An item on this week's council agenda illustrates how council valiantly strives to deal with problems hanging fire.
It recommends staff negotiate an agreement between Canadian Tire and the Mosaic Corporation to provide lighting on a long dark lane belonging to Canadian Tire.
The issue was brought to the previous council's attention by a very angry resident of the town house complex on the eve of the last election. It was one of the first items the Mayor chose to deal with following the election. It occupied many hours of council discussion. Staff spent many expensive hours searching property titles and plan s only to discover many pages of dispute resolution mechanisms in a tri-party agreement governing the total development and that the lane was never intended to be anything more than an emergency access.
CAO John Rogers and S. Pohjola advised the town had no role in the matter. Mayor Morris bravely proclaimed she intended to provide aid to any citizen who asked for her help. There was a majority decision of council to hook Canadian Tire parking lot lights to the Town's street system. Aurora taxpayers were to foot the bill. It was represented as $300 annual cost for energy.
That was eighteen months ago. There have been no lights after ten-thirty pm since. This week's report recommends that staff be directed to prepare an agreement between Canadian Tire and The Mosaic Corporation. The parties are to pay fifty-fifty of the cost to hook the lights to the street system. The town will undertake to pay the annual cost of hydro and maintenance of the lights. They are currently burning at Canadian Tire's expense until 10.30 p.m. every night.
If there has been a meeting of minds between Canadian Tire and the residents sufficient to agree to such an arrangement, would it not make more sense for the latter to pay the annual cost of hydro and forget about spending almost ten thousand dollars to hook the lights to the town system? At an estimated annual cost of $300, the hook-up cost would pay for thirty three years of hydro. Where is the logic?
One is tempted to wonder why the report comes forward now, just days after the CAO was escorted from the premises of Aurora Town Hall? Was it one of the Mayor's orders he could not be persuaded to accept?
We currently have no legal staff. How can an agreement between private parties be facilitated by public resources? Are we to pay several thousand more to retain outside legal counsel to prepare the agreement and attend upon the parties? Where is the logic?
Ah Well! No doubt there will be taxpayers who think it's another admirable effort to resolve a problem and others like myself who think it's patently insane and political opportunism at it's worst.
In my judgement, it is misuse of public resources and most certainly does not meet the interest of the people we are sworn to serve.