"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

Monday, 29 September 2014

Commitment ???

Questionnaires have increased substantially in this election.
I spent time this morning searching for one from  families in Mavrinac focussed on 
the vacant  6 acre site in their neighbourhood . They don't want  it to be developed. 

The questionnaire went  out to all candidates. There's  a web site. Theintention is to distribute candidates' answers prior to the election. 

I can't find it and I can't spend any more time searching. 

Candidates are requested to commit the town to purchase the site and use it for a park or some other public purpose. 

I cannot make the commitment. I really need them to know that. 

The land was earmarked for a school and not needed.

The area is better served than most for park facilities and meets the standards set out in the Master Recreation Plan.

The only other public use would be affordable housing. The last land  that went to a bidding process fetched $1.2. million an acre. 

It's my impression, housing is exactly what the neighbours don't want. It's that commitment they seek.

The land is a square. It would not lend itself to detached lots facing on Mavrinac. It would require a new road to be sensibly divided. Likely a configuration of town houses.

The town is currently locked in litigation to compel the owner/developer to sell the property to the municipality for a fraction of its value.

I did not vote for that.

The land is  completely serviced with water and sewers, roads and sidewalks, 
street  lighting , snow plowing, street cleaning, parks,police protection, fire protection and everything else that swallows up an inordinate portion of most families'  livelihood in property taxes.

The joint facility for works and parks ,at a cost of $27 million is being built to service
such new areas in town.

A $6 million  youth centre is currently being constructed based on the same need.

We just spent half a million on an old shed in the town park  that we should have had returned to us at no cost. We don't know what we're going to do with that but whatever it is,it will cost a bundle to maintain and operate.

We need  developable land to be developed to help pay for all this stuff.

6 acres sitting idle and vacant do not share the tax burden . That's  surely a concern we all have in common.

Land provided with all municipal services, producing zero revenue is on the wrong side of the ledger. It's a liability not an an asset.

As much as I would like to have the votes of families on Mavrinac who believe the town should
prevent development of that property, I cant do it in good conscience

Their website will reveal which candidates are making the commitment. The web site has Mavrinac in the name. If I find the e-mail, I will publish the web site.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There is no guarantee that the town will prevail in the litigation. Our record there is spotty at best,
The holy grail of a Master Plan does not include a new park.
The town is committed to further affordable housing which, according to a senior staffer, now means about $400-450, 000.
This is not going to be some trailer park. The town needs the revenue and the Region will fight to in-fill.
Any candidate would be unwise to commit in such circumstances. IMHO

Anonymous said...

There is no need to raise your voice.
" Park on Mavrinac " works just fine

Anonymous said...

My sense is the town will prevail at the litigation.

If it does prevail you can be sure there will be a major public outcry from the local folks demanding "their park". The problem could then be our at-large system of representation. Each councillor (except one) will be brow beat into supporting a park.

If it festers it could divide council and tie up town business. In a ward system, the matter would be brought to their representative to handle. Other elected officials could politely say, " deal with your elected representative".

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the homeowners around Mavrinac got duked not by the Town but by the developer. Sure the site plan shows a school or park and they may have an argument that the Town is to have the 1st right of refusal to purchase the land, etc., etc.

But is there an explicit agreement or contract or something clearly and unambiguously stating that a school or park would be built (and not a marketing plan) and by whom and with what funds? Is it written anywhere that the Town was obligated to purchase the land and develop it as a park and only a park.

A first right of refusal means just that the Town can refuse but they are the first one to be given that option. So it's now a loaded question: "Will you as a councillor candidate or mayoral candidate support the building of the Mavrinac Park?"

For those that paid a premium on their property was there a contract that a school or park would and absolutely be built? And if so then take them to court yourselves for breach of contract. Truth is you got sold a bag of goods and I'm sure this isn't a unique situation or the first time for homeowners and developers. "Buyer beware" or perhaps in this case "buyer be wary".

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has listened to the arguments that have taken place over successive councils about merely re-furbishing existing parks and play grounds will recognize how unlikely there is to be support for yet another park.

Anonymous said...

Prior to the election, I will check their site for the list of candidates they believe pass muster. If any are on my voting list at that time, they will be removed.
Aurora does not need another park; we cannot afford it.

Anonymous said...

Did you get the one on Sports-Tourism ?
Everyone wants a piece of you.

Anonymous said...

Some of those questionnaires floating around are slam-dunks. Who wouldn't like to see a hotel located in Aurora ? Who does not think sports are great ? But there are others that want their world on a flipping platter with no regard to costing the notions out.

It's the Economy, stupid.

Anonymous said...

Wanda Big Canoe has died & York Region has screwed up the history - as usual

Anonymous said...

13:34 You are deflecting.
This is not about the ward system - it is about the entitlement claimants.

Anonymous said...

Exactly four weeks from today Aurora voters, as well as those across the province, will be going to the polls to elect new municipal Councils.

According to my private polling, our incumbent mayor should easily win reelection. The best part about this is that his opponent will be gone from our town's council for four years.

So far as council races are concerned I see a white-haired lady retaining her seat in a closely contested race, and one or possibly two male members of our existing council doing likewise.

There will, of course, be also rans, and should-never-have enterds and a few rather dumb mutts who simply should have known better. How can you possibly dream of getting elected on the back of a pasta sauce recipe?

So to all who are gripped by this high human drama, get ahold of yourselves. There are just four more weeks!

Anonymous said...

Strange times. One candidate is promising me everything. I already have a kitchen sink.

Anonymous said...

What makes me think that Minto will win and the Town will lose the lawsuit? And besides...this will be an ongoing issue well into council 2018 term.

Anonymous said...


Yes, but do you have a hot tub?

Anonymous said...

18:37- Hey! A good pasta sauce recipe is always a good thing. :)

Anonymous said...

This is not going to get solved any time soon. There has only been one candidate to endorse the park.
Time to move on to subjects that involve the interests of the entire town ?

Anonymous said...

You know, I don't really agree with their position, but I would die fighting for their right to have that position. In their minds, they are right. You cannot fault their committment nor their belief that they are doing the right thing.

A lot of times, discussions or debates here tend to forget that there are two sides (sometimes 3).

Anonymous said...

18:48- Their commitment is honorable, their beliefs may be correct. But this really all boils down to money on all sides. They can all argue about “green space”, “quality of life”, zoning, contract details, blah, blah, blah. But really….and the end of the day it’s always about the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

"But really….and (sic) the end of the day it’s always about the bottom line."

Not always...at least it shouldn't be.

Anonymous said...

One of their beliefs would appears to be incorrect. Aurora has no need for an additional park. One is not included in the Master Plan, we cannot agree on how to repair those we have & the town has no responsibility to provide them with their need to prove themselves.

Anonymous said...

"A lot of times, discussions or debates here tend to forget that there are two sides (sometimes 3)."

Hear! Hear!