Scripturient: The symphony of government

A good government in operation is like a symphony: disparate parts, dozens of different instruments and performers, each in their own space and place, all working together under the benign management of a conductor. When working in harmony, they are a delight to hear and see. There’s no “me” in a symphony: it’s the result ...

Scripturient: Betrayal by the Block, again

Monday night, The Block will engage in their favourite political activity: betraying the public trust. In fact, it’s the only political activity they’ve engaged in this term, in which the public has been concerned. Everything else they’ve done has been to further their own personal agendas or entitlement. But Monday, they’re doing it up in ...

Scripturient: Taking credit for the work of others

A short while ago, I received an unsolicited email from the interim (and soon to be departing) CAO, John Brown, with the subject, “Ideas. Observations. Musings  . Opinions  . Facts ?” (yes, written just like that…). Although he says he never reads my blog, it inspired me to write this post. He wrote (copied in its ...

Scripturient: Thrasymachus and The Block

There’s a character in Plato’s Republic called Thrasymachus who acts as a foil to Socrates by presenting a series of comments and arguments the old philosopher has to debate and counter. He (Thrasymachus) is based on an actual historical figure, a Sophist from the fifth century BCE. It’s unknown if the views Plato has him ...

Scripturient: Marcus Aurelius and The Block

Perhaps the most famous work by any Stoic is the Meditations, written as a series of notes-to-myself by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.  I’ve been reading a lot of Stoic works of late, and this remains my favourite. Although never meant for publication, just as reminders to himself, it’s full of wonderful, inspiring comments. And some ...

Scripturient: Bullying the hospital again

Brian Saunderson never seems to tire of creating conflict with our local hospital. When he’s not acting all lawerly and grilling the volunteer members of the board and its representatives like guilty suspects in a trial, he’s coming up with new ways to be confrontational and adversarial. All in a vain attempt to make it ...

Scripturient: Why hasn’t a new CAO been hired?

The town was supposed to be hiring a new CAO, to replace John Brown, the unpopular interim CAO currently in the corner office. But although he’s supposed to be gone by September (I can hear you cheering now at that thought), that’s barely six weeks away. And we have heard nothing yet from council about ...

Scripturient: Utter contempt at council

Utter contempt. That’s what The Block showed for process at council, on Monday night. And for ethics. And for you, the residents. Utter contempt. But when they want to give benefits to their friends or themselves, boy do they rise to the occasion. Which of course they did, Monday. Anything for a buddy, no matter ...

Scripturient: The test of integrity

I’ve been complaining all this term that Collingwood’s standing committee system is broken. It is redundant, ineffective and expensive. It continues in use only because it was the brainchild of the interim CAO who The Block worship. But it is about to come under a test: one that will determine the integrity and ethics of ...

Scripturient: What will the secret EPCOR negotiations cost us?

I was reading about the failed attempt by EPCOR – an Edmonton-based, for-profit corporation – to purchase half of Innisfil’s Power utility (InnPower) last year. Back in Sept., 2015, there was a story in the Barrie Examiner that noted: INNISFIL — Town council has approved the sale of 50% of InnPower (formerly Innisfil Hydro) to ...

Scripturient: Assholes part two: Trump and his local mimics

Back in 2014 I reviewed a book by philosophy professor Aaron James called Assholes. A Theory. I discussed how his study related to politics and politicians, particularly those who call themselves “A-type” personalities (including one or two on the local council). Well James wrote another book, really an addendum to this one, titled Assholes. A ...

Scripturient: Brian the comedian

Following the success of Collingwood’s Comedy Duo, whose act has taken them on tour across the nation on the taxpayers’ dollar, our Deputy Mayor has entered the ring as our jester-du-jour. And since the Duo’s main act was sidelined recently by not being allowed to keep a snout into the FCM trough, it looks like ...

Dead Wild Roses: Most Violence Motivated by Personal Morality.

