"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

Saturday, 18 November 2017

MAIS NON...MON AMI ... IL N'EST PAS VRAIMENT

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HEAR ME ROAR": 

Another vehicle doesn't need to be involved for a charge of racing to be laid. As of a decade ago, driving at least 50 kmh over the posted speed limit can result in a racing/stunt charge. It sounds like your subject was justifiably charged, and that your ire is misplaced. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 18 November 2017 at 18:03

*******************************************

Thank you for your  input but I disagree. You argue the charge was justified It  was in fact dismissed.

It took a court proceeding, legal fees and miles and miles of tedious travel,for car and licence to be returned to the lawful owner, after sitting unsecured in a junk yard for a week. 
 
The charge did not stand up in court. It failed. Evidence did not support it. 

IT WAS A BULLSHIT CHARGE.......a total waste of public resources. 

So far, I've focused on cost, though not all of the cost, to the person wrongfully charged. 

I've also touched on breach of trust between sworn officers of the law and the public. Their 
authority over our lives when they wear the uniform and carry a gun is no small matter. 

Loss of respect is real, not affordable, unacceptable and totally needless. 

The costs of court procedure is secondary but not insignificant. 

Police officers are paid witness fees and court time which of course is lost from policing.  Visit a 
court house some time and see the officers are there, milling about in their numbers,  for hours any 
day of the week. 

Judges or magistrates are occupied listening to arguments ....at their convenience. 

They are potentates of their domain .....paid regardless of competence .

Prosecutors have to be paid and facilities provided. 

People charged with crimes are released from jail because dockets are overcrowded and 
courts never get ito trial. 

I've spent  time in court houses. It's not like the real world in any sense. They create their own caliphates and it's theirs, all theirs.

And it's all on our dollar, yours and mine .

My "ire" is not misplaced, my friend. 

On the contrary, it is very well placed... right here in this Blog. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

HEAR ME ROAR

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HELPFUL EXCHANGE": 

I agree with you Evelyn. That was totally an abuse of power, and it's legal. To make matters worse they all defend themselves and stand in solidarity with their "brothers/sisters"
when one of them gets into hot water, hiding behind their union like children instead of responsible men and women who are officers of the law. It's unfortunate, but we have more cowardly police officers than heroes out there with no leadership. I hope this poor guy gets a break. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 November 2017 at 14:47

****************************************
The racing charge was dismissed. Impound fees for the car $565.... because of the racing charge 
Two long trips had to be made. One to bring him home when his car and licence were taken from him ....because of the racing charge. The second was to collect the car.

 Legal fees brought the financial outlay to $2,200. with more to go. 

A week of employment lost and a donation to the cancer society to get an immediate decision 
from the hearing. 

A fine was imposed  and demerit points for speeding. 

THAT'S NOT THE COMPLAINT REGISTERED HERE. 

I AM STANDING HERE.  I'M NOT LOOKING FOR SYMPATHY.

The complaint is, a police officer  deliberately and wilfully laid a false charge .  

He was not called to account. 

A wrongful charge dismissed is not a correction. 

An abuse of authority occurred with intention to harm. 

Huge resources are expended  by police departments to promote public support. 

York Regional Police have a motto  " TO SERVE AND PROTECT"

Respect for law and order is imperative. Public support is essential for police to do their job. 

Many officers are everything and more, we could  want them to be. 

Too many are not.  Unfortunately, their abuse of authority is countenanced  by the rest. 

Good judgement and common sense are not common. Not among police forces and not on 
court benches and not in government circles. 

Our young citizen learned two lessons. The first is financial. He will recover. 

The second, equally important in my view, is not to trust the police. Will society recover? 

I don't believe anyone can argue that's a good outcome. 

Twenty-odd years ago, we had a chance to be different. YR Police Association made sure it didn't happen. 

We're living in a different world now. We have the Internet. 

It would be better if needed changes were made within the institution. 

I doubt that's going to happen. 

