"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, 17 November 2014

Aflluence is a Fact of Life For Some.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Seeds of Turbulence":

"We have our own top-heavy fire and police costs."

True dat. When people - and councillors - complain and nitpick about Town expenditures, looking to cut those of their hobby-horses, you never hear a word about the ginormous, uniformed 'elephant in the room.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 16 November 2014 18:17


Futility  and risk are likely consequence of focussing on the "uniformed elephant " drivers in the municipal budget.

Futility because contracts are aubject to mandatory arbitration seldom, if ever, favourable to management.

Risk because police and firefighters are local heroes.

As contracts are successfully negotiated , their wages, work conditions and benefits become the standard in all other professional negotiations.

They are the affluent. Their living is derived from tax revenues. High taxation is not  a concern.

Much of their high salaries are funneled off to senior levels of government in taxation to augment their revenues.

Political parties solicit their support. Dalton Mc Guinty on the eve of elections was surrounded by firefighters holding signs aloft . "Firefighters for McGuinty"

Does anyone question  how teachers and health care workers are likely to vote?

While Ontario cultivates public sector millionaires, $124 million are distributed in questionable Trillium grants, special education programs are cut in schools, funds  are not available for social housing and people at the low end of the scale are reduced to begging or stealing poppy boxes.

Food banks have become established institutions in a  modern  affluent society.


Anonymous said...

Since many of those on the in-coming council were on the past one, it is quite easy to see exactly how they have voted on the various subjects. That makes it possible to see where there might be changes in the future. Certainly there was a lot of deflection about costs during the election. Those candidates with whom I spoke got the message - I think ?

Anonymous said...

The Globe has a 2-page spread o what happened with the key players in the Carbonneau mess. Do not hold your breath for any mass enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

"Risk because police and firefighters are local heroes. "

I have a hard time using the word hero when discussing police or fire fighters.

Dictionary.com defines hero by: of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities

I peronally know both police and firefighters, and I would not say that they have any more courage or ability than anyone else in my circle. What they have is "training". Training has provided them with the skills to analyze the situation and weigh the risks, then make decisions based on that.

In my mind, there are very few heroes out there.

I know this may not be the most agreed to post, but I have to state my mind.

Anonymous said...

I know which outfits get space rent-free and financial support from the town. The Food Pantry is not one of them. The service groups and local businesses contribute more and that is outrageous. It does not fit the picture of an inclusive town,

Anonymous said...

Police and fire persons are the only members of our community whose jobs carry with them occasional life-threatening exposure.

Statistically these occur infrequently but they never know in advance when they will face that situation.

And some of them are seriously injured or die in performing their jobs.

Perhaps there should be a very significant financial payment in the event of either happening, payment that would continue for the rest of their lives. And in return they might be willing to concede something when it comes to salaries so that the entire community is not held hostage to excessive costs.

There are statistics that show how much time both police and fire persons do little but wait, particularly firefighters. These should be made available to the public who pay the taxes that pay their salaries.

Education and health services are the two biggest provincial budget items and neither is performing with anywhere near the efficiency that they should.

Teachers and school principals need to be subject to a grading system where good teachers and principals are rewarded and the poor ones sifted right out of the system. This is being done in some countries and in some American states with remarkable results when student performance is assessed.

We also need a special category of nurses who have been trained to meet patients and perform limited diagnosis and prescribe medication. If the case is serious enough then the patient would see the doctor. This would provide doctors with more time to deal with patients with more serious illnesses or physical/emotional problems.

Pharmacists should also be trained to a higher level so that they might make recommendations relating to medication and /or treatment.

These latter two health service matters have been addressed in some countries resulting in greater efficiency and reduced costs.

Anonymous said...

Why would the returning incumbents feel the need to make the "changes" that you'd like to see, 11:02? They got re-elected based on their actions, while the chief naysayer didn't make it back in.

I think "the message" they got was that positivity triumphs over negativity.

Anonymous said...

