Mayor vs. Mayor

A friend of mine texted me a few days ago and said “I just witnessed the most excruciatingly awkward encounter you could imagine”. I replied “Yeah go on”. He then said “I’ll give you a call”.
I will describe a scenario some of you might find quite interesting.
My friend is a rather feckless individual, I’m not sure what he does for a living, probably has some trust fund thing going on. While the rest of us poor working stiffs are slaving away trying to put food on our tables. He seems to be perpetually sitting around various local coffee shops most mornings, reading his copy of the “Red Star” and drinking endless cups of “Sumatra Blend”.
This one morning he was in the “Wired Monk” coffee shop on Hurontario Street. Apparently ex Mayor Chris Carrier and another gentleman came in and walked up to the counter, they ordered their preferred beverages and stood waiting and chatting. Guess who walked in next? Sandra Cooper and another fellow. My buddy said as soon as our Mayor saw Chris Carrier she hesitated and almost looked like she wanted to do an about face and leave. Her companion continued up to the counter not realizing Sandra’s awkwardness and probably thinking that our small town mouse of a Mayor was above any ill feeling about past political battles. After all she won right?
So Carrier, his pal and Sandra’s companion start to converse. Sandra walks up and joins everyone. Carrier says “Hi Sandra how are you?”. She completely ignores him and starts a conversation with Carriers companion like Carrier is not even in the room.
By this time my buddy gets into full on black-ops mode. He knows that I write this nonsense and wants to give me some blog fodder, so at this point he is paying full attention to the dynamics going on. Carrier and his buddy finish up, they walk up to Cooper and friend. Carrier says something to the effect of “Nice to see you Sandra”. Our Mayor again completely blanks Carrier and says good bye to Carriers companion. Leaving everyone present red faced and embarrassed.

Ok I hear a few of you saying “Does this warrant a post Nobody?” Probably not, but our ex-Loblaw’s check out girl is Mayor of our town, Carrier lives in this town, pays his property taxes and as far as I know is an upstanding, law-abiding citizen. He deserves the same respect that any other resident should get from an elected official. Also I’m quite sure one or two of you voted for her, so you need to know who and what you voted for. I phoned Carrier and asked him for a comment. He said and I quote “How the hell did you hear about that Nobody?” He thought I must have got the story from his pal whom I don’t know from a hole in the ground. He would not elaborate apart from telling me that his pal was very embarrassed and was unimpressed with the Mayors behavior that day. He also told me to forget about the incident and not “yap” about it on VFAN. Sorry Chris “yapping” is what I do.

Here’s the thing. We had an election, Cooper won by a hansom margin. Many of us were unimpressed with that choice our fellow citizens foisted upon us for Mayor. We accepted it and moved on (or wrote blogs). Mayor Cooper you won the last election fair and square and continue to be Mayor of our town. I know it’s difficult for you not to be petty and vindictive. But stop acting like a petulant little school girl who got spurned at the prom and try to act like the highest elected official in Collingwood. Our town, your office and your council deserve better.

Buyers Remorse?

Last June 13th, I can’t remember ever being so absolutely disgusted with my fellow citizenry, as I was after the last provincial election. There was lots of commentary on that day from many sources most of it rolled off my back and didn’t bother me. One local blog post, that did stick and actually kind of pissed me off was the following:

http://mcleodsmusingswithmarianemcleod.blogspot.ca/2014/06/election-2014-and-2019.html

Yeah sorry Mariane, I’m picking on you again and condolences about your dog by the way. For some reason this post really bothered me at the time, maybe because she was right on the money with the general consensus of the uninformed voter in that election. This past month or so, the uninformed voters of this province are getting well and truly “informed” by our “Supreme Leader” Kathleen Windbag.
It started back in March with the the new sex education curriculum thing. Let’s be clear I personally do not have a problem with most of it (although I failed to see the point in teaching Grade 8’s about anal intercourse, but that’s just me). My kids have never been sheltered from this subject and I have always managed to have open and honest conversations with them about most subjects including sex, sexual orientation, drugs, booze and general bad behavior. But I do understand that some religious groups and other parents are just not interested in their kids being taught at school about the plethora of subjects in this new sex education curriculum.

A good indication on (as Mariane so aptly coined in her above post) “That nice lady, Kathleen Wynne’s” attitude to anyone that fails to think exactly the same way that she does, was when she called the parents that were protesting the new sex ed curriculum on the front lawn of Queens Park “A bunch of Homaphobes”. It was funny actually because when some of these “homophobic” parents were interviewed, they were far from that description. A little over protective perhaps, uninformed maybe, sheltered definitely. A good leader will push through his/her agenda. But a good leader also listens to detractors concerns. Try to see things from another person’s perspective. Windbag does none of these things. She sees the world through the prism of her downtown Toronto gay married eyes and as far as she is concerned anything less than embracing this narrow view of the world is not worthy of her thought or consideration.

