"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, 20 April 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "JACK AND THE BEANSTALK": 
Levying a development charge against a building that does not increase the building's fire, snow removal or any other municipal service is a misguided tax grab by the municipality.  
An example. The Yonge Street Canadian Tire store was originally built - can't remember how long ago. Let's say it was 20,000 square feet (I have not idea of the size - just a number). The parking lot is 100,000 square feet. Let's say the owner paid a Development Charge that is supposed to cover municipal services - fire, police, other infrastructure.  
A couple of years later, CTC wants to expand the store. The lot has not changed in size. The building envelope is larger but no additional connections to services are required. Guess what, they get dinged for Development Charges. Their expansion did nothing to increase their burden on the Town. They will pay more for other services, hydro, water, gas, etc. but they are hard costs associated with a larger building.  
Now CTC is moving to the old Zellers/Target store... do they have to pay DCs there too??? 
What about the new tenant (if there is one) to the Yonge St CTC? Will they have to pay DCs too? Triple dipping by the Town. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 20 April 2016 at 15:32
Finally....someone sufficiently interested in the ins and outs of a complex formula. 

Canadian Tire was not dinged for a second Development Charge but they did have to pay Cash-in Lieu-of-Parks Charge which went into a reserve fund of that title that kept growing and growing.

As did the story of the town's  further dealings with Canadian Tire. 

When concrete had to be poured ,Council approval had to be given to suspend the noise bylaw to allow construction noise to continue until the pour was complete. It has to be that way. Once started a pour has to be completed. 

Former Councillor Keane, soon to be candidate for Mayor,  moved refusal. Children in complex behind had to get their sleep,he said.

Keane's resolution was defeated, permission was granted but not without argument and puerile grand-standing. 

Some time later,  CanadianTire decided to douse their parking lot lights at ten-thirty p.m. A resident  of  the complex raised merry hell on the eve of the election. Promises  were made. 

Residents used  emergency access on CT property as a short-cut to homes late at night and demanded the town ORDER  the lights be kept on. The Town's Legal department spent days 
finding and researching the tri-party agreement between the tri parties. 

There was no legal obligation. There were several dispute resolution mechanisms available between the parties.  But the wrangling went on for weeks with town resources involved where they had no business. Staff did their best to maintain the town's interest to no avail. 

A  recently replaced  public works director recommended a political solution. Hook CTs parking lot lights up to the town's street lighting system. Council accepted the solution. 

Recently the  Cash-in-lieu of Parks Reserve  was looted in the amount of $2.3 million to pay for the Mavrinac land . I don't know where the legal fees  came from to pressure the developer. 

Recently, the consultant updating the Master Recreation Plan, advised Council a park was not required. Funds improperly used from Cash -in -Lieu Reserve should  be returned. The 6 acre parcel should be re-sold.

It was the first sign of professional advice since the new CAO was appointed.
It was ignored. Staff were directed to prepare plans for a park. No budget  for construction was cited 
or source of funds identified. 

Again...it's not corruption per se. 

But it's not squeaky clean either. 

The decision is absolutely not in the interest of the community. 

It is purely political. 

As is foot-dragging on a decision leading to an OMB hearing , likely to cost a million on a land parcel that eighty-five years ago,was  a  country golf course  and is now a central urbanized parcel of land, idle for the past several years. 

To be scrupulously fair to the elected, professional advice and guidance has not been evident for almost a decade. 

That happens when a Mayor without experience  but convinced  of the power of  office is elected.  


Anonymous said...

I never knew why St. Andrews did not have to pay their assessment. There was some talk about the town being able to use their facilities but it is doubtful if that has happened. I will stand corrected, or sit, if someone can comment otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know who has used that facility. I know countless people both male and female of all ages in this Town that play hockey and none I know have play at that arena.

Anonymous said...

Being in their 2nd term, that group of councillors has no intention of heeding the new CAO. They know it all now despite having Mr Garbe baby-sit for them when they were first elected.

Anonymous said...

I trust Mr Downey. He will tell council the truth even when they go right ahead and ignore what he has said.

Anonymous said...

7:03- I don't trust anyone at Town Hall.

Anonymous said...

Watching the Highlands situation evolve will be fun. Council and Ms Walpers' fund raising frenzy will be hard-pressed to show that have any impact at all./

Anonymous said...

Downey will say it like it is - unlike /trump who says it like he happens to think that moment. Council will do as they please because they have so far without any repercussions.