Business as usual in Collingwood:

On the 28th October 2014 many people in our town woke up thinking that a new breath of fresh air had swept across our local political landscape. There was much evidence of this sentiment across most forms of social media. That view was not shared in this blog, I had some grave misgivings about the result of that election, which I now believe were well founded. In fact it’s pretty much business as usual, the good guys continually seem to be 3 steps behind the bad guys here are some observations:

1. Ex-Deputy Mayor Rick Lloyd’s trucking company is fully engaged in dump truck work on the Hume Street remediation project, indirectly working for the town. Obviously nothing illegal going on, but seeing his name plastered all over trucks on this high profile local project, you have to think that the optics are terrible.

2. Site remediation agreement for the eye sore on the corner of Hume and Hurontario has been put on hold because the site is being used as a staging and storing area for materials for the Hume Street remediation project. I can imagine the smirk on Mr. Assaff’s face when that deal was put together. With the contentiousness that has surrounded that site over the years, I wonder which person or persons at town hall agreed to that little bit of business? Why was this not brought before council prior any decision being made? Again the optics on this are awful, but certain people offer a stiff middle finger to optics in Collingwood.

3. We have a town council that seems to be either bogged down with red tape and paperwork, continuously worrying about process and yes that word I used above “optics”. (Doherty, Jeffery, Fryer, Ecclestone), or merely keeping their council seats warm and adding very little to the conversation (Madigan, Edwards).

4. The Mayor is being her usual pliant Loblaw’s check-out girl self. She has nothing new to say, has nothing visionary to add to the local conversation, leads from behind, and it is now blatantly obvious she is in the Mayors chair to merely continue pushing certain people’s agenda.

5. Ian Chadwick now uses his blog as a continuous critique of certain members of this council whom unceremoniously kicked him to the curb October last year. Most of the stuff he writes is petty back biting waffle. I hate to say this though one or two of his criticisms are getting a little too close to the mark. Never fear though, as one of my commenters mentioned a few weeks ago “I will continue to be Chadwick’s bark collar”. Even though I was told recently to “Get another date”.

6. Still no conclusion to the fabled OPP investigation. I keep hearing little snippets of information that come my way, that “arrests are imminent”. In the meantime the subjects of this long awaited purge are going about their business without a care in the world.

7. Another year another inappropriate development on the books by our friendly local developer. It seems like he and Larry Dunn are the only people able to develop land in our downtown core. Are there no other people in our province that want to take a stab in developing land in the centre of Collingwood? But I suppose if you knew the back story behind John DiPoce that question answers itself.

8. Brian Saunderson has now turned into the Keith Hull of this current council. Meaning he is becoming the only person with the intestinal fortitude to voice the opinions and agenda of the people that elected him.

9. Kevin Lloyd is still an inappropriate, out of touch, blowhard and continues to try and force the agenda behind his old voting bloc upon an unwilling populace.

10. With the current municipal code of conduct in place and the following members of council, doing their level best to play by the Marquess of Queensberry Rules. I will pose the following scenarios for you: Steve Assaff gets one of his companies to take out a radio add with Corus Entertainment. Which then prevents Deb Doherty from voting on anything that he brings before council. Charis Developments advertises on a billboard with Kathy Jefffery’s employer, which then prevents her from voting on anything that Assaff brings before council. Assaff then goes and has a consultation with Christie/Cummings Barristers and Solicitors, on an obscure legal matter, which would remove Brian Saunderson out of any future votes on any land or development that Assaff brings before council.
Note about above: One councilor had to spend $1,700.00 in legal fees to defend his/herself against one of these frivolous Integrity Commisioner claims.


6 thoughts on “Business as usual in Collingwood:

  1. Interesting post and comments.
    Things to consider:
    If citizens are not involved in official plan policy work…we have a problem.
    Councils that entertain requests to sell lands that have not been declared surplus (as is being asked now)….we have a problem.
    No vision…policy…land use regs that facilitate/regulate good development that benefits all….we have a problem.
    Always focusing on proposals but not on regulations and policies….we have a problem
    Having a BIA that is treated as the downtown landlord….we have a problem
    Having no understanding of placemaking….we have a problem
    Having economic development, community engagement, planning, strategic planning processes that are all seen as independent… .we have a problem

    Have to stop… This is getting depressing …

  2. “Ian Chadwick now uses his blog as a continuous critique of certain members of this council whom unceremoniously kicked him to the curb October last year. Most of the stuff he writes is petty back biting waffle.”
    Absolutely 100% accurate. He demonstrates almost daily why the Town is a better place with him, recently fired by taxpayers and one of the featured figures in an ongoing OPP investigation, on the sidelines – marginalized and insignificant. Like stepping into a fresh, steamy dog stool and taking the time to properly clean your shoe, the future landscape of Collingwood will wipe and wash this fraud into the shadows for good.

  3. hi .. think you’ll find this commentary very interesting .. if you already receive. then delete , other wise you may want to get on his hit list .. you care about this community , you’ll find him very incite-full , . he’ll keep you up to speed . .. cheers *me*

  4. Re: para 3. “We have a town council that seems to be either bogged down with red tape and paperwork………”
    I’m starting to think of CAO Brown as a kind of Svengali, manipulating Council to his will. I think he has Council so bogged down in HIS agenda–all about “Governance” and “Process” and “standing committees” than about issues that are of interest to the ordinary man on the street. I’m thinking a lot of this is “make work” intended to keep Council members safely occupied while Staff, (read CAO Brown,) get on with THEIR agenda behind the scenes.

    • Prior to the election, all of the candidates, staff, and others, went to a presentation by Fred Dean, who is a Municipal Law expert.

      Mr Dean to everyone about a Councillor (not from Collingwood) who was about 6 months into his first term years ago. The Councillor came to Mr Dean, and told him that 6 months in, he felt like he was simply a rubber stamp, approving staff reports but not creating his own policies.

      Mr Dean told him, “then you’re doing your job right”. The bottom line was that staff does the work. It’s their job. If it’s done right, Council approves it.

      Having said that, we haven’t seen that the past several years. We have seen the previous council micro-manage staff, reverse engineer staff reports to suit THEIR agenda, ignore process, and all of the other things that got us in this mess.

      I feel your frustration. I’m not seeing everything I’d hoped in this new council, BUT, they are allowing staff to do their jobs and this is not something we are used to seeing, so it will take some time to get used to.

      Personally, I am a big supporter of our CAO John Brown. I go to all the meetings, including CPUSB (he’s on that board). I firmly believe that had he been Collingwood’s CAO last term, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

      Why do you think Kevin Lloyd tried to get rid of him 🙂

    • megarryj, look where poor governance, and no process has gotten this town over the past few terms; badly planned recreation facilities and a hell of a mess on the waterfront are just 2 examples. Steve’s comments below are bang on; town Staff are professionals in municipal governance/planning/admin etc…councillors are not, and it’s time they and we stopped pretending they are.
      Government and any large corporation for that matter, and Collingwood is both, is inherently bureaucratic for a reason; it’s a required combination (cooperation?) of skilled staff and a council that recognizes their limitations (humility?) that get things done properly. Why do you think Collingwood lost some very competent, smart and well educated staff during the last term? What I’ve witnessed over the past several terms is a council dominated by people who think that they know-it-all because; a) they lived in Collingwood for a really long time and know a lot of people b) and/or read a few books on planning and governance and then treat the staff as their minions. While I’m encouraged to see some of this is changing, I’m afraid it’ll take more than one or two municipal elections to get rid of the rest of the deadwood.

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