Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Voters Have There Way!

In watching the municipal election coverage on Monday night, the message across Ontario appeared to be that voters were not just looking for but were demanding change. Those candidates fortunate to be elected spoke to that in their victory speeches, now it's time for them to deliver.  Talk alone with no longer pacify today's voter or consumer.  Increasingly we see it in the real estate professional.  Retailers and other service providers do as well. People's tolerance has long since run out, especially for politicians and their inherent bungling. The time has come to deliver, walk the talk, provide expertise, knowledge, value, common sense and above all live up to the expectations that others have of you. It's time those same expectations were lived up to by politicians at all levels.
  In my prior post "Somebody- Please Stop the Madness" I rendered my opinion on the matter of Collingwood's stance re: patios on Hurontario Street.  Well the voters of Collingwood did as well and overwhelmingly threw those incumbents to the curb that voted in favour of approving the curbside patios.  It's ironic that such a non-issue, one that should have never commanded the time and consideration that it did of Council, cost so many their political careers. 
  For every decision each of us makes there is always a potential consequence and I have steadfastly preached that to my kids.  The political losers of Monday night's election learned this first hand and somewhat painfully.  How can the public-at-large entrust someone to responsibly govern the municipality's finances and other important assets when such foolish judgment has been used on an issue that isn't an issue at all.
  With a new Council soon to take command,  it is now time to get down to what matters most to the residents of Collingwood, financial restraint, debt reduction and subsequently taxes.  Those of us in the real estate profession hear first hand people's concerns over Collingwood's tax rates.  Newcomers looking to move to the area are typically aghast at the taxes on properties they view in their search for a home and I can say with certainty many have elected to buy elsewhere.
  The new Council needs to appoint a committee or taskforce that will review the entire operational efficiency of the municipality.  In my opinion, a minimum 10% reduction in operating expenses is attainable in almost any organization if you approach the matter with the right mindset and ask the right questions such as:
- What are we doing?
- Do we need to do it? ie: what's the value to the taxpayer?
- Is there a better more efficient way to to it?

The function of every municipal department should be thoroughly reviewed and senior staff should be challenged to find and attain targeted savings.  For profit organizations do it, non-profit ones need to as well.  Virtually every organization does things they have been doing for years and doing it the same old way without really asking themselves why. 
  For those that have been elected or re-elected the time to celebrate is over.  The four year municipal term goes by much quicker than you think and public tolerance for sub-par performance from the next Council will be much shorter than that. 

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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.