Sorry 10 observations again…………

Yeah I know, two posts in a row with my 10 observations. This time on tonight’s council meeting. But it’s the quickest easiest way to get my point across and tonight I don’t have the time to construct a blog, pour over my bad grammar, edit things, read and reread it.
So this is all you get.

1. Note to Cam: You as an elected official, even if it’s true, NEVER say: “This is a very complicated report, I have read it twice and I still have not grasped the gist of what it is trying to say”. This week you get councils dunces cap.

2. Yet again (much to the chagrin of the rest of the bloggerazzi). I was impressed with Sandra Coopers performance as our Mayor tonight.

3. Looks like Bob Madigan caught Kevin Lloyd’s cold from that SARS infected microphone yesterday afternoon. As stated in my last blog he stole the show at the Levee. Tonight he looked like death warmed over, snuffling, coughing and spluttering.

4. Rienk DeVries from True North Consultants presented the much talked about Collingwood Public Utilities/ Town shared services agreement report. Steve Berman did a blog about it which he called SHOCKING. I didn’t really think it was shocking, I would say more like eye-opening and Mr. DeVries presentation was well prepared, at times a little boring, other times interesting and rather long-winded. If you want to read a review of the report, go to Steve’s blog here:
It’s 92 pages long. The gist of it is, things need to change, and they need a new Services Agreement.

5. So far so good right. Well then the old boys club started to circle the wagons. Marcus Firman (whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for by the way), he is the water services manager at Collus. Instead of accepting the report and being above the fray which I fully expected actually. Starts attacking certain nuances about how True North came to its findings and that they didn’t talk to certain people at Collus. Shame on you Marcus I expected better.

6. Then on cue, like the pantomime villain that he now seems to be turning himself into. Snuffling and sneezing-less (he gave it all to Bob) Kevin Lloyd also starts to attack the report and Mr. DeVries. Stating glaring errors and attacking the credibility and credentials of its creator, and I quote “This report has been fielded by people in and outside Collus who are of absolutely no importance or consequence”. I guess he then suddenly realized what he had just said, because he then quantified, “Well I guess you are of some importance, but you know what I mean.”

7. If we are not careful, we as a town will start to get a bad reputation. If council and various staff members don’t like the findings of a report, tabled in front of them, they attack the messenger.

8. In a very well-rehearsed and scripted comment the aforementioned pantomime villain, then decided to try and throw the absent Tim Fryer off the bus. By saying “This agreement was drafted when Tim Fryer was running things in 2003, so it will be interesting to hear what he has to say about this report”. Earth to Lloyd – That was 13 years ago a much different town and a much different Collus. But you knew that didn’t you.
9. Mark this down as the first time Mike Edwards had something salient, relevant and important to say, in what seems like a very long time, when he said: “This report and its findings are too important to be dealt with without the other two members of council being present”. Kudos for this Mike, I never thought of this, because I was busy concentrating on the old boys club’s obfuscation on the whole affair. I agree with you and you actually changed my mind on it.

10. Council voted 5 – 1, (Deb voted to receive the report) or was it 5- 2 Brian Saunderson didn’t seem to vote. Instead he, completely out of the blue, went off on a tangent for a couple of minutes and finished things off with “……….not really sure whether this was going to be a motion or not………….” Very bizarre. Was this the first chink in Brian’s shining armour? Anyway they deferred receiving the report for 30 days which, I thought, ended up being the right decision.

Note: The airport report was deferred until the next council meeting.


22 thoughts on “Sorry 10 observations again…………

  1. I have been away and out of the loop VFAN. Pleased you are still fighting the good fight. Now I have to catch up on what I have missed. I know lots of people at Collus. This report scratches the surface of the problems down there.

  2. No need to apologize about the 10 observations Nobody I like this format. But then as the other famous Kathy once said in “Misery” – “I’m your biggest fan” I took in the meeting on Rogers, goes to show that the shit show is watching and waiting in the wings. Deferral was best result that could have been expected on the night.

  3. I attended the Council meeting last night as I will continue to do. There is still the tendency for some members of Council to simply refuse to accept a report simply because they don’t like what it says. This was the case with the Integrity Commissioner’s report about our former Deputy Mayor and it was repeated last night with the consultant’s report on Collus. For Councillor Lloyd to refute the report because as he says it was full of errors and not “vetted” by Collus itself was the equivalent of taking your child’s teacher to task because they didn’t have your child review and approve of their own report card. If after conducting an exhaustive review during which time 25 or more interviews were held with Collus employees, an outside party has a difficult time understanding the inner workings of Collus and their relationship pertaining to a service provider, I’d say there’s a problem.

    During the election campaign there was a lot of reference made to the term “transparency.” Hopefully the majority of Council takes the term seriously and it’s not just an election buzzword. Deferring the Collus report was the right thing to do, not because as Councillor Lloyd alleges that it is full of errors but because two members of Council were absent last evening including Councillor Fryer who as a former employee of Collus can shed some credible light on the matter. It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds in the weeks ahead.

    • Agree with your point about the deferral for the reason of the absent Councillor Fryer and Councillor Jeffereys…well said, Rick!

      • I going to disagree (just for fun). I think Deb Doherty was the Molson Canadian Councillor of the Game last night, for voting against it.

        All 7 at the meeting, agreed that a new agreement must be done. Waiting for Tim and Kathy wouldn’t change that. The problem the others had, aside from wanting those 2 to weigh in, was that they wanted an updated report from True North Consultants.

