Just how frequently has iLoveMidhurst.ca been viewed since December 2011?

September 26, 2015

In total, 53,915 times, 1,198 monthly, or 39.9 views per day.

20150926 Traffic ilm

The 10 most viewed posts in 2015 are:

  1. Why are people nailing old shoes to a dead maple tree in Springwater township?
  2. A 600 acre Waverley Quarry in the making?
  3. An 83-foot-high KKK fiery cross shone like a beacon over Barrie and Allandale in 1926 and the surrounding countryside
  4. Map showing areas of Midhurst Secondary Plan the Province will not dispute
  5. Is Metrus (DG Group) doing a deeply cynical end run by clear cutting the David Dunlap Forest in Richmond Hill?
  6. How much carbon dioxide does one mature sugar maple tree remove from the atmosphere?
  7. Corruption in local government: 5 Types
  8. Trees breathe for us
  9. Municipal corruption and Thomas Nast, cartoonist
  10. What legal duty of care does Springwater Township CAO Robert Brindley have to the citizens of Springwater Township?

Originally posted by Les Stewart from iLoveMidhurst.ca.

 

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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, iLoveMidhurst.ca, 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 (l to r)

The CAO and 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 and especially 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, registered candidate
  • Sandy Buxton, President, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA
  • Bill French, gadfly,
  • 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 iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca.

 

Let us teach ourselves and others that politics should be an expression of a desire to contribute to the happiness of the community rather than of a need to cheat or rape the community.

February 13, 2014

Lying can never save us from another lie.

Vaclav Havel

Isn’t it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity. . .

None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events.

Václav Havel 1936 – 2011

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca and iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Springwater Township budget: Appropriate debt in municipal financing is wise. Falling into a Debt Trap is not.

February 11, 2014

Does massive new debt, help or hurt the new 2015-2019 Springwater Township Council  stop the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

98 Debt trap

The answer is pretty clear, even on a household level.

I pulled my last visa bill and noted that my credit limit is $15,500. If my balance were at 92% ( ie. $14,260) AND I was making the minimum payments each month AND I was going to do that for the next 20 years,  Would you consider that prudent financial management?

Incredibly, that’s what Senior staff recommended last night.

And Mayor Collins, Deputy Mayor Dan McLean, Councillors Dan Clement and Rick Webster were going to rubber stamp this scheme. Councillors Sandy McConkey, Perry Ritchie and Jack Hanna fought for a new meeting on February 18th because they heard residents’ concerns about recklessness.

Conspiracy Alert: There is an election this year on October 27th and I am a registered candidate. The newly-elected 2015-19 Council may decide to spend $ to legally defend against the sprawl plan. They may judge, in consultation, that a few dollars now could save thousands and thousands of dollars down the road for township property tax payers.  It is wrong for this exiting Council to handcuff the next one, especially when the current council chose not to commission any Economic Feasibility Study AND chose not to sign a single infrastructure agreement.

SummaryA modestly-sized, rural municipality with:

  • sky-high debt,
  • depleted reserves, and
  • stagnating revenue…

squared-off against an internationally-financed financial speculator.

What do you think?

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca.


St. Margaret of Atwood says: Sign the anti-Midhurst Secondary Plan sprawl petition.

February 3, 2014

Right here. Right now.

Margaret_Atwood

Margaret Atwood stands behind the environment by opposing the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

Statement:

To:
Mayor Collins and Springwater Township Councillors, Township of Springwater
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Glenn Murray, Minister of Infrastructure
Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
James Bradley, Minister of Environment

Dear Mayor Collins and Springwater Council,
RE: STOP THE MIDHURST SECONDARY PLAN

I have recently signed a petition to put a stop to the Midhurst Secondary Plan (MSP). Let me explain my reasons for opposing this development.

In 2012, the Midhurst residents presented a petition against this plan with 1,456 signatures. This petition seemed to have little impact on Springwater Council. At a recent council meeting, it was clear that the local residents are still fully opposed to this plan as outlined in the Barrie Examiner. I hope that this new petition provides further evidence to Council that this issue is growing in concern.

