The Stockwell Report V1-E9

THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT

 

The following will be my last report until mid-August, when my wife and I return from a two week trip to the beautiful Maritime Provinces.

 

Before leaving, I have taken the opportunity to do some house cleaning and report on a number of items that I found in my “Things To Do” file that I have been meaning to address.

 

Item 1…..The June issue of Chatelaine magazine ran a story on the twenty best beaches in Canada. I am told that in the 2015 list Wasaga Beach didn`t get a mention. However, this year Wasaga Beach placed seventh.

 

The story commented, “This popular stretch of beach on Georgian Bay plays host to over two million people at its eight beaches. This Blue-Flag-rated spot has great water, sand and sun, and the people watching will make your head spin. Main beaches, One and Two are livelier (think lifeguard championships and soap-box derbies), while the rest offer more family-friendly amenities and playgrounds.”

 

Next year number one ?

 

Item 2…This week`s Council meeting ratified the actions of the Community Service Committee meeting of July 14, 2016.

 

Under Municipal Law Enforcement Report the minutes stated the following, “Councillor Stockwell pointed out an issue with the proactive enforcement of long weeds and grass under the Clean Yards By-Law. He explained that on occasion Town owned property is not being maintained to the standard outlined in the By-Law. Councillor Stockwell then inquired on the cost for equipment and manpower to maintain the Town Property. It was noted that a report to explore the cost to maintain the town`s property for the 2017 budget be brought back to Committee.”

 

It isn`t new that when a By-Law Enforcement Officer sites residents for not keeping their grass up to property standards, they are quick to point out a municipal property that is just as bad as theirs. It’s tough for the officer to make a point by explaining the difference between the two.

 

When it comes to grass cutting of municipally owned properties, as well as Provincially owned parkland,( under maintenance agreements that have been in place for years,) an up-to-date cost of a program, that would meet the demands of the by-law covering the private sector, is unknown to Council.

So, if there is an answer to be found, it should commence with a report covering an up-to-date cost estimate of such a program.

 

Once Council has such a report, they can then address the issue.

 

Stay tuned.

 

Item 3…Over the past month your Wasaga Beach Council has reported progress on two issues that are close to most residents’ hearts: the need for a Wasaga Beach High School; and a Wasaga Beach Walk-In Medical Clinic.

 

Both of these items were high on the Election Promises list of nearly all of those successful candidates that ran in the 2014 municipal election.

 

Even though a successful conclusion on both issues has proven to be very high mountains to climb, Council is determined to continue its efforts in pressing the powers-that-be on these issues.

 

On both of these issues, working committees have been set up by Council to investigate and report on how to achieve success. All of Council is in lockstep on these issues and it`s great to work as a team to win the day.

 

In both cases, Council has established citizen committees to address these issues.

 

A High School Task Force Advisory Committee was set up under the chairmanship of Andy Beaudoin, with citizen appointments made up of Lorraine Gruzuk, Jeanette MacKenzie, Rob Brockwell, and Trent Gow.

 

Rounding out the committee membership is Councillor Sylvia Bray and Mayor Smith.

 

In the fight to obtain a high school, the Mayor`s leadership has been stellar.

In the battle for a Walk-In Medical Clinic, a committee was set up by Council, made up of the  twelve medical doctors that have their practices in Wasaga Beach, as well as Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Bifolchi, and Councillor Ron Ego.  The efforts of Councillor Ron Ego, to move this committee forward have been tenacious.

 

Don`t bet against either one of them when it comes to succeeding on these issues. So ..Again…Stay tuned.

 

Stay safe, and enjoy August at the Beach.
We are Blessed to call this place “Our Home”.

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The Stockwell Report V1-E8

THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT

WARNING…A portion of the following blog is a spoof.

For those Social Media readers, who sometimes are offended by words that they feel are offensive, misogynistic, etc., I have taken the liberty to present the following, taken from the Free Dictionary….. “Spoof; a satirical imitation”.

So….having said that, please proceed…with caution.

