There was a big brouhaha at the council table on Monday evening that involved Cam Ecclestone and a proposed trip to celebrate the 35 year connection with one of Collingwood’s sister cities, Katano, Japan. From Cams prospective , it started all very innocently and ended with an emotional email being sent out to all council members from Cam withdrawing his participation in the trip.
The following is the back story, which underlines the pettiness of our towns mayor.
As many of you should know, (because its plastered all over the sign posts as you come into town), Collingwood has 3 sister cities, Boone, North Carolina. Zihuatanejo, Mexico (strangely enough one of Chadwick’s favorite tequila guzzling locales) and Katano, Japan. I have never really seen the point in these connective relationships with other completely unrelated towns; I look at it like just another way for politicians to go on all expense paid vacations on the dime of the poor over burdened local tax payer. But then, that’s probably just cynical old me.
Anyway a trip to Katano was being planned to celebrate a 35 year connection between the two towns and someone from our town council was supposed to attend. This duty fell at the feet of our mayor Sandra Cooper, but seeing as she couldn’t find Japan on a map, let alone Katano. Plus, she had heard that they eat really weird stuff like raw fish, that if not prepared correctly could kill you faster than you can say Bonzi!!! Next down the pecking order was Brian Saunderson. Our Deputy Mayor is a busy man; he had no idea that cleaning up Collingwood’s political mess would be a 24/7 proposition and at the pittance that gig pays, family commitments, a law practice to try and uphold – not going to happen. Tim Fryer had the next highest vote count in the last municipal election. He was asked, but apparently he is way too busy propping up his past position at the disaster that is now Collus and he has votes at council that he needs to declare conflicts in. Mike Edwards – see Sandra’s excuse above. So it fell on Cam to represent our fare town in the land of the rising sun.
Apparently no one told Cam about this whole pecking order thing and Sandra asked him personally to go; like he was the only man that could do the job. Cam bristled with pride at this new found importance. This all happened about a month ago and Cam had been up night and day trying to get the best deals on flights, hotels, travel. He was paying for most of his travel expenses himself, but needed a bit of a top up from the town.
This was brought in front of council Monday evening. Cam thought it would be a simple matter of the town council rubber stamping the $2,000 extra expense, after all it was barely enough to cover one of Chadwick’s past Mexican tequila drinking binges. But alas he should have known better. It was like a North Vietnamese star chamber. Cam mumbled something about his kids and grand kids going with him and that didn’t help his case, even though he was contributing $3,500 of his own money towards a $5,500 budget. Cam was ill prepared for the grilling that he got. He also received no help or lifeline from Sandra, who sat back with a Cheshire cat grin on her face loving every minute of Cam’s obvious discomfort.
The following is Cams email of withdrawal to Collingwood town council:
Based on the sentiment around the Council table last night, I wish to rescind my request/offer to attend the 35th anniversary of our sister city Katano. I don’t feel that we can make a business/economic development case for my attendance.The trip would only be for the continuation of our sister city status and would only be a public relations visit!
Cam, remember this for future reference – Never go to a gun fight armed only with a cap pistol and a plastic play knife.