There are several reasons why I am requesting that you repeal the MSP:

  • The MSP will cause a loss of 1,880 acres of prime farmland – enough to feed almost 2,000 people! This loss will happen at a time when we are losing farmland at an atrocious rate. With projects such as this, local food will soon no longer be an option.
  • At full build-out the MSP will dump 10.6 million litres of sewage effluent into the tiny Willow Creek and this could have a major detrimental environmental impact on the internationally recognized Minesing Wetlands. These ecosystems are fragile – the impact may be irreversible!
  • The Township has not done a comprehensive evaluation of the financial impacts of the MSP. Is this plan what is best for taxpayers? Will this plan leave the community financially stable or potentially bankrupt it? In such hard economic times, prudence is key.
  • There is little support that this plan will benefit the community. The Township has claimed that the MSP will bring jobs and stimulate the local economy but doesn’t have the facts to support this claim. It seems like these benefits are based on speculation and wishful thinking.
  • The MSP will eradicate an easy-living rural community and change it to a fast-paced, high density city. The citizens of this community are rural by choice, not urban by force.

I recognize that intelligent growth which preserves the character of Midhurst is necessary. Consequently, Midhurst village has long planned to add up to 6,500 residents by 2031; however, to quadruple the population increase for no apparent reason to potentially 30,000 people at the expense of so much does not indicate to me responsible growth planning.

I urge you to put a stop to the Midhurst Secondary Plan and find a better way to grow Springwater communities that doesn’t threaten the landscape of a small, rural community, the farms that feed us all and the fresh water that deserves our protection. I’m calling on you to do the right thing- listen to the people and represent the wishes of those who elected you. Stop the Midhurst Secondary Plan.
Sincerely,
[Your name]

AWARE Simcoe coverage.

I have signed this petition and oppose the MSP

Posted also on iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca.


On January 21, 2013, the current Springwater Township council met secretly to stop Jack Hanna, Midhurst councillor from communicating with his constituents.

December 27, 2013

It resulted in a complaint.  The Council then chose to (and forced us pay extra taxpayers, btw)  for their self-chosen investigator rather than use the no charge services of the Ontario Ombudsman.

Springwater Township

Perry Ritchie, Dan Clement, Dan McLean, Linda Collins, Rick Webster, Sandy McConkey, Jack Hanna (l to r)

This is called “oversight shopping” and Globe and Mail thinks it must stop…immediately See: Municipal government: Why so many hush-hush meetings?:

Full Excerpt:

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin’s report into secrecy in municipal government contains good news and bad news. The good news? Citizens across the province are increasingly upset about local governments that conduct democratic business behind closed doors, and they are complaining in growing numbers. The bad news? Many municipal governments are still flouting the province’s open meeting law – without penalty.

In 2008, Ontario’s Municipal Act was amended, to give the ombudsman power to investigate complaints of unnecessary and undemocratic secrecy on the part of the province’s municipal governments. The new rules on openness are known as the Sunshine Law. This past year, Mr. Marin’s team investigated 96 council meetings, finding that 19 of them were illegal. That figure likely underestimates the problem, since municipalities can pick a body other than the ombudsman to oversee their Sunshine Law obligations – a practice known as oversight shopping. Mr. Marin also found some meetings that appeared to violate the spirit of the law, such as the time city councillors in London, Ont., met in private at a local restaurant just before a budget vote. Sixty citizens complained.

Mr. Marin recommends that the province take four steps to ensure that the sun really does shine in. First, end oversight shopping. This year, Sudbury council voted to fire the ombudsman after he was critical of their behaviour. Fewer than half of the province’s municipalities have chosen to be overseen by the ombudsman. Since when do we allow an accused to fire the judge?

Mr. Marin also recommends that lawbreakers be punished – the law currently contains no sanctions – that all meetings be recorded, and that any meeting found to have been conducted illegally have its proceedings invalidated. All excellent ideas. And we can’t imagine why any of the three parties at Queen’s Park wouldn’t agree. Pass these reforms, pronto.

To Do in 2014:

  1. Contact your MPP and tell him you agree oversight shopping must end. Now.
  2. Find out who voted for gagging Mr. Hanna and throw them out at the fall 2014 election.
  3. Vote for candidates promising to use the Ontario Ombudsman’s services only.

PS: The investigation found that trying to gag Mr. Hanna was a violation of provincial law.

Posted originally on iLoveMidhurst.ca. Reposted on voteLesStewart.ca.

NOTE: A very similar article appeared in the Springwater News on January 2, 2014. pdf


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