"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, 30 April 2014

A Potential Move Forwrad

I've just sent in three  Notices of Motion for next week's agenda.

They may  or may not be discussed.  A motion  must be seconded to be considered.

In any case ,they won't  be dealt with until the Council meeting after .

Two of them have to do with  museum and  heritage programming.

Council directed staff to call for expressions of interest  in operating a program.

Three proposals were received. One was from the Historical Society,another from the Culture Centre Board and the one that scored the highest in the competition  was a consulting firm. 

If awarded , it would of  necessity  be a business contract. 

The community within the community with  extensive knowledge and commitment to the town's  heritage would be excluded .

I've always thought that would be a mistake. 

Since 1976 until 2003  the town ,in partnership with the Historical Society , provided  an excellent 
program.  There  was the collection unique to Aurora   within a facility which itself was an outstanding artifact. 

Research services were provided on request. 

Summer camps were organized. Teachers brought classes  to the museum for enlightenment.

Christmas and other festival events were  celebrated .

The service wasmuch appreciated,  

Residents donated heirlooms to the collection.

The town funded  meaningful purchases  when  brought  to attention. 

There was a cost ; the curator's salary.  But overall  that cost was defrayed  by volunteer support. 

I  hope we can do it again. We don't have to re-invent  the wheel. 

It can't be the loosy-goosy arrangement it was before. There has to be a line of authority for accountability. We can't  allow the program to be wiped out  in a flash the way it was before. 

It means something or it doesn't. 

If it  does, it needs to be  woven  in to the fabric .

It is an enrichment for sure. Some may think of it as bling.  But it has its place

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The grass is greener

I finished a post. Now I'm looking out the window.  The wind is loud.   Nicely greening Cedar branches  are tossing about  while rain gusts past  and through them in sheets. The sky is a uniform grey and bare branches  twitch  and tremble.

It's warm in the house , light  shines from a lamp at my elbow.  The iPad screen that puts me in touch with whoever is reading is bright and clear,

A vase of tall flowers  stands on the table across from me. A gift . A tall pink orchid  in a pot. A personal indulgence of  blossom  that lasts for weeks and cheap at the price  for the  amount of pleasure it provides.

Outside is familiar and  full of lifelong memories. The kind of day  my unemployed father might come to school with raincoats and bring my sister Kathleen and myself home on his bicycle. I would be on the bar in front .  Kathleen would ride on the carrier behind , holding on to the saddle seat with her fingers.

The ride  was fast doon the brae from the moor where the school was . Past the slaughter  house  at the river's edge, Across the footbridge , along Waterside and round the corner to a  short quiet street with high walls on either side , past Meadow Farm that had a roses clambering over arched trellises in garden at the front of  the house and sometimes the chickens had wandered out on to the street.

Later in life, a day like this would mean wet feet and stockings , hands thrust into coat pockets , battling  against the  wind on the walk to the bus stop.  Umbrellas  are useless in  a strong wind.

The  cold bus  with vinyl seats, full of wet wool  smell  travelled through streets lined with miles of dismal rows of council houses  or a village , Springside,Dreghorn, or Crosshouse, with miners' rpws  of cottages on either side

 Stopping here and there to pick up a solitary figure cowering in the wind and rain waiting , or a crowd  pushing and shoving to get on the bus first  and get a seat out of the cold and wet.

If I go out today, it will be a few steps to my car in the driveway.

And Oh My Lord, never a day passes that I do not appreciate the difference.

The Virus Flourishes

Yesterday I confessed to writing a harshly criticall letter about John  McIntyre.

I said I may regret it. Or I may not.

I already do. I indulged the dark side. Everybody has one. It's just not good to let it loose.

There's no telling when the harm may end.

So...I'm stopping it now.

Yesterday a commenter went to a lot of trouble checkking tree prices and suggesting  staff estimates
for replacing boulevard trees are out of line.

Last  night I read the staff report.

It cost $350. to remove a stump from the ground. Because  of limited space  and utilities replacements have to go into the exact spot the dead trees occupied.

The trees were thirty years old. Replacements have to be sizeable. Bigger trees cost more.

The ice storm was a catastrophe and now we are having to pay the price.

It's great that citizens participate in  discussion by way of  blog.  If that is  the only advantage of publishing, it  is well worth while.

$88,000 is a substantial sum. Council has a decision to make.

We can do it or not. We can do part of it. We can plant smaller trees. But whatever we plant has to be
planted properly. We can't  plant without removing the stumps.

 It's an expensive  process.

I have the mother of all stumps in my yard that I can't afford to remove. The  tree  was cut down before the ice storm and that was expensive.  I hate to look at dead branches .

But here's the thing. Council  has just directed staff to treat  park Ash trees against  Emerald Ash Borer at a cost of $38,000.

Staff did not advise it. The idea was suggested by an advisory committee  member.

Councillor Gallo ,Ballard and Gaertner feel citizen commitee members suggestions should  be  adopted because they are volunteers.  People can't be asked to volunteer and then disregarded.

EAB treatment costs $145. a tree.

All trees but one destroyed in the ices storm were ash .  Genetic treatment  for fast growth may have contributed to weakness.  Thirty-eight  were treated last year  at a cost of $5,500. The investment was wiped out by the ice storm .

$38.000 has been approved to treat ash trees in the parks. Another ice storm could  destroy all of them .

Emerald Ash borers are not the only villainous contributors to the plan.

$38,000 almost covers  the cost of removing  stumps to allow replacement  of boulevard trees.

Staff are the contact with  residents  Their advice to Council is to replace boulevard trees.

Should staff  or volunteers advise?

Should  Council  or volunteers decide?

Like Councillor Ballard, Councilllor Gallo  and Gaertner  took lessons  from their master.

And  like the Emerald Ash Borer , the infestation continues to thrive.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Sold Out...Bought Out...Shut Out and Turned Out of our rightful home

I've written a harshly critical letter of John McIntyre to the Aurora editor.

I may regret it. I may not.

I don't linger over battles lost as a general rule, There's no point. One does one's best .

The  loss of Church Street School  as the  obvious location to honor the town's history has been a
bitter  pill I have yet to swallow.

I feel the community was betrayed. Not by Mormac and her coterie . I never expected better of  them.

No It was the Aurora Historical Society that let us down.

They were part of the ad hoc committee titularly headed by  Councillors Gaertner and  Granger
that displaced the museum. Historical Society members had to know what they were up to.

I  may  never rid myself of the suspicion they were bought out by  a promise of  library status and financing and funding  for maintenance of Hilary House.

John McIntyre would know very well what was going on. The experienced  and highly competent curator, appointed by the Society to replace Jacqueline Stewart quit in the middle of  organising the heritage and culture centre, Society members had to know that was the end.

