"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday, 24 July 2014

It's A Mess

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "TWO TEAMS DO NOT MAKE A WHOLE":

I am not thinking in terms of teams but of numbers and the silliness of the exercise. If one more councillor were unable to attend for whatever reason, there would be no quorum ? No ? What then ? Would the skies fall ?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 24 July 2014 14:39


****************************

Council normally goes into recess in July and August. Input from the community during those months is a lost cause. 

Children  are out of school. Families plan vacations. 

There was no reason to assume every member of Council would be at home.

Council was not polled  for availability.

There could be no indication on July 14th how many candidates might apply to fil the vacancy and how much time might be required.

Staff recommended each candidate be given ten minutes to speak. Council  reduced  it to three minutes.

But we still  have provision for. each Councillor to ask two questions. No time limit either for questions or answers. Ten minutes could easily be exceeded by another twenty minutes per Candidate.

A Council Meeting. Meeting is scheduled to follow . A Bylaw to appoint will  likely be  prepared and on the agenda  for passage.

It seems clear plans were  cut and dried  for someone's convenience.

I am not aware of  any consultation with Councillors at large.

Eighteen people have been asked to  accommodate  the meeting schedule.

If it doesn't take place,all will have been inconvenienced.

If it does take place without the full Council a  fair process will be denied.

Regulation  requires the seat to be filled by appointment. The appointment process does not require a public  election.

Nor is it required to be done before August 23rd.

The skies will not fall if the appointment is not made on July 29th

But many will have been badly served  in the process.









TWO TEAMS DO NOT MAKE A WHOLE

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "STUFF. HaPPENS":

Well, it sounds like the no-show excuses are already in from the three non-team players.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 24 July 2014 11:34

*****************************

And that sounds like the predictable response from  one or all of the team players. 

It sums up the problem with the current Council. 

It's not a lack if commitment.

Nor an unwillingness to put sin the time needed  for town business. 

It' s not a lack of conscience or even terrible enmity between Councillors. 

There is the occasional jab or like last week  the gang-up on Councillor Gaertner who dared to put a motion on the table for discussion. 

There is no tension in  Council Chamber on meeting nights.

No...the problem is not mutual hostility .......or serious disrespect.

The problem is not understanding what it takes to succeed. 

A divided Council. never knows the satisfaction of  overcoming all prejudices and achieving  worthwhile  purpose  in the community.

I repeat. It's not easy . It calls for  learned skills  and a particular level of integrity.  

If members do not  comprehend  and accept the complexity...it's impossible.

Each Councillor  has a responsibility to put forward a particular perspective. And to fight for it. to prevail.

Out of that, because the community's interest come first, solutions must be found to everyone's near satisfaction. 

It may not always happen but the effort must be made.And when it does ,satisfaction is immense. 

Forming  a  voting block  or "team" to ensure one way or another prevails is blundering ,inefficient and frustrates everyone. 

It's the modern simplicity method. 

Everybody knows how things should be done without ever having done it. 

Nobody has to learn. 

Google has all  the answers .

Consultants do all the thinking

Excluding  Council members not perceived as part of  "the team"  does not  fool all of the people any of the time. 

Voters  most certainly expect that once elected , a council will  work together.

A Council is not a team or Heaven forbid, two teams. 

A team scores points ...wins or loses.... the Club increases status or  loses place. In the end it's only a game. 

A Council is not in competition.  The objective must be to find ways to do things better ,at least cost, 
to maintain and if need be improve services and  to. make progress.

it doesn't happen with "teams " pulling against each other. 

A Council divided is inefficient .

Bureaucracy reigns supreme.

STUFF. HAPPENS

Staff received an e-mail this morning that Councillor Gallo will  not be able to attend the meeting on July 29th. The possibility was previously indicated.

 Councillor Gaertner has indicated difficulty with timing of the meeting.

Night before last I had a fall. My tailbone took a hit and moving about is proving difficult and more than a little painful.

I am hoping  a week will make  a difference  and I can attend.the meeting . But  sitting from three in the afternoon until eleven o'clock   or  possibly later,  presents a challenge.

