abide Chadwick, or what he stands for. At least he does stand up and get counted occasionally. Edwards not so much, just hides in his corner keeping below the radar.
So just in case you are sitting at the kitchen table next month and have marked off your six council candidates and are looking for a seventh, please don’t mark an X next to Mike Edwards name.