What legacy will Sandra Cooper leave us?


I realize it’s a little premature only six months into her 2nd term as Mayor, but I was thinking the other day about legacy and what will Sandra Cooper’s legacy be to the town of Collingwood after two terms in office. I am hearing from a bunch of sources that she will not run for a third term in 2018.

I think to have this conversation you have to have something to compare our current Mayor with. So let’s take a look at the previous two Mayors starting with:
Terry Geddes:
He was Mayor of Collingwood when I arrived in town in 2000. At that time Collingwood was still suffering from the hangover of the shipyard closing and was trying to define itself. It was the beginning of the end of factories and car part manufacturing in the area.
The much maligned Terry Geddes was very much instrumental in dragging Collingwood up by its boot straps in this transitional period to the place we live today. I would say that is his legacy, because there were very few major construction projects of a municipal nature in this time frame.
Chris Carrier:
From day one of Carrier’s tenure as Mayor of Collingwood the knives were out. I considered myself quite informed at the time but much of what I was “informed” about was actually quite wrong. Chris’s legacy to the town is actually quite long and accomplished. I will write it down in numbered form and you can judge for yourself:
1. Permanent Georgian Campus on Raglan and Poplar Ride road.

2. Library building

3. Downtown revitalization. Downtown was a complete dump when Chris took over as mayor he was very much instrumental in making our downtown the aesthetically pleasant experience it is today.

4. First St revitalization. ‎Again first st was awful back in the early oughties . Dumpy fast food restaurants and gas stations abandoned shuttered buildings cracked broken side walks.

5. Our local bus service was established including drafting an inter-municipal public transit agreement between Wasaga Beach and Collingwood.
6. Established a 150 acre business park through a strategic private developer and $1,500,000 from Federal government to extend municipal services to the park.

Sandra Cooper:
OK before we start lets get the obvious out of the way, she is only 6 months into her second term. I watch this stuff carefully and I do not see anything coming down the pipeline that in any way shape or form is going to be big enough to define Sandra Copper as far as a legacy in her second term. But let’s try anyway:

1. Enabled council to push forward with the new fire-hall. I never agreed with it but people whom I respect tell me it was necessary and justified.

2. After years of wrangling Hume Street is finally getting the refurbishment it requires. I suggest if this were being completed on either of previous two Mayors watch, this project would have been completed already, and another level of government would have been kicking in a good portion of the money to get it done.

3. A fractured recreation stable of facilities. The two tents are by no means a permanent answer to this towns long term recreational needs. It will come to pass, that what we have in place now are expensive to run, will look like crap in ten years time and in twenty years time, when the council of 2032 decides to fix that mess, Sandra will be wearing it like a 200 lb bridesmaid in a size 6 dress.

4. Waterfront. This is the pièce de résistance of Sandra’s legacy. The sad part about it is she knows no better, she’s probably walked down to the water front and thinks it is quite acceptable to have a bank and pharmacy’s parking lot butt right onto our waterfront. This cannot be fixed and our kids and grand-kids will be cursing the name Sandra Cooper for many years to come.

5. Admiral Collingwood Place. She gave her pal Steve Assaff every tool in the toolbox to get this project started and finished. Her and her voting block even refunded him his development fees. She promised when running for her first term that this project would be completed. Here we are 5 years later………Nothing.

6. Sold off half of Collus to the second highest bidder. This utility was a money maker and was sold to make the towns financial situation look less bleak come election time. She doubled down on this by lying about the towns financial situation during the election campaign.

7. She did get the patio debacle sorted out…… I’m sure Duncan’s is very appreciative.

C’mon people let’s be serious. Sandra Cooper is a complete lightweight. She has no vision, is as dumb as a post and if her brother were not who he is, would still be trying to find out what the scanning code for Cilantro is at Loblaw’s.

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15 thoughts on “What legacy will Sandra Cooper leave us?

  1. In my opinion, much of what you leave behind as your “legacy” depends to a large degree on your character. Without the right character traits your accomplishments will be constrained stemming from the fact that you lack the necessary experience, skills and abilities to fulfill the role(s) you find yourself in. Whether it’s being a parent, an entrepreneur, a manager, a volunteer and yes a political figure including that of Mayor, your legacy will be determined by your ability to lead and inspire others to achieve the desired results and goals. Four years from now, we will have a much clearer picture of the legacy left behind by Mayor Cooper and her ability to lead the current Council.