Despite my total opposition to the process , the person  who should occupy the seat is entitled to  my vote.   I will do my best.

I have  notified the town of  my  situation.

If I can't make it  the  meeting could proceed with a quorum.

Regulations provide  until August 23rd  to make the appointment.  No indication of dreaded  and heinous punishment if it's not made by that date. But there is no imperative to make it on July 29th.

On September 12th, everybody  becomes a candidate,including the group electing to elect a single candidate to occupy a single seat for a matter of hours of town business.

Eighteen  people have been  certified as  candidates for the vacancy.

Two are electing not to participate in the  hokey process. My word not theirs.

Fourteen will attend.  Anticipating a fair  and impartial hearing.

Some may  take a day off  work. Perhaps forfeit a day's pay. The chosen one will be more than compensated.

If three Councillors  are absent, five will make the decision.

What if the choice is the one I speculated it would be.?

What are people supposed to make of that?



Wednesday, 23 July 2014

What You Just Said

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Rehash of a Rehash":

"A bylaw requires dog-owners to stoop and scoop on penalty of a fine."

There are a lot of scofflaws out there. After the spring melt, it's disgusting the amount of "pathogens" left behind from winter dog walks.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 23 July 2014 14:09

******************

Think about what you just said.

"After the Spring smelt, it's disgusting the amount of "pathogens" left behind from winter dog walks."

You  said.....left behind .

After melted snow left the scene, pathogens were left behind. They were not being processed through a treatment facility.

Probably at least ninety-five per cent of winter snow falls where there are boulevards ; built for snow storage. 

I live in the town. I've never seen  masses of dog poop in the Spring. 

I've been a Councillor for  the last eleven years, I've never seen 
a report on that particular health hazard.

I have observed  masses of litter in shopping centre parking lots after snow mountains melt.

Masses of pathogens left from winter dog walks?  No. I  would  have noticed that.

New subdivisions have storm water ponds ,constructed  at cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars,
adding to the price of their homes.

Their  purpose is to treat  rain flowing off roofs ,down driveways annd  off roads into the ponds. 

The expert theory is , pathogens sink as sediment to the bottom of the pond and allow  outflow 
of cleansed water to make it's way to the creeks,rivers and  finally Lake Simcoe .

It' s supposed to be an improvement over farmers' fields.

It's still unproven .

Not long ago we had an expert from South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority make a presentation to Council to warn us lake waters are still deteriorating.

Rehash of a Rehash

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Little Hiustory":

"It's good for everyone to be aware toxic chemicals are still buried in creek beds. They never lose
toxicity. It's wise to ensure they should never be disturbed."

Also remember that toxic chemicals are found in snow removed from roads and parking lots. They contain salts and other chemicals. When the snow melts, it should be contained and not allowed to enter the ground water.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 23 July 2014 10:27

*********************

The above  is the second  comment to point out the error of my ways in opposition to the million dollar  treatment  facility for melted snow.

$169,000  was spent on the design during the last term. Total price  at original conception was $750,000.

It was a capital construction item pending.

Snow was  being dumped in the gravel parking lot at the leash-free    dog park on Industrial Parkway north . Before that it was at the side of the railway where the community garden is now located. It had to be shifted when we sold the Jack Woods farmhouse property.

We need a snow dump for an average of  three months a year.

The  parking lot is permeable. When temperatures rise, the dumped snow melts into the grounds like everywhere else.

The proposal was  to pave the parking lot , construct  gutters  and channel  snow melt into a treatment facility  to remove salt and release treated water  into the  arboretum.

There was something not quite right  about it. I went to sleep  thinking about it. I wakened in the night  with a start  thinking;

Wait al minute...salt is soluble in water .It can't be removed .

Well ....the next explanation was "pathogens"  needed to be removed  from the snow melt. Salt was no longer held to be the problem.

O.K. So I'm not a chemist. What are pathogens ?

Animal excrement.

Animal excrement!!!! When was the last time  a dog  was seen squatting on  a snow bank on Yonge
Street.  No recollection comes to mind.