Yet they said  nothing.

When I looked behind for support during the fight to get it back, they were not there.

I remain confident the community will not settle for  how things are. But nothing the Historical Society has done or said has helped to change it.

They continued to claim the museum grant and more  ams use it for a different purpose.

While they took the pound of flesh and the Culture Centre wolfed down a ton of it., not a pittance was provided  for the town's heritage in artifacts in the  annual budget.

When expression's of interest were called to operate the museum, both  organizations put bids in to operate it .......at a price.

Notwithstanding the  munificent hand-outs both receive.

I regard it a brazen insult to the taxpaying community.

Now the HistoricalSociety offers all the valid  reasons why the contract should not be  awarded to a commercial  operation.

We were sold out.

Now they are shut out.

The community loses out.

And nothing  worthwhile is achieved,

Trees and Birds

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Surrealism in Municipal Politics":

If the tree is taken down without a permit, what would the bylaw or the neighbour be able to do about that!? What is done is done!


The current tree bylaw permits  removal of up to three trees without a permit.

The average urban lot is unlikely to be affected.

A new bylaw has been written but not  adopted .

It's  more rrestrictive.  Application  fees can be paid. Staff can carry out the process . Approval can be recommended. Council can still deny the permit. 

You don't get your money back. 

Fines  under the bylawfor trees removed without a permit  are  horrendous.

It's  the new puritanism. 

If they could the tree huggers would still be burning witches at the stake. 


It was a former  heritage planner who rejected a design because she didn't like it,.

The account served to make the point. 

A restrictive bylaw registered against title of  ptoperty may be intended as merely a guide.

There is no guarantee.

A heritage planner may be appointed.  Academic credentials  may be the best.

A question of judgement remains to be seen

Appointments are  initially for a six month probationary period.

If the person recommending confirmation  at the end of  probation  does not exercise judgement, the outcome may not be good.

A comment  last week  noted how much worse misjudgements  are at higher levels of government  and how much greater the cost.

It's true. We see it every day.

It's why local government  was  always most satisfactory.

Then they introduced  four year terms  of office.

Accountability is not the same any more.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Surrealism in Municipal Politics

I  am always puzzled by average citizens willingness to accept and trust and cite the authority of faceless bureaucracy.

This week has been a roller coaster of  similar circumstance.

Tuesday's  Council meeting was almost surrealistic. It was over in  less than an hour.

One  agenda item was a report from The Director of Parks and Recreation.

A Park  was re-named in honor of Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee .

Councillor Ballard proposed names of  medal recipients awarded for the occasion be displayed also. 

Council agreed . 

I didn't.

On Tuesday Staff  reported ,despite a thorough search, ten recipients could not be traced . One was  and declined to have her name posted on a plaque. Two others were familiar. 

After lengthy discussion, Council decided to plaque the names of the missing parties anyway. 

Turns out the Governor General had  sixty-thousand  medals minted and distributed. 

So the Queen serves sixty years  and sixty thousand Canadians get medals.

 Ten of whom could not be traced in Aurora.

 But will appear on a park plaque anyway. 

I didn't vote for it then either.

I called for a number of recorded votes that night. I had the feeling there should be something on the record to prove  Tuesday's  meeting  really took place.

There was little else to commend it. 

At Wednesday's Planning Meeting, citizens were  assured  by staff report that  control exercised by the municipality  under a District Heritage Designation  is minimal. More of a  design guideline  than anything else. 

A resident came forward to tell of his experience. 

An architect was directed  to design a Carriage Entry for his new home. He felt it would be truly in keeping with vintage character of the neighborhood. 

Three times  plans were presented and rejected. Finally he asked why.

"Because I don't like it " replied the heritage planner. 

If it isn't bad enough to have a restrictive bylaw registered against  title of private property, the 
extent and quality of control entirely depends on the judgement  of  whoever has the position of heritage planner. 

 Some decisions must be made by the Heritage Advisory Committee. 

Who, except  for two , are not elected .

They are chosen on the basis of  a resume they wrote .  That  nobody checks. For all anybody knows,  they could be highly imaginative, medication controlled, escapees from a lunatic asylum.

Or ....They might not be medication controlled but  they got the  POWA!!!!!

The rest of the week was taken up with the problem of a small engine repair shop operator.

While the Mayor and other high-flyers went  about the country waving $11 millions under the noses of snooty academics,  town bylaws were busy driving  the guy who repairs  our lawn mowers,snow-blowers and weed-eaters out of  business.

That story is not yet complete so it must keep. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

What will be ,will be

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Everyone knows skunk when it sprays.":

The complaints about the Public Meeting boil down to the fact that the supporters of the Heritage designation kept interrupting their speakers with applause. Ray... Ray... cheerleader nonsense. They were asked to stop so that proceedings could continue & told that if they refused to behave they would have to leave & be allowed in as each spoke. That seems to have been offensive. Go figure.


Thre were no complaints about the Public Planning Meeting  on Wednesday evening, The opposite is true, Appreciation was expressed on  both sides for the excellent order of the exchange, 

There was no name -calling. "Fear-mongering " was the only accusation, So ridiculous in the circumstance, it did not rate a response. 

An exchange of views about a significant issue was conducted with extraordinary civility.
The Mayor  and staff had clearly given serious thought to how it might be accomplished . The
care and attention was effective and the meeting proceeded to everyone's satisfaction.

Residents appreciated Council's willingness to listen.

Council appreciated the civility  and respect of speakers on both sides.

From my perspective, the only false note iccurred when Council failed to make a decision.

The study was undertaken at the request of a few.

The majority were galvanized to make their strong opposition known to Council.

They will not accept heritage designation on their properties at any cost.

Whatever it tales to stop it,
that's how it will be.

Despite all the years of behind the scenes effort referenced by John McIntyre of the Heritage Adcisory Committee in his letter to  The Auroran this week.

Here a fall,there a fall, everywhere a potential pitfall

So ...we are not  in the running for a satellite campus. As far as I'm concerned  that's a relief.

We will not be giving away an $11 million dollar gift .  We wil not be buying a pig in a poke.

The Mayor is  naturally disappointed.  He is effusive in his commendations of staff who worked so hard on the presentation. Pleased how well it was received. Feels we have set the foundations for great things in the future.

The  Mayor is  careful also to commend staff who filled in  while superiors were occupied with big important stuff.  He thanks  "all" of Council for support.

Pardon me while I turn my head and indulge an evil smile behind my hand.

York has chosen the south end of the Region. We don't know what prize was offered. It  matters not.  If  a satellite campus to be closer to the megalopolis was the objective,  they knew that from the beginning.

