"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

Thursday, 6 November 2014


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Multiple Choice":j

"Tax equity for seniors and low income families strikes a chord. Should we be compelled to pay for services we neither want, need nor are inclined or can afford to use."

Why should anyone be compelled to pay taxes for municipal services that they will never use? I have no children in the school programs, why should I pay education taxes? I do not use the pools, arenas, soccer pitches, etc... why should I pay taxes for those things?

I am not poor nor am I a senior, however if I have to pay for things that I do not use, why do others get off? If the cost of taxes for an individual is too high, perhaps they are living in the wrong  place.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 6 Noveu jjmber 2014 10:00


Seniors  should perhaps be content to  live in cardboard boxes under a bridge and  carry all earthly possessions around in plastic bags in a shopping buggy.

The view reflected above is neither fresh nor new. 

When government was first  organized in Ontario, responsibility for education rested with municipal councils. They were business representative in the main. Sending their own children back to the mother country for education in private boarding schools was not uncommon with little interest in providing education for the children of  their workers.

So they didn't.

Consequently the authority  was removed. An educated society was deemed desirable. Boards of Education were created with authority to requisition  funds from municipalities. Libraries were the opportunity for  education to continue beyond grade 8. They too were removed from municipal jurisdiction and authority to requisition funding provided.

Arenas, parks and leisure facilities are municipal assets. From an economic perspective ,they add value to property within  a municipality. The principle of sharing costs of building such facilities is fair and equitable. 

The  principle that those who use the facilities should pay a user fee is also fair and equitable.

A hand-out of  hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and a rent free facility to provide  "free"culture  does not conform to the principle of equity.

It is  precisely opposite .

The Chamber of Commerce has requested free use of facilities annually for the next several years. The idea came from a Councillor to compensate the Chamber for having to re-locate the Home Show to another facility.

A list of free-loaders by invitation can easily be compiled.

Seniors grew up in hardship during  a world-wide depression, fought in wars and made the sacrifices. worked  hard  after the war for modest wages, paid taxes to provide better opportunities for the next generation.

Now the question is ....can they and should they be compelled to lose modest homes because of  excessive taxes collected to provide free  luxurious amenities that have nothing to do with service to property or themselves ?


Anonymous said...

Ms Buck,

You said: "Seniors grew up in hardship during a world-wide depression, fought in wars and made the sacrifices. worked hard after the war for modest wages, paid taxes to provide better opportunities for the next generation."

If a senior is age 65, then a newly minted senior was born in 1949. No depression, no world war (except Korea). They also were born in what is termed "the baby boom".

Sadly the seniors that you describe as being veterans of the great depression and world wars, are becoming fewer and fewer.

Another example of how you seem to be out of touch.

Anonymous said...

If one checks out the figures for the Chamber, it is quite clear that those business people have done a lousy job of running it. We all see what comes in annually at the Street Sale & what the town gives in the way of staff time and money. There was one year when they even cancelled their annual get-together because of lack of interest.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid all of the questions in your post were answered in the recent election. We elected a mayor and a deputy who believe that regular tax increases above the level of inflation are a must in this town. Generally, the rest of council seems to follow.

Clearly, many members of council were give a clear mandate to continue business as before. That is, keep spending and ask the treasurer at the end of the year how big a tax increase will it take to pay for it?

Oh well, there are many out there very pleased with our council and its actions.

Anonymous said...

I do believe that they should be paying maybe a very small portion to education, town facilities, etc. but not the whole pop. Retirement should be just that…Retirement. At 65+ years of age most have done their part in building a community and its future. And many still do by volunteering within their community. I I do see many seniors struggle and do without, and do so quietly, probably because most seniors today grew up in an era where an orange or small piece of candy for Christmas was truly a gift. I don’t think the next generation of seniors will be so quiet.

Anonymous said...