The next explanation was windshield washer from cars. It gets on the road and  gets plowed aside into the snow banks and has two be removed by treatment.

The  final offering  was the snow dump is in the well-head protection area. The aquifer must be protected.

Well,you know, by this time I am done  listening to explanations.  The treatment facility was deferred. But not removed from budget forecaste.

Back  it came, included in the  planned Joint Operation Centre. Now, it's a million dollars less the
$169,000 already spent on  the treatment facility design.  No longer identified  as a treatment facility. Now it's called snow storage facility.

Sly smiles around the table indicate appreciation of  sleight of hand in getting back with the program.

In my judgement, the project is a gigantic boondoggle. Part of  an. even more spectacular piece of feather-bedding.

A. snow  dump accommodates a fraction of the snow that falls in the municipality.

A bylaw requires dog-owners to stoop and scoop on penalty of a fine.

Where there  is salt  or windshield washer ,there can be no snow or ice.


It has been established salt is a soluble and except in Israelthere is no process to remove it from a solution.

In the second place where  there is  salt  or windshield washer there is neither ice nor snow.

No snow needing to be stored.

Snow is not collected from probably ninety-eight per cent of town highways and byways. It's left to melt where it sits. Apparently without concern. for toxic chemicals within.

Snow dumps have had to be moved regularly over the years.

If the permeable parking lot on Industry Street  North  is not the right place. Shift it.

Forget the cockamamie million dollar scheme to remove chemicals that can't be where they say they are.

If you have snow or ice,, you can't have salt and windshield washer fluid.

If you have salt and windshield washer fluid ,you can't have snow or ice.

You don't have two be a chemist or an environmentL engineer to figure that one out.

You do have to sbe fifty different kinds of a fool to allow yourself to believe it.



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Little History

Before WW2  Aurora was a bustling progressive urban centre serving  surrounding farmlands .
Farming families were as much a part of the  community as town dwellers.Mny were family-connected.

Flour mills,a rope works, Fleury Plough Works  a  brickworks were all part of  local industry.

Numerous tanneries lined the creeks north and south. Water was  power.

The tanning process required toxic chemicals.

They are still  in creek beds buried under many layers of  harmless sediment.

So long as they are not disturbed,  the chemicals are  as harmless as the sediment that  has washed down to cover them over the last seventy-five years or more.

Collis Leather was still tanning when I came to Aurora and became a Councillor?

A calf skin was the gift of choice, if needed   to present to a special guest . It was a  symbol of Aurora industry.

It's good for everyone to be aware toxic chemicals are still buried in creek beds. They never lose
toxicity. It's wise to ensure they are never disturbed.

It was the worst of times

I published comments critical of Grace Marsh this morning. I didn't want to.

I don't mind being accused  of being a hypocrite. I don't  like to feel like one.

I had at  Marilee Harris last weeks when I read of her bid for the vacant Council seat.

I let people say nasty things about Councillors and the Mayor .I doubt they or their supporters appreciate it.

The  point is  no-one is forced to put their name forward for public office. Criticism is part of the territory. Social media just makes it more convenient and more.....telling.

Grace is criticized for quitting. That she did is  undeniable.

But there is a factor that may not be so well known.

Grace worked for a  municipal tax  consultant operating in Canada and America.

Letters had gone  from members of that Council to employers of other Councillors.
The intent being to cause damage  to a person's employment.

Even as I tell it, the nightmare returns.

I don't believe it. should  be hard for any fair-minded person to understand the level  of tension the. situation provoked.

A candidate for public office certainly puts themselves out there and by so doing invites
disagreement,opposition and yes, criticism.

Deliberate intent to hurt someone , beyond political, is not  part of the deal.

A sacrifice no Canadian is expected to endure for the privilege of  performing a public service.

It happened to Grace and it happened to  others.

Five years later, I am still intent on making sure nothing like it ever happens  again.

The SLAPP  litigation was just a sample of the malice permeating the town's public affairs.

The poisonous environment did not happen overnight. It grew unabated for fifteen years.