This province is massive, my old company once did a job in a place called Fort Frances, a pulp mill town on the border of Minnesota four hours south west of Thunder Bay, a 21 hour drive from Collingwood. But still a good 3 hour drive from the border with Manitoba. The people of Fort Frances know nothing of gay people or gay marriage and calling them homophobic and shoving this sex ed curriculum down their kids throats will not change that. A little dialogue and understanding might. Windbag is supposed to be the premier of every person in this province, not just her latte sipping, limousine liberal pals from downtown Toronto, and yes even those red necks from Fort Frances.
I was listening to talk radio yesterday, the big topic of conversation was the impending hydro rate increases coming on 1st May. One single mom called in named Jenna, she sounded Jamaican and was pretty close to tears. She doesn’t have an inflation busting government job, was on a fixed income and was barely managing to keep up with her hydro bills now. What I so aptly coined in my last blog as a “hydro pauper”. She couldn’t understand how the person that she voted for last year, didn’t mention any of the extra taxes, hydro rate increases, sex ed curriculum (I think she was also religious) during last year’s election, because she would not have voted for her.
Strangely enough in the following commercial break, right after this lady spoke, there was one of these public service union people bemoaning how nasty the mean Ms. Windbag is for not giving them everything that they want, like some petulant child. It reminded me of the last election, only then Hudak was the target of their ire.
As I was listening to all this I remembered Mariane’s blog and wondered how many other folks out there are just like Jenna. Windbags approval rating is now down to 26% from 46% in last year’s election. So I would think quite a few.

Council Meeting 20th April 2015 – VFAN Style:

1. Mayor Cooper lauded the success of Earth Hour 1% drop in electricity usage during that hour (I’m still paying for my largess that night) and blabbed on about changing the way we live by conserving power. I suggest that her buddy Premier Windbag has done more to help us conserve power. By making us all electricity paupers and sending all our industry down south.

2. Apparently there is a new development called Windfall in the works opposite Tees Please, which is actually Town of Blue Mountain. High density 300 units. A lady from the Collingwood side of Osler Bluff Rd. Made a deputation trying to stop the development. Town council quite rightly kept out of this one. I am personally pro this development and most others.

3. Nancy Farrer quite rightly stated that the Town of Collingwood would not get involved in the Town of Blue Mountain development process.

4. Kevin Lloyd pontificated about how he totally supported this citizens group. Being as the development is four stories and is way too high. A wag close to me said “How come Mr Lloyd did not ‎have those same concerns when it came to Admiral Collingwood Place right in the heart of Collingwood?” General guffaws of laughter from the cheap seats at the back.

5. ‎ Bob Madigan is now sporting a full beard. I am sure last time I was at a council meeting he was clean shaven. I have either missed a meeting or two or Bob is one those guys that grows a beard after neglecting to shave for a couple of days. At this rate, by the next council meeting he will be auditioning for “Duck Dynasty”.

6. Council decided not to opt in to OMERS which is a pension plan for municipal employees. My view: Everyone else down at Town Hall gets pension plans, why not members of council? Might sweeten up the pot a little on the pittance our council gets paid

7. Changes coming on the use of fireworks in town. My dog would definitely support that motion.

8. Deb brought up getting all committees as well as council meeting televised on Rogers. That is long overdue.

9. Integrity commissioners report about Deb Doherty now on the floor. Kevin Lloyd will not receive the report and thinks the process is flawed. I actually agree with him on that. I thought Robert Swayze was dead wrong saying Deb was not in conflict but suggesting she should still have excused herself. I think it’s time for a new integrity commissioner personally. Recorded vote asked for by Lloyd. Vote to receive report – 6. 2 against, Cooper and Lloyd. What a pair of fools.‎ Deb excused herself with no statement.

10. Berman’s crystal ball must be working overtime these days he predicted to me over the weekend a. That Lloyd would make some kind of statement prior to the vote. b. Lloyd would ask for a recorded vote……Interesting!!!

11. It seems that Mayor Cooper is still getting her directions on how to vote from a Lloyd. This time Kevin Lloyd. How more than four and a half thousand people voted for this vacuous woman defies logic.

12. Back to that Windfall development above. On sober second thought I think we should oppose it in that location in Town of Blue Mountain. Then build it in Collingwood.

