The following are the successful candidates in the election for the Board of Management of the Downtown BIA and some information I have gleaned about each successful candidate:
• Alex Yuen – Potentially a great appointment. Past chair of the BIA but a very strong advocate for business focus of the downtown. Will be open to change to bring more life to the downtown, to make the downtown an enjoyable shopping experience and place to visit.
• Michael Christie – Good appointment. Thoughtful, pragmatic and progressive. Just some of the words used to describe Michael.
• Penny Skelton – Could not find one person to say a positive thing about Penny. She is apparently a big fan of Rick Lloyd, so enough said. I’m told she is a not much of a listener because she is the smartest person in the room 🙂
• David Conning – Never been on the board, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt until I hear otherwise
• Charles Brand – I can’t find out much about Charles but I am hearing he is not an agent for change and likes the status quo.
• Bradley Green – Another Rick Lloyd pal. Works for an agency funded by the province (Tracks). It baffles me why anyone would vote for someone who is basically a glorified bureaucrat so brings very little to the table. He has no skin in the game, he is not an entrepreneur and doesn’t generate any new business downtown.
• Catherine Durrant – Good appointment, lots of contacts within various provincial ministries that focus on various downtown’s to try new initiatives and strong partnership opportunities. I am hearing of some baggage, good comments far outnumbered bad though. Hopefully Patricia (next appointment) will be a calming influence.
• Patricia Boyce – Another good appointment, both Catherine and Patricia are strong separately but as a team they are even stronger. They own a number of properties downtown and have the business acumen and vision to assist with change, whether that is more housing in the downtown, or bringing non-retail business to the downtown. Switch Marketing was an example mentioned to me.
Conspicuously absent is our esteemed ex-councillor Ian Chadwick, who hit snake eyes yet again. Do you think our pompous friend is starting to figure this out yet? Probably not. I can hear him saying to anyone that will listen “It’s the fault of ex-politicians and vitriolic, ignorant bloggers”.
I have no skin in this game other than I constantly hear residents of Collingwood complain about the shortcomings of this towns downtown core. I am quite sure the owners of businesses downtown must hear those same complaints. They need to remember it’s not just about electing this board then forgetting about it, they need to get involved (Attending the AGM is a good start). This could potentially be a good BIA board if the new appointees are on board to make a difference. If not, much of the same that we have seen in the past.
I will keep a close eye on this board and report back to you on any developments.