What  game were they playing  by inviting municipalities to  do all the work of preparing an offer that could not be refused ? If I were Mayors or big wig of our municipalities,who swallowed the bait,  I would  be more than embarrassed by ingenue exposed ....deflated from high expectations and positive thinking..... angry and humiliated by being taken in, used for their purpose and tossed.

It's not very nice of me to be rubbing it in?

Why should I be nice about it? I was appalled by the proposal.

If  no lesson is learned  it is doomed to be  repeated.

What do Mayors of small but expensive municipal bureaucracies  know of  the business of operating a university.  Nothing  at all, that's what.

Why should we ?  No reason at all.

Do residents expect it ? I don't think so.

What do they  expect?  That we will do the best,for the least cost, of providing  municipal services second to none.

Oh My Goodness ...how tedious ... how dull...how boring.....no glory there.

What's the point  of being Mayor if you can't be heroic, a person of  brilliance and accomplishment ?

Therein lies  a potential pitfall .

Mountains, contrived to climb, become slippery slopes of significant incline.

The makings of  mediocrity and ridicule.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Everyone knows skunk when it sprays.

We did not buy land to offer to York University.

We signed a commitment to buy  if  the bid was successful.

Anyone who attended Wednesday's meeting would have to  realise every person who had anything to say  had full freedom to say it.

Two special speakers from the neighborhood  took the podium. They were surely  longest-time residents; one a lady of eighty -six years and the other eighty -four. Both proud to proclaim their age and position on the question.  One for either side.

It cannot be suggested all sectors of the  neighborhood were not heard.

Whoever does so has mischievous intent.

We've  seen enough of that to recognize it for what  it is.

To-morrow ...To-morrow ...It's only a day away

I an fine.

It's been a hectic week.

A steady stream of e-mails from residents of the S.E. central neighborhood  called for response
A handful are in support of designation. A deluge  are opposed.

I try to stay on top of  it.  I don't hesitate to state my position and the reason.

If my opinion counts for anything and  influences others, so be it.

Hearing is  important.

But I didn't run for office to perch on the sidelines.

Or  wait for people  to tell me what I think.

At a meeting a  few weeks ago, decision was deferred to get answers to questtions.

It was clea the majoority were opposed even then.

The process was begun because of a request that came from residents.

It makes sense  to stop it when a majority express their opposition.

On Wednesday we received a 40 page  staff report providing answers.

It was a Public Planning Meeting.  Everyone who has anything to say on the issue before Council has the opportunity to say it at a Public Planning Meeting.

It's the law.

And they did.

The conclusion was obvious.

The nays had it.

But ...guess what... Council decided  on a vote 7 of 2 to repeat the process; another meeting and more input from staff.

Mayor Dawe and myself were the two.

It means  both sides will  have to  keep working. One to hold their edge. The other to change the outcome.

Neither side can relax.

On Wednesday I found myself still at the computer  responding to e-mails at 4.51 in the afternoon.

Other things happen.  Someone else needs help.  I need to  take that matter in hand as well.

So,,, the week flew by... and  no post.

I will to-morrow.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Price of Legend

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No names..No pack drill":

Capability Brown, during the 18th century designed over 170 parks.

He has been called "England's greatest gardener."

He planted many of what are today referred to as "Heritage" trees.

I wonder what one of his parks would look like in Aurora

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 23 April 2014 13:13


In 1956 the worst fog  in history enveloped London for weeks. Thousands of elderly and  people with bronchial problems suffocated  and died. 

The government  was forced to take action  and institute smoke-free  zones. . Only anthracite,
non- sulpherous - smoke- producing hard fuel could be burned. Gradually the zones were extended  until London's air once again  became breathable. 

Old photographs of  urban centres anywhere in the U.K.  show grime and  greyness of constantly smoking chimneys. 

The first thing that impressed me about Canada  was how high and how blue was the sky.

Years after  prohibition on  coal burning  , Harrow-smith gardeners'  magazine did a study on the 
effect on English  gardens. 

The Legendary gardens were no more. Turned out pollution was good for growing and vibrancy of colour. 

The same  effect can be noticed  around Hamilton ,Ontario . You can feel the grit between your teeth 
but rambling roses  climb the chain link factory fences and multiply like dandelions. 

I think  parks in England were probably similarly affected. They don't  experience  heat and extremes of temperatures like ours,  They  have four distinct seasons.  They likely still have beautiful flower beds. But not like they were in the  smoke and soot-filled atmosphere of the nineteenth 
and twentieth century.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Separate the men from the boys

Dear Mayor and Councillors
My name is John Pearson  and I am the owner of 36 Victoria Street. I concur with the article in the Municipal World, February 2014, "current and future owners who wish to alter the exterior, renovate, or replace, or demolish the structure face a long and uncertain review process. Typically the authorities can delay such actions, impose penalties for noncompliance or "illegal" work or, in some jurisdictions, simply and unequivocally deny the request".
My experience in consulting with The Heritage Program Planner, which is required as the  property is "listed",  would verify the above  article.
For this reason I do not want a BY LAW registered against my title forcing Heritage Designation on my property or that of my fellow neighbours
Thank You

A Public Planning Meeting will be held at the town hall tomorrow night. 

A  report giving the entire history of  a consultant study with appendices attached  should be accessible on the town's web site . It is part of the program. 

No better example  exists to illustrate how a  "Study"comes about on a pretext of  demand from the community .

Get the popcorn and chips and whatever libation is to your taste and settle down to watch the shoot-out  at the old coral.

A determined effort  will be made to keep the  study going. 

An even more determined fight to stop it  in the here and now is on track. 

I am  wholeheartedly with the opposition. 

For the life of me , I see  no reason why anybody in his or her right mind would voluntarily agree to a restrictive bylaw being  registered against  title of their property, to be administered no less, by a faceless bureaucracy.

Furthermore, no business case  has been made to suggest  neighborhood heritage designation is of any benefit  whatsoever  to the municipal corporation. 

Council can and should  make the decision at the Public Planning Meeting. 

They may not. That's happened before.

This is not the first hearing.  A delegation expressing strong opposition has already presented. 

Council members, in favor of the project, expressed themselves surprised and astounded by the strength of opposition.  They stated they were certainly opposed to imposing something not supported by the majority.

Since then,  a measure of reversal appears to have happened. 

 Forces in support ,mainly staff ,consultant  and original handful of proponents, have presented  purported rebuttal on shaky premise. 

Opposing Forces  continue to gather strength  each and every day .