        So, divide it in 2. Defer “receiving” the report, but make a Notice of Motion (and waive it if possible) to start the process of the new agreement. The way it was handled last night, means that they will be missing out on at least one month that they could have been starting this inevitable process.

      • I thought you might Steve. But to be honest I ended up wanting this Collus report deferred for purely selfish reasons. This gets on the council floor again, KL makes an ass of himself again, I get to write another post about it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!!!

      • “Deb Doherty was the Molson Canadian Councillor of the Game.”
        Well said, Steve. And I agree.

  4. Perhaps someone who voted for Kevin Lloyd could weigh in on this…

    In this new councils first meeting, they voted 8-1 to create a new Strategic Plan. Kevin Lloyd voted against it because he didn’t want the public to have any input.

    Last night, council unanimously agreed that we need a new agreement with Collus, because the old one isn’t in the best interests of the taxpayers, but Kevin Lloyd wanted to delay it, because he believes the report may be unfair to Collus.

    Do the people who voted for Kevin, think that this shows he is putting “their” needs first?


  5. Tom Cochrane – Citizen Cain Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    You can lead a horse to water
    But you cannot make him drink
    You can own a man’s whole work for life
    But you cannot make him think what you want

    You can tell them all a thousand lies
    But you don’t own the world

    Man you leave it all in pieces
    Let us all come and clean it up
    Love to see your name in the papers
    Like to hang out at your club

    Like to drive around in your silver car
    As if it were a cloud
    Like to call yourself a legend
    But if you were you wouldn’t be that proud


    Citizen cain, citizen cain
    Don’t you think that you have the keys
    You might own all the locks in this whole damn town
    But there ain’t no chains on me

    You like to do everybody favors
    Then take it all back in spades
    Keep everyone you know under your big bad thumb
    Until they start to fade

    You like to think you’re king of the western world
    But he died long ago
    You like to give yourself to charity
    As long as everybody else knows

  6. I agree with Steve, this report is shocking; and, here’s why I think so.

    Let’s talk Business *SSAR – Shared Services Agreement Report

    Business Best Practices:
    Business Best practice means finding – and using – the best ways of working to achieve your business objectives. It involves having accurate, detailed and up-to-date information about your business performance at different stages. There are several business tools that you can use to achieve this such as benchmarking, forecasting, financial planning, strategic planning and performance monitoring. These can be used to measure progress in achieving business objectives across a range of activities and enable you to identify areas that need attention.

    *SSAR : All the above area’s, and some not mentioned, were lacking and/or outdated at the time of the Collus/PowerStream transaction and currently remain unchanged since 2003.

    Management best practice:
    Communicating your objectives and strategies is an essential part of management best practice. A good communications policy will ensure that everyone in the business, from Chief Cook to bottle washer, knows the direction in which the business is heading, and understands their own part in its development. It also helps future planning and the change of management strategies.

    *SSAR: Many of the files, including detailed financial reports and defined key players receiving payment were not recorded properly and have taken the Consultants either months to find, or, to-date, have not been found at all. No records of performance measuring, no records of planning, no records of communicating as such.

    So, this is my question: What did the “management”, including council, base their best business practice on and how did they arrive at their decision making with the Collus/PowerStream transaction WITHOUT performing the on-going due dilegence of the business management part of it, since the original Agreement in 2003? Just asking…

    To Quote:
    “In the same way that healthy blood and bones are reflected in the naturally healthy look of a person, so an organisation whose internal functions are healthy will naturally look so from an external perspective”.

    Not looking so healthy externally, are we now?…

    …and, either is Bob. Councillor Kevin should have wiped his cough germs off the mic yesterday, as he said he would…now Councillor Bob is sniffling and getting a red nose. It looks like a detox is needed all round…

    • Thanks for your well thought out and well crafted thoughts QB. I agree with you. BUT my New Years resolution is to move forward and not keep looking back. We all know that there have been problems at Collus, which are well detailed in this report, let’s fix the problems and move on and not keep flogging a dead horse.
      That being said, what I did find SHOCKING was Marcus Firman and Kevin Lloyds reaction to this report and any type of criticism. I will wager that this type of feeling and sentiment is merely the tip of the iceberg. That display on Monday evening now becomes the story, because you can’t fix stupidity and intransigence, no matter how many reports and studies you throw at it.

      • I agree with the moving forward, VFAN. but we must do so in the proper business manner, which is exactly what this report detailed. To wrap my point up, it is that the report showed the great deficiencies in the previous business practices, recommended the proper one’s to move forward with and then presented them in an orderly fashion. We learn from past errors and it is critical to recognize what they are so that we can work with lesson’s learned and improve our current strategy. Kevin Lloyd needs to answer my question as to how they determined their business conclusions when he clearly doesn’t understand what was being presented to him last night at council. If he cannot answer then he needs to quit being such an arrogant participant and continually try to bring in the old, and improper, practices.
        Maybe a business course is in order for him, then he can make effective inputs and work better with this new and improved council.

    • Cheryl as a guess I would say KL is afraid of some of the nonsense at Collus sticking to him and his voting bloc, because it was happening under their watch and they failed to recognize it or do anything about it.

      • Could KL also not want good business practice to be a practice due to the fact that he doesn’t understand how business actually works?…objecting to everything, and voting without thought is much easier…so he may think!

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