Politics in Wasaga Beach
Wasaga Beach is on the right path with a responsible council moving forward with the priorities we set at the beginning of this term. Unfortunately, there is a small group in the community who are trying to undermine that with lies and innuendo about council and staff actions as well as personal attacks against individuals. While I have no obligation to share my personal life, I also have nothing to hide, so here it is, my very private story. Take a read and when you see others spinning their lies, feel free to call BS on my behalf! It’s a long read so don’t waste the beautiful weather we have been getting……………wait till a rainy day or snow storm.
Did you receive a copy of a paper in your mailbox this week?
I received numerous calls this week from residents about receiving a paper in their mailboxes. This paper is usually only to be found in such places as local coffee shops and laundromats however, this week just before online voting started for this year’s municipal election, this particular paper apparently made it to most every mailbox in town.
The Whole Truth Matters – A Partial Truth Is A Lie
As we get closer to the election I see and hear more and more untrue comments made with nothing of substance to back to them up. During this current term of council we have witnessed a divide in our community that has pitted neighbor against neighbor. I will try my very best, as your Mayor, to heal this division that has been created in our community during the past four years. Trust, honesty and respect for each other is required for that to happen.
Nina Bifolchi appeared on the Penny Skelton Show on Roger’s Television
Council Policy, Process and Legislation Out The Window
I have witnessed some distressing occurrences at the Council level during this current term of council but the most personally disappointing has been the absolute total lack of respect I have witnessed by the current leadership to Policy, Process and Legislation. Throughout these past four years there have been numerous questionable situations, many of which I can’t speak to publicly.
Declining Invitation from BEACHBOOSTER to Debate
At 4:10 pm on Thursday, August 30th I received an email from Bill Frieday at Beachbooster Promotions Wasaga Beach inviting me to participate in a one-on-one pre-election debate with fellow Mayoralty candidate, incumbent Mayor Brian Smith. I had already been aware for some time that a certain group of Smith supporters was plotting something as they kept letting things slip on social media. In fact I saw something about this debate on Facebook, three hours prior to receiving my summons to attend.
Wasaga Beach Interim CAO
Posted August 23, 2018
There has been some confusion pertaining to my position regarding the appointment of the interim CAO for the Town of Wasaga Beach. Due to this, and in order to clarify any perceived confusion, please see my comments below;
“I respect the job Gerry Marshall has done in his roles as Mayor of Penetanguishene and Warden of Simcoe County. Our community however, needs an experienced Chief Administrative Officer, not another politician.
I can’t and won’t discuss the specifics of the in-camera meetings, but I will note that I remain concerned in terms of the process that led us to where we find ourselves today as a community.
The CAO position is critical, and will not only be responsible for handling corporate operations and the normal day to day activities of the Town, but will also be one of the three individuals with delegated authority from Council to commit the Town of Wasaga Beach to long term agreements for our beachfront property development without any further input from Town council as a whole.”
At Large vs. The Ward System
A number of staff reports came forward to council during this current term indicating that the majority of those who provided input at a public meeting as well as an online survey, were in support of remaining with the current At Large system. Staff supported remaining with the current At Large system. The majority of council however, chose to go against its residential constituents and staff which is why there is a question on this year’s election ballot that reads:
“At present we use the At-Large system to vote for Councillor Positions, should we use a Ward system instead?”
Letter of Intent becomes binding and full authority to execute handed off to three members of staff
At the July 24, 2018 Council Meeting a very preliminary Letter of Intent (LOI) between the Town of Wasaga Beach and FRAM Building Group was approved by the majority of council to now be a binding agreement.
The majority of council also approved handing off the delegated authority to implement this LOI to three staff members between July 27th and December 4, 2018 which is when the new council will take office following the October 22nd election.
July 17, 2018 Update
A Special In Camera Town Council meeting has been called for Wednesday July 18, 2018 at 7pm. Stay tuned for the outcome.