Powerfully worded e-mails from people with deep roots in Aurora have been forwarded to Mayor and Council .
Desperate accusations  of lies ,misrepresentation and worse have been hurled  by  proponents at opponents. 

Who , in turn, have held their ground and maintained dignity.

I  do not suggest to-morrow's meeting starts out without bias . 

Au contraire 

The outcome is not a foregone  conclusion.

This fight  will be well worth watching.

To coin a phrase ...  or two ....

it will separate the men from the boys....

the women from the girls.

This One Is Personal

The Easter Feast was at my house.  Lately the  gathering has been  at Heather's . Andrew and
Rhonda  hosted Christmas  last year. Everyone brings  a dish .

I  always roast the beef and make gravy . Crock pots are great for  keeping meat balls  and sauce
 simmering hot.

Between  you and me, it's not the same if  not at my house.

No small part of the  feast is  a house redolent with the aroma of beef roasting five hours and piquant sauce for the meat balls. It flows out the door  in welcome  and  puts a smile on everybody's face.

I can't help it. I  have this conviction  about details. I think it's a gene from my maternal grandmother.

My grandfather's porridge was  served with cold milk in a separate bowl so the porridge stayed hot
and defined in it's own dish.

Mashed potatoes were mounded, sides marked with fork tines.  A depression  on top, shaped  like a volcano was  filled with a  small pool of  melted ,creamy yellow butter,

Ayrshire potatoes with a floury texture are considered superior. Golden Wonders are the ultimate.

My grandmother made the simplest of homely tasks into artistry and precision.

Of all my children, Heather is most mindful.  Everyone else depends  on Heather to look out for Mum.

But her own house is full still.

Every one there is very comfortable with Mum looking after things and Dad being  best friend.

As Adam's life  grows more full and satisfactory, Heather's  life  is a continual round of fund-raisers, organizing,  and transportation to weekly games, events and tournaments.

The more normal Adam's life becomes, the more frenetic his mother's .

Yesterday was Heather's birthday. She was born  in the early hours of Easter Saturday morning.

Om his way home from work, Adam went  to  the new supermarket on Yonge Street in
Newmarket and bought pink carnations and a gift card for dinner  for two at Swiss Chalet.

He snuck out of the house in the morning without  wishing his mother Happy Birthday.

He had a  secret plan.

It was without a doubt, the loveliest of gifts,

Monday, 21 April 2014

No names..No pack drill

I received a comment  positing several ways of initiatingg support for a mayoralty candidate as opposed to  simply usurping the title.

The thought occurred , a mite tardy perhaps, blog could be used to promote  name recognition.

I  removed comments that could be abuse..

 I did not count them..

The person who noticed the deletions did though.

From hereon comments that include  the name  will not be published.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A Slip Of The Finger

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Look Out World,,, Here we

Is this the same guy who was quoted in the Auroran last term saying, " My
religion does not allow me to lie. " ?


Accidentally deleted

Why Oh Why

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Look Out World,,, Here we come":

Trying to put a positive spin on reversing his original dumbass move:

"Dear friends, family, Aurorans, the last ten days have been exciting. Letters of warm wishes, phone calls and emails have been overwhelming. In the last 36 hours, I have received a number of complaints about the name of this Facebook page. These complaints are enough for me to take action and to consider all opinions. Effective today, the Facebook page will now be named as “Gallo for Mayor”. Thank you, John"


What an intresting start to a campaign.

It would indeed be surprising if Councillor Gallo did not receive overwhelming good wishes from friends and family and supporters when they learned from  Facebook he was entitled to call himself Mayor.

Why would  friends and family and supporters think otherwise.

They wish him well. 

There it was. In  print.  In black and white.

He's a  registered candidate. 

He has sworn  an oath that he is who he says he is.

As a  registered candidate he is plain John

His name will not even appear on the ballot as Councillor

How  could he not know he cannot use  a title unless he has been elected to the office?

He has been in office six years . 

He  has been a candidate twice.  Once faileded. Once successful. 

He once  asked  a successful candidate to step aside for him. 

Wht would he do that?  Who would tell him that was acceptable behaviour? Why would he listen?

How could he not know a  candidate has to be elected to have the right to use the title?

Where is there room for misunderstaning ?

The decision to remove  the  Facebook title  of Mayor was not his to make. 

Any more than the claim he made the decision. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Look Out World,,, Here we come

We had an ice storm in December.  Everyone acknowledges it was the worst in living memory.

Trees and branches laden with ice cracked and fell and were immediately frozen to the ground and for several weeks added ice encased them and  snow covered them .

The winter continued ...on an on.

Finally in April, ice receded and  the full extent of  disaster  is exposed.

Weeks pass and  there is no indication of collection of what now constitutes yard waste.

A  question  at last night's committee meeting elicited no plans.

Other than the  explanation of a collection in January.

I knew about that.Debris by then was mounded under the snow and
stuck fast in ice.  No possibility of collection.

It was a critical time and more than enough criticism flying about. I said nothing.

But now.

Now we are engaged in a  frenzied  plan  involving  a committed giveaway of millions  to attract a
university campus .

While we apparently have no plan to deal with debris from the worst ice storm  in living memory

Basic service is not  available but Oh My ...we are movers and shakers and practitioners in the high -wire  world of academe...with millions to scatter  about on the path to fame and fortune.

Yoo..... Who ....what's another $70 thou

Last night was a committee meeting of Council. It was over in forty-five minutes.

I pulled  a Memorandum from the Planner  for discussion. It recommended approving $70,000
for  a Tertitiary Plan on the Community Improvement Plan which is  a Secondary  Plan included in the Official Plan .

I did not vote in favor of the Secondary Plan which is the Community Improvement Plan to provide funds for improvements like patterned sidewalks and street furniture and loans and grants to property owners needing to repair and maintain their properties. 

Street improvements are simply upkeep of existing service and operational in nature.

I do not favour taxing home owners  to help  business  property owners to maintain their property.

It's a matter of principle. 

I am therefore not in favor of spending another $70,000 on a study of how to accomplish the objective 
in a tertiary area of the downtown .

The funds are already in the budget. Which the Mayor has proclaimed  for all to know is a perfect example of prudent fiscal management. 

The vote last night not to spend $70,000  at this time was 5 to 3. Councillor Gaertner was absent.
Councillor Gallo was in the chair .I didn't notice how  he voted. Councillor Ballard and Pirri 
voted to spend. 

Councillor Pirri did not understand  the opposition. The  Director assured him the work would mostly be done by staff.  A traffic engineer  would be retained to advise on  traffic congestion.

I  did not understand why Councillor Pirri  did not understand why  $70.000 was needed  over and above salaries, if staff  did the work. 

