"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, 28 May 2014

Credit is Due

A silver stake was finally driven  through the heart of district heritage designation last night.

The decision  was  finally made at the general committee meeting last Tuesday.

But  it's never certain a committee decision will hold at Council.

The Mayor was absent.  Even when there he tends to contribute little.  Like as not, he will  bring something in writing to Council and the  previous decision gets  changed

On a memorable night ,early in the term,  Councillor Abel gave notice of termination to the Culture  Board.  Ensuing debate was full and complete; nothing left to do but take the vote  There was a noticeable  pause .....we waited ...  Then incredibly,  Councillors Humfreys  and Thompson , orchestrated  a motion that resulted in an entirely different decision.

The ground shifted that moment. I felt it move. Betrayal was thick. A person left the Chamber overwhelmed with nausea. He had worked hard in the  previous campaign and attended every council meeting since  full of hope and certainty.

Immediately, I moved the solicitor be directed to review the  Centre contract. The  Mayor did not want that either. "the solicitor has enough  work to do" he said. I could have sworn I heard  the whisper in his ear from where I was sitting.

The  motion passed. The contract was reviewed and improved A full and enlightening report was submitted.

It made little difference.  The Mayor and Councillor Abel  are on the board and  heaping helpings  of tax dollars continue  to be siphoned from  treasury to board coffers filling their hearts with glee.

 I might  add with full support of Councillor Gallo.

So property-owners  from the S.E, quadrant were at Council again last night, hopefully for the final   decision. The cut to end all cuts.

It was the fifth time since February. The Consultant had  reported  to Council earlier, a "significant minority" were opposed to designation in the S.E. quadrant.

It was a contradiction in terms. Being dismissed as a minority spurred the group to greater  determination.

The  S.E. quadrant is  probably home to every professional service in Aurora.

Old homes on Wellington  and down through , are owned and occupied by planning consultants, architect design consultants, real estate lawyers, real estate brokers, insurance brokers, chartered accountants,  doctors, dentists, butchers,bakers and candlestick makers.

There were experiences to speak of from owners of individually designated homes.

Residents with roots several generations deep had no difficulty comprehending the significance of a restrictive bylaw registered against title of their property.

They wanted no part of that.

Owners researched  issues, ignored accusations, refuted claims, produced  professional documentation , knocked on doors, explained the process, collected names  and delegated to Council. Again and again.

To little avail.

The consultant  and some Councillors were certain if  only  they understood ,they would not  be "afraid". Scouts were despatched to the Market to "educate"  opponents.

The Market being a hotbed of proponents.

It proved to be ineffective.

Staff - assurances about  provincial assurance about problem -free insurance and accounts of
great  joy and satisfaction  experienced in other  designated districts in Ontario had to be reversed.

Four options were presented to Council. The first was to discontinue the study.

The town awarded a contract for $67 thousand and spent $34 thousand.

The  study is discontinued.

Another one bites the dust.

Months of  frustration and stress for residents, numerous discussions and deferrals by Council and in the end $34 thousand spent with nothing  positive accomplished.

Notwithstanding all  that , Councillor Thompson on another issue, commented last night.

 "Had we done a better job  at the beginning, there would  have been a different outcome".

I don't know what that is......political hubris...denial of the obvious...inability to comprehend facts...reluctance to acknowledge error ..... or WHAT?

The right decision was made in the end. People  who refused to surrender fully appreciate it.

Why not accept the credit?


Anonymous said...

Cllr Thompson is convinced that any opposition from any source to any initiative MUST be because of a failure to communicate. He is often incorrect. Residents do understand. He was at it again last night over those darn clear bags. I tuned him out but the gist of it appeared to be that the issue had to be expanded into an entire program. Maybe a Master Plan for Garbage ?

Anonymous said...

You need a wooden stake in the heart to kill a vampire and a silver bullet to kill a werewolf.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe Mr.Heard is being punished by the market for telling the truth.He also stood up to the South East bullies and informed them early this was not going to be a slam dunk.David will rise out of this:others will fall hard from their self made pedestal.

Anonymous said...

Clr. Thompson is continually asking for more time and greater engagement from the public.

Had this continued in his private life he would never have married.

Anonymous said...

If Councillor Humfryes hands were bound she would be incapable of speaking.

Anonymous said...

To 13:11:

Telling the truth about what?

Anonymous said...

It is akin to cutting the heads off the Hydra as they go for the Hydro. Next stop the so-called Heritage Park scheme.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is anyone from the south-east quadrant who might be interested in running for Council to prevent the same thing from happening to others ? I am pretty sure that Mr K of the 3-tree debacle would be a good candidate from his area but doubt if he has the time.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how someone from the SE would have any more clout than anyone else on council? We have no representation by area. Even if we did, that would be one vote out of none.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe ' clout ' was mentioned .

Anonymous said...

The intimation was that having someone from the SW quadrant would "prevent the same thing...". What would you cal it?

Anonymous said...

They are not going to be pleased after investing so much in the " vision ". I expect you will receive the bulk of the blame simply because you have a Blog. But you did not instigate that rebellion - it came directly from the community. You may get a lot of nasty e-mails - the proponents are very good with that. Those on the Blog will understand if you chose to shut down for a while.
Ah, of course i only speak for myself.

Anonymous said...

An "assumption " on your part.