When it comes to quotes, that was a doozy…

Over the last 23 (or so) years I’ve been covering municipal council, there’s been a few things, uh, said at the council table. Some left me quizzical; others, fuming.

These would probably be in my top-10 classic council moments:

– Deb Doherty (1997-2000), during discussion on maintaining billboard signs (which are not permitted under the sign bylaw, tho’ existing ones are grandfathered) to address safety issues, questions whether the town’s sign bylaw supersedes Ministry of Labour legislation.

– Blaine McKenzie (1991-1993) asks a presenter a question… two minutes after the presenter gave the answer.

– Tim McNabb (2006-2010), during discussion of the A&W design, questions whether the orange stripe around the top of the building should go right across the back, or only wrap around for a couple of feet on either side. And we wonder why he got saddled with always saying the phrase, “I’m just trying to get my head around this…”

– Sonny Foley (2006-2010) complains that the wheel rims on one of the town’s new public transit buses “don’t look heritage enough.”

– Dave Labelle (2006-2010), when a concern is raised about the ability of the working poor to pay for increases in water and sewer rates, suggests “maybe we can tip more.”

– Rick Lloyd (1994-1997), when fellow councillor Paul Bonwick (at the time working for a local car dealership) raises a concern about a potential hike in property taxes, tells Bonwick, “well, maybe you should sell more cars.”

– Foley (1994-1997), during discussion about the municipal parking lot at Fourth and Hurontario (now ScotiaBank) and using low-maintenance, drought-resistant native plantings for landscaping, demands to see grass instead, and thunders, “I thought we were a green community.”

– Norman Sandberg (2006-2010), after sending fire chief Trent Elyea on a near-impossible chase to find a comparative municipality for fire service costing, tells the chief his “request… was somewhat meaningless” after Elyea delivers the goods. Yes, we pay Elyea about $120,000, and you just wasted his time…

– Foley (2006-2010), during discussion on the wellness centre proposed for Heritage Park, tells his fellow councillors it was “sheer stupidity to continue the way we’re going.” He later tells the E-B, “I have never seen so many stupid decisions during a term of council.” Um, never mind…

– And (drumroll), my all-time favourite: Mayor Chris Carrier, commenting on the wonderful work in Harbourlands Park, then refers to the Watt’s Boathouse as “this ugly old building.”

But I think this may be my next-to-all-time favourite line to fall out of a councillor’s mouth:

“I think to try and focus on something that’s just limited to our boundaries is pointless, in the sense that we can’t solve the world’s problems, and the problems of fit or unfit youth around the world…”

Cogitate on that one for a bit. Remember the phrase, “think globally, act locally“? Yep, loser talk. Something latte-sipping liberal hipsters tell each other so they feel good about the stinky composting bin under the kitchen sink.

#Pointless… a new Twitter hashtag is born for Collingwood…

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the reaction was because the idea was being presented by PRC director Marta Proctor. That’s exactly how transparent the scorn was. I think if Marta had presented council with a means how to spin bread into gold, she would have been chastised for spilling a little bit of flour on the floor.

The point of running for political office, any office, is to effect change — preferably positive change. The Healthy Kids Challenge was a perfect opportunity to do just that (thankfully council approved it); I know of no other provincial or federal program that would give a municipality $7 for every $1 invested — with a municipal budget impact of about a quarter of a per cent.

And it has the chance to improve the lives of local kids. Thank goodness such shortsighted thinking didn’t permeate the rest of council…

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