Neither  did  I understand why hire a traffic engineer to solve a problem of our own making. 

In the last term,  millions were spent reconstructing roads in the north- east quadrant. Then 
 $220,000  were added , not on the advice of staff, to build an obstacle course to  prohibit  said roads from being used for the purpose intended; smooth and efficient movement of traffic. 

The plan was designed by a consultant who met with residents to determine their desires. The fee was $20,000.

This Council spent $59,000 to correct part of the problem and removed pesky chicanes. but did nothing about roads deliberately dead-ended to  keep the traffic on Yonge. 

Because people who like to live in the centre of things and enjoy all the  amenities but do not 
want to suffer the inconvenience of living in the centre of things and  at certain times  on certain days of the week, having traffic on their streets other than their own.

What traffic engineer would look at that situation and not immediately identify the problem and refrain from stating the obvious even if he was paid a fee  of $70,000 to do otherwise. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

New Bulletin on the Church


There was a site meeting yesterday at the United Church, with representatives of the Church, Central York Fire Services, the Insurance Company, Priestly Demolition, and members of our staff.

As you may already know, the building was completely gutted, and the west wall was totally gone. The side walls and the front wall were still standing (although rather precariously).

The conclusion is that the side walls and the front gabled wall must be removed in order to make the site safe. Equipment is being moved on site and, weather dependent, demolition may start today.

The sidewalk and curb lane in front of the Church will remain closed until the site is made safe. And, the pedestrian signal at Mosley will be deactivated until the lane and sidewalk have been reopened. Additionally, Tyler will be reduced to one lane due to the same safety concerns.

It is anticipated that the demolition will take up to two weeks.

Finally, you may have seen the update from Chief Lang. The cause of the fire has been listed as accidental as a result of the roof repairs that were going on. Further, the Fire Inspector from the insurance company has confirmed that Central York Fire Services conducted themselves properly and in accordance with their standard operating procedures.

Geoffrey Dawe

Town of Aurora

The information contained in this message is directed in confidence solely to the person(s) named above and may not be otherwise distributed, copied or disclosed.   The message may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection and Privacy Act.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately advising of the error and delete the message without making a copy.  Thank you.

What Does It Take ?

A weekend comment pondered what it takes to be a politician.

If posed with a view to becoming a politician, the questioner does not have what it takes.

If you think it's about pleasing all of the people all of the time...it's not.

If you think about pleasing most of the people ,most  of the time...not that either.

If you  think it's about trying to guess what people want...nope

A couple of  perfect examples crossed the ether this week-end.

Negative  comment  made about candidates being on location when the Church burned down.

Then another  about a candidate being there and leaving  for an appointment at the Cardinal golf course, which "showed  where his  priorities were "

I referred to the Mayor explaining extent of damage to the Church  at the Home Show.

A comment came through... "Aha!!  campaigning at the Home Show Eh!

Later an e-mail  received  by Councillors about only two being seen  at the Home Show and the lack of interest would be "remembered  at election"

Small business expects politicians to pay them attention .

The Town  has a  Chamber membership.
Pays $thousands for a "platinum" sponsorship every year.
Buys a table at the Annual Mayor's luncheon.
Tickets to the Annual Dinner  costs $thousands.
The  Chamber building sits on  land leased from the town.
The  Chamber is represented on the Town's Economic Development Committee.
 Yonge Street is closed for  the Chamber Beer Garden the night before the street sale.
And closed again for  the  day of the Street Sale.
The  Aurora Home Show is possible by virtue of an excellent town venue, closed for all other purposes and revenue ,to accommodate the event....renamed this year ...The Chamber of Commerce Home Show.

There's appreciation for you.

Under the circumstances, I believe small business  in Aurora is  well-enough served by the town.

No  apologies are due for  lack of attention or partnership with all their endeavors.

But despite  that , one Chamber member at least, is sufficiently displeased to register a complaint
by e-mail.

Trying  to please divergent opinion can easily twist  a politician into a pretzel before your very eyes.

It's a pitiful sight to behold.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A Book of Condolences

A Book of Condolences is available at the Town Hall for the Honorable Jim Flaherty.

Mr  Flaherty  and his wife, MLA. Christine Elliott were responsible for  changing  forever  the lives of thousands, like my  grandson Adam . Providing opportunity to demonstrate ability  never seen before.

In Aurora ,Able Network meets in the Anglican  Rectory behind  the church.

In Oshawa, the group  meets at the Ability Centre.  Mr. Flaherty is there until the State funeral to be held on Wednesday at St. James Cathedral in Toronto.

The late Minister  of the Crown held many important positions. Deliberated with the world's most powerful movers and shakers.

In the end, it seems those who meant most to himself and his family were like my grandson Adam.

The Flaherty family used their opportunity to make a difference .

Lives  have  been enriched in a way that can only be imagined.

The Book of Condolence is a way of saying Thank You and God Speed.

Church Bulletin

The fire was  out on Saturday. Water has to continue to be poured on to make sure it doesn't start up again.

One lane of traffic  and sidewalk in front of the Church is closed  during demolition.

The intersection with Mosley will not  be in service while demolition  of unsafe structure

Bathurst Street is recommended.

The Mayor has made the commitment on behalf of the town to provide whatever help we can at this tragic time.

A careful assessment of what might be saved  is to be made;

Offers of help are flooding in.

A Lesson Learned

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sing a song of sixpence":

"Officially" the Hydro Building WAS NOT occupied by anyone. It was vacant, there were no interested purchasers.

The Parks department may have been using the facility to make picnic tables and storage, but they were squatters.

You can be revisionist but that is the reality. 


The comment  above is published to illustrate how determined people can delude themselves,
would delude others if they can get away with it . All without naming themselves. 

The hydro building was vacated by Power stream without notice. 

Nigel Kean. a councillor proposed it be used as a teen centre. An election was in the offing, .Kean was making a bid for Mayor. 

The incumbent Mayor  jumped on that wagon and agreed. 

I noted  twenty-seven jobs had been lost.  Assessment revenue on the building would be $69,000 a year. The  property should be sold. 

In the meantime, the parks department , a town operation .moved into a  town property  and proceeded to make good use of it.

Office space provided storage for town archives.

The yard provided storage for a barn that had been carefully dismantled  and moved to the location;heritage salvage,

During one season, a handsome gazebo was pre-fabricated  ready for  erection in a park in Spring.

The suggestion that parks were "squatters "  is preposterous.

There were inquiries if and when  the property would be offered for sale.

The property was never declared surplus to  town needs.

To the contrary. it was deemd to be needed in  a space needs report.

It was never listed for sale.

That there were no interested purchasers is craven falsehood.