Last week`s blog addressed a recent General Government Committee meeting covering a staff report titled, “Beachfront Tenant Meeting”. The gist of the report suggested that Council call a meeting of all the tenants that operate on Beach One, listen to whatever complaints that they may have with their multi-year leases, and if they wish, allow them to walk away from their present leases without suffering any financial penalties for doing so.

The blog went on to state, “After a lengthy discussion, the final vote saw the recommendation carried 4 to 3 with the opponents being Deputy Mayor Bifolchi and Councillors Ego and Bray. However, the debate that preceded that vote was rather interesting.”

Well, within the hour of the blog being posted on The Wasaga Beach News and Commentary Group, the Deputy Mayor commented on the posting as follows, “Unfortunately Councillor Stockwell`s report isn`t 100% accurate so I look forward to Ian Adam`s Wasaga Sun article as I`m sure it will be. The motion was split and a unanimous vote by Council to hold a meeting between staff and the tenants was approved. The vote to allow tenants out of their leases was a vote of 4-3.”

Now, think about it. If the first vote was to have  the meeting and the next vote was to let the tenants out of their leases, which one was the FINAL vote?

Shortly after Triple N`s posting, Ian Adams jumped into the discussion, to state that, “the Deputy Mayor asked to ‘call the question’ to the second part of the motion which was to give beachfront tenants a window of opportunity to withdraw from their lease without penalty.” Etc.,etc.,etc.

All of the above should clear up the issue of whether Yours Truly`s report was not 100% accurate.

IMPORTANT….Here comes the spoof.

However, accuracy was not the issue.

The issue is whether or not Triple N really called the question?

Calling the question means that any member of Council, once gaining the floor during a debate, may ask the Chairperson to call the question, or “end the debate and call the vote”. In this particular case, the Chairperson was Councilor Bray.

Triple N couldn`t have “called the question”.

Had she called the question, the Mayor, who asked to speak following the Deputy Mayor, would have gone ballistic.

He would have set up his own online report, to lash out at Council like the Deputy Mayor did when the same thing happened at a Council Committee meeting on April 7th of this year. That episode can be found at http://ninabifolchi.ca. Under the heading “Silenced Again”.

He then would have been the subject of an article in the Wasaga Sun, like the one that appeared on April 11th. If you missed it, it can be found online at (http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/6470202-wasag-deputy=mayor-stifled-and-silenced-agan-/),

In both of those sites you will see that the gist of the message is that the Deputy Mayor is the victim.

So….if the Deputy Mayor moved to put the question, without giving the Mayor the opportunity to speak to the issue, then the Mayor would wear the mantle of “Poor me, they won`t let me speak.”

Very interesting.

The Stockwell Report V1-E7

THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT

Never a dull moment at the monthly committee meetings held by the Wasaga Beach Council. This week`s General Government Section of the Coordinated Committee saw a two page report from Andrew McNeill, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, entitled, “Beachfront Tenant Meeting”.

The report noted that, “While the majority of tenants appear to be content with the terms and conditions of their leases, a minority have been vocal about lease rates, the impact of special events on their businesses or the increased competition. This small number of tenants have used a variety of means to raise their concerns ranging from discussions with staff, to by-passing staff and contacting members of Council directly, to making deputations to Council.”

In an effort to address these concerns, the report suggests that a meeting be called with all the current tenants to, “listen and understand any and all issues that are top of mind on the part of the tenants; to identify any actions that could be considered to resolve any tenant issues of concern; to provide a one-time and time limited (i.e., 24 to  48 hours) opportunity to any tenant in a Town-owned unit to break their lease with no penalty if they wish to do so, and; to clarify the protocol for reporting any issues or  concerns.”

After a lengthy discussion, the final vote saw the recommendation carried 4 to 3, with the opponents being Deputy Mayor Bifolchi and Councillors Ego and Bray. However, the debate that preceded the vote was rather interesting.

A good portion of the debate centred around the source of the complaints that triggered the staff report.  

Continuous complaining from two specific sites of the Social Media, along with a few disgruntled tenants, upset with the efforts of the Town to revitalize the beachfront, had cast a negative cloud over the Beach One properties.