I have done my best to keep the public abreast of situations that have been occurring at town hall. Far too often during this term of council my comments and questions at the council table have been twisted and skewed. I have been threatened with legal action, bullied, encouraged to resign and just recently it was suggested I could take an unpaid vacation for the next 3-4 months. For the remainder of this term (next few months) I will continue my duties as your Deputy Mayor. I have NO intention of backing down.
While I can’t always share all the details of my decisions, be assured I am defending our community and working in your best interest at all times.
I will continue to share my opinions and I will do my best to keep my website updated with important issues. I look forward to meeting with many of you and hearing what you see as important for Wasaga Beach’s future.
At last week’s meeting I had commented about a meeting I had with the OPP in 2016. This has resulted in people wanting to share information with me. While I appreciate the trust you have in me, I am not the right person to take some of this information or document it properly. If you have something you want to share, regardless of how small you think it may be, please go directly to the appropriate authority. If you need contact information I would be happy to provide it.
I would also like to give a shout out to our awesome staff. Under some very difficult situations this term of council, they continue to work in the best interest of the community.
Thank you, I appreciate the fantastic job you do and your dedication to this community!
Hope you are all having a wonderful summer!
Clarifying My Comments from the Special Council Meeting of July 10, 2018
A handful of people have taken offence to things I said at this meeting that I feel need to be clarified.
I pointed out that my comments regarding the Letter of Intent the town was considering were clearly laid out on my website in great detail which explained why I couldn’t in good faith support it and encouraged people to contact me if they wanted to discuss it further.
Letter Of Intent Between Town of Wasaga Beach and FRAM
If elected as your Mayor on October 22, 2018, I will support a review/audit of all actions taken that have arrived at this LOI/Agreement between the Town and FRAM as well as all transactions dealing with the town’s beachfront properties since its purchase in 2015. These are necessities to knowing exactly where things stand.
It is my opinion that this LOI is in the best interest of the developer, not the town or its residents.
I Am My Own Spokesperson
Posted April 6, 2018
Social media has provided a medium for individuals to share their thoughts. This medium can be used to keep in touch with friends and family, share positive thoughts and messages or they can be used to attempt to discredit others.
I want to address the false statement in this Facebook post.
Update: The author of this post requested that his name and picture be removed so I have done that. I guess he was ashamed to be associated with his own words once the inaccuracies were pointed out.
As the 2018 municipal election gets closer I expect there will be more of these types of false statements.
For the record: I have been successful in the past three elections (2006, 2010, 2014). I have been my own campaign manager and spokesperson in all of them. This year’s election will be no different.
I don’t believe the individuals mentioned in the post have identified themselves as my spokespeople. However, if over the coming months you speak to someone or read something like this on social media please know that no one speaks for me. If you want to know what I think about a topic ask me directly.
Looking forward to a great summer season!
Simcoe County District School Board Meeting
Posted March 29, 2018
The link below will take you to the SCDSB meeting of March 28, 2018. Vice Chair Jodi Lloyd clarifies some statements that have been made in our community about a future Wasaga Beach Secondary School. Ms. Lloyd speaks at the 23 min 45 second mark. We might not always like what we hear but I believe it is important to deal with truthful facts. I believe Vice Chair Lloyd has provided us with the facts. Trustee Robert North provides some important information following Ms. Lloyd.
The Truth is Under Attack
Posted March 20, 2018
Click here to watch the video
Well said Peter Mansbridge! The Truth is ALL that matters!
Arson Attempt Still Under Investigation
There was an incident at our beachfront in August of 2017 that could have caused great harm to lives and property.
A Couple Of Notable Highlights From The Past Month
MAYOR SMITH BRINGS FORWARD A MOTION, THE OUTCOME OF MY MOTION REGARDING WASAGA DISTRIBUTION, HARASSING THE PARENTS NOW!
Funding Announced For New Wasaga Beach Elementary School
On Monday January 29, 2018 at the Simcoe County District School Board office, a funding announcement was made which included funding for a new Wasaga Beach elementary school.
This is exciting news! This new school will alleviate current pressures on our existing elementary schools as well as prepare for future growth in our community.