It was the reason I returned to politics.  I knew the problem.

My children could not  become targets.

 My job  was not at risk.

After the 2006  election I knew things were going to be much worse.

And it was.  Very much worse.

Grace's resignation was just a small piece  of  the  foul and pestilential swamp.

I do not exaggerate . One had to be there to appreciate the full horror.

It should not be forgotten .

 I never saw anything like it before. It should never happen again.

With social media ,it might be harder to get a toehold

A Rationale

Grace Marsh is eminently well suited to fill the vacant seat on Council we are required to fill .

Apparently sixteen candidates  are certified.

One seat to fill.

One significant decision to make before the end of the term.

Like all others,the decision we make is on behalf of the electorate.

It's not hard. The question I ask? If this were a general election what would be the likely outcome.

Based on known facts, Grace and Bob would both be chosen.

A person is elected based on  a sufficient number of votes. More votes don't make a person more elected.

Major difference between Bob and Grace? Grace is currently Vice-Chair of the Committee of Adjustment. It is a statutory committee. Quasi-judicial. Functions at arm's length from Council.
Has independent authority .

If Grace is appointed to the vacant council seat, a vacancy is created on the Committee of  Adjustment which must be filled.

The  job requires experience. Grace's experience would be missed.

The committee meets when applications  are to be decided. .They do not break for summer recess or municipal elections. I believe they serve two terms or until they are replaced.

Committee decisions are to grant or not to grant . A tie vote does neither.The committee,absent a member, could be non-functional.

That's. an injustice to someone who has paid a fee of $2,200. and waited weeks for a hearing.

If it's unavoidable ,it  can't be helped.

It is not unavoidable.

A person who wishes to respond to Chris Watts position on the vacant seat,
must do it on his terms,  on his blog.

This is not a broker blog.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Family News

My grandson Keenan is on his way to England with Kari Chung ,his special girl.

They made a two day stop in Iceland .

Keenan asked  Kari  to marry him this morning .She said yes and. Keenan  gave her the ring ha brought for the purpose.

They are engaged .

Happy pictures on Facebook.

It means a wedding. The first of Heather and Andy's children to leave home.

A new satellite branch of the family to  be established.

They love little ones. There will be  more babies.

The family is ecstatic.

I am too.

I so love that my grandson is romantic.

Apologies for previous shortcomings.

On Friday I spent seven hours  writing a pos with the iPad.  I've been using it for months. A year maybe.

The small separate keyboard I bought has given up the ghost.  I'm getting used to the keyboard on the screen of the iPad.

After seven hours ,split in two shifts, I was proof reading the post and had arrived at  the end when POOF!!!   everything but the title disappeared.

My confidence was shattered. My ego shrank to the size of a pin head.

The iPad does things like correct spelling with no help from myself. It replaces words with others completely inappropriate or a bunch of letters without meaning.

I think there may be a devil inside or perhaps  a spell cast, to terrorize me into submission.

I acknowledge fear of my iPad.

I clicked on "publish " before the  last post could escape.

I am ashamed of  the bad  construction.

I proof read it  again. I hope it's adequate .

I'm afraid to roll it back for a final check.

I fear  the devil may reach out and  WHACK !!! ...make it disappear again.

I cannot allow myself to be defeated by a small slim piece of  twenty finger technology.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Early, in the term before last,I received a request  from a resident of Highland Green Conmdominiums. it was a small thing. The lady was in the habit of shopping at the Aurora Shopping Centre and trundling the goods home in a bundle buggy.

Could there be a cut in the curb on the south side of Gilf Links Drive that would allow the laden buggy to be rolled  off instead of lifted or bumped down onto the road surface.

I called the Director of Public Works to see what could be done.

I swear I heard a sigh at the other end of the line. The request had been made before and  he could not oblige. The road curved dangerously at that point . The town could not do something that would encourage a pedestrian to  believe it was safe to cross there.

Condo management was contacted. They did not support the request. Pedestrians  were encouraged to use the front entrance  of the building. It led directly to the Yonge Street sidewalk and  a
signalized intersection.

