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PART 5: What is Collingwood town council's enduring legacy?

Councillors mentioned the judicial inquiry, the Official Plan and the pandemic itself as some of the major items they think will stand out in the minds of residents after this term is over
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Collingwood council voted unanimously in favour of Mayor Brian Saunderson's motion to start a regional forum with mayors and CAOs from surrounding municipalities in January 2021.

Collingwood's Town Council, elected in 2018, is entering the final year of its four-year mandate. The next municipal election, slated for Oct. 24, 2022, is less than one year away.

With that in mind, we canvassed Mayor Brian Saunderson, Deputy Mayor Keith Hull and all seven city councillors to answer six key questions heading into the home stretch of their tenure.

They were given a limit of 150-words per response. Their responses are published verbatim.

Coun. Steve Berman, Coun. Bob Madigan and Mayor Brian Saunderson declined to participate.

Click here to read their answers to our first question. Click here to read their answers to our second question, here for answers to the third question and here for answers to our fourth question.

What do you feel will be this term of council's most enduring legacy?

Deputy Mayor Keith Hull

“There will always be an asterisk beside this term for all councils province-wide as a result of the global pandemic. Some will question what we did (if anything at all), others will question the decisions we made or enforced as mandated by the province or local health unit. But I hope and believe that this council’s legacy will be one that is viewed as economically responsible, a completed Official Plan that protects what we cherish and clearly establishes the rules of the game for all players moving forward and established blueprints and frameworks for both the Terminals and how we can collectively tackle the town’s housing crisis. Years from now, a future mayor will cut a ribbon at a revitalized Terminal property. Which shape that takes is yet-to-be-determined. However, I will take pride and hope this council’s legacy will be that we built the foundation.”

Coun. Tina Comi

“A legacy is something that belongs to those that dare greatly. For enduring legacy I do not look to this council, I look to our community. I see a polio survivor on a scooter with a ‘save the terminals’ poster on the back. I see ‘Mr. Trails’ rolling up his sleeves when he wants something fixed. I see those that say ‘show me the receipts’ when it comes to municipal spending. I see a brave mom who put a petition together and changed our bylaw on hate symbols and got it all the way to the federal government. Our community is filled with enduring legacies and I’m humbled to serve them.”

Coun. Deb Doherty

“As a corollary to Question 2, it will be the new Official Plan. There have been other issues that have captured the attention and sometimes the consternation of residents, but the Official Plan will serve us well in a tangible way for the next five to 10 years, when other matters will have faded in importance or relevance.”

Coun. Yvonne Hamlin

“Getting a new planning framework in place to guide growth in our community. I spoke of this frequently during the last election, and happily, the first draft of a new Official Plan will be released soon.

This will allow us to consider important values in assessing growth – walkability, quality urban design, green space, high-quality public realm spaces, growing the tree canopy, green technology in building design and construction, compatibility with, and respect for, existing homes. And technical things like maximizing the use of infrastructure to ensure we do not waste taxpayer money extending services to areas where growth should not be encouraged.

We will also hopefully embrace policies to encourage the building of affordable and attainable housing for those working in our town. I have been working hard on this issue as part of the Affordable Housing Task Force and our report with recommendations will be released shortly.”

Coun. Kathy Jeffery

Did not submit a response to this question

Coun. Mariane McLeod

“That’s not up to me to decide and it’s too early to say. We may have made decisions with unintended consequences that we cannot fathom yet. We’re certainly dealing with the unintended consequences of previous councils’ decisions. What would be an excellent legacy is implementing the recommendations about accountability and open decision-making from the Judicial Inquiry and working with the province so other municipalities don’t find themselves in the same dire straits. Another excellent legacy would be preventing unreasonable tax increases and providing a safe and livable place for all sorts of people.”