My Advice to Deb Doherty…………..

At this coming Monday evenings council meeting, the people whom many of my regular readers consider are the council members in white hats. Will have a chance to prove how much they are above the ongoing crap that is getting thrown at them by the people with the black hats locally.

The following is the full version of Robert Swayze’s Integrity Commissioners report. In response to a complaint brought before him by Chadwick stooge Dick Hill (author of “Blogging Vigilantes” and other “concerned citizen” black hat ass kissing letters to various editors). Council will be asked to receive the following report:

IC Report A
IC Report Analysis
IC Report 2

Apparently Deb got her own legal advice and her lawyer said that she was not in any conflict.

Deb and the “White Hat” council members have a problem on their hands here. If they vote (Deb will excuse herself) not to receive the report. I can hear the Chadwick, Lloyd and a couple of my commenters howls of indignation now. Saying things like “They are no better than the previous council”. It will have the appearance of being hypocritical.
If they vote to approve the report, Deb is then ham strung on voting on any issue that gets brought before council which involves any company that advertises through Corus Entertainment. That’s a lot of companies locally, and will translate into a lot of issues that she will end up not being able to vote on. If she does vote, she risks being taken to court, or deal with continual nuisance conflict claims by people like the idiotic Dick Hill or any other puppet the black hats put forward.
For what its worth here is how I would deal with this nonsense – Before Deb excuses herself from the proceedings, she should make a statement before council as follows:

I have taken my own legal advise on the following item being brought before council. My lawyer has advised me that I am not in any conflict in this matter.
Because I fundamentally agree with the roll that the integrity commissioner has within the framework of our local form of governance, I would like to excuse myself from the following vote and also hope that my colleague’s on council accept Mr. Swayze’s report.
I am in the process of setting up a meeting with Robert Swayze to seek his advice on how I can continue with my current career path with Corus Radio Barrie and also be an effective member of this council. This may or may not include a written submission from my employer with a detailed list of my current duties and accounts within their organization. Hopefully he can then advise me and my council any future issues of conflict that might arise. He might also be able to advise me how I can structure my current employment contract to avoid these kind of nuisance claims in the future.

Many of you must be able to see what’s going on here. The forces of evil in our town are trying to make it as difficult as possible for those with integrity to be effective in their positions on council. I find it rather strange the Mr. Swayze says that Deb is not in conflict but still advises her to excuse herself from the vote. Deb is a very willful lady and I am sure she will not heed my advice. I see more trench warfare coming from this in which the white hats usually lose.

For twenty grand per year, it would take a better person than me to put up with this kind of shit.

The picking of your pockets has now begun.

I can’t even stand to listen or watch Premier Windbag on the TV or radio these days. Her voice is like finger nails on a chalkboard for me. I have to turn off the offending electronic device, for fear of being violently ill.
After the last election I predicted that the ProvLibs would be in full pick pocket mode by March of this year. I was one month out. I am talking about this new bout of legalized thievery, that is about to hit your pocketbooks, in the form of “Cap and Trade”.
As many of you know, I don’t agree with the concept of “Man Made Climate Change”. I think the climate is changing constantly, like it has done for millions of years. Also there is documented, but rarely noted by the main stream media, evidence that the earth has not warmed since 1998 as per climatologist Patrick Michaels. In 2008 members of the faculty at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, UK. Were caught red-handed doctoring emails, because the data was proving just that, no global warming since the 1990’s. That’s why the conversation was then shifted from what the charlatan Al Gore coined with his very catchy “Man Made Global Warming”. To the all encompassing “Man Made Climate Change”. And before any of you greenies throw that 97% of Climate Scientists agree with the notion of MMCC. That red herring was brought to you by one of the main advocates and gunslinger for the idea of MMCC, the self appointed attack dog against anyone or any group it deems are “Skeptics and Deniers” – The Skeptical Scientist blogger John Cook. He heads up a group based close to Brisbane, Australia. They had 25 volunteers scouring the internet for a period of 6 months documenting anything that accredited weather and climate scientists said about MMCC. Many scientist’s whom were included in the 97% have since stated publicly that they should not have been included on this list. But does that ever get any media attention? No but you still hear the likes of Premier Windbag and Barack Obama quoting that figure as if it is an absolute truth coming from an accredited source. If this is such settled science, settled enough that this nonsense now gets taught to our kids in Grade 10 at high school. Why do these groups have to lie and doctor up their findings? Let’s get away from calling this settled science, because it really isn’t settled.