When Yours Truly entered the debate, Wasaga Sun reporter, Ian Adams, tweeted: Coun. Stockwell takes aim at broader picture of having all Council on board: “petty arguments are getting in the way of good decisions.”

Those were some of my comments. However, I also stated that we have the same attitude from some members of Council as a few Social Media complainers. These complainers are constantly speaking against Council`s 2015 purchase of the Beach One properties and espouse a negative view of every effort to provide a successful business atmosphere in the area.

I also mentioned ex-Deputy Mayor David Foster’s appearance before Council during the interviews to appoint a new member of Council a few weeks ago.

When asked, by Councilor Ego, what he thought of Council`s decision to purchase the Beach One properties, he replied that whether he agreed or disagreed, once Council has made a decision, it is incumbent for every member of Council to agree with that decision.

It is my opinion that not all of Council takes that approach, and that is the reason that we are accused of being a dysfunctional Council. Unfortunately, that won`t change until the next election.

So, the Committee decision will go to the next meeting of Council for ratification, which is scheduled for July 26th. Should the decision to follow the recommendations in the report regarding tenant complains be ratified, the process will be acted upon.
Hopefully, then….there will be peace in the valley.

The Stockwell Report V1-E6

THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT

 

Just as the dust was settling on the recent appointment of a new Wasaga Beach councilor to replace Councilor Ron Anderson, a new player entered the field.

 

A gentleman by the name of Steve Berman, a well-known observer of the Collingwood Municipal Council, who hasn`t been backward at being critical in the way that Council has performed in recent years. Berman`s rise to fame started with him writing his own blog on the internet, which led to a “visiting columnist” spot in the Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin, entitled “Local Voices.”

The column made mention of the successful candidate, Joe Belanger, fitting in with some of the present members of council, stating “ There was even a photo on his Facebook page, not 36 hours after the vote, golfing with Councillor Ron Ego`s wife Faye, so I`m certain he`ll fit right in.”

 

Councillor Ego sent Mr. Berman an e-mail explaining that the photo in question was taken at a “memorial” charity golf tournament that Mrs. Ego and Belanger were, as a result of the tournament structure, playing in the same foursome.

 In Berman`s response to the Ego missive he, for some reason, takes pride in pointing out that his column for the Collingwood paper, “is not a job, I volunteer, and I`ve never been paid a dime.”

 

He goes on to say, “Also you can see with each column, the E-B notes that I write an ‘opinion’ piece, not a news piece, so in regards to the column in question, that was my opinion of what I saw at the meeting, and not a news report. I am not a ‘reporter.’”

 

I guess that is one way of saying, “What I write should be taken with a grain of salt, I am not a reporter,”

 

Finally, a blogger who comes with a ready made disclaimer.`

 

At any rate, his take on the meeting was in lockstep with the nay sayers that we hear from on social media. According to the naysayers “the whole program was a sham, the fix was in, we knew who the winner was before it started, council asked dumb questions” Even “Yours Truly” was criticized for not asking any questions at all. Yet, no mention was made about the Deputy Mayor asking only one question, and that was a gotcha question asked of the candidate that ran against her in the last election.

 

Mr. Berman was impressed with the Deputy Mayor`s showboating of putting two names in a sealed envelope, calling it a bold prediction. He would have been totally blown away had he read the Stockwell Report of June 9th., which predicted both the Deputy Mayor and Councilor Bray voting for candidate Watson.

 

So, it`s obvious that Mr. Berman is a kindred spirit to the Monday morning quarterbacks that reside in Wasaga Beach, even though he hails from Collingwood. It`s also interesting how his column appeared in the Facebook blog entitled, “Wasaga Beach Political Forum” on June 27th, reprinted from the internet, as the Enterprise Bulletin article didn`t see print until July 1st.

 

The gentleman that posted it stated, “I have recently started reading the blogs of this JOURNALIST.  Interesting perspective from the outside looking in.”

 

Now, when I think about it, maybe I can get my wife to start a blog reprinting articles that support the way I vote on Council.
On second thought that might be a conflict of interest………. Knowing my wife, she probably wouldn’t do it anyway.