Forty-eight percent of eligible voters had their say in determining what the next Collingwood Town Council will look like.
Collingwood voters threw their support behind Brian Saunderson for Mayor.
The crowd that had gathered at Brian Saunderson’s campaign headquarters burst into thunderous cheering with streamers flying as the final voting results were announced.
Brian Saunderson with his parents Bill and Meredith and wife Susan
The husband, father, Olympian, coach, teacher, lawyer and municipal politician has served as Collingwood’s Deputy Mayor and Simcoe County Councillor for the past four years.
Now he has the top job.
“I want to thank the other candidates who ran in this election. It takes a lot of courage to put your hat in the ring and with the number of candidates we had I think they have contributed to the betterment of Collingwood and made us a stronger community.”
Saunderson said he is anxious to sit at the table with the new council because there is work to be done.
“We are well on our way to mending what has been broken so we can advertise with confidence that Collingwood is open for business again.”
Three time Mayor and former Simcoe County Warden Terry Geddes was pleased with the outcome of the Collingwood Municipal Election.
“I am so pleased to see the torch of leadership passed to the next generation. Collingwood should be proud of the Council they have elected. We have two outstanding County reps in Mayor Brian and Deputy Mayor Keith. They bring an exciting sustainable vision to our community. The town is in excellent hands.”
Former Mayor Chris Carrier said that he was also pleased with the election outcome.
“Mayor Elect Saunderson and Deputy Mayor Elect Hull have a proven political track record of fact based decision making and even more than that they both have made decisions that were the right ones for Collingwood but were not the politically easy choice. The Councillor’s choices are a combination of competent ethical decision makers with new comers whose professional careers are also evident of making decisions that are the proper choice not the easy choice. This election is a clear repudiation of the petty and divisive style of our current Mayor and her refusal to accept conflict of interests are an objective test not a subjective test. This is the most hopeful I have been for Collingwood in many, many years. I wish the Council Elect all the best in their efforts to become fully engaged in the issues that the citizens of Collingwood voted them in to address especially implementing the recommendations that will come from the Judicial Inquiry. All of us like to talk about Integrity, Honesty and Transparency and I strongly believe we have elected a Mayor who will lead by example and more importantly have a Council that will walk the talk. – Thank you to the people of Collingwood for giving our great community the best opportunity for really good government.”
Saunderson has stated that his objective is to be a proactive, visible leader and will engage residents in regular dialogue about what is important to them.
“The 2015 Community-based Strategic Plan identified five core priorities the residents of Collingwood want local government to pursue, namely, Accountable Local Government, Public Access to a Revitalized Waterfront, Culture and Arts, Healthy Lifestyles and, Support for Economic Development. I will continue to develop and implement aspects of all five priorities.”
Saunderson campaigned on the continuation of responsible debt management, carried forward from the work of the outgoing council.
“This Council has paid down more than $12 Million in debt, reducing the debt load from $39 Million to just under $27 Million, the lowest Town debt since 2007.”
Saunderson has been a driving force behind the creation and planned implementation of Collingwood’s Waterfront Master Plan and he continues to work both locally and at the county level on developing expanded public transportation opportunities and additional affordable housing.
“Social sustainability means access to safe, affordable housing, to healthy affordable food and adequate affordable public transportation. Social sustainability in Collingwood is a very real issue and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have critical roles to play on County Council to represent the residents of Collingwood on these issues.”
Preparations continue ahead of public hearings in the Town of Collingwood Judicial Inquiry.
It was Saunderson’s motion as Deputy Mayor on February 26, 2018 to request a judicial inquiry be conducted into the process undertaken in 2012 which resulted in the sale of 50% of Collus, the Town’s electric utility.
“I will take the recommendations of the Judicial Inquiry seriously and implement any measures that will guarantee residents an honest and transparent local government.”
While the Public Inquiry will investigate the series of events leading up to the 2012 Collus share sale and how the proceeds from the sale were spent, an OPP anti-rackets squad investigation into the matter continues.
“The OPP investigation is a police process in which the municipality has no role or influence. Whatever, the outcome, it is important that it be brought to a conclusion as soon as possible to remove the shadow it casts on this community and our reputation.”
Saunderson has clearly demonstrated an ability to identify, understand and take action to manage important files facing Collingwood Council.
Mayor Elect Brian Saunderson with returning Councillor Kathy Jeffery
Returning Councillor Deb Doherty with Mayor Elect Brian Saunderson
Newly elected Councillor Steve Berman with Mayor Elect Brian Saunderson
Former Mayor and Simcoe County Warden Terry Geddes with Deputy Mayor Elect Keith Hull and Mayor Elect Brian Saunderson
Wasaga Beach Mayor Elect Nina Bifolchi Congratulated Collingwood Mayor Elect Brian Saunderson
Wasaga Beach Mayor Elect Nina Bifolchi pulled off an impressive victory on Monday October 22nd, defeating incumbent Brian Smith for the top job. Bifolchi and Saunderson have both said they are looking forward to working together on issues that matter to both communities and Simcoe County.
So much for talk about fractured relationships with Collingwood’s neighbours.
A new era in Collingwood politics has begun.
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