That the property was a liability to the town is  nefarious untruth designed to deceive.

The decision  made can be explained  but by  no means justified , by the eagerness of known parties to accommodate  Queen's  York Rangers desire to move out of the Armories at the town park because of talk of the federal government shutting down the operation in the drill shed.

Town  needs were set aside without conscience.

In return for bumpkin, idiotic perception of  political advantage of accommodating  an institution entirely the responsibility of the federal government.

With a lease that had to be confidential for national security reasons of which town staff could be privy but elected representatives could not. 


Attempts to whitewash  shameful betrayal of the town's  interest  with lies, deceit,blatant, twisted  misrepresentation  and perverted truth for cheap and paltry political advantage will not wash.

They doserve to remind us what was and could be again if we are not vigilant.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sing a song of sixpence

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "History Revisited":This is wonderful!

It's not even the middle of April and already we're chewing them to pieces.

What will it be like during the summer?

Will have to invent a whole new vocabulary


When Councillor Gallo proclaimed his bid for the Mayor's chair last week,  a flurry of unflattering comments  came through; mainly about the hair.

I  didn't publish them. I needed time to think how things might evolve and Blog's role. 

Then the candidate's reasons  were reported in the Auroran .   I realised ... a change in hair style was the only real statement.

Gaertner and Gallo are both registered candidates,  They offered themselves early.

Both are incumbents. Town affairs are current. Records can be checked. 

Responding comments to Blog  are bound to reflect perception of their contribution to the town's well-being over eleven years onthe part of Councillor Gaertner and  six for Councillor Gallo.

Good or bad, why should they be supressed ?

Comments will be heard wherever people gather. Why not here?   Social media is just another
gathering place. It's not a huge circle. But it is a circle.

The games, so-to-speak, have begun.

A little early perhaps but then again, eager candidates make their own choice.

At the last Council meeting, the 2009 report recommending lease of the hydro property to the Departmnet of National Defence was tabled for Abel at his request.

Gallo called it for discussion. It was an opportune moment for Councillor Gaertner and himself  to argue , after-the-fact,  merits of the decision.

Memory did not serve them well.

Significant and  cogent  details  had to be corrected  par moi in a post.

I was there.

Simmering, not still, waters quickly came to a boil. The kettle, like the blackbirds, began  to sing.

The rest is history...very much current.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

All is not lost

 Saw the Mayor at the  Home  show.  Work still going on at the Church. Digging and turning over to make sure no smoldering embers  remain to burst  again into  flames be moving out of town. flames.

Front wall still stands, Stained glass windows appear undamaged. Doors  are  still in place and stairs leading from and to them.

It's too early to say what might be. All is not lost.

The  church  owns three houses behind.  A new tenant was due to move in .That won't happen now.
Church  affairs will carry on.

The community will rally.

There will be new beginnings.

It's Easter Sunday next week,

History Revisited

Tuesday's  agenda included a  previous report to the last council recommending a lease of property to Queen's York  Rangers.

It was  requested by Councillor Abel but  called for discussion  by Councillor Gallo. 

The Councillor drew attention to a table of figures which tallied, over the period of the lease, to revenue of several million dollars.

His comments were accepted  by the Chair.

I noted the same  page  described the  property as "a liability"

" It wasn't true "  I said. 

Mayor Dawe object to the "criticism"

Councillor Gaertner noted the building had been empty when it was leased to the federal government.

 The Councillor  is fond of challenging  this council's  integrity. Lack of transparency is often 

The hydro  property was occupied by the parks department . They were evicted to make way for Queen's York Rangers. 

Office space was used  for archive storage.

The yard was used to store architectural salvage.

The building was occupied. . A space consultant retained  by the town recommended it be  kept for municipal   use. 

It was not too small for parks purpose. 

The Councillor's statements on Tuesday were mis- informing...dis-informing..mis-representing, mis -leading, lacking in integrity,without transparency and a big fat lie. 

Further to that , municipal  purchasing regulations were ignored.

Contracts must be advertised . Bids invited.

The lease to Queen's York Rangers failed to observe due process  that assures the community of fairness ,equity and transparency. 

No other party had  opportunity to compete .

The Rangers received preferential treatment. 

Best interest of the municipality was not seen to be accomplished. 

Public works  needed more space. 

Development charges  included a fraction of  current estimate of $26.9 million .

4.5 acres was more than adequate for parks function .

Behind the scenes , without transparency ,the property  was finagled into the hands of Queen's York Rangers  in exactly the fashion Church Street School was spirited  away from the  rightful purpose of  a Town museum.

For purely political advantage. 

In 2010, these issues, among others,  were high on the public's list of concerns. 

In  April  2014, witness Aurora's Own Operation Brazen attempt  to re-write history a-la Gaertner and Gallo, assisted by Mayor Dawe in his anxiety to curry favor in the same quarters.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Bulletin 2

We have a major fire near the Library and they are closing down air due to Internal Air Quality from
the fire


The United Church on Yonge Street is burning. 7 fire  units ar at the site.
5  from CYFS. 1 from King and 1 from  Richmond  Hill.

The Mayor and Fire Chief are on site .

It doesn't sound good.

Petch House Use...Let me count the ways.

The guest previously posted  provides a  detailed perspective  on a potential  university campus.
Accuracy can obviously can be verified . References are provided.

I must correct one error however. The   Petch  House does have power connected .The building is can be wired. Heat can be provided

The structure is safe and to Code.

There are no plans for a second floor. No permit is necessary

Prefabricated toilets at minimal cost  can be provided as in any park .

Without fuss or rigamarole special events staff could be accommodated in the building
in  summer.

An Information  or "Tourist" Centre could be set up.

Craftsmen could be encouraged to showcase souvenirs unique to Aurora. It could bethe startof a cottage industry  for people who find themselves without gainful employment.

Copies of Bob McRoberts  post card collection could be sold.

Les Oliver's  father's collection of photographs of Aurora buildings could be copied and shared.

Mothers  and children could have a new destination for a  morning walk without a cell phone.

Coffee,tea.hot chocolate, freshly squeezed lemonade,ice cold water for the trail hiker or the bike rider.

Maybe one of  those pastries  visitors  must have from the Byway Market before leaving Ottawa .

A welcome respite in the shade under a tree chatting to a new friend.

Students might  collect community service hours with  demonstrations of  this and that; carding, spinning,dyeing,weaving and knitting wool for example.

Instead of the constant yammering of lifestyles of the rich and famous ,  a moment in time could be captured of the harsh reality of settlement , the foundation of the life we currently enjoy and what we have made of it.

Read Alison Collins -Mrakas column in this week's Auroran and think about that.