I think it's going to get messy. 

HELPFUL EXCHANGE

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHEN IS SERVICE NOT SERVICE....WHEN ITS ABUSE": 

Evelyn
Not sure what you stance on this story is but I can tell you mine.  

1. The posted limit is 60 km/h and he was clocked doing 110. Ignorance is no excuse - as you know. I am sure there are signs to indicate what the limit is at that area. Regardless, if the posted was 80 and he was doing 110... he should also be ticketed. 

2. The racing charge I have an issue with. I believe that Racing (or Stunt driving as some call it) should have some other actions involved to put it into that category. Being 50 km/h over the limit is not an indication of either racing or stunt driving - especially if you are a lone vehicle. However, the law is the law. Everyone that watches local news knows that these situations get you the impounded vehicle.  

3. His car may have been sent to junk yard. However, that may be where the local police put impounded vehicles and means nothing to the story. They did not "junk" the car. 

4. No license, no employment, legal fees, etc. are all part of the penalty. I find it hard to feel sorry for him to be honest. He may work hard but he did not think hard and he did not consider the consequences.

Too bad

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 November 2017 at 08:36

***********************************************
I appreciate the prompt and matter of fact response.  Part I do not dispute, part I do and part 
I suspect is defence of an action for which there is none. 

You affirm the racing charge is not justified. You acknowledge some other action needed to be present
to lay a charge in that category. .. and you establish, for the rest of us, that charge led to impounding the vehicle and removing his licence which he needs to keep his job. 

My position is, that  charge was an abuse of power not unlike all the other abuses we are reading about today. 

A young person's rights were  violated. By a police officer. 

Your knowledge  suggests you are or were a policeman. You  would likely not have laid that charge yourself but you're not unaccustomed to defending those who do. 

Your offhand dismissal of the horrendous hardship as part of the penalty is not even remotely acceptable. 

And therein lies the problem. The police are officers of the law. They are not the law. 

Penalties are not decided by police officers. In court ,they are witnesses.  

There was no evidence of racing. 

He documented a lie. Deliberately. 

He abused his office to do harm. 

He's a policeman for God's sake. 

In my judgement, he  is not entitled to wear  the uniform. 

He should find himself one day standing at the side of the road, in splendid isolation, without his uniform. 

WHEN IS SERVICE NOT SERVICE....WHEN ITS ABUSE

I have a new story involving a young man  living in Ontario. 

His job is driving and distribution and being away from home much of the time. 

At nine-thirty in the morning , on his way to his first call, in an area with a normal speed limit of 80 kms, 
he was driving at 110 kms...30 over speed limit he thought. 

He was stopped . Actual speed  limit was 60 kms. The charge was driving 50 kms over.

With nothing whatsoever to indicate it, a charge of racing was added. 

The car was impounded, his licence removed and he was being left in that isolated place with no means of transport. No way of getting on with his job.   

He had to beg for a ride to civilization.. 

The car went to a junk yard, with an impound fee of $50.a day. 

The incident happened miles from home . Both parents made the trip to bring the car home. 

He is currently without the licence necessary for his employment.  

Fees, possibly in thousands, to defend against the charge of racing and plead guilty with an explanation are in the offing. 

He's an earnest young man. 
Works hard . 
Just married.
New bride works extra shifts and exercises thrift to save for a house.

Respect  for the law keeps the community safe.
It can't be taken for granted. 
It's easily lost.  
Once lost, not easily recovered. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

SECOND THOUGHTS

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES...I'M GAME": 

Oh! I get it. The friend of a friend thing. I hear that's very popular in political circles. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 November 2017 at 21:14

*****************

I thought not to publish this comment. Slight in substance, it's hardly worth repeating. 

I thought again and realized... it sarcastically echoes a point I'd made. 

It's true, politicians can help people with problems and in return, supporters help re- elect.  It's not always true, not of all politicians nor of all perceived problems.  But consistently true of some. 

Nine members, elected independently, render chicanery less likely. 