In my opinion, while this should have been a very positive day for all, there was the typical “of this term of council” black cloud surrounding it.
Petty Politics Continue
Posted January 17, 2018
There is no upside to any situation when pettiness comes in to play. It is my opinion that pettiness is one action that has taken place over this term of council, dividing our community and preventing some of us from doing our job as your elected members of council.
On December 12, 2017 Town Staff made a public presentation regarding the 2018 budget. As always, staff does a fantastic job of presenting the budget.
However, the Mayor made the following comment as part of a question to staff:
“So starting this year we will start to see profit on those kiosks”
I think the financial position of the kiosks/market needs to be clarified as this was a little confusing during the meeting.
Wasaga Distribution Update
After a lengthy drawn out process, most of us had a sigh of relief when council voted to retain and grow WDI, our local utility. Our fears of a sale for the time being were laid to rest and the WDI board has started to move forward with plans.
The Wise Guys on 97.7 The Beach
The Wise Guys can be heard on Sunday mornings by tuning in to 97.7 The Beach Radio. They cover a number of topics and always provide interesting view points.
Many thanks to the show’s co-host Trent Gow for his kind comments.
Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority UPDATE
Once again (one would think there is an election coming soon!) a small handful are using social media to discredit me, this time in my role at the NVCA. Let me supply you with a bit of history regarding my time on the NVCA Board of Directors.
After Hours Clinic
An after-hours clinic would be a great service and convenience to our community and residents. It is something that has been discussed for years. At one point approximately 15 years ago one of our local doctor’s offices provided this service for their own patients. It was eventually cancelled as it did not have the results they had hoped for.
A Family of Entrepreneurs
Posted October 16, 2017
I have run in three elections and during the campaign periods (and again more recently this seems to be popping up) have continued to hear from others that I come from a development family and that it was a bad thing. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and hard workers. I’m proud to have been born a “Litz” and have benefitted from years of family member knowledge, support and always feeling part of something greater.
Setting the Record Straight
It seems that some people are getting an early start to next year’s election campaigning. I have found some people have a strategy of repeating wrong information and key phrases. I guess they believe if you say something enough times, others will believe it’s true.
Wasaga Beach Coverage in GTA
Wasaga Beach received coverage in a GTA publication on municipal government and urban planning.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE
I am not a Liar
At the July 25, 2017 Council meeting I was challenged by Councillor Bonnie Smith that information on my website was not true. When I asked the Councillor if she was calling me a liar she responded “yes.”
I am posting the emails below that followed that meeting. Councillor Smith copied them to the media making them public.
Fram Building Group Ltd. & Slokker Canada UPDATE
At the request of Mayor Smith correspondence from Fram Building Group’s president, Frank Giannone was added to our July 25, 2017 council agenda. At the meeting I made comments and provided the Clerk, for the record, a copy of the letter I sent to Mr. Giannone in response to his. Below I have attached my letter.
During the Council meeting of July 25, 2017, Councillor Bonnie Smith called into question my comments regarding the current state of the Fram Shipyards Development in Collingwood. More specifically, following her comments I asked “are you calling me a liar” of which she responded, “yes” which she herself has written and confirmed in an email to me dated July 26, 2017.
Retain and Grow WDI
As the Deputy Mayor of Wasaga Beach, I would first like to personally thank the entire community, who over the course of this proposal educated themselves, got engaged, and used their voices regardless of which position they took. That, is true democracy.
I am pleased to say that Council voted July 6, 2017 at a Special Meeting, to end this process immediately, and to confirm that you, the Town of Wasaga Beach, retain Wasaga Distribution and grow it!
Why are we putting all of our eggs into the Fram Building Group Ltd. & Slokker Canada Corp., basket?
You are probably wondering why I’m posting about the Shipyards in Collingwood. Please keep reading!
Earlier, I put forward an amendment that would see the town doing due diligence on the top two development companies instead of just one. My amendment was defeated by council. At the June 27, 2017 Council meeting I requested again that council consider doing their due diligence on two developers instead of just one. This was defeated again.
