“Petty Bickering” coming from one direction……….


I’m not really in the habit of paying much attention to the Collingwood Connection, but it seems the paper and its online content have now become the go-to newspaper for everything political in Collingwood. I imagine that’s due to the addition of Ian Adams to the editorial staff. I have now added its link to my bookmarks. I was perusing the paper version earlier and came across the following editorial:

http://www.simcoe.com/opinion-story/5292049-collingwood-council-sidetracked-by-petty-bickering/

I must take issue with some of its content; namely its premise that Deb Doherty was “grand-standing and soap boxing” by reintroducing the integrity commissioners report and having the new council vote to accept its findings. The author did not mention Deb by name but that is obviously who he/she is talking about by mentioning “A troubling trend in Collingwood of councils rehashing and changing decisions of their predecessors, of the winners attempting to re-write history, or to score cheap political points”.

My view is that the original vote was a travesty that was foisted upon this town on 20th October 2014 by the majority voting bloc and it was a wrong, that publicly needed to be put right. Also the only “petty bickering” I have seen thus far at council meetings has been proliferated by Kevin Lloyd on a continuing basis. When you read the headline you would think that this is a council-wide phenomenon, but it is actually coming from one councillor. This fact was quite rightly pointed out in the article in its later stages by telling us about Lloyd’s nonsensical innuendo that someone on council had a conflict with Swayze. I believe what Lloyd was referencing is a rumour going around that Cam Ecclestone attended the same university or high-school as Swayze close to 50 years ago. Apparently they barely knew each other. If this is the best Lloyd can do in his attempts to tarnish his colleagues, he needs to go back to his poisoned little drawing board.

I agree that council “Needs to focus on the future by starting work on the strategic plan, the budget, and a strategic financial plan”. The only way that this can be done without the “petty bickering” is if someone takes the initiative bounds and gags Lloyd and locks him in a closet somewhere, while council meetings are going on, but I suppose that might be construed as being undemocratic. From what I have seen he has no intention of working with this council and is being obstructionist whenever possible.

I have attended every Monday evening meeting of this new council thus far, and in my opinion this is a council (not including Lloyd) that has rolled up its sleeves and seems intent on getting some important things done. I have been ragging on Bob Madigan a little, but if I am completely honest I am actually pleasantly surprised by him also (he just needs to vocalize a little more). I say again Sandra Cooper has been a much better Mayor this time around and seems a lot more comfortable in the job.

I felt I needed to respond to this opinion piece in The Connection because I feel the picture it is painting is totally wrong.

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9 thoughts on ““Petty Bickering” coming from one direction……….

  1. What’s the point in having elections and councils if a new council just comes in and changes decisions already made? Same as Carrier did when he cancelled Admiral Building. Seems like the people you support are pretty good a doing this. I completely agree with the newspaper.

    • Anonymous, I would ask that you not continue to mislead the public on the facts of the Admiral project. Please review some of the facts below.

      May 2006 Town Council(Geddes) approved OPA #5 and sent it to the County of Simcoe for approval. County recommended modifications to Official Plan Amendment No. 5 see OPA #5 Schedule 5 CS 06-192 Page 1 of 1 to make it more compatible with present Heritage Guidelines.

      August 2006 Heritage Committee agreed with review team and made additional recommendations.
      2006 Letter was sent to the county by the Ministry of Culture expressing concerns over town’s approval of developer’s HIA

      September 2006 Council (Geddes) approved new zoning for the site, with a Holding Zone.
      Council also passed Resolution #389 accepting the developer’s HIA.
      October 2006 Local Ratepayers’ group filed a Notice of Appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Their key concern and basis for the appeal was that the Town’s actions were in conflict with the Heritage requirements of OPA #5 and also the Provincial Policy Statement as both related to the heritage district issue.

      November 2006 Council (Geddes) conditionally approved the site plan agreement of a 4 storey building on the E. side of the property and a 6 storey building on the W side. Before swearing in newly elected council, several attempts were made to finalize the development deal. Staff and legal advice, found the various financing requirements as proposed by the developers, to secure their obligations under the site plan could not be supported.

      January 15,2007 Keeping in mind that:
      – the project was still not approved in its final form,
      – no site plan agreements signed, financial terms not agreed to
      – an OMB appeal in place,
      Council, (Carrier), approved a resolution to repeal the decision of the previous Council to authorize the execution of the Site Plan Agreement in the absence of a satisfactory Heritage Impact Assessment.

      January 22 Ratepayers group withdrew their appeal to OMB since their concerns for the acceptance of HIA had been addressed.

      January 29 The development group filed an appeal to the OMB over the Town’s decision not to proceed with the site plan even though no agreement had ever been signed and no financial securities had been posted by the developer up to this point.

      February 2007 Mr. Assaff and Mr. Strandholt agreed to meet with senior Town staff to begin to negotiate a settlement.

      July 4, 2007 Admiral Collingwood and The Strand developers accept OMB settlement proposal of 5 floors and 4 floors respectively. The concept of the 5 floors development was to include stepped ends to lessen the impact of the mass of the building on neighboring 2 and 3 floor buildings. The fifth floor was also to be stepped back from the streetscape and to be glass instead of brick. The developer’s team was to work with town staff and respective heritage consultants to develop a more compatible development within Collingwood’s Downtown Designated Heritage District..
      Financial details and required securities still needed to be finalized.

      July 4, 2008 Authorization by-law to enter into the Site Plan Control Agreement for Admiral Collingwood was enacted and passed.
      Admiral Collingwood Place was required to be completed within 2 years. Admiral’s Village was to be completed within 5 years.

      December 2008 The development’s group issued a media release saying that the project was on hold.

  2. When Council voted not to receive the Integrity Commissioner’s report, shouldn’t Rick Lloyd have excused himself? The report concerned a complaint against him. It was entirely inappropriate for him to vote on it. A clear conflict of interest.

    Oh the irony!!

    Good for this Council for bringing back that piece of badly mishandled business. They did the right thing.

  3. Glad to see you are back on track VFAN.
    Note to Connection: We the public wanted to see Swayze’s report reintroduced before council again and accepted. We think that action is far from petty bickering.

  4. I agree with the spirit of the statement, “A troubling trend in Collingwood of councils rehashing and changing decisions of their predecessors, …”. But in this case it was necessary to restore the truth and undo ‘block’ voting of the previous council. Kudos to Councilors Doherty and Jeffery for bringing it forward and to those who supported it. October 20th was the same meeting when Ian Chadwick quoted some Latin reference to justify his obviously tainted vote and then laughed at the public for mocking him for it. The irony. I guess the public had the last laugh by voting him off council.

    As for Councilor Lloyd, I can’t help but reference a quote by comedian Dennis Miller speaking of a US politician, “Am I supposed to to take (this guy) seriously? (His) ramblings have gone so far afield now they’re gonna have to install an On-Star button in the middle of his forehead.”

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