honesty should be important

The email message copied below is typical of the Coleridge MO I’ve observed over the past 3 years.

He says he doesn’t support staff digging out records of the Town Centre land sale negotiations to make them public during an election. Is it because people knowing the truth will undermine his campaign? Will it weaken his criticisms when people see that the City made a lot more money by opting for a payment plan? Is it that citizens might agree that a payment plan was a good idea since the deal netted the City more than our top-shelf appraiser said should be expected?

You wouldn’t know this because you don’t attend our closed-door sessions, however, Coleridge lied at the all-candidate’s meeting last night. He said he “broke with Council… I disagreed with them” on the branding. In fact, he stated he supported the exercise and the “Island of White Rock” brand on multiple occasions. Other members of Council expressed reservation. Coleridge was not one of them.

It’s really ironic that the councillor who talks the most about closed-door meetings is the one who most benefits from them being closed. The opinions Coleridge shares behind closed-doors would be shocking to most citizens — not because of what he says, but how different it is from what he says in public. It’s too bad you couldn’t hear what he had to say about tax increases — he said they were too low!

Another Coleridge behaviour pattern is for him to make a big production out of accusing other candidates of doing what he himself is doing. It’s as if he’s sensing his own weaknesses and trying to project them onto others to distract or deflect from himself. ie: being on a slate, campaign spending, closed-door meetings, making decisions based on political strategy rather than facts, playing both sides of an issue, overwhelming staff with information-request fishing expeditions, etc etc.

Also from last night — hypocrisy check — Ferguson saying she didn’t support the Spirit Square and I think she also said something about closed-door meetings. Who started the Spirit Square project? Which councillor was advocating for it until council assigned the project to me to try making up for a year of lost time? How many times did she vote in favour of the project? And if she didn’t support it, why didn’t she use those opportunities to seek changes or set conditions for her continued support? And which councillor was responsible for the ill-fated branding exercise? Were those open meetings?

Again on Coleridge, how did he engage the public in developing the Environmental Strategic Plan? At what point did he decide to have public consultation beyond just the Environment Committee? Exactly what was it that precipitated that change in his plans? I’ll give you a hint: he wasn’t very receptive to my suggestions that public consultation should involve more than just the Environment Committee.

I hope the spotlight of this campaign makes Coleridge’s behaviour visible to citizens. I hope they get to see how different he speaks when he’s not in front of an audience.

—–Original Message—–
From: Peggy Clark
Sent: Wed 10/29/2008 9:24 AM
To: James Coleridge
Cc: Mayor and Council
Subject: RE: Comments

Councillor Peddemors has asked the Mayor if she is willing schedule an In-Camera meeting for Council to discuss this whether some information on Bosa can come out of in-camera. The Mayor indicated to me she would like this in-camera meeting scheduled and I am arranging this with Tracey.
Councillor Peddemors did not ask staff to release this information.

Peggy Clark
City Manager
City of White Rock


From: James [mailto:jcoleridge@city.whiterock.bc.ca]
Sent: October 29, 2008 9:01 AM
To: Peggy Clark
Cc: Catherine Ferguson; Doug McLean (CR)
Subject: COmments
Importance: High


I understand that Stewart is asking staff to release in-camera information on the Bosa deal. This is highly unusual and should be an Council decision not one councillor who is under pressure during an election. I think this highly politicize staff. I do not support staff spending time on this.


James Coleridge
City of White Rock

“Living, working and playing in Canada’s #1 City”

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