How can we use the Petch House ???  Let me count the ways.

The ask.... What ,in God's name ,is the matter with us?

Here's A Thought

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The decision is pending":

According to YorkU's Executive Summary in the document dealing with Vision and Principles referred to earlier it states: "The location of the new campus will contribute to shaping growth in York Region and supporting a healthy community, environment and economy. Within 5 years of opening, York University aims to have 5,000 students in York Region. Within 20 years the campus can be expected to grow to 10,000-20,000 students.

This is not a plan to purchase the Hallmark building, currently listed for sale at $17,000,000. Nor is it a plan to develop the Petch House. For some reason council has sloughed this off onto the public with the Communications Department's invitation to the public to come up with some suggestions. There are no utilities presently serving the building and to the best of my knowledge there have been no estimates of costs to provide these. If we can't agree on the use for a building of approximately 1,200 square feet, what on earth are we doing with a proposal for a major university, with a possible maturity within the next half century?

Mr. Garbe's comments in the article by Brock Weir this week are full of generalities. He speaks of benefits to the community that are "well documented", citing studies that have shown a multiplier effect of 1.75 for every 1.

"We'll definitely have to identify a location as part of the bid process...If we have a location, then we have a bid. If we don't have a location, we don't have a bid. This is a statement of shear genius.

If one assumes a significant campus even only half of York's original one, we are looking at 225 acres. The only land area of that significance is on both sides of St. John's Sideroad east of Bayview and running to the town's eastern border at Highway 404. Who owns this land? What is it worth?

If a successful bidder for the campus is expected to donate the land that is worth into the many millions of dollars, how will that be dealt with?

It appears that there is a great rush into oblivion by staff and councillors who are simply not qualified to deal with situations of this magnitude.

Frankly, I don't see the Ontario government being in a position by September to assist in the selection of the winning municipality, even without an election.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 10 April 2014 21:57j

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The decision is pending

Tuesday was  rough.As the day wore on  anxiety grew. Iknew the   only argument against the  intent to commit $11 million of the Hydro Reserve Fund as  a gift to York University would be mine.

I did not anticipate success but it had  to be done.

I am frankly appalled.

First  there was  Heritage Fantasy Park, as brazen a real estate scam  as ever seen in Aurora or anywhere else I know .

Millions to be siphoned straight from the Hydro Reserve  into the pockets of  private property owners using the Office of Mayor to give the scheme credibility. 

Next came  zooming out of  nowhere a proposal to compete in a bidding war  with the building industry for   designated land  with sevice allocation providing desperately needed tax -earning capacity even as taxes  have increased each and every year of this term. 

The  proposal was  the land to be used  instead for a community park......the distaff side of  public corporation business. 

Between these two proposals came litigation to compel a developer to sell 6 acres to the municipality at a fraction of value to prevent its development. 

Even more  tax  earning capacity set aside  for no other  purpose than political consideration. 

If litigation is successful, it means an expenditure of millions for property  not required for any municipal purpose plus the cost of  litigation.

The area is properly  serviced with parks. The developer has provided  as required by law. and  paid  development charges for their development .

All  of this  in an election year , plus the latest bid to divest ourselves of  $11 million  from a fund created by sale of an asset in a previous term. 

The municipality owns seventy-five percent of a   mid-town block .

A fine modern library occupies a corner. Church Street School represents millions of dollar of investment intended to honor  the solid  practical values of the people who settled this place.
and provided a tradition for us to build upon. 

Old , inadequate buildings  in the square have awaited a municipal decision on disposition
for ten years and more.

Study after study has been completed. Engineering reports submitted. 

The buildings have no future.  

The land is under-utilized. 

Opportunity lies with the Hydro  reserve, for a vibrant core to be exactly where it  needs to  be and has always been 

To  do what a hundred miles of patterned concrete, fancy benches  and  blanket heritage designation on tired old properties will not.  It  would  draw people from every part of the town to a hive of activity in the centre. 

In the last Provincial Dalton McGuinty  recklessly mis-spent   $1,1 billion dollars   on the eve to save two  Liberal seats .

The Honorable Kathleen Wynn  is likely to be required to endure the penalty.

A price  is always paid for under-estimating public understanding 

Over- reaching the power of elected office is never sound strategy. 

Managing a public corporation like a private enterprise is definitely no-no.

The Community Interest Is Not Served

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "You Can't Fake It on Television":

Maybe tomorrow you could tell us why Rogers quit at 9:30 ? I figured a closed meeting at the end of the session but had to allow the possibility that they were as bored as I was. It didn't seem enough time to deal with what was on the Agenda.


I did not know Roger's stopped  taping  at 9.30 p.m.

We had a meeting before Council to discuss  the acquisition of land for a post -secondary institute.  

We recessed  for Council at 7p.m. 

We recessed from Council  at 9.30 p.m. to go back behind closed doors to complete the discussion. 

I'm fairly sure had I not been opposed to  commitment  to spend  eleven million dollars , plus lots of other goodies, the discussion would have lasted a fraction of the time.

York  University is  desirous of establishing a  medical school. 

The information is already in the public domain. 

The final decision rests in provincial hands  because responsibility for post-secondary education is Provincial.

The  information is in the public domain. 

The  Province owns two  suitable  parcels of  land  within our municipality.

The information is in the public domain. 

Both parcels are  non-contributory in our ledger  for more  than a decade.

I find the proposal  our municipality should  contemplate a multi-million dollar site for a provincial function to be contra-indicated.

Without the Hydro Asset  Fund it would never be a consideration.

That we would gift the  asset to a provincial institution is utterly preposterous.

Studies  by various  universities contend millions of dollars  are contributed to a city economy by the existence of a university.

One wonders about the  reason for the studies

Recently  the  town contemplated  competing with development  industry for designated land  with service allocation for residential development for use as a community park.

The land  was appraised. Value was  established at $800,000 an acre. A purchase for town purpose meant forfeiting assessment  income revenue and development charges revenue in the millions. From a  corporate business perspective , a total liability.

In contrast , price contemplated for raw land  as a site for a post-secondary campus  is  25% higher.
Assessment income revenue and development charge revenue would also be forfeit.

Negotiations  for a purchase of property is allowed by law to be discussed behind closed doors for obvious reasons,

Council did  report out and recommended approval of a decision on Tuesday.

Substantial resources are committed  to  gifting land  to an external  institution without community  awareness or opportunity for input.

I am  but one of nine with authority to say, I do not believe the  community's interest is served


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

You Can't Fake It on Television

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Emerald Ash Borer...the Ice Storm... ,,and Ot...":

The Director didn't verify your numbers - where did you get them.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 9 April 2014 14


Simple .... a phone call to the parks department . They look after  street trees as well as trees in the parks. 