At the first Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Luncheon of Mayor Dawe's term , he informed a named guest, of sidewalk to be built on the Industrial Parkway. 

The recommendation had come  from the Director of Infrastructure with no indication of a request.
no Council input or direction.

The pleased luncheon guest had obviously asked the Mayor and received.

Mr.Dawe  was immediate past-president of the Chamber. It wasn't the first indication town interest 
was not first. But it was the first I couldn't ignore or deny. 

I helped him get elected. It was secondary to my primary intention but disappointment was profound all the same. 

It got worse. 

A Council seldom gets elected without a candidate  or two willing to sell their soul for votes and voters wiling to buy.  

Nine Councillors elected independently reduce the opportunity for that practise to  prevail. 

With  the  Mormac "slate" , and a re-shaped administration, Council went to hell in a hand basket. 
The gang -of -six  and staff worked hand-in-hand. Checks and balances vanished into,the mist of antiquity.  

In the Dawe council, even rules of order were altered to smooth the path to perdition. 

Recent debate to reduce the number of Councillors is a case in point.

The Mayor was absent.The item could have been deferred but was obviously deemed of insufficient significance for his input. 

Councillor Thompson made his usual argument. He asked politicians in other municipalities and read a Harvard Study. 
Councillor Pirrie wanted to know why others changed their minds but failed to repeat his own logic.
Councillor Mrakas wasn't quoted. 
Councillor Thom saw no reason to change the number .
Councillor Gaertner opposed the motion. 
Councillor Humfryes moved the motion and saw it as a step towards a ward system when she would 
be able to serve "her area " better. 

The ward system was rejected by ballot in the previous election. 

Recently discussed is a move to make council office full-time. The idea would be easier sold with two fewer Councillors.  

Logic dictates, if economy is the criteria, the community would be better served by amalgamation with 
the Towns of Newmarket and Richmond Hill. 

Considering electoral disinterest , the whole Aurora shebang would hardly be missed, save by the NIMBYs  and other eccentrics among us. 


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES...I'M GAME

JAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE SHORT ANSWER": 

Way to go... you did not answer the question. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 14 November 2017 at 08:31

*************************************

Double  -tasking again. ..watching Mr. Sessions answering questions of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

Democrats are at risk of losing an edge here , from my perspective. Mr. Sessions answers seem perfectly reasonable.  He's no slouch. The media are trailing. 

The situation is not without humour. One would hardly relate politics here to politics there . Yet it 
does. Any time ,my argument prevails , I'm accused  of being a slick politician or a liar. 

It was a breach of order but happened anyway without consequence. Who calls the presiding 
member to order? Well yes,  I did that too. 

The Municipal Act does not refer to every potential piece of municipal chicanery. Bits  and pieces 
of half-assed legislation keep being added. But conduct does not improve.  It only keeps  getting 
further away from basic principles. 

Beyond the Oath of Office ,rules of conduct are just clutter. 

Adherence rather than litigation is anticipated , especially since the municipal level is also a legislative
body. 

If integrity and consistency do not rule,how is legislation expected to be respected ?   

The knowledge and experience of  the Municipal Clerk is bedrock to the process. 

No good comes from neutering the Clerk. 

Ontario has 440 municipalities, among them, an endless  pool of knowledge and experience.  No problem arises that hasn't been experienced elsewhere. 

First political reaction  is to pass a law.  

 If he doesn't know already,  the Clerk  can discover at the other end of the phone , its chances of 
success.

Will it stand up in court ?

Judges are not sympathetic to municipalities. 

Lawyers are expensive. 

Having a bylaw struck down is not something to strive for.  

Generally speaking , the public are not sympathetic to municipalities. 

Politicians are disinclined to accept responsibility, despite the purpose of the office. 

The Mormac Duo and cohorts were elected in a slate, Aurora's clerk had two years to go until his intended retirement. He made it but not without compromise,considerable havoc and expense to 
the municipality and personal harm to others. 

