The Battle for the final 3 places

Changing the political landscape in Collingwood has been 90% of this blogs raison d’etre for the past year or so. Let’s see if I can get the last couple of votes going in the direction of change. I want to comment on the battle for the final 3 places as councillors. In no particular order, just as the thoughts enter my head:

Kevin Lloyd: Unless you are a fully paid up member of the “Old Collingwood Club”, (Chadwick is the self appointed commander in chief). How could you possibly vote for this man after the very public and very unprofessional brow beating that he gave the IC Robert Swayze on Monday evening? It takes a certain type of arrogance to try and publicly humiliate a member of the Upper Canada Law Society, when Lloyd could write his own credentials on the back of a postage stamp. This is the second time I have witnessed him show his true colours. The first was the nonsense with the motion to have the BTC survey and Brian Saunderson brought before the ‘Star Chamber’. Avoid him on the ballot at all costs.

Jim Gosnell: Ran a quiet campaign, by all accounts he is a decent man and a good honest candidate. He is actually the only candidate that I have seen get numerous endorsements from other candidates he is running against. I very flippantly called him boring in an earlier post to try and get a few cheap laughs at his expense. I don’t think Jim reads this blog, but if anyone talks to him tell him I am sorry for disparaging him. I don’t think a vote for Jim will be a wasted vote if you want change.

Bob (Mad Dog) Madigan: A few people jumped on me when I posted my blog about Bob being groomed as a new member of the voting bloc. I even published a very well written rebuttal of that post by someone that I knew quite well. I actually wrote a rebuttal of that rebuttal and never posted it because I felt I had bigger fish to fry. I finally sat down with Bob today and had a long chat with him. I like him. Bob says he is the sleeper candidate and Tuesday morning we will all be surprized by the amount of votes he will get. By the reception he gets from passers by and his customers at his coffee shop, who am I to argue with him. On the east side of Hurontario between third and fourth it’s “Mad Dog’s World” and he holds court every day. Bob has assured me he is not going to be a stooge for the voting bloc. If he gets elected I will hold him to that promise.

Deb Doherty: Deb is a candidate that no one seems to remember. I spoke to about six people that thought she was very strong in the all candidates meeting, but could not for the life of them remember her name even after I told them. Prior to that I would hear “What’s the name of that lady who wanted to get the Admiral site cleaned up?” I hope that this is not a bad omen for her because she would be a fantastic new member of a new council. I voted for Deb and change.

Cam Ecclestone: Not sure why Cam filed so early, because he did nothing for the first 6 months after he filed. He does seem to have a few followers and those followers are very loyal to him. I did not find one person that he made a lasting impression on in the all candidates meeting. Strange thing with Cam is he has apparently been directing people towards this blog but has never contacted me directly. From day one I would have promoted Cam, if he had ever given me the time of day. I don’t think he has a hope in hell of getting elected, but I would sooner you vote for Cam than one of the incumbents.

Dale West: He was off my radar and if Jim or Betty had not joined the race at the last minute I might have voted for him. That was until last Monday evening. It was so bazaar the way he carried on. Myself and others, on the evening, could only come to one of two conclusions, that it was all preplanned or he is a complete fool. Whatever the reason he made a mockery of Robert Swayze and turned what was merely Billy Smarts Circus into Collingwood’s version of “Cirque du Soleil”. Do not vote for Dale West.

Steve Berman Up until 3 or 4 weeks ago I would have bet a weeks salary that Steve was a shoe in for council. Now I am not so sure. What is that saying “Good election campaigns get good candidates elected”. I understand that Steve stood on his principles by saying “my blog for the last 18 months is my election campaign”. Some of us local political wonks forget that 90% of the local population do not give a rats arse about local politics, until 6 weeks prior to the election. Name recognition is crucial. In my travels I have come across more than a few people that pay attention to election signs. They want change see an election sign, remember the name, then Google it when they get home. Steve did not have that luxury and he didn’t even go and do the door knocking. An uncomfortable amount of people do not know him from a bar of soap. BUT. I voted for change, I voted for Steve Berman.

Betty Donaher: I hope that Betty gets in but I fear the worst. As stated previously I voted for her and I think her energy and ideas would have been a welcome addition in this new council. But the late start and lack of signs might have done irreparable damage to her sputtering campaign. A vote for Betty is a vote for change and not a wasted vote.

Gail Michalenko: Another quiet campaign. I voted for Gail. She is the bridge between new and old and the only candidate that I have not heard one disparaging remark about. I did not pick Gail in my election predictions but she might squeak into the last spot on council.

Mike Edwards: I still think Mike should not have run in this election and should have quit while he was ahead. But after he stood up for the community on Monday evening I have had a bit of a change of heart. I will not be upset if he is on a new council and he is one of 4 council candidates that I think will definitely get in that is why I left him until last.

If I did not mention you don’t panic you are either an incumbent or I think you will be elected.

Recycling bin surfing Collingwood style

During this election there have been many rumours floating around. I am usually on the receiving end of most of them. The best one to date that actually almost qualifies as a conspiracy theory is the following one:
Apparently someone who was part of a candidates election campaign team was asked to go ‘recycling bin surfing’ by a candidate, in the Lighthouse Point and Mathew Way areas Thanksgiving weekend. Let me explain what that particular activity comprises of:
As it applies to Lighthouse Point – The theory goes that a lot of the residents in that part of our town are part timers, so have very little skin in the game in the local election. The part timers that came up to Collingwood Thanksgiving weekend gathered up their junk mail including the mail in ballots and threw them directly into the recycling bin. Ready for nefarious candidates henchman/woman to visit said recycling bin to collect unopened ballots, take back to campaign headquarters and vote for unscrupulous chosen slate of candidates.
As it applies to Mathew Way – That theory goes like this: That part of town has a high population of renters. As many of us know renters do not pay property taxes so have a very low municipal voting rate. I did a little research online and the percentage of renters that actually vote in municipal elections is in the single digits. That would make for a very rich mine of unmarked, unopened ballots in that part of town. I heard this rumour first week in October, apparently 2 campaign teams had mobilized some campaign helpers for a bit of “Recycling Bin Surfing”.
I personally do not think anyone would be stupid enough to do this, but if anyone has any concrete proof that this has happened mail your complaint to the following address:

Chief Electoral Officer
Elections Ontario
51 Rolark Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M1R 3B1

My last comment on this is that the idea of electronic voting should be looked at again during the mandate of the next council. That would finally put an end to any chance of voter fraud.

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

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