 Mr. Tree  completed  his  report and submitted it to the Director yesterday. 

I called the parks department in the afternoon and they answered  my questions. Staff do that. 
They are there to help.

The Director probably hadn't time to read a  report just  forwarded. Nothing sinister about that. 

In the past...you know, antediluvian....Councillors did their digging before a meeting.

Wise ones came to a meeting prepared to debate matters to be decided.  Not so wise or less curious would  listen, say little, or  simply echo one or other  of the mouthy ones who really wanted to be heard.

I have no  apologies to make.

Endless  questioning of staff  to get a handle on an issue before taking a position was not de rigeur.

A formal meeting  of  Modern Aurora Council doesn't remotely resemble  a debate.

Hasn't done for years.

More has been forgotten than learned. . Sad to say.

It's the source of  my dilemma . If the majority were to acknowledge I know what I'm talking about. it would naturally follow, they don't.

Internecine  struggle goes on all the time.

It may have something to do with personalities of people who  are attracted to politics.

It may be about performing in a glass bowl with  the feeling people expect  total
competence in all things at all times.

Most  don't . People identify with Councillors. Most  would like to do what we do but  shudder at the thought .

They just want us to do our best and be honest and true.

Television magnifies.  Artifice fails.   Fakery is impossible.

The Emerald Ash Borer...the Ice Storm... ,,and Other Disasters

Council decided last night to spend $38,000 treating trees  in the parks to protect them fom the emerald ash borer.

We lost 150  trees in the ice sorm. Twenty five in the parks and  125 on street boulevards.

99% of the street trees lost were ash.  They  received the treatment last year.

It costs $100 to treat a tree. The  treatment needs to be repeated every two years  for ten years.

It's a new treatment. Nobody really knows if it will be successful. The makers say it will.
Don't they always. How can  we know when it's a new  process. Never been proven.

I am told it will cost $25,000 to replace the trees.

It would have cost $25,000 to replace them  if we had done it before spending $100.00
a tree with the treatment.

Last night we voted to spend $38,000. treating  remaining ash trees in the park from the emerald ash borer. We haven't got anything to treat them for ice storms.

Maybe it was the treatment for emerald ash bores that made  the street  trees break  in the ice storm .
Ninety-nine per cent were ash.

Or maybe it was because ash trees are prone to break when they're frozen, weighted down with ice and tossed about in the wind.


If there's another ice storm  next winter and ash trees in the park  are destroyed we will have spent $38,000 for nothing.

Ah well... I suppose  there's  the comfort of knowing  there's more where that came from....in your pockets. All we need to do is dip in....

The recommendation to spend $38,000 didn't come from staff. The   Parks  and  Recreation  committee

A  citizen thought it would be a good idea. The  committee agreed . Then Council agreed.

The vote was eight in favor and one against.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Yonge Street Shabby Shakery. is A Thing of the Past

I drive down Yonge Street after seven on Sunday night. It's  still daylight. The traffic slackens by that time. I can drive slowly and complete my inspection.

I  am seeking the   "decay" referenced by Councillor Ballard a few weeks ago.

He  argued for the Community Improvement Plan, to lend or grant money to owners in that particular area to bring properties into good repair and appearance.

Our own properties may be falling down around our ears  after we've paid the Town's  and Region tax for all their fol-de-rols  but thanks to our munificent majority. we will have the satisfaction of  taking  care of our neighbors' worries.

Once  again, I  have discovered no decay.

The   Yonge  Street  corridor has never looked so neat and tidy...from north to south... buildings are in good order ...  renewal proceeds ... things just  keep  improving.... with  no help  needed from the municipal corporation. 

Private investment  made by private  property owners. 

The carping  chorus  call for "revitalisation" is  sheer  force of habit, by those whose habit is to park posteriors in the  comfortable pew and never lift their eyes from fictions of their
 own creation.

Only one area of shabby shakery  remains on Yonge Street, north of Wellington.

Redevelopment is  intended  for the west side site.

If  the owners ever get past the whimsical nonsensical notions  of the Promenade which sailed the  Sea of  Unreality on Good Ship Lollipop Economic Development with Captain Ballard at the helm.(A patronage appointment  from his  friend and mentor, she who shall be nameless, master of everything   Councillor Ballard needs to know to be successful in politics)

The  Promenade has reduced requirements for parking ... a necessary compromise  A  significant detail didn't stop our feisty Council majority from  stalling approval of  new commercial  development with fifty condos above , mid block east side of Yonge, just weeks ago  with  Councillor Captain Ballard leading the  opposition with Councillor Gallo close behind.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Dante's Inferno

My favorite piece of technology is the mute button on the remote control.

Shrill voices talking over one another, severely offends my senses. It gives me great satisfaction to silence immediately the  voices of  good- looking ,smooth-toned  vacuous newscasters or comedians..

I was glad of it yesterday when Toronto's smiling news media was making much of former President Bill Clinton's  references to Toronto's Mayor on Jimmy Kimmel's sho

By all that's just,  Bill Clinton is in  no position to speak disparagingly  or humorously or any other  ly  about anyone else's conduct.

He disgraced the Office of President.

He humiliated his wife in front of the entire universe. You can't unring the bell.

 He lied to a grand jury.

 He  publicly tried to re-define the word "sex' to  fit  his own end.

He exploited a  young ,exceedingly foolish, seriously misguided.female  government employee of the age of his own daughter.

He certainly has no cause to point the finger at anyone else.

He  may or may not  have pissed behind a tree. We cant be sure. Washington Police Department didn't have a plane, at public expense, circling over him. with a camera trained  on his every move.
for the purpose of spying on him.

David Letterman had little  to say about Toronto's Mayor . It wasn't long since he publicly acknowledged his own imperfections. He might have thought  he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

Probably, there's no more virtue in the entertainment  industry than the  high-powered-power- brokers

Four years  ago, David Miller stepped  aside. He choked on his own tears. He had not been successful. He clearly did not have the stamina.

His preferred wonder-boy candidate , Gambrione, had  to withdraw from the race
 after his fall from grace.

John Tory purses his lips like a Puritan and speaks of righteousness and virtue.

Olivia Chow feels a Mayor should be a role model for children.

The media doesn't give a tinker's damn about  the Mayor's role as  a model for children.

What I'm waiting to see is how  the people of Toronto respond to the unrelenting
effort of the media and the Toronto Police to  destroy a man who has no  skill or
artifice in pretending to be what he is not.

When Premier Kathleen Wynn was accused of  corruption  this week , wondered  if she  could relate to Toronto's Mayor.