CAO at the time was a lawyer, had served as Mayor in another municipality and subsequently 
CAO in still another municipality.

He did not seek the post in Aurora.  He was sought and wrote his own contract. He was the
immediate target as most likely to foil The Wicked Queen's intentions. 

The Clerk took steps to put distance between himself and the dreadful duo. 

Various blood-curdling scenarios evolved from which he effectively removed himself. 

Leasing and surrendering the hydro asset to QYR was the start of the worst and there were several close seconds. 

The friendship link to QYR was Christopher Ballard ,currently MLA, not yet a Councillor but a Liberal
associate of Mormac. 

The Clerk's retirement took place precisely as he planned. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

THE SHORT ANSWER

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ROBBERY IN EXCESS": 

"Councils past have always understood the Province does not sanction a municipal landlord function. 
It contradicts the basic principle of taxation."

Simple question then. Why has it been allowed? And don't tell me it was MorMac, that ship has sailed 

*******************

The Municipal Clerk is a Statutory officer who advises Council of applicable statutes to maintain Provincial law. Municipalities do not have a constitutional right to be.

The Ontario Municipal Act requires the town to retain the services of a certified Municipal Clerk.

The position requires practical experience in the clerk's department and certification in a course provided by Queen's University.

The Clerk normally sits within reach of the Mayor or presiding member to be able to intervene unobtrusively if Council is going off track.

It's not so easy to preferentially select a Municipal Clerk.

After the election and months of merciless public and private humiliation to persuade him, the town was eventually compelled to honour a legal contract. The CAO was replaced by an employee from York Region. The first of many.

$75,000 was budgeted to educate the new CAO.

Within weeks, without waiting to see how the administration functioned, re-organization was presented.

Several significant responsibilities including Human Resources  Bylaws and Communications 
were  transferred from the Clerk's Authority.

No pretext of improvement was offered and certainly none resulted.

The obvious objective was to reduce authority, status, and influence of the Clerk.

Municipal officials often shift in the last five years before retiring, to maximize pension benefits.

A five year contract was signed with the new Clerk.

Any time a majority of Councillors gather in one place, a meeting is deemed to have been held. 

Lots of meetings happened after council adjournment without official record.

A contract with the new Clerk was signed in November. The following August, the day after release of the Integrity Commissioner's decision on the complaint filed by The Mayor and five council cohorts, the Clerk's immediate departure was announced. The e-mail circulated by the CAO stated the Clerk had decided to retire early. 

The Clerk had followed Integrity Commissioner Act to the letter of the law. The decision was 
Intended never to see the light of day. 

The Integrity Commissioner had deemed the complaint purely political.

His contract was also terminated and another one bit the dust.

A powerful message was sent to all employees.

Successor Clerks  were eventually made subject to authority of the Town Solicitor, who in turn, was subject to authority of the CAO. Whose education was still being financed.

Eventually the Solicitor departed. He went on vacation and did not return.

Several clerk's later, the position is now, I believe, subject to authority of the Chief Building Official.

Under circumstances....not a better  move.

Consequences of all the shifting and shuffling have been many and disruptive.Most pronounced being unfinished construction of a $26 million Joint Operation Centre on the side of a ravine.

The question posed in the comment is why did the town, against its' own interest, lease a multi-million dollar asset for thirty years , if it's not allowed to under Provincial legislation?

The Clerk's job is to advise Council. Council  makes the decisions. 

The Mormac crew went one step further. They made sure advice received did not come from the Clerk. They did many things they shouldn't have.

Their authority was terminated by the election. 

Then some  things changed and some things remained the same.

The community is not well served. Hasn't been for years now. I'm not sure it ever will be again. 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

FEW CAN ESCAPE

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "PEACE AND HARMONY..CIRCA 2017":

Obviously 20:35 is a complete knob for a comment about war veterans. He/she knows nothing about how war wounds - physical or not - can impact a person for the rest of their lives. 