Experienced Mayor Speaks Out Regarding WDI
I wanted to highlight comments made recently by a Wasaga Beach property owner who also happens to be the Mayor of Halton Hills. For those who missed seeing this Dear Editor Letter in the newspaper or online, I wanted to share it with you.
Innovative Solutions survey regarding Wasaga Distribution
Posted June 23, 2017
I received many calls and emails of concern regarding the survey conducted and the questions asked by Innovative Solutions on behalf of the town regarding the future of Wasaga Distribution.
Unfortunately at the time I could not offer much in response to those who contacted me as I had yet to see the questions. Many were with the understanding that council members had not only seen but also had input into these questions. That was not the case.
Positive or Negative … You Decide!
Posted April 10, 2017
Personally, I think we need to go back to being the strong, well respected community we used to be known as and stop labelling each other as positive or negative as this only divides the community more.
Kathleen Wynne comes to Simcoe-Grey
Posted April 7, 2017
Round table discussions were held April 6, 2017 between Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario and the Mayors and Wardens from the riding of Simcoe –Grey. As your Deputy Mayor and County of Simcoe Councillor I was not asked or given the opportunity by Mayor Smith to attend in his absence.
Newsroom – Rumours
Posted on March 9, 2017
It’s been brought to my attention that there are some vexatious rumours circulating about myself.
I know where they started, I now have verbal and written confirmation of this defamatory lie and I will deal with these individuals in due course.
In the meantime if you hear something about me that sounds like gossip and rumours … it is.
Please feel free to call me if you have something you care to share with me or would like something clarified.
Smear campaigns are usually started by weak individuals with no morals. I would ask that you please don’t feed into it as innocent people usually get hurt along the way.
Looking forward to a great summer!
Outcome of Proposed Sanctions by my fellow Council Members
On January 24, 2017 the Town of Wasaga Beach’s Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze presented a report to council and decision on a complaint he had received from a staff member about me in my role as Deputy Mayor. The IC decision as well as the statement I read that evening can be found here on my website. Council ratified at its February 21, 2017 Council meeting to accept the Integrity Commissioners report and not impose any sanctions.
Creation of a Beachfront Property Management Board
I have posted comments I made at the February 14, 2017 Committee of the Whole meeting to share with you the concerns I raised regarding the creation of a beachfront property management board. I hope you share any comments or concerns you may have with the creation of this board with Council Members and others. The decision is to be ratified by council on February 21, 2017.
Code of Conduct Comments made at January 24, 2017 meeting
During the January 24, 2017 Council meeting, Councillor Bonnie Smith made a statement regarding me and Council’s Code of Conduct. I am unclear as to how the Councillor came to the conclusion that I may lack respect for elected positions of council.
Integrity Commissioner for the Town of Wasaga Beach, Robert Swayze issued a report to Council on Tuesday January 24, 2017
This evening (Tuesday January 24, 2017) the Integrity Commissioner for the Town of Wasaga Beach, Robert Swayze issued a report to Council concerning certain complaints issued by a senior staff member of the Town (herein known as the “Complainant”).
Critically Mr. Swayze has determined that no breach of the code on my part has occurred. No sanctions were imposed.
Wasaga Beach Councillor Becomes “Nina Know-Know”
Wasaga Beach’s deputy mayor found herself on the opposite end of several significant votes in the first half of the current council term — earning her the moniker of ‘Nina No-No’ on the coffee shop circuit.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON SIMCOE.COM
Behind The Scenes …
As your Deputy Mayor I try to follow the right path and in the best interest of our community. This quite often means I am in the minority vote as I’m sure you have noticed. That doesn’t matter, I will always represent your interests even if I have a different opinion from others.
Unfortunately behind the scenes is becoming troublesome …
Wasaga Beach plans referendum to gather opinion on possible Utility sale
So there is no confusion out there as to why I voted against the referendum:
1) The people of Wasaga Beach have already spoken loud and clear……do not sell Wasaga Distribution!
2) I do not see the point of spending approximately $95,000 and wasting a lot of time on something that has already been spoken to or could be put on a ballot for free at the next municipal election. What’s the rush?