It is not just this council that paid only lip service to the food bank. I cannot recall any of the earlier ones being any different.
But that should not mean they could not be included for something like the Mayor's Golf Tournament...

Anonymous said...

Possibly. My votes just indicated that some were better than the alternatives. Given the alternatives, how difficult was that ?

Anonymous said...

12:16 said: "Police and fire persons are the only members of our community whose jobs carry with them occasional life-threatening exposure."

I would disagree with that. How many times do you read about a construction worker that dies on the job or a truck driver that is involved in a fatal acident? More often that police of FD I would guess.

As far as money wasters are concerned, look at the huge empires that the school boards have created. The sunshine list for the York Sep. board for example. There is a senior member of the HR department that pulls down $125K per year. I bet he/she does nothing but direct the little people that do the work.

Anonymous said...

I would not say that Police and Firefighters are the only ones who might face life threatening situations in their jobs. There are plenty of low paid persons that are also on occasion finding themselves in threatening situations. What about the kid who needs the job on a construction site, the women with the stop sign in traffic construction, the person walking home from work and gets hit by a drunk driver, the person in the corner store who gets robbed for the150.00 in the till and shot. There are many people in society who are at risk and just do not know it. How are their lives different from that of the "trained" fire worker or the policeman in a car. Who will pick up the cost of their funeral or recovery? Who will protect them from the hardships that come from tragedy? We need to think more seriously about who gets what in society. We need to remember that when men and women sign up to be police officers and firemen they do so by choice. The perks are great, the daycare costs are lower, they can have jobs and business on the side. Life is good! Not so much for the person who just wants to pay the rent and put food on the table.

Anonymous said...

Similar to 11:29 this may not be a popular opinion but I think the word hero is now overused and has lost it's special meaning. It seems these days that everyone is somehow deemed a hero and so when someone really does the extraordinary feat what do we call them - a "super hero". There are lots of cases where "ordinary people" go into the water to save a drowning victim or pull someone from a burning car at the risk of their own life or where a parent or sibling is injured or dies saving a family member. And many of these people never seek or even get recognition. No disrespect to their professions but with police and firefighter and a number of other professions, by the very nature of their profession they are put into situations and/or there is a great opportunity that may warrant an act of heroism, but that doesn't make all of them heroes. It is when they have done the extraordinary that the individual becomes perhaps a hero.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. During the war, women driving alone were cautioned against picking up hitch-hiking servicemen because "Not every man in uniform is a good man."

Anonymous said...

11:29- I agree with you!

Anonymous said...

12:16 – “the only members of our community whose jobs carry with them the occasional life threatening exposure”. Really!...What about all those in our community who work in the trades? Roofers, glaziers, electricians, excavators…would you like me to list some more for you?

Anonymous said...

12:34- The only message that was given was from those who wanted more of the same in the last 4 yrs. And if you think that message was to be fiscally and economically more responsible. You’re wrong. Nothing will change at the Region either. They have a great think going over there, $2.4 Billion in debt and going strong. The Error doesn't even write about them!

Anonymous said...

It is really only the police and fire people who know that as an integral part of their job they may face serious injury or death.

All others, regardless of their job, do not go to work expecting to die, as a real possibility.

The long list of "civilians" could all face serious injury or death, but usually as a result of poor attention to safety with resulting tragedy or due a complete fluke, a runaway vehicle, a building collapse.

One has to distinguish between two realities.

Anonymous said...


Police and Firefighters go into these professions knowing full well what they are getting into. They sign up to take the chance that they may be killed in the line of duty and they are paid hansomely for it, no one has forced them into that job.The kid on the roof who takes every precaution not to get injured is not paid for the risk involved. In most cases he just needs a job. That is the difference here. What makes their life worth less?

Anonymous said...

Apart from the police and fire services no one has mentioned the men and women who serve with distinction in our military and it was less than a week ago that we paused for two minutes to remember those who had sacrificed their lives so that we may live in this country.