The idea that spanking is somehow a valid parenting practice is disturbing enough.  What is more troubling is that people who practice spanking are likely to justify it within their own moral framework and not change their views on the subject.    “To find answers, I looked at violence across cultures and history with my ...

Scripturient: Small comfort from FCM

Collingwoodites can take small comfort from the wisdom of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I’ve been told that last week at its annual convention in Ottawa, FCM delegates failed to return our own Councillor Jeffery to their board of directors, possibly saving local taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars this term. Taxpayers will no longer ...

Scripturient: How to piss off The Block

There’s an easy three-step process anyone can follow to piss off the seven-member Block on council (as well as the town’s administration): Do something good for a change; Accomplish something for the community’s benefit; Don’t involve The Block in the process. And that was just what was done last Thursday when our MPP Jim Wilson ...

Scripturient: Madigan to chair do-nothing committee

A story in last week’s Connection has the headline, “Madigan named chair of Collingwood development, operations committee.” Councillor Madigan has the dubious honour of chairing a standing committee that does nothing of value, has no decision-making authority and – like the rest of the standing committees – is redundant, ineffective and inefficient. Which is an ...

Scripturient: We were lied to. Again.

On Monday, the Block chose a new representative for the town’s half of the Collus-PowerStream board. They advertised the position in the local media and accepted applications from several qualified local residents. They made it look like they were actually going to follow the proper and legal process for the first time. They went in ...

Scripturient: Sadly, it’s business as usual

I suppose you expect I am disappointed that not a single one of The Block had the spine, the moral compass, the ethical guts to resign after killing the hospital redevelopment. After all, I called on them all – plus the interim CAO – to resign immediately. Not doing so, I said, would prove everything ...

Scripturient: The Block killed the hospital. They MUST all resign. Now.

The actions of The Block and the town’s administration have resulted in the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital losing its chance for redevelopment. The province didn’t include funding for the local proposal in its budget. The next opportunity for such funding will be at least a decade away, if one ever comes along. If any ...

Scripturient: ‘Senator’ Jeffrey gets more money again

The Block once again rewarded one of their own by granting Councillor ‘Senator’ Jeffrey an unlimited expense account to wine, dine and party across Canada on the taxpayer’s dollar. The Connection story is headlined, “Collingwood councillor seeks Federation of Canadian Municipalities seat. That – like so many other Connection headlines – is incorrect. She has ...

Scripturient: Collingwood deserves answers

The Most Secretive Council Ever has never told the public why it has been so intent on damaging this community. We have never had an explanation why they are so inflexible, so hostile to other ideas, so adversarial to opinions other than their own. We have never been told why they are so focused on ...

Scripturient: This man should resign

Can a municipality operate effectively with a toxic relationship between the mayor and the CAO? Can staff avoid being involved in the confrontation? Can the public expect the best service and support from its leaders if the two top people are at odds? Clearly not. A story in The Connection reinforced just how bad things ...

Scripturient: Another imaginary roadblock for the hospital

In the April 24 addendum to the agenda there is a report by the interim CAO about the hospital redevelopment you should read. It seems another council hissy fit is in the making. Your first question should be: why is the interim CAO writing and signing a report that ought to come from the planning ...

Scripturient: Collus-PowerStream responds about dividend

On the April 24 council agenda is an addendum that includes the response from Collus-PowerStream about The Block’s questions over the lack of a dividend from the utility. I wrote about this last month in Dividends for Dummies. I’m glad to see what I wrote then has been proven correct. The original letter from CPS ...

Scripturient: Shoulda, coulda, woulda

Two and a half years of calamitous mismanagement. Council motivated by wild conspiracy theories, maliciousness and personal vendettas. A rudderless, ruthless administration flailing and fumbling its way from one catastrophe to another. The town’s reputation ruined. Our municipal partners and neighbours alienated. Secret discussions determine the fate of our assets while the public is excluded ...