One thing this town is really good at……………


If there were a prize for striking up committees and writing up reports, this town would be a leading recipient of it. Town councils in Collingwood are also great at ignoring most of the reports that they sanction.  I honestly think that ‎they do this stuff just to make it look like they are busy doing something. Even if what they are doing accomplishes absolutely nothing.

I am talking about, in this instance,  the Active Transportation Plan available on the towns Web site here:

http://www.collingwood.ca/files/photos/Final%20ATP%20-%20Received%20by%20Council%20Jan%202013_reducedsize.pdf

I read some of this ‎thing earlier in the week, it was pretty heavy going. Lots of graphs and big ideas, none of which will ever get implemented by anyone. I was directed to it by its author Rob Voigt. All be it anonymously through the comment section of my “Cycling” blog. He caught me out. I breezed through it for a few minutes and after my mind was wandering to stuff like “I need to put some clothes into the dryer” I abandoned ship and made the following comment in answer to his comment:

“Just read a bunch of it. (I hadn’t ) Looks to me like a make work project for the people writing the report. (Sorry Rob) There are probably a bunch of these types of things gathering dust at town hall. (That part is true) The report is the problem rather than a solution.” (No the people ignoring the report are the problem).

Rob and anyone else drafting these reports. Why don’t you make it part of the deal that you do a brief synopsis on your proposals so dummies like me  can get a quick overview on what you are proposing? There was much too much planning/legal speak  to many graphs and too many analytics to hold my attention for more than a brief few minutes.

Same thing happened three years ago when they struck up the Central Park Steering Committee to decide what to do at Central Park a report was drafted which recommended a multi use facility, then was promptly ignored by this council. I bet less than 50 people in Collingwood read the report that came from this steering committee. So council decided to erect tents instead for a cool $14 million.

I have a message for the new council coming in. If I voted for you let’s not bother with the committees, studies and gabfests. Have a platform when you are electioneering, so I know what you stand for. Then get consensus with the other 8 council members then implement that platform after you get elected‎. No surprises and no running by the seat of your pants after you get voted in, like this current council has done for 4 years. If I have one problem with my non-incumbent candidates, whom I intend to support. It’s their propensity to default to the political gab speak at every opportunity they get. No matter how much I ask them to keep it simple.

I talk to a lot of people about politics in this town and they are sick of it. No wonder Rob Ford was such a populist, he would say what he meant and meant what he said. A rare commodity these days (I think he might be off the crack too).

Here’s a novel idea how about running a campaign and talking in plain language about what you intend to do to make this town a better place to live. Lets have some ideas that do not involve committees, town hall meetings, reports and blab-fests.

Simples.

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5 thoughts on “One thing this town is really good at……………

  1. CAO Brown seems to have realised the futility of these committees, and has fired most of them, preparatory to setting up a whole new committee setup, comprised entirely of elected Councillors and the Mayor, that will become effective after the election with the new Council. Life will then become easier for them, as they won’t then have to pay any attention to these public input groups, (not that this mob ever did anyway,) and they can be entirely inwardly focussed, doing exactly as they please, (as this mob did,) and not feel a bit guilty about ignoring public input, (not that this mob ever did!)

    • Point taken Steve but you are talking about one situation with this one council. Go back 15 years and you had a completely different council, mayor, deputy mayor and you had a completely different committee and report. That being Vision 20/20 which I think was a brilliant document. 90% of it was also completely ignored because Geddes and obviously 4 other members of council did not like the finished document.. If I am not mistaken there has been one on the harbourlands – ignored. Central Park steering committee – ignored. I am the first to jump on the pile on with this council, Chadwick and Lloyd but they do not hold the franchise on ignoring and even blocking committees and reports. That is why I have no time for this type of “process” because if the results of the study/report do not fit with what 5 members of council want the whole thing is a complete waste of time. I will elect you to make the difficult decisions for me, get consensus with your colleagues then make things happen. If you have to have a study/report first on how to implement what is decided fair enough.
      I am glad we can finally disagree on something. I look forward crossing swords with you when you are on council 🙂

      • Yep, that was the only situation I was addressing. BUT, my point was, all of these tools (reports, committees, studies etc), work with the right people in office.

        If the voters bring back ANY of this group, or any new candidates with ties to this group, then the sad point your are making, will be true for 4 more years.

  2. Pingback: This Stuff HAS GOT TO STOP | Enough is Enough

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