These men and women receive a fraction of the pay of the first two, and many continue to suffer from physical or emotional trauma that our government seems to ignore, or at best provides a minimal amount of care. Our Prime Minister loves to play soldier and saw fit to oversee the spending of over $20 million to commemorate the battle of 1812, a completely meaningless piece of history for just about all Canadians.

Would a soldier carry out his or her duty with any more conscience if they were paid double or triple what police and fire persons receive? I don't think so.

Life involves risk and whether you drive a fire engine or work on high steel framing another multi-story condominium, you have to be prepared for the consequences.

People have choices and select the type of work they are happy with. A hydro worker going out following last year's ice storm to trim trees never expects to have the tree topple over onto him and cripple or kill him. Nor does a youngster who slips off a roof and is paralyzed for life expect that.

This entire exchange is getting just a little bit silly. One can argue this 'til the cows come home and not find a solution that works for all. Let's just be grateful that we have a multi-talented work force that manages to do just about everything.

Anonymous said...

We are going to have to agree to disagree. But time will tell and hopefully Evelyn will still be on the job to help us understand council's progress or lack of same.

Anonymous said...

The Pantry should have rent free space in town. Sports Aurora - nope

Anonymous said...

How can this Town justify the food pantry paying rent, Sports Aurora, and the Cultural center does not? They've slated a green roof with grass and God knows what else for a garage, when many are having a hard time keeping a roof over their heads. Yeah... gonna love to see how this new council governs our money.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe the Pantry pays rent. Last I heard the space was donated by an individual. It is not given to them or even rented to them by the town. Nor do they receive even modest funding as is done in other places such as Georgina.
Aurora gives the freebies to other group whose claims to charitable status make me gag. But I realize that this is probably a personal beef for me. I'll let it go for now.

Anonymous said...

No one is willing to make an issue of the Pantry, to really go to bat for it. They pay lip service to the Pantry. Perhaps they think it doesn't garner enough votes from the general population. Instead they have been more interested in cell towers, turning an east side vacant lot into redundant parkspace, the cultural centre and whisky tasting, the old armoury without a purpose, whatever that project was with Hillary house designed to flog the old derilect homes at sizeable profit to the town, etc.

An inclusive town means everyone who can afford to live here. Well people it's getting more & more expensive all the time to live in Aurora. Everyone's children are not going to grow up and live in Aurora because they won't be able to afford their home town.

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a commercial roofer not that long ago and asked him about this type of “green roof” that Aurora has planned to have installed on its new Op center. He told me that residential and private building couldn't afford it; government buildings are the only ones who can afford this kind of roof. He also indicated that its part of a Gold Leeds standard. I asked what exactly does "Gold Leeds" mean. His answer was "sucker".

Anonymous said...

An excellent day for not having to prep for a council meeting & trek to the town hall.

Anonymous said...


I have noticed this acronym regularly and looked up what it meant.

"Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design." LEED

This is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods.

It was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED is intended to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

While the cost might be higher one would assume that the operating cost and maintenance over the lifetime of the building would result in savings that exceed the costs.

I don't know if there have been any LEED structures in existence long enough to determine the savings aspect.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I suggest that we should wait until the new council takes office and THEN watch the agenda items and start to worry if there are problems emerging. It also might be a good idea to comment favourably when initiatives are positive and applicable to the entire town. Just don't want this blog to sound like Dear Nigel.

Anonymous said...

That company will build what is ordered. Nothing more. They built something for us & were right on time & budget. It all depends on what the buyer wants & in this case that means the town. So please do not not slam the builder.

Anonymous said...

D'accord. The one who cuts the cheques sets the pace.

Anonymous said...

18:39- and that is exactly where the problem lies.

Anonymous said...

What is your " DH ", please. All I can think of is designated hitter.

Anonymous said...


DH = Dear Husband, deaf husband, dumb husband, damn husband, doofus husband

Anonymous said...