Back to Premier Windbag’s latest foray into your wallets and purses. I actually would respect her more if she were to be honest with us and called the impending Cap and Trade scam, exactly what it is a carbon tax. Or if she admitted that her government had spent the past 12 years squandering your tax money and needs more of it. But no she gets all school maamish at the very mention of the word “tax”. She then looks into the camera with her squinty little eyes and says “How can I face my granddaughter Olivier in years to come and say I did nothing to try and save our planet”. She IS doing nothing, she’s a smart woman so she must know that. This is a tax grab pure and simple. Canada as a whole country accounts for 1.5% of the worlds carbon emission’s, so this previously failed public policy will do nothing “to save the planet” even if it actually worked or the planet needed saving. The only likely outcome is relief of your hard earned tax dollars.

This scam has been going on in Europe for years and has not stopped one milligram of carbon from going into the atmosphere, as far as environmental policy goes it has been an unmitigated failure. All it will do is make this province less competitive and put us one step closer to the North American version of Greece. I was having a conversation about this last night with a buddy of mine (he’s a socialist who has never met a liberal pickpocket that he doesn’t like) he said hopefully “Why do you think Quebec and California signed up for cap and trade?” Like these two jurisdictions are bastions of competent governance and fiscal prudence.

Although I suppose this will create a whole new bureaucratic wing of sunshine lister’s, for the rest of us beleaguered tax payers to keep in government pension plans and $120k per year salaries. It will also swell the coffers of the ProvLibs 2018 election campaign fund, as companies heap political donations upon them in exchange for those much needed carbon credits. As if this province needed yet another boondoggle money pit to throw our tax money down.

This ladies and gentleman is merely the start of it all. The incompetent Charles Sousa will table his 2015 provincial budget on 23rd April. You heard it here first, he won’t be happy with a mere 3 cents per litre coming from Cap and Trade. I predict another 5 cent gas tax being added. 3 years away from an election and with gas prices being so low, he wont be able to resist it.

On the FCM I’m Ambivalent. On other stuff…………

I’d forgotten about this “Pig squeals at removal of trough”. It was the beginning of the end of my eight year period of support for this staple of the local political scene. The final nail was driven into that coffin for me after the recreation tent debacle materialized the following year.
I was reminded of this long forgotten unpopular political misstep by Chadwick, in Steve Berman’s latest blog. Steve quite rightly points out the hypocricy of this preening has-been of the local political arena, when in his latest Scripturient offering, Chadwick objects to sending Kathy Jeffery to this gab fest FCM for $10k. But just 4 years ago Chadwick was kicking up a stink because his portion of a $10k trough was being removed. But this is old news really (Chadwick being a hypocrite). He’s a card carrying liberal what else do you expect? It’s in their DNA. His slogan should be “do as I say not as I do”. In fact that should be Premier Windbag’s slogan also…….
……..but I digress. I’m fairly ambivalent on these gab fest conference’s. Our elected officials seem to be in love with attending them. I think the actual benefits are tangible at best, but I guess being at the table is preferable than not, so what the hell, let’s send Kathy and make sure she comes back with a detailed report on what she learned. Then let’s see how our town benefitted from the $10k outlay. I also laughed at our vacuous Mayor’s comment at last Tuesday’s council meeting. She said that someone from the county was going so she did not want to pay twice. What a stupid comment to make. If in my humble opinion the benefits of a town councillor attending are limited, they are absolutely non-existent at county level, because this level of governance is so far removed from us locally, paying to have a county rep is just pissing town money down the drain.

Another thing I would like to elaborate on, is a comment in my last post, where I mentioned that Steve Berman had gone “establishment” on us. I will quantify that statement in reference to Steve’s latest blog that I linked above. I’d like Steve to take a step back and do a little introspection in a scenario that I pose below and see what he comes up with:
Let’s imagine it was being proposed instead of Kathy Jeffery going to this FCM gabfest, it was Kevin Lloyd; and at last Tuesdays council meeting it were Brian Saunderson, Deb Doherty, Kathy Jeffery and Tim Fryer voting against Kevin Lloyd’s attendance. Their reason being that after the latest wrangling in the towns budget the town can’t afford it. Then Chadwick posts one of his cloying (my word of the month) blogs lauding the decision, by the other five members of council, to send his compatriot to this very important event. What would Steve’s commentary look like over this past weekend then?
I personally try to go into every council meeting and read every bit of commentary with a blank slate. If Lloyd makes a good point and votes in a certain way I agree with and is best for the town, I will say that (he rarely does). If Cam makes a horses ass mess out of a situation, I will say that also (he sometimes does that).
Far be it for me to tell Steve (he won’t listen to me anyway) how to conduct himself in his public commentary or in his self appointed roll as municipal watch dog. He’s done more to educate and involve the masses in local politics than anyone else ever has locally. But in my humble opinion he is now starting to look partisan and risks making himself irrelevant as an apologist for the latest group that is starting to look very much like a voting bloc.
If he continues to let that happen, that’s a very sad turn of events, in my mind.

Not Walking on Sunshine. Basking in Sunshine.

I was somewhat surprised with Steve Berman’s latest Enterprise Bulletin column here:

Walking on Sunshine

Steve goes to great lengths to defend the indefensible. Namely the growing gap that now exists between those who happen to have won life’s lottery. In terms of life long job security, gold-plated pension plans, index linked pay raises, extended health care. All paid for by the long-suffering tax payer, whom in most cases can only dream of such largess, but always ends up footing the bill.
Steve mentioned the town clerk in his cloying column. I will take his lead and run with her as an example. Let’s be clear I am not picking on Sara and from what I hear she is very good at her job, but it is a good case in point. I was astounded when I found out that she earns $137,412 per year. But in his column Steve qualifies this with a rather glib “The position of Town Clerk is of significant importance, and is required under the Municipal Act. To criticize her salary by posting that her “biggest risk is a paper cut,” in comments on the E-B article online, shows an ignorance regarding the position”.
There is no exact match in the private sector for Sara Almas position as town clerk but judging by her duties and responsibilities the closest I could get to it would be an “Executive Assistant”. I did a Google search on what the expected salary of this position would pay in the private sector, or what the Canadian average is. I came up with a low of $47,376 and a high of $70,906 please see link below:

Canadian Salary Wizard

Add to this the small town location and complete lack of any decent employment prospects in Collingwood, and it would be generous to allow a salary in the median portion of this salary range so let’s say $60k. No let’s be really generous let’s say $65k. Less than half of what our town remunerates for the same position. I would also venture to guess that if this position were advertised province wide in that type of salary range, the town would have well qualified people lining up down Hurontario St to apply for it. This example is repeated throughout middle management at town hall.

Steve’s other example is of a firefighter “Perhaps you’d like to say that again, while standing at the top of a 50-foot ladder in over 1,000 degree heat, trying to save lives.” Well of course in that situation we would all over value the roll of a firefighter. But when was the last time our local pampered fire department were called into that type of service? The last fire of this type that I can remember was when the Masonic Lodge burned to the ground on Hurontario Street, that was 15 years ago. I suggest that our local fire department are more likely to be dealing with the more mundane kitchen pan fire or cat removal from tree type of firefighting roll.
The other thing that sticks in many peoples craw about a few firefighters, is that the $80k – $100k per annum salary is still not enough. To add insult to injury I occasionally hear local legitimate contractors complain that they did not get awarded a small contracting project because a local firefighter/handyman under bid them by 50% on a cash deal. Obviously because they have too much spare time on their hands. I have an idea about our local firefighters. Why don’t we pay them a basic salary of say $50k per annum, then pay them on a per fire basis of say $100 for every mundane kitchen pan fire on an ever increasing upward scale all the way up to say $10,000 for the once in the firefighters career over-dramatized example that Steve used in his column. If that ever happened (it won’t), by all means supplement their income with small service and contracting jobs and relax whilst on duty in their “Taj Mahal” fire station. Because at that point the playing field with the private sector would then have been evened up a little. I also venture to guess that if this were ever the case, we would still have young men and women lining up for positions in our local fire service.
When I first completed trade school, as a licenced tradesman, public service jobs were paying around 20% less than the private sector. The idea was you take less money but get better job security. Years of successive gutless politicians pandering to these very vocal unionised workers, has led to the system being turned on its head with no end to the madness in sight.
This town has a budget crisis on its hands, we are $60M in debt with no cognitive plan in place to pay back any of it. I heard many stories lately, of the penny pinching that had been going on during the recent budget process. But what I didn’t hear was anything like “Wage Freeze”. It’s the elephant in the room that none of our elected politicians ever want to address or talk about. In fact in the last provincial election the hapless Tim Hudak did try to do exactly that, but the subterranean like deep pockets of the provincial union funded publicity machine attacked him mercilessly into submission.

I usually enjoy reading Steve’s scribbling’s, he is normally a voice of reason in the wilderness. I’m not sure why but it seems in his new roll as columnist, he has suddenly gone very pro-establishment in his views and commentary. I want the old Steve back.