A review of your new council:


It’s been a couple of weeks now since the election. As I have said before, I was a little disappointed in some of the results, happy with others. We still have a couple of weeks until the new council gets sworn in, but I thought I would do a quick review and opinion piece on the new incoming council as follows:

Mayor Sandra Cooper:
Although she managed to capture 51% of the vote, her cohorts (bloc) were completely decimated. One retired, two were soundly defeated in the election and one scraped in with only 38 votes to spare. We all have to hope that she learned from that lesson and be a productive influence on the council, rather than an obstructive one.
A couple of posts ago, I was whining about the election results and someone named “Triguy” made the following comment:

My favourite story this post-election season was of a senior citizen (long-time Collingwood resident) who dutifully voted for Cooper because “She was such a nice lady at the grocery store all those years”. WHAT? Really? That is a qualification to run a multi-million dollar company? More unreal is no one takes that conversation to the next place.
Baffled Listener: “Oh really? What was her position at the grocery store all those years?”
Uninformed Voter: “Cashier”
Baffled Listener: “Just Cashier? She wasn’t promoted to head cashier or supervisor or manager after 20+ years at the store and because of her superior leadership skills, her vision, her involvement in the store community with other employees, etc.?”
Uniformed Voted: “No just a cashier, but she was always so nice!”

I thought this was a great comment. By all accounts Sandra is a nice person, but because of the way she has ended up as Mayor of Collingwood (she was in the right place at the right time in both elections). She will lack the skill sets it requires to competently govern from a position of weakness. So I believe she will be an obstructionist Mayor. Expect her to be on the wrong side of a lot of votes as she tries to make petty points with those on council she dislikes and fundamentally disagrees with (Deputy Mayor and 4 of the 7 councillors). She will have a difficult time this session and will be reduced to ribbon cutting ceremonies and public appearances, while the important business of running this $50M corporation is left to those more competent members of council.

Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson:
Because of much of the above, as with the last council, the Deputy Mayor will effectively be running the town and setting the agenda. He already has a couple of heavy hitting motions coming when council resumes. Those motions were made public during the election campaign, they indirectly reference Sandra Cooper’s many perceived if not actual conflicts of interest, in some of her dealings with her brother Paul Bonwick. If she is smart she will vote to approve the motions and move on. We all know better than that though don’t we? This will set the tone for the next few months, if not years to come.

From what I have seen of Brian, he has a sharp tongue, a dry wit and is extremely intelligent. I believe he will use those traits with abandon on any council member that decides to slack off and come to a council meeting ill prepared. With Brian at the helm we are going to get full value for our money from this upcoming council. To be honest I am counting the days until I can get to see him in action (get a life Nobody). Be prepared for many challenges on process and procedure, sorely lacking in the last council. Basically because Sandra did not want to know, or actually did not know any better. I hazard a guess that Brian has been studying up on municipal law and practices since long before he filed his nomination papers to run for Deputy Mayor. Plus lawyers by definition, are extremely good at reading a digesting written material. Knowing my own intellectual weaknesses, I sure am glad I am not sitting on this council. I can go toe to toe with most people in a verbal fencing match, but I would not fancy my chances against Brian. He will be like nothing any of us have seen so far in the local political arena, a complete breath of fresh air. Sandra must have a dire feeling of trepidation at the thought of trying to work with her new Deputy Mayor.

My apologies for being so longwinded in this post I had hoped to complete a full review including the councillors in one post. I will follow this up with my review of the new councillors shortly.

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4 thoughts on “A review of your new council:

  1. Brian will ensure things are open and transparent. He will personally and will encourage the rest, to be accountable to the tax payer. What is wrong with that? Nothing, in a true democratic society we can expect… or sadly, hope… for nothing less. The tide has turned.

  2. I don’t think Sandra’s work at Loblaw(s) would even be mentioned, if it weren’t for the animosity some people feel towards her, for what has happened over the past 2+ years.

    Remember, Einstein worked as a patent clerk….

    In the time I’ve spent advocating, and then running for office, I found that people who support Sandra, and in fact the entire “old boy” mentality, fall into one of 4 categories;

    1. Friend
    2. Relative
    3. Benefit in some way from having those people in power
    4. Have “chosen” to be ignorant of the issues.

    I say “chosen”, because the local media, bloggers, CBC, OPP etc, have produced enough facts, that if you still don’t know what’s going on, you simply don’t want to.

    I would argue with your line, “By all accounts Sandra is a nice person”

    I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone that “doesn’t” fall under one of the 4 categories above, that would agree with you.

    Sandra (like some others from the old boys club), is a very petty, angry person. She is only nice, to those who support her, and never question her.

    If some of the councilors leaving office, some who are newly elected, staff and volunteers who have chosen to leave during her term as Mayor, felt they could be honest about this, many would tell you the same thing.

    • Thanks for your insight Steve always appreciated. I have never been in Sandra’s company but I do have a good friend who does not fall into any of the above 4 categories but was a friend a few years ago and knows her to talk to her. I actually spoke with him last night about this and he says he did not vote for her but said she is a nice person. I agree with you from a distance she does seem petty and is sometimes angry.
      When I was given the preference, I chose a mayor with a more complete resume than Sandra has, that was a big factor for me. The first time I voted for her I had no idea what her background was so was therefore an uninformed voter I guess.

  3. The biggest thing I came away with from doing my due diligence on Municipal Politics during this election was the kinds of traits, reasons WHY, you vote for a Mayor. This person will be going to the province in the interest of your city/town (Collingwood) to get money for collaborative projects and infrastructure. The Mayor will also/should be the leader in discussions with future developers and investors in our town. The Mayor will have to deal with other well educated, well travelled, and well spoken people and will need to navigate those situations in the interest of us. It’s too bad that Chris Carrier is not the person doing this for the next 4 years. Sandra is out of her depth and is a sad example for a Mayor. It seems the “old” and “new” school of Collingwood is still at odds to a certain extent. The one bright light at the end of the tunnel is that I hope, possibly, maybe Brian will follow up this term with a run for Mayor and Tim Fryer will run for Deputy Mayor in the next election. Oh…and that Ian Chadwick will slip on ice in the one of the 4 dog parks and land in dog shit.

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