My Grandfather was wounded at the Calonne Trench Raid ( http://scholars.wlu.ca/cmh/vol8/iss2/3/ ) in January 1917 and was never the same. 

This commenter is a callous, ignorant blow hard that knows nothing about the "safe" environment that a mess (Men's, Sergeant's or Officer's) can provide those that did in fact survive the battles but have to live with the memories.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 9 November 2017 at 13:


*********************************************

Time passes, as well, those with memories. Shell shock, mustard gas, empty sleeves and wooden legs with rubber tips were familiar sights and references of my childhood.

A neighbour's washing included flannel cups to cushion the stump of a severed leg.

After the second war, burns were added to the list of horrors.

Impact on family lives was not much talked about. But the secret was ill-kept.

Survivors of the worst experiences could never bear to speak of them. Yes, they took refuge with comrades in Canadian Legions where they didn't need to speak of them. They knew what they had been through.
Nowadays, post-traumatic stress is recognized. Whether or not services are adequate to deal with
the problem is a different question.

Parents find solace that a son or daughter died doing what they wanted to do.

If that's true, why are survivors haunted and tormented by the memory?

Humans find ways to cope. Soon it becomes part of the daily ritual and life goes on.

Because it must.

It does not go on without sadness and grief and regret for what ought to have been.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

ROBBERY IN EXCESS

II Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "PEACE AND HARMONY..CIRCA 2017":

Not only is the "eviction" statement false news, so is this:

" Fort York Armoury in Toronto, was closed by the Federal government "

Fort York is still actively used and is the home of the Toronto detachment of QYR.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 8 November 2017 at 17:02


******************************

The desperate need to prove me a liar is telling. But It keeps the conversation going and that's 
fine with me.

The park's department was making good use of the building. The fenced 5-acre yard had grown
wild, but a dismantled barn (heritage salvage) was being stored there. It had to be moved to the overcrowded works yard where it probably rotted.

The hydro building was architect designed. Administration facilities were used by the town clerk for
town archives.

Where they are now, one may only guess. Any time I sought confirmation requiring a search of the archives, response was usually negative.

The park's department is now in the unfinished Joint Operations Centre, currently the object of an
audit to determine how the millions were spent.

Parks were in the Hydro property. Now they're not. Queen's York Rangers are.

Aurora Parks Department were ordered to de-camp to allow Queens York Rangers to move in.

Dem's the facts, man.

Information on Federal plans to close Fort York Armouries and Aurora Armouries and end QYR
existence was provided by the Chief Administrative Officer as explanation for providing a base.

Obviously, he thought it mattered to the community. So much so, they were never given a say.

The financial burden was never even contemplated.

The following Council could have changed that. And they did. They extended the lease from twenty to thirty years.

Councils past have always understood the Province does not sanction a municipal landlord function.

It contradicts the basic principle of taxation.

A budget is struck on an annual basis. By law, it cannot allow for deficit or surplus. It must be precise.

Taxes must be raised to pay for services provided. No more ... no less.

People move. Properties don't. Property tax cannot be rebated. Services received are the only services to be paid for.

Sale of surplus real estate at a competitive price, represents revenue in the year sold.

When the hydro property was given away Aurora taxpayers were robbed.

And not the only time either.

ALL IN THE RECORD ...OR NOT

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "PEACE AND HARMONY..CIRCA 2017":

Have to love how you hang on to your altered version history and publish it as truth.

"...a town department to was evicted to make space for the regiment to survive. "

The Town determined that the building was surplus for it's use and it was offered up and eventually leased to DND for the QYR. There was no "eviction". That is hyperbole on your part that is false. The Hydro building was being used by a Town department to assemble picnic tables.

I will be honest. I do not agree that the LAV should be at the park as a monument for Afghanistan veterans. The Cenotaph is supposed to be a monument to the dead of all wars. It should memorialize all fallen soldiers of all conflicts and not make one conflict more important that an other. Having the LAV for Afghanistan singles out that conflict - which personally we should not have been involved in.

