I have been following our municipal council relatively closely for 6 months now. In that time I have attended maybe half the Monday evening council meetings. I have decided to do my own review of the performance of our local elected officials. This is based on my own insights and views, so take it for what it is – the opinions and musings of a nobody.
Note: Apologies for the postage sized pictures of some of our councilors. They seemed adept at avoiding being photographed alone anywhere, so I had to do a bit of cutting and pasting.
Mayor Sandra Cooper – Believe it or not for all the negative print and sarcastic comment I have written on Mayor Cooper, I do believe that she is a decent person trying to do the best for this community. However after some serious thought I think she is a little over her head in the mayors chair. I also think she has others behind the scenes pulling the strings and pushing her in a certain direction. She also lets her own personal feeling get in the way when dealing with Keith Hull and cannot disguise her distain for him in the council chamber. This comes across as being petty and vindictive. I believe she gained her position by default because no one else (of substance) challenged her mayoralty run. She represents the status quo locally and if we ever want to move this community forward in any substantial way, she is never going to be that person to do it.
Deputy Mayor Rick Lloyd – What can I say about DM Lloyd??? He is the real power broker behind the mayors chair. After 4 mayoralty election runs he finally got all the power he has ever wanted, without any of the responsibility. If you think anything happens around town hall without the deputy mayors seal of approval you are severely mistaken. At the council table he comes across as being amiable and accommodating but the real story is something completely different. If you know Mr. Lloyd you will know what I am talking about. Old school type of politician, if I say anything else I will get myself into trouble.
Ian Chadwick – I have expended more digital ink on this town councilor than any other person in town. I was wondering the other day why that is and I came to the following conclusion – disappointment!!! Mr. Chadwick isn’t just someone I voted for from a distance, he was someone that I knew and closely followed his initial council run. Then his progress as a politician. I believe he has run his course and cannot offer anything meaningful to the political debate. In my conversations with people over the years I can’t remember one person that has said that they liked Mr. Chadwick and thought he was a great councilor. But he has been elected to town council 3 times with a substantial amount of votes, so someone must like him. This should be his last kick at the can, but it probably wont be. He will never get another vote from me.
Keith Hull – I met Keith a month or so ago, I like him he is a decent person and is only in politics to try to make a difference.
Now the negative stuff – Keith is idealistic and thinks he can single handedly clean up the way politics is done in Collingwood. It will never happen. I have no idea what his relationship is like with the rest of town council, but he should try to build some consensus with a couple of the other people around the table. So in other words if he wants to make a difference he needs to be more political and play the political game better. I will vote for Keith in any capacity that he runs in the next election.
Joe Gardhouse – Joe has been very active in the political process this time around. My impression is he is his own person and votes by conscience rather than how others think he should vote. I have not always agreed with his voting decisions but that is the way politics works sometimes. Unless something changes drastically I will vote for Joe if he runs next year.
Dale West – I don’t know Dale, but I know people that do know him and apparently he is a decent guy and in council for all the right reasons. Has added more to the conversation than a few others at the table. Before he gets my vote again he will have to do better than what I have seen so far.
Kevin Lloyd – Kevin is one of three council members that I believe is just taking up space at the table, he adds nothing meaningful to the conversation, has never had an original thought while I have been watching. I knew Kevin Lloyd prior to him being on town council that is why he is the only member that I did not vote for last time around. One statement sums up Mr. Lloyd as a councilor – Empty Suit!!!
Sandy Cunningham – It has become quite clear that Mr. Cunningham the ex-fire chief had one reason and one alone for becoming a member of council and that is – Yes you all guessed it NEW FIRE HALL!!! Which he achieved, so I see no other reason for him to be hanging around town hall. I will never vote for Sandy again.
Mike Edwards – Was Mike Edwards on town council? I never noticed. Another empty suit, I cannot think of one thing that he has constructively added to the conversation. If you want any more evidence of this town needing some new blood on council, look no further than Mr. Edwards.