I like it when people follow my writing, especially Springwater Township senior staff officers using their taxpayer-funded email address, hardware and salary.

March 6, 2014

Find below a message I received at 1:48 pm today from WordPress.com showing (presumably) that Mr. Brad Sokach is now receiving each of my posts on voteLesStewart.ca by email.

Brad Sokach 2

The last business card that I have for Mr. Sokach P.Eng., his position and duties is here:

Brad Sokach business card

The  6 weblogs/wikis that I have solely written on  since February 2008 have had 1,893,461 views.

Disclosure: I am a candidate for Deputy Mayor in the township Oct 27, 2014 municipal election.

Posted on WikidFranchise.org, FranchiseFool.com, FranchiseBanker.ca, SpringwaterParkcc.org, and voteLesStewart.ca.

Springwater Township’s Budget 2014: On auto pilot for passing on Feb 25th or a sprawling disaster?

February 13, 2014

Who the current administration serves (elected and senior staff) is on clear display during Springwater Township’s annual budget process.

budget 2014 strategic3

Linda Collins Robert Brindley Brent Spagnol

Brent Spagnol, Mayor Linda Collins and CAO Robert Brindley

The CAO senior staff recommend a budget. They serve at the pleasure of the CEO (mayor) as defined by provincial law.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors create a strategic plan that is the dominates everyone’s actions to all legitimate stakeholders. Since the control of $ by elected officials is a fundamental democratic function, each passing council must ask the tough questions to ensure our $ are spent wisely and not squandered in these most of uncertain times.  The minimum they can do is to do no harm: don’t poison the fiscal well for the next legislators (huge debt, no reserves, etc) mandate. (Municipal election in 10 months. Disclosure.) Springwater Township is a creature of the provincial government.

A Top/Down Hierarchy:  Province of Ontario (Premier and Ministries)– Mayor and Council — Citizens/Voters/Taxpayers — Senior Staff  — Employees  (l to r)

In senior staff’s most recent 183 of 458 pages (so far) of document, February 10th – Draft 2014 Consolidated Budget, page 7 it states:

Council’s Strategic Plan (2012 – 2014)
Vision: To actively promote Springwater Township as a municipality of unique communities with opportunities to
cultivate, grow and prosper.
Mission: To provide accountable representation and maximize efficiencies.
Values: Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

While it maybe difficult for you to know, I would encourage you to attend the budget the meetings. The next one is February 18th at 1 pm on Nursery Road. I assume it is open but I haven’t heard back from my request for information from Mayor Collins. again, lol

If you can’t make it, ask the following people that have been their in your place:

  • Katy Austin,
  • Sandy Buxton, President, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA
  • Bill French,
  • Barb Kutcher, Community Organizer, MRA,
  • Kevin Newman, Logistics Chair, MRA,
  • Ann Spence, and
  • others I missed (sorry…will edit).

These are the ones that I knew in the crowd but please, identify yourselves the next time you see me at Council. I’m the one with the white bear pin. 😉

Without great information sharing, How can we assign an appropriate reputation to our elected and non-elected officials? Remember: Sunlight is the best Disinfectant.

Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

Very transparent.

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca and iLoveMidhurst.ca.

What signal has Toronto mayor Rob Ford sent to all the “corrupt” Ontario municipalities and their public and private supporters?

December 7, 2013

If Big Money has taken over from representative democracy, the provincial government will not step in.

Rob ford

This makes the developers, publicly-owned (eg. Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Parks, County of Simcoe, Township of Springwater, Canada) and privately-owned land speculators in south Simcoe County, smile.

Marshall McLuhanOnly puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity. Marshall McLuhan

Is Linda Collins’s Springwater Township administration any less toxic to us than Mayor Rob Ford is to Toronto?

November 16, 2013

No: what she is doing is worse, if the first imperative of any government is its (1) continued survival as a legal entity and (2) delivering responsible government.

Rob Ford Toronto

Despite Mayor Ford’s shortcomings, no one had dreamed that he could destroy The Corporation of the City of Toronto. This is precisely what Mayor Linda Collins is doing; either intentionally or unintentionally. Destroying via bankruptcy or annexation an independent legal entity called “The Township of Springwater”.