  2. Re: Carrier’s term – i think he’s getting a bit of a pass. I’m not sure the cost for a new library was really justified given where technology is today and the Hume/Hurontario Admiral development is a mess because of his council changing the rules, that would have to be part of his legacy. But absolute kudo’s for the Georgian College campus. Sandra Cooper’s first term i think will always be defined by the recreational facilities, unfortunately it could have been a positive defining moment to have a sports complex that the Town could have been proud of for years to come, rather than the controversial end result. Ultimately i don’t know who’s fault the waterfront is but the fact that there is basically a Brampton/Mississauga type subdivision development on the Collingwood waterfront is my biggest disappointment, which was decided/approved before Sandra’s term as Mayor. The pharmacy building is not what ruined the waterfront, it’s a single building. Considering the tight fiscal constraints of this council it will be interesting to see what this council is able to leave as their legacy. The Hume St redevelopment is a great start.

    • You’re wrong B the Assaff development was not decided before Coopers first term. That is all her and the voting bloc doing favours for their buddy. BTW it is my biggest disappointment also.

  3. All things exposed and aside, what’s with the fat girl cracks?, the brother link and the past reference to Mayor Cooper’s job at Loblaws? Everyone has a past. If you want to make this situation better, get involved. Run for council or volunteer. I agree with much of what you have said but there is no need for insults over past jobs, body types and familiar relations. When someone does a poor job of things, it has nothing to do with their relations, body type or past job experience. If someone else had the support of the voting majority, as Mayor. Cooper apparently has, then they would have been voted in. I agree, the legacy she leaves is abysmal and will go down in the history of CW as not so stellar. She did walk into a mess and I am sure there will be lots of issue going forward, for the next mayor to work out. Ask yourself, what can I do to rectify or help this situation? We are all great arm chair critics, but to really make a difference you must get in there and Make A Difference !

    • Jan if you want politically correct then you should probably look elsewhere.
      I have nothing against the girls that check my groceries at Loblaw’s. I don’t think that job description though qualifies a person to run a $70M corporation which is what our town is. The result of this lack of the necessary credentials by our Mayor is what we have ended up with today. As you stated, an abysmal record.

    • Ms. Veiga, thank you for your comments. I too would like to echo your sentiment that doing the job and arm chairing the decisions made by others are 2 very different perspectives. I would also suggest that the time Sandra grew up in is different than it is now. She was able to get a job locally while many in her family worked for the Shipyards. She and Ken raised a family here in Collingwood. I think all work is admirable and should not be diminished. Sandra raised a family and also worked and coming from a single parent household I find that rather admirable indeed.
      Where I take exception is that “Sandra walked into a mess”. She did not. The council I led as Mayor had strong relationships with many, including Federal Departments, Provincial Ministries, neighouring Mayors (Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview and Meaford), County Council presence (Site 41 opposition by myself-Sandra was in support) and of course with many business partners both inside and outside of Collingwood. Our finances were in good shape. Yes we took on new debt but that was offset with both strong growth and 25-30 year low interest rates not to mention the millions of dollars of investment by other partners. Let me say this about the debt numbers during the election campaign. I stand by my comments that the debt numbers I presented were accurate, Sandra’s numbers were, well I have no idea how she came up with them. Post election I believe the staff reports on the debt situation bear witness to the fact that my numbers were accurate picture that the total debt had increased in the last four years. Yes it is now water under the bridge or what ever metaphor we wish to use. The selling of 50% of COLLUS shares could have been used to generate a new revenue producing stream such a strategic partnership with a waste to energy project, a micro green grid for the 150 acre business park and a whole host of other opportunities. But that too is water under the bridge.
      While the 2010-2014 Council was not the council I had hoped to see I still remained hopeful that they could and would achieve more and be as fiscally responsible as they had campaigned. That certainly did not happen and no matter the personalities involved the previous 4 years was disappointing at best. I am more hopeful for the next 4 years and I do hope that those who were engaged in the last election cycle continue to stay involved and participate in a positive way. Once again thank you for your comments.

  4. Sandra Cooper’s legacy will be defined when the OPP investigation is complete. Then the public will know for certain, what did or didn’t go on during the time when the buck stopped with her.

    • Good point Steve. But until that same OPP investigation is actually complete and any wrong doing is found to have taken place, I personally am treating it like it does not exist. That’s the problem with it dragging on for over 2 years and through an election campaign.

      • You could argue that “treating it like it does not exist” by the public, is what got her (and others) re-elected.

        “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”― Aldous Huxley

      • As far as the public is concerned the OPP investigation doesn’t exist because it has dragged on far too long. The public could not base its vote on an inconclusive OPP investigation. But it could have based its vote on the legacy of her first term. If that were the case Carrier should have won hands down.
        Bad quote Steve people can only ignore “facts” after they have been proven to be factual.

    • actually, VFAN, have to disagree with you there, facts are still facts..

      “truth is still truth even if no one believes it, a lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it”…Sandra and her “Little Rascal’s gang” still did wrong, they know it, we know it…how well people cleaned up and covered their tracks is the only thing that will be proven in the end..if they cleaned up well they will get away with it, according to the process in the judicial system, but still, no system has the power to change the truth of it…not ever, no matter.

      The dirt still lies under the rug after being swept there….

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