The Business News Source for the Community of Sarnia - Lambton

Archived Columns

Chris Cooke's picture

No placards, signs and please stick to the script

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 16:22 -- Chris Cooke

I felt like the late Mike Wallace chasing down a bad guy on 60 Minutes.  

Rumours have been circulating since last August about the residency of Councillor Cindy Scholten-Holt.

The suspicion is she has moved.

And yet there she is as big as life not only on Council but heading a procedural bylaw committee that would distance her from the taxpayers who elected her.

Chris Cooke's picture

Sarnia has a $140 million budget and my taxes are going up $575

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 15:53 -- Chris Cooke

In Petrolia Manny Baron has left the building. Mayor John McCharles refuses to break open an Integrity Commissioner’s report on suspected conflict of interest that ultimately led to Baron’s exit.

Seems the Chief Administrative Officer was using a numbered company to buy up properties and then lease them back to his employer. In the world of municipal government that’s having your cake and eating it too, or eating out of the public trough while administering it.

Baron will likely show up elsewhere to the detriment of taxpayers elsewhere.

Chris Cooke's picture

Petrolia investigating while Sarnia’s putting lipstick on a pig

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:18 -- Chris Cooke

Manny Baron, Margaret Misek-Evans and Dianne Gould-Brown have a problem.


They desire it, they crave it and they will do anything to keep it.

Baron is a classic.

He’s alleged to own properties in Petrolia and then leased them back to his employer, the Town of Petrolia.

Can you spell conflict of interest?

I thought you could.

Baron is on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation. Watch for the pay portion to go away along with the Chief Administrative Officer.

Chris Cooke's picture

Since when is a million dollars a “pittance”?

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:32 -- Chris Cooke

So, here is what we have learned since last month.

A fixed cost contract is not a fixed cost contract especially when it comes to boat ramps and completion of Centennial Park.

Apparently Councillor Matt Mitro believes another million or so at the waterfront money pit is a “pittance” and City Hall administration is so far into this sink hole that at $13 million he and his colleagues are all in.

Chris Cooke's picture

Garage doors and conspiracy theories

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:04 -- Chris Cooke

Here is a question.

Where does Cindy Scholten – Holt live?

The only reason I ask is because the public appears to be pondering the same question.

And she told me she would be seeking re-election next year. I might point out she didn’t say where.

Scholten–Holt sold her Shepherd Street house last month for $160,000.00 and there were sightings of her moving out. Rumours circulated that she was moving to Hamilton to be with her husband who is there due to work commitments.

Chris Cooke's picture

Can you spell collusion? I thought you could

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 13:48 -- Chris Cooke

Nancy Wright Laking is retiring.

Thank God.

The clerk in Lakeshore (Forest, Grand Bend and Thedford) is leaving after 18 months.

If her name sounds familiar it should.

She is the former clerk of Sarnia, the former clerk of Minden and the former clerk of Peterborough.

Her tenure is usually 18 months, although she only made it 17 months in Sarnia before creating havoc, accusing the mayor of harassment and leaving.

Ultimately she took a pay cut and moved to Lakeshore.

Chris Cooke's picture

“What would the little old lady on Brock Street think?”

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 15:54 -- Chris Cooke

Jack Fullerton has passed.

He died last month at the age of 89.

He was a rare breed, an old school newspaperman who wouldn’t tolerate our current version of municipal politics.

If he had the ability in his final years he would have used his First Monday column to chastise the current crop of newbies who endorsed the Code of Conduct that destroys freedom of speech and endorses of likes of Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze, Chief Administrative Officer Margaret Misek-Evans and City Clerk Dianne Gould-Brown.

Chris Cooke's picture

Integrity Commissioner milks the public cow again

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 12:21 -- Chris Cooke

Let’s review.

Here is what we know.

Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze apparently hasn’t any integrity, has a conflict of interest, uses the City as a cash cow and appears to have personal animosity toward the Mayor.

He just can’t control himself. He is like a mouse watching the cheese.

His latest ruling that the mayor is docked two week’s pay for bullying, harassing and intimidating Clerk Dianne Gould – Brown at a public meeting last February is ludicrous.

Chris Cooke's picture

The Donald, Margaret and Kathleen are all “bigly”

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 10:52 -- Chris Cooke

I’m not sure where to start.

The whackos are running everything.

South of the border a school-yard bully who hasn’t the slightest idea about where the money comes from and has the mental temperament of a five year old, is running the place.

In Ontario an old lady who’s popularity is in the toilet and runs a government with a $312 billion debt and sells power at usury levels suddenly emerges with free pharmaceuticals and a balanced budget.

God, please give me strength.

Chris Cooke's picture

So Many Questions, Mostly Wrong Answers

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 11:33 -- Chris Cooke

City Hall staff has questions.

Frequently asked questions.

Questions about Internet and telephone voting. Easy stuff like where and when, how and why?

Six pages of frequently asked questions made up by staff in anticipation of fallout. Fallout from its choice of phone and Internet provider in next year’s municipal election.

Fallout because staff failed to properly vet Intelivote Systems Inc., a Dartmouth - based phone and Internet provider with a troubled financial history. And now Sarnians have a $130,000.00 problem?

Staff knew.


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