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON SIMCOE.COM
Find a way to settle your differences
Wasaga Beach integrity commissioner Robert Swayze said Wasaga Beach deputy mayor Nina Bifolchi is just doing her job . His advice to Wasaga Beach council was to the point – “find a way to settle your differences.”
Wasaga Distribution presents its case on how to sell electrical utility
An overflow crowd of more than 170 people jammed into the Wasaga Beach council chambers to listen to Wasaga Distribution’s board members and lawyer Mark Rodger discuss the case to sell the utility.
Wasaga Beach Deputy Mayor Nina Bifolchi and the town’s Economic Development Officer clash over legal firm hiring
Wasaga Beach town hall runs well but has morale issues says consultant’ report
An efficiency review carried out by consulting firm KPMG was presented to Wasaga Beach Council at the October 18th Committee of the Whole meeting.
Wasaga Beach Parts Ways With Clerk
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON SIMCOE.COM
PLEASE NOTE: this version of the story includes different content regarding a vote taken that was not in the paper copy circulated to households.
Opting to sit out of an in-camera meeting
On Tuesday August 30, 2016 prior to council approving a motion to go in camera to discuss the Statement of Claim that the Town and Mayor received from Phoenix Hospitality, I referenced an email I sent to the Mayor and CAO on August 16, 2016. I copied the Clerk, all of council, solicitors for both sides as well as the media.
“Regard this email as official notice that I will not be participating in any in-camera meetings that deal with this situation. I therefore request that no in-camera or confidential documents pertaining to this situation be circulated to me.”
1.2 Million Dollars from Town of Wasaga Beach Reserves to be used for Beachfront Properties
“Starter Ideas” given to Wasaga Beach residents regarding future downtown development
Newspaper says Lawsuit alleges Wasaga Beach mayor abused his power, defamed bar operators
Wasaga Beach mayor issues open letter to counter bar operators’ claims
Wasaga Beach council members clash over $2,600 expense
Documents reveal Wasaga Beach mayor, CAO tried to keep meeting with bar operators quiet
Wasaga Beach CAO Says email Was Not Intended To Make Meeting With Bar Owners Quiet
Council Wage Increase Vote
I want to be on record as stating that I opposed the council wage increase that was recently passed.. A recent newspaper article did not clarify that this was not a unanimous vote.
A New Blogger In Town
June 2, 2016
It was brought to my attention yesterday that Councillor Bill Stockwell has taken up blogging.
Response To Statements by the Mayor
Response to Mayor’s statements in the Wasaga Sun online article dated April 11, 2016
In my previous article titled “Silenced Again” I speak to the events of that meeting and the things I was questioning about the kiosks/leases. Things such as; intentionally deleted standard clauses, insufficient deposit amounts, some kiosk operators benefiting more than others (but paying the same) and lease terms that are in opposition to what council approved, were all NEW topics relating to these leases that council members were seeing for the first time.
I can’t seem to understand why I’m silenced when asking questions about the kiosks or the beachfront properties and leases. Questions and answers are not just for me, but for our public so that the process is transparent. What am I missing? Why do some not want me asking questions?
Silenced at a Council Meeting
Posted March 30, 2016
On March 22, 2016 Council had a full agenda to deal with including a bylaw to authorize execution of a lease agreement between the Town of Wasaga Beach and Wasaga Brewing Company for a commercial lease at 12 Main Street for a Beer Garden.
Beachfront 2015 Preliminary Year-end Financials
(Posted February 14, 2016)
In a previous newsroom article called; 2015 Year in Review, I commented that “based on the plan we have today, the business (consisting of the beachfront properties purchased) showed a loss of approximately $800,000 in 2015.”
(posted February 8, 2016)
Wasaga Beach Deputy Mayor Nina Bifolchi brings us up to date on important events in Wasaga Beach.
My Opinion On Some Important Topics
(posted February 6, 2016)
Wasaga Beach Deputy Mayor Nina Bifolchi comments on changes to the Code of Conduct, the Main Street Market, the Beer Garden and putting forth accurate information.
