"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

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Things Are Evolving As They Should

I've probably told this before.  At risk of being accused of repeating,  which will happen anyway, I'm going to tell it again. It's  less work that going back through four years and eight months of blogs to determine if I said it already

If I  said it  and don't remember, chances are you don't remember  either. So...it bears repeating.

When I returned  as a candidate in 2003, it was partly in response to being urged  to do so, despite great odds.  In  part, it was because of a serious concern at  the level of  gratuitous hostility directed towards veteran Aurora councillors  by the  latecomers.The disrespect and animosity was palpable.

I saw it as corrosive.  One way or another, it needed to be rooted out before it could take  hold.

It got worse before it got better.  Took longer to dal with than  expected. Vestiges still remain.Another election should take care of it.

The CAO , in the beginning, had been the clerk and before that deputy-clerk.The town's institutional history was in relatively good hands.

It was early n the term when I  spoke privately to the CAO about his obligation to keep Council functioning within the law. .

The vehemence of his response took me by surprise.

"It is not my job to ensure council  abides by the law" he said. "It's my job to inform them.. I can't make them abide by the law"

I had to come late to terms with a circumstance opposite to what I had always understood.

It had  always simply been the practice in previous Councils, if the clerk advised a particular action being contemplated was against the law, no further argument would ensue

You   can't have a legislative body disrespecting the law

.How could any  Council not understand that glaring contradiction?  

I  served under four Mayors. I had been Mayor for four years. I  never knew a time when Council did not respect the requirement to abide by the law.

The understanding was  rooted in the practice.

We had  riotous arguments. No shortage of robust debate.
We went at each other hammer and tongs with few holds barred.

But we observed the rules. We  respected our office, the dignity of Council and the community we served.

We never spoke of  righteous ethics or prayerful conduct.

Council's integrity was never challenged from within.

Our collective intelligence was frequently under fire. 

 But in the function  of  decision-making, Council was not degraded.

Aurora politics has an image for vigorous,hard fought,disagreement and steady commentary from  sidelines in Letters to the Editor.

Some things do not change. Nor should they. Honourable traditions deserve to have a place of honour.

I met a woman in Newmarket last week who felt sure we were acquainted
A Holland Landing resident, she  persisted, I must be a member of Holland Landing's  Senior Club.

Finally, I said  I was from Aurora. Immediately she knew my name and wherefrom she knew me. Our Council  meetings are a must watch on Cable in her house.

"It's  a good Council" she said ." I enjoy watching "

She was glad to have the  opportunity  to say so. For a mini-second  I thought it might  have  a wee thing to do with our common  accent

Holland Landing is in East Gwillimbury.  Newmarket is between us.
Georgina Council  may also be  available to Holland Landing

It happened once before,  Former Mayor Tim Jones and I went to  Cardinal Carter High School commencement in Woodbridge.

On leaving, we were stopped by a resident from Oak Ridges, who wanted to tell us how much he enjoyed watching Aurora Council.
Oak Ridges comes under the jurisdiction of Richmond Hill.  He was Italian.

In summary, it seems residents, who are not stakeholders in our affairs and can therefore be impartial, have a good impression of how  we conduct our town business.

Aurora stakeholders, for the same reason, are better able to discern various positions, logic and lack thereof and personal jabs. They can recognize , strength  and weakness, sly calculation, clumsy manipulation and various other acts of chicanery because it's all there  to see. Even what is not  is conspicuous by its absence. 

Viewers  are  pleased, angered, disappointed and disturbed. They are not indifferent.  They can and do  experience  and convey all the ups and downs of  their reactions.

We are an engaged community.

I think that's a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Georgina Council had ' almost ' decided to allow Rogers in when they experienced a tempest in their teapot. Were joking about wearing sparkles in their hair. No more jokes and Rogers is likely on hold.

Anonymous said...

The tragedy that has resulted in Aurora residents sending their Mayor and a majority of councillors to our equivalent to Coventry was watching them leave the 3 individuals who had actually been trying to collects real facts about the ACC out to dry before a mob of ill-informed bullies.

Anonymous said...

To 4:58 PM


Anonymous said...

"Former Mayor Tim Jones and I went to Cardinal Carter High School commencement in Woodbridge."

Why in the hell is C C having commencement in Woodbridge? That's almost as stupid of having a council meeting in King!

Anonymous said...

To 4:58pm

I agree with you 100% that members of council cowered to a mob.

The last second motion was a joke.

They caved like spineless jellyfish.