If the current administration continues to refuse to cancel the Midhurst Secondary Plan and related sprawl which will result in the township’s death by annexation to Barrie/imminent bankruptcy, then Premier Kathleen Wynne should immediately place Springwater Township under 3rd party management as a first step toward investigating the events that have lead us to this fundamental failure of representative government.

If Mayor Collins and Deputy Mayor McLean refuse to invite the Province of Ontario to assume administrative control of Springwater Township, each councillor should resign and re-run in the next municipal election if they want to. Currently the five councillors are enabling what may prove to be a corrupted municipal institution and may be judged in the future of knowing or having reasonable grounds to know of this breach of democracy.

The five councillors should contact the Premier’s office, ask her to give them the powers to stop all development and provide testimony to an inquiry.

Cross-posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.

Premier Kathleen Wynne thinks a native education centre at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi makes sense.

August 10, 2013

The need for sustainability is essential, but Premier Wynne wants the door kept open for Camp Nibi land use.

Kathleen Wynne2

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne sat down with the Examiner’s Cheryl Browne during her visit to our region, Friday. MARK WANZEL PHOTO

A very good article from The Barrie Examiner’s Cheryl Browne, Premier sheds light on issues during Barrie visitpdf download

A summary of important local concerns (agri-food, Local Food Act, growth), and then for the last part, Springwater Provincial Park. The Premier’s brief speech later in the evening’s BBQ,  focused on education, youth unemployment and infrastructure. Her Grade 4 teacher even showed up for support!


Just to the north of Barrie, Wynne said she’s been kept abreast of the current occupation of Springwater Provincial Park by the Beausoleil Island First Nations women.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) changed the park’s status to non-operational at the end of March and moved almost 30 once-orphaned animals to other sanctuaries around the county. Several First Nation women have been camping in the park since April 1 and Wynne said she has heard of their hopes for a native education centre at the park.

“I don’t think it’s unrealistic. I think it’s a matter of how we would do that, where the funding would come from and it would be sustainable. I don’t think its an unrealistic suggestion, as long as those other factors can be put in place.”

Welcomed news for all past, present and future lovers of the park lands.

Cross-posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.

Is Springwater Township council a functioning democracy or just an agent for other interests?

April 14, 2012

Democracy does not mean an out-of-touch aristocracy or dictatorship interrupted by inconvenient balloting every four years.

Growing battele

David Strachan, Connie Spek and Gary Green sit amongst 1,400 signatures on a petition aiming to halt a development that would see thousands of new homes built north of Barrie. Topher Seguin Photo

Electoral mandates are given by voters in good faith with conditions. An administration has the authority to govern within bounds and one of those bounds is to at least listen to their supposed “bosses”, even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

We teach our kids to “use your words”. There is no public administration possible without two-way communication. Somebody broke that social contract.

On the front page of today’s Barrie Examiner in 2.5 cm (1 inch) high font, Growing battle: Midhurst residents take action to halt plans that would see thousands of homes be built by Cheryl Browne. Word pdf

Political responsiveness?

Councillor Jack Hanna:

The ratepayers, whose hamlet of about 3,500 residents, may soon be overrun by construction vehicles haven’t been kept in the loop, nor has Springwater Ward 5 Counc. Jack Hanna.

As one of the few elected officials to go on record to discuss the planned development of Midhurst, Hanna is vocally opposed to exponential growth in the area.

“I ran (for office) because I have the same concerns as the ratepayers,” said Hanna, who lives in Midhurst.

“I support the ratepayers and their efforts and hope it gets through to the rest of council and the province, so maybe we can open up a discussion with council,” he said, adding he has not been told when the OMB hearing is scheduled for.

Mayor Linda Collins and Deputy Mayor Dan McLean:

…were unavailable for comment on Friday.

Mayor Linda Collins

Deputy Mayor Dan McLean

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing might consider 3rd party management for Springwater Township before the private-law Ontario Municipal Board rubber stamps  a developer-friendly solution.

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