Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Special Meeting of Collingwood Council

Scheduled for tomorrow evening at the Leisure Time Club, V.O.T.E. Collingwood's "Evening with Council" (see post "Do You Have Questions for Collingwood Council?") has now been elevated in stature to that of a "Special Meeting of Council" with a call to order by Mayor Carrier. This is the appropriate procedural approach as per the Municipal Act, 2001.
Notwithstanding this change in status Councillor Chadwick will not be attending the subject meeting citing what he feels is V.O.T.E.'s "special interest group" status.
I believe that all of us have "special interests." Between his love of animals, tequila and numerous other interests, Councillor Chadwick is no exception. I applaud him for them, we would be a pretty boring race without them and they do stop me from patronzing his buiness. As far as Council's participation in a meeting called by V.O.T.E.? First it is a meeting open to the public, free of charge to anyone wishing to attend. Secondly, two pre-determined questions were submitted in advance to the members of Council so as to not blind-side anyone. The most siginifcant of the two dealt with spending and taxation, topics not of a "special interest" nature nor ones of specific interest just to members of V.O.T.E.
Not withstanding all of the procedural arguements one might engage or hide behind to defend not participating in a meeting such as this, being in public office brings with it certain obligations. Should I decide to run and occupy such a postion, I for one would feel a certain degree of obligation to meet with my constituents regardless of the forum. If that meant meeting with every group in Town for some purposeful dialogue to better our community, so-be-it. Each and everyone of us contributes to the renumeration of our municipal officials. As such, should false allegations of having a "special interest" absolve anyone from being held accountable to the people they were elected to serve? You comments please.


Radio Free Collingwood said...

The issue, Rick, is that it's highly unlikely another group in the community would be granted the same level of access.
VOTE has been a big disappointment during this term of council, and has largely turned a blind eye to a number of issues that it would have otherwise been 'all over' had it happened during the previous term.

Rick Crouch said...

I agree with your comment. VOTE could have, should have and hopefully will be more visible at the appropriate times in the future. The Mayor has made some silly mis-steps ie: looking into Council emails, autographing a tampon for charity auction etc. Those are not the times for a community group to waste time and their limited volunteer resources on. Matters of spending, taxation, zoning, planning and other issues that are not of "special interest" but affect all of us are. I believe this Council is more open to the public and would meet with any group of citizens to discuss matters of significance to all and I encourage someone to ask. Great blog, perhaps a few of us can in fact make a difference.

Radio Free Collingwood said...

Actually Rick, I'm not even referring to the e-mail thing, or the tampon thing (I agree, silly missteps). I'm thinking more of the waste of money on the Admiral Collingwood fight, the endless parade of behind-closed-door meetings, the continued fight of education development charges ($400,000-plus and climbing). I get the feeling that there are very few groups and organizations that would get the same opportunity to have an audience with the mayor and council.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.