I could not  fault  the logic. I explained it  to the resident. The curb cut was no mu den to ask but in the circumstances it could not be done.

Her frustration I understood completely.

A second term passed I heard nothing. The Director of Public Works was first to abandon ship
In that term.

That's another story.

A third term arrived . A signalized  crossing at a cost of $85,000 was recommended  by The Director of Environment and Infrastructure. at the same curve in the road that was too dangerous for a cut in the curb.

Councillor Humfryes had received the same request I received seven years before.

Councillor Ballard lived on Golf links Drive .he confirmed  the location was absolutely the worst place for a  crossing, signalized or not.

It didn't happen.

A couple of years passed. Councillor Gallo requested a signalized crosswalk on John West Parkway.

Seniors living on the west side of the road  were taking their lives in their hands to cross the road to make their way  to shop  on Bayview or Civic Garden Park as it was then called .

It was provided at a cost of $85,000 or thereabouts and paid  for with development charge funds.

It brought back the question of  the lady who crosses Golf Links drive to shop with a bundle buggy.

The curve is no less dangerous. Now a  short stretch of sidewalk  is to be built at a cost of  $90,000.

It will be built across two double driveways ending at the  western edge of the second. A berm and a line of mature trees that screen the donut shop drive-thru with  microphone noise until the small hours of the morning is to be removed.

Residents if the five storey retirement building  opposite will have a new  but not improved  view from their windows.

I went to Tim Horton's to check things out.  I  parked and had a coffee. Saw a lady a with a shopping bag  walk down the existing sidewalk ,look from side to side and cross at the condo driveway.

All that was asked for was a cut in the curb.

A row of mature trees will be removed,  the berm levelled , removing a screen undoubtedly required by the town in a site plan approval.  The town ais spending $90,000 on. a short  weird stretch  of sidewalk literally  going nowhere while crossing two double driveways.

It may well be more dangerous to  compete with Tim Horton's drive-thru traffic than crossing Golf Links Drive.

I keep hearing how things have changed in fifty years since I first became involved in  the Town's affairs.

Yes sir?...Yes sir.....Three bags full sir!













The Choice is Not Between Equals

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Here's A Thought":

"A person who has never held public office. Has never competed in an election. May not even be known by many, may cast the deciding vote that plunges the municipality into mega millions of dollars of debt."

Is it better that some with experience on council cast the vote to plunges the municipality into mega millions of dollars of debt.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 21 July 2014 08:36

*********************

This is an interesting question.  What would be better?

It would be better if  the vacant seat  need not be occupied at this late date.

Someone asked about cost to the municipality?  A Councillor salary for four months.

There is not enough time to  have an experience Council, Certainly not enough to become familiar with the operation of a public institution. No time at all to determine how it differs from private  business function .

Certainly not  nearly enough time to win  confidence of taxpayers.

Never enough time to know if a person  could ever  win  sufficient votes to have authority for decisionsq on behalf of others.

Until the start of the next term,every  Councillor has been given that authority by  the voters.

I disagree with colleagues about the  spending on a works and parks garage and yard.

I do not challenge their authority to make the decision according to  judgement and conscience.

They were elected to do so.Now that we are required to appoint to fill a vacant seat...I believe the logical choice should be a person who has previously won sufficient votes to occupy a seat. Who left undefeated. Who has continued to attend Council meetings and stay on top of current events and is willing to accept appointment.

I do not know how he would vote on the Joint facility. I have not asked. Nor would it be appropriate for me to do so.

I believe he would be an acceptable choice to a majority of residents.

Since the Strategic Plan is the reason given for the extravagant joint facility I believe I know how Ms Harris would vote.

I also believe that vote would be the reason for her appointment .

Also the reason for going through  a cruel hoax with a pretext of an election.

I would not  ordinarily choose to make this choice.

Since the choice is forced upon me...that's my thinking on the matter.

Trees Removal Without A Permit

On Tuesday ,a recommendation to spend $90.thousand on a short leg of sidewalk was on the agenda.

It stretches from Yonge Street ,on the north side of  Golf Links Drive, to the western  edge of the double driveway of Highland Green Condominiums.

It includes that double driveway of Tim Horton's  drive-thru.

A berm and mature trees screen the  drive -thru from the multiple storey senior residence
on the south side of  the road . They would be a requiremed by the  town to allow a drive-thru to be in that location .

they will have to be removed to accommodate the sidewalk.

The  front pedestrian entrance of the condominium is serviced already by  Yonge Street sidewalk  south to the signalized intersection.

The south side of  Golf Links Driveway is serviced  throughout it's length by sidewalk.Paid for by the developer no doubt.

That side of the  donut shop parking lot is often busy with young people and their cars. It's a
gathering place.

There are a number of reasons why it's not a good place for a sidewalk besides those noted above. But the story of how it came about is even more interesting.

Tomorrow I will count the  number of trees to be removed.

 It's not mentioned in the report.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

A New Age ... "The Fourth Revolution" At The Grass Roots

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "It's Not Corruption":

I agree with both Evelyn & the person making that comment. But if you look at it another way, we have been most fortunate to avoid some very expensive follies. 


**********************

Yes ...that is a positive aspect; more so because I don't think it was random.

The internet means people are more fully  informed and more involved in the process.

It seems Councillors did  hear, paid attention and did get off the roller coaster .

The Mayor ,first to promote the heritage park fantasy with his title on the list of supporters, may have said what he did to save face ,when he had to cast a vote in opposition. 

He said first there is no benefit to the town and then .....I still think it's a good idea. 

Before the internet, a politician could make two completely contradictory statements in ak single sentence and get a pass. 

People  do not re-call what they hear. Only an impression of what  was said .

When it's written that's a different exchange.

That's  the difference . Politics can't be done the same old way. 

People can be take a more confident position because they are more certain of what they know. 

I don't give info that can't  be validated I don't  tell people  what to think, They decide. 

There's, a consequence.

People power headed off the  various catastrophies. 

We are in a new age and I am pleased to be a part of it.

It's Not Corruption

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Here's A Thought":

The Town of Aurora, according to a Media Release dated June 28, 2012, "approves Strategic Plan" - it runs to the year 2031.

It has "three Primary Goals and a number of key objectives to support a vision for The Town of Aurora as an 'innovative and sustainable community where neighbours care and businesses thrive."

There are a lot of pretty pictures in the 24 page document and all sorts of altruistic statements, objectives, dreams, prayers.


The Plan is to be reviewed every five years in order to make adjustments to the successes or failures.

Like all such documents it is a waste of money. The town will advance in small increments as its needs arise, and having a Strategic Plan hanging overhead will not advance Aurora.

So to those who have worked so diligently in the creation of this document I say thank you but your 

time was totally wasted and you certainly don't get any brownie points for any possible future endeavours.

Better luck next time.

But I do have a possibly dumb question. Since this Plan was announced just over two years ago, what 

has been  been  accomplished
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 20 July 2014 12:58
*************

Quite a lot has happened. Little of it accomplished by the town however.The July 1st Parade and Santa Under The  Stars always reveal  new buildings in the downtown core. 

North of Wellington and south of Mosely have changed dramatically.New buildings that can't be 
distinguished fromold  in the north and east side of Yonge. New commercial buildings blend in perfectly with commercial /retail in the south.

All of it private investment. None of it at the expense of the municipality.Applications continue.

Empty and  ill-used  spaces exist in the library area that call for town intervention.

The United  Church has asked for heritage designation to be removed from the k church site. We may assume  the  Church's Board of Governors intends not to re-build on the site.

We lament the reason but it  means opportunity for substantial renewal.The Church owns two houses between the site and Temperance Street.

It' s the reason I asked Council to  seek joint organization meetings with the Church to contemplate
possibilities between us. But that was a no go. The Mayor has it in hand despite being without authority from Council.

It might have fitted with the Strategic Plan ?   Obviously  not with the Mayor's.

I mentioned before we had a Strategic Plan. It was a simple, straightforward,sensible realistic statement of  goals and objectives. It needed nothing more than review and determination
of need for  renewal and adjustment if needs be.

Instead we  bought  $80.thousand  worth of bafflegab. We went further. We gave staff authority ti "implement "the plan

It resulted in several staff re-orgaisations that improved nothing. An army of managers were created.

$300 thousand was spent in preparations to re-locate town hall staff  for additions and renovations to the town hLl that never took place. Estimates were well in excess of budget approved and the plan was cancelled even without council consideration.

The decision pending on surplus buildings on library square since several Council terms ago ,got to the stage of to demolish.That was deferred to consider using the old library as a Fab lab in keeping with the Strategic  Plan.

It never happened .Neither did the staff recommendation that arose from  Council direction and time and resources and public input expended.....and wasted.

We spent months of  financial  and staff  resources following the will o' the whisp scheme to spend $11 million of  Hydro Reserves on a sham of a  Fantasy heritage park that came to nought and still it seems the Mayor sees it as a positive plank in his re-election platform.

The list is endless.

Not the least is the intention to decide to spend nigh on $30 million of a joint works and parks garages and yards  at the last  meeting of Council before Candidate Registrations close.

After an elaborate scheme to hold a public selection for  appointment to fill a vacant seat to guarantee a winning vote on the question.

Last Tuesday Council approved a recommendation to remove $814. thousand from the estimates.

it will still be spent on a scam of a  "Snow Treatment Facility" but the contract has been divided so  the amount can be discounted. From the whole.

It is all so puerile...so obvious... so pathetic....it is positively juvenile.

Readers may believe ....or not. The option is always there.

They should hope few will.

Because ...It is my perspective.......a damning Report on Stewardship.

I have previously cited  a wise old saying seen on a poster in the Office of A Medical Officer  of Health.

                                  It's not corruption you have to worry about.

                                   It' s stupidity.

The best that can be said   is ...there has been no corruption..... But stupidity and wasteland  been colossal

The Tiki Party

I had another beautiful summer day with the family at Georgian  Bay yesterday.

Mary and Steve host a tiki party at the cottage . it has been in Mary"s family for four generations now.

Mary's parents built it. Mary and her brother spent all their summers there. Their children never knew a time when the cottage wasn't part of their lives . Now family  lore of  another generation..

The  Tiki Party is  also part of the warp and weave when the family at large and friends of the family gather to enjoy the place and each other.

Five years old twin Reid is still asking the same question of different people.

Are you old.

It seems a neighbour's beloved dog died ? The ep,nation to Reid was the dog was old.

Reid has a great-grandmother. Moi.

He ha s cousins of his age.

His mother has cousins. Some have.children of his age.

Some are not much older than he is and they are great playmates who carry  him about  play games and cuddle  when he feels like it.
One of his kother's cousins is obviously an adult but she's great fun and the wail goes up;

"Are you leaving Stephanie"

Reid is obviously having a hard time understanding "old" in it"s proper context.He keeps trying.

*****************

So...we have someone who hopes for some more progressive minded Members in the next Council.

the town spent $25 thousand on a consultant study which indicated no merit in town involvement in a hEritage Park project.

A sunshine list Special Project Manager spent several weeks of his time on the project.

A mager if economic development spent his time on the project.

The Director of  Parks and recreation..not Leisure Services...they took that responsibility away from him ...was directed to prepare a feasibility study on the project. The ChO spent his initiative on the project.

Almost the entire Council pronounced their support for the project.

In the end , it came to nought.

A consultant study at a cost if $25,000  said....Don't do it. there's nothing in it for the town.

I believe the vote  not to proceed was unanimous .

But the last word was with the Mayor.

Discussion ended with his comment that he still believe it was a good idea.

Since candidates started registering, I have been hearing the idea is not dead. The proponents have been heard to state the project has simply been shelved for the time being.

Now what would that be about?

Winning votes perhaps ?   Or losing them?

What would Reid, my five year old  great grandson make of this conundrum?

Commitments being made perhaps....by one or both candidates for Mayor.

If by one.... choice is presented .  If by two.....no choice is available.

Will it form part of a platform.?

Or a wraith in the shadows that remains to take shape

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Life Is Full Of Surprises.

I have a minute and a little story to  tell. The Tacoma twins and brother Lane are here for their the annual Canadian sojourn with  grand-daughter and mother Vanessa .

We have not been together since last summer.

Reid climbed up on my knee and stared intently into my face.

Were you ever a kid, he asked.

I was...I assured him.

He poked a finger into my cheek and said ....Are you going to die.?

Yes  , I answered , and you will too when the time comes.

End of conversation.

He climbed down and wandered off to contemplate some other of life's great questions.

We were at Number Two Son" place for a family gathering.

Reid's twin Claire enjoyed riding around with me on my scooter.

At one point she held up her thumb to show me

her painted finger--nail.

Look Great-Grannie,,she said ....they always give me my full title....like yours .

I will write a post about the day when I have more  time.

It ended with son Frank giving us a concert . He sings and plays exceptionL guitar.

We were all around the camp fire . It was already dark.

The horses had already retired to the barn for the night.

We became aware they'd come back out and were clustered by the fence enjoying the music.

There's always something in life to marvel about.











Friday, 18 July 2014

Here's A Thought

I think the  tedious,lugubrious process of election by Council in which candidates ,all but one, are publicly rejected, and humiliated , is a sham.

A Canard... A Charade... A Cabal.....A Cruel trick perpetrated upon those who accept the town's invitation and in good faith put their names forward to be considered for the vacancy.

I believe : 'tis a foul and pestilential deception calculated to lull the masses into believing  ,all is  bright and beautiful, open and transparent.
*********+*******************
Altogether now ...repeat after me.
Witches All
  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

       2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 


 ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.  

****************************

I do not accept staff advice that council cannot make an appointment to fill the vacant Council seat without going through the lugubrious process of  publicly rejecting and humiliating all but one candidate in the phoney -baloney contrived election.

Richmond Hill used the format in December, we were told.

RIchmond  Hill could have held a  by-election in December.

After the election by politicians , controversy ensued.  The winner ,it was said,  was  the Mayor's candidate of choice.

I believe that was probable and more than likely.

 I  aalso believe we are about to see it repeated in Aurora.

Staff advise we have until August 23rd to fill the vacancy.

An "election " followed by an  Appointment Bylaw is planned for July 29th.

All wrapped up neat and tidy. No matter how many candidates are on the roster.

We are in summer recess. One meeting a month.

Why the hurry to fill a seat that will seldom be occupied?


Ah  yes  you might well ask. And therein lies a clue.

The  Joint  Operation Centre  contract award  will be on the Agenda of the August meeting.

Why is that important?

Because  the estimate is  almost $ 27 million.

The financing  plan does not  have  unanimous approval.

If bids are substantially  higher than estimates, someone on the yea side might get cold feet.

We are on the eve of  an election.

Not  optimum time to be  dealing with a price tag of this magnitude.

Never a good time to approve a horrendous expenditure without full or close to full support of council.

Former Councillor Ballard  was on the nay side

A Yea  vote in the  erstwhile Nay seat, improves the  odds of project approval and  public acceptance.

And might also provide support to a wavering Councillor. Safety in numbers and all that jazz.

So how might success be achieved?

Certainly not by leaving that vote to chance .

Marilee Harris is a candidate for the vacant seat. As a member of the Economic Development
Committee, the lady lays claim to  the magic formula of the Strategic Plan,  the document that cost $80 thousand and promises untold wealth and an "exceptional quality of life for all"

Sort of like Jack and The Beanstalk

Ms Harris is quoted as professing interest in what there is to learn in the waning hours of the current term.

By September 12th  all ranks will be in election mode. Until October 27th , not much happening  at the  Old Town Hall.

My bet says Ms Harris already has the votes  lined up for appointment to the idle seat.

A person who has never held public office.  Has never  competed in an election. May  not even be known by many, may cast the deciding vote  that plunges the municipality into  mega millions of dollars of debt.