The proper place to have the LAV - if we are to have it - should be at the armouries. It is a monument to the QYR and their mission.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 8 November 2017 at 08:54


*****************************************
No doubt the commenter believes what they heard from a person they trust. Their information is not correct. 

Legislation covering disposition of public property is clear and simple.  

Council must pass a bylaw to declare the property surplus . Then advertise and or list the 
property for sale. It did not happen.

I remember the night the CAO informed Council in closed session he had negotiated a twenty 
year lease with QYR and the amount of the rent. 

Councillor Gaertner was very complimentary and full of appreciation. 

Council had given the CAO no instruction  to proceed in that direction. 

No bylaw had been passed, no advertisement publicly declaring the property surplus to our needs. 

No listing or advertising the property for sale. 

When Council received information about the rent, no offsetting figures were provided to indicate maintenance or capital costs to meet requirements of the new tenant. Never did receive a figure
although work continued for months after parks vacated.

Nothing to indicate cost of forfeiting tax revenue or realizing a capital asset or the potential for jobs
had the property been disposed according to the law and Municipal Act requirements.

Aurora Parks Department build parks furniture to their own specifications. In the short time they'd been in the building, they had built a shelter gazebo in parts to be assembled on site.

The day the Queen's Jubilee Park was dedicated, the CAO explained why the deal was done.

The Federal government planned to close Fort York Armouries and Aurora Armouries. This meant
QYR would be archived as a separate regiment from Canadian Forces.

Adding salt to the wound, Aurora paid the Federal government half a million dollars for the
contaminated drill shed that occupied a corner of the Town Park since the reign of Queen
Victoria.

At a cost of millions, Aurora taxpayers rescued Queen's York Rangers from extinction. Rah Rah Rrr.

Cost of the JOC fiasco is not even factored into the overall expenditure.

Accusing a past Councillor of lying about municipal decisions is tricky.

A claim of advertising a property surplus and then for sale is easy to prove or disprove.

Documentation is public. Legally, both newspapers must carry the advertisement. It never
happened online, referral has never been so simple.

To the commenter's final tortuous point about display of a death machine at the Cenotaph;
the history of planning and fund-raising to build the War Memorial is written and accessible
at the library.

Federal War Memorial Act regulates care and maintenance.

The First World War was to be the War that ended all wars. November 11 is a reminder of the
promise made to those who died. "The torch was passed from falling hands" that no-one
else would ever be required to make that terrible sacrifice again.

The Second World War was an extension of the First. The same promise was made.

And since then no-one has been compelled.

Canada is not at war. No country is threatening ours.

With nuclear weaponry war is obsolescent.

There can be no victorious ending.

Only ending.




Tuesday, 7 November 2017

PEACE AND HARMONY..CIRCA 2017


I wrote a post then re-wrote it several times over many, many hours. It was a rendering of opinion on various decisions of Council from the last meeting. Though harsh, it will simply not allow itself to be tempered and I'm not ready to delete it without a replacement.

Have I had an epiphany? Not likely. I know what I know I know.

Modern Newspapers Radio and T.V. stations seldom editorialize on municipal decisions.

Does it mean decisions are unfailingly exceedingly wise?

Unremarkably insignificant?

Readers are universally disinterested in municipal governance?

Whatever....Editorial opinion is rare as hen's teeth and can, at one and the same time, be enfolded and
smothered in the phrase... general consensus.

General consensus... the all-encompassing, clumping together of modern thought.  Or what passes for same.

Lethargy..somnambulance...inward-thinking... hard of hearing...dis-interested...disconnected...
detached....go away....closed for today and every day for lack of interest.

I drove past the Cenotaph in the gloaming last night. It's there. The ghostly presence of a sheathed white death machine on wheels...perched like the Monstrance on a reverential dais...

The realization of a dream.

Forty odd years ago, following Canada's Centennial, the government decