"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

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

No Muse Today

The first thought in my head  this morning was something I can't tell you about yet.

I wakened from a dream that wan't  a nightmare but wasn't  pleasant either.

I don't know about  the budget.  If there were were no changes,it means the entire budget was approved as presented and as the Mayor intended.

It means I can't vote for it. I have to provide reasons. There are so many, I have to be selective.  It requires substantial thought and preparation. It won't make a difference. Except to people who think as I do and know at least  their voice was heard.

I dreamed  the moment had arrived and I was unprepared. The Mayor came to pick me up in a vintage  Rolls Royce. It was khaki coloured. The place was a church. It was filled with mourners. People were standing three deep in the aisles. I had to get into the  farthest seat from the aisle, against the wall,  in the last row. I had a small boy to look after  and  I  had to prepare my comments without anyone seeing

The mourner bit,I think, was from  news images  of North Korea.

The church was St.Mary's, Irvine.Ayrshire Scotland. Where I was baptised  before the date on my birth certificate, made my First Confession,First Communion  Confirmation  and married.

How weird was that! 

First  inclination in any debate, is to heap scorn on the heads of all who disagree. It would be easiest.  But not  smartest. And it's not allowed.

It contributes nothing to  debate. The obvious response would be name-calling. It might be fun to stretch one's imagination in that direction but it would certainly not be civil or  regarded as  proper decorum even in whatever sense that is in these changing times.

Which bring to mind something else that has been bothering me in the last year.

The  debate system we have pits  the  elected  directly against  the appointed  in any challenge to a recommendation.

It should not be. But when  Councillors request  staff to provide a  rational for  their  position, it is unavoidable.

The situation gets messier when  Councillors insist on introducing the question of staff competence by commenting on their excellent  work.

It's a slight against the Councillor challenging the recommendation.

It's a goody-goody two shoes  innuendo.

Any point introduced into a debate calls for a response.

How would it be if the person on the receiving end, decided to argue the point  in a public meeting about how well staff  can be perceived to be doing their job.

How does someone with weeks of experience  of public business rationalise  the comment?

What comparator can be used from limited experience ?

Take the time the Treasurer left his seat in a hissy fit , accusing me  of  accusing him of fraud because of the methodology  he  used for calculating water rates.
According to Councillor Ballard,  all  department heads took  umbrage and  left the meeting in support of their wrongly accused  colleague.

Everybody, except  those with ears to hear , thought I should  apologise.

I did no such thing.

Turned  out I was right about faulty methodology and people with meters being overcharged  for years   for  water.

I  accused no-one of fraud. 

My phraseology is usually carefully constructed.  

I  have yet to  receive  an apology for being wrongly accused by any person..

Things can easily and quickly turn  messy and  mean  and not  easily forgotten  in a public debate. 

This council spent months discussing  rules. If there's no  sense of what's right, rules make little difference.


Anonymous said...

So very sad.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there; it truly is the shortest day of the year.

Anonymous said...

Evelyn, Maybe you could see if we have all gone brain-dead by asking for stocking suggestions for Aurora's VIPs ? They could included everyone, Chris Watt,the Citizen people, Ron Wallace, politicians old and new, Alison, storeowners good and bad. We should probably try to keep it light and clean but who knows ?
I would start by putting an Apple computer in your stocking,
And a sense of humour goes to Councillor Wendy.

Anonymous said...

A stocking stuffer for the entire country. Helena Guergis is suing Harper ! Be fun to watch and not have to pay a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

A nice jacket from Winners for the shirt-sleeved guy at the Council table and tell him to stuff himself into it.

Anonymous said...

An eviction notice for the Cultural Centre, please.

Anonymous said...

Dear Evelyn:

Each of us is entitled to the dreams we experience and most of the time we know not from where they come or what they mean or why we have them. There is no theory of dreams that deals with this subject.

We should all try and navigate the waters of life with courage and a sense of anticipation, often never understanding why they carried us to our various destinations, with many stops along the way.

All of us should try to act with a sense of responsibility and duty to our fellows and try and do as good a job as we possibly can.

Those who are elected are usually quite ignorant from the outset and it is natural for them to turn to the professionals for advice and guidance. But they should learn and learn as quickly as possible so that the decisions they make are their own and not those of their advisors.

And the advisors should understand, that in their capacity as professionals, they have an obligation to propose the best possible solutions within whatever constraints may exist; time, cost, necessity.

The two are like a pair of hands; one, by itself, can't clap.

I cannot understand the continuing friction and apparent distrust that simmers in this great pot called Aurora.

If this does not improve it may be necessary to change some of the ingredients.

Anonymous said...

It probably wouldn't fit but I would like to cram Ballard's stocking with the realization that most people in Aurora simply cannot or won't spend $300. for a fund raiser with 3 hours of nothing and a bunch of donated, reluctantly, items to be auctioned off, It was a bad idea and should not occur again. But, I admit, it
will be a tight fit and I don't think we can squeeze it in past his ego.

Anonymous said...

Driving north up Highway 400 last night I approached the King Road exit. I noticed a new sign just south of the ramp (one of those blue ones listing the "attractions" at this exit). It was telling you that this is the exit for the "Aurora Cultural Centre".

I know for a fact that the MTO sells those advertising opportunities. How much did this cost the Town of Aurora? Why did council approve this cost?

No Name Please...

Anonymous said...

In Morris' stocking - a one-way steerage ticket to anywhere outside North America.

Anonymous said...

To anon 1:47 pm
Her behavior at the Heritage advisory committee is a concern and I think she may again be targeting an adversary.Not a politician however but a citizen.
She seems to hate it if anyones tries to tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

to Anonymous - Dec 24 @ 8:29 am

Is she not a citizen too... Our world is full of citizen vs citizen.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous - 22 December, 2011 9:07 PM

I think that you are wrong and Mr. Ballard has proven that with the fund raisers and other events that he is involved in. Who are these people that attend?