2015 – A Year In Review
Here are some highlights from the past year you should know about.
Your Input Is Required
Please plan on attending two very important meetings. Council and staff want to hear your thoughts. You have the ability to influence the direction of your community.
A First For Everything
After being on council for nine years with what I believe has been a great working relationship with all staff, I received a workplace harassment warning letter to change my behaviour. I will not share the complainants name nor give specific details that would identify them as that would be totally inappropriate. However, I share this situation with you because I have nothing to hide. Far too often things like this get brushed under the rug and I’m not prepared to do that.
What is important in life – November 2, 2015
I am proud to say that I come from large family and a long line of hard working, tough women on both sides of my family! I was reminded of this today when I visited my Grandmother (Lore Litz) who this year had to move into a nursing home at the age of 90.
Beachfront Update – October 27, 2015
The summer is over, tourism has slowed, now what? At Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on October 6, 2015 there was discussion about the need for repairs to the newly acquired beachfront properties.
Social Media and Gossip Papers – October 27, 2015
I’ve heard it all! Apparently I haven’t agreed with anything that my fellow council members have wanted to do this entire term of council. To those saying it and those who have nicknamed me “Nina No No”, I suggest you come to a meeting, watch us on Rogers TV, give me a call/email or read our meeting minutes as you are getting your information from a bad source.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Upcoming Council Meetings – October 26, 2015
Over the past couple of months Council has deferred a number of discussions to later dates as well as created a new list of items for discussion. On top of that Council has started the 2016 budget process.
Relationship Builders and Destroyers – September 11, 2015
I recently read an article in Municipal World Magazine called Relationship Builders and Destroyers. Municipal World is a great magazine that is Canada wide, has existed since 1891 and provides insight by experts regarding various municipal issues.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Wasaga Sun Article “Wasaga Beach weighs in on result of Beachfront purchase.” – September 11, 2015
As always Ian provided a well written article. I stand behind the comments I made. “Nothing has occurred over the summer that would change my decision regarding the purchase of the beachfront.”
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Response to Dear Editor Letter – The Sun July 9, 2015
It always amazes me when complete strangers think they know me and what I’m thinking, better than I do! GB’s Dear Editor letter on July 9, 2015 indicated that I based my vote to not support purchasing the beachfront properties on “political posturing for the next election.” I have to assume that GB has not watched Rogers Cable, read our meeting minutes or attended a meeting. I have been very clear on why I did not support the purchase so I encourage GB to try and keep up.
Code of Conduct Passed by Council
At a Tuesday June 23rd Council Meeting, Council approved their Code of Conduct. In a previous “newsroom” article titled “Six Month Review For Council” I commented on a change that was being proposed to the Code of Conduct.
In the past I have not had any issue with our Code of Conduct however there were a couple of new items that in my opinion were either premature or morally wrong.
When is it appropriate for a Council Member to declare a Conflict of Interest?
During the months leading up to an election there are always conversations that speak to the potential of candidates to find themselves in a conflict of interest if elected to council. Some people imply that if you declare a conflict you are unable to represent the town’s interest to the fullest. These types of comments are based on uninformed personal opinions and are far from the truth.
Clearing Up Comments Made On “Mayoral Monday” on Monday, June 8, 2015, on 97.7 The Beach
I’ve had a number of calls looking for clarification regarding comments made on the June 8th, 2015 Mayoral Monday broadcast aired on 97.7 The Beach. I thought I would take the opportunity to clarify a few things here.
Six Month Review for Council:
Council was very fortunate to have Mr. Fred Dean spend over four hours with us on Friday June 5, 2015. Mr. Dean is a municipal lawyer and coach, former Sudbury City Solicitor, Acts exclusively for municipalities and municipal associations, Chair of ROMA/OGRA (which is a municipal conference held yearly) question box panel, facilitator and trainer for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and carries out closed meeting investigations to name a few of the hats he wears. He is well respected by all and is the most well versed person in municipal politics you will ever meet.