15:14- You’re right. The voters have spoken. Expect taxes to continually rise above inflation with this term of council. Justifying every penny with the terms like “investing”, “building”, “need”.

Anonymous said...

No, we did not. All candidates were made aware of concerns about spending. Including those elected. I expect the next budget process to be quite different from the last. If not, I will know to call and they will know who supported them. They have their little lists.

Anonymous said...

16:06 You have your head in the clouds. 15:14 has correctly told you what you will hear when you complain. Building, investing and improving customer service.

How exactly do you think a 27 million dollar garage is going to be paid? Keep in mind the town is contracting out much of the work.

Anonymous said...

The Joint-Ops still has to get various approvals - I expect the new Council will be aware of the eyes watching them. It is not space science to look at the number of votes they did not receive. Not all of those were cast by extremists.

Anonymous said...

Quit with the gloom & doom. Council received a basic Pass grade. There is no mandate for Full Speed Ahead.

Anonymous said...

I do not want to hear any more talk about how seniors should leave Aurora. If you do not count the kids working for service points and people from maybe one group in town, the bulk of volunteers who do the heavy lifting all year are seniors.

Anonymous said...

This is all quite silly. The residents who halted flea-brain ideas in this term are still here. E got more than 3000 votes and other candidates garnered quite a few. It can be done again if necessary and certainly has nothing to do with age.

Anonymous said...

17:32-Besides the heritage park, what exactly did council vote down?

Anonymous said...

It's unbelievable how many seniors volunteer in this town. Students get credit for every hour of volunteering in school. Why can't seniors get some sort of credit on there taxes?

Anonymous said...

I would like to see you write a paying column in the Auroran, Evelyn. Not much- maybe just gas money. Christopher's blog has just high-lighted one that I could truly do without.

Anonymous said...

Rock the boat, rock the boat gently.... Nice post, it's about time someone said it!

Anonymous said...

The s-e designation, Making Mr K keep his tress, not demolishing the tannery spring to mind but it is a wee bit late to be arguing the election. no ?

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see the various commenters deal with the reality of Aurora's budget.

It's easy, and cheap, to criticize what others do.

But we can go to the town hall during budget discussions, not by ones and twos, but with enough people to pack the public seating and demand detailed reasoning and explanations.

Not just roll over and play dead for another four years.

These people are elected by us, they are accountable to us and they should have to justify their decisions when spending our money.

Anonymous said...

Students get credit for 40 hours of volunteer time. That credit is towards their OSSGD. If you like, seniors can get credit for their diploma too if you want to be equal.

The whole 40 hour thing is stupid however. It is forced labour at the hands of the government. They end up doing menial tasks that add little value to their lives.

Anonymous said...

Well said 22:16! It is time and Evelyn will know doubt be there to help. The more the merry and the more they will see people are watching so stop with the spend and start looking after what we do have. Infrastructure is more important than building and giving away to special interest groups! your money Council gives away frieely, why for votes not doubt to be the popular one yes! You don't have it to give and they make sure they give it anyway. It is far easier to say yes the. It is to say no! Who will be the one who is the voice of reason now on this council?

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a line by line budget process one of these years. I don’t think that’s ever been done. If it has I've never read or heard about it. Evelyn…has that ever been done?

Anonymous said...

10:08, some found it very easy to say no - in fact, they rarely said anything else.

Anonymous said...

Piffle, they get to pick how they earn those points. One commenter here said his/her kid got them from carving pumpkins, ours taught for a couple of weeks at a camp with no pay. It is not forced labour to help out at a soup kitchen or food bank. Forty hours is easy to get over the years.

Anonymous said...

The committees are far more influencial

Anonymous said...

A lot of assumptions are being made. They may or may not be correct. All candidates got an earful during the election. Until the new council is sworn in and begins its work, we have no idea how effective they may be.

Anonymous said...

20:43-That's a great idea. These volunteer hours build a community and its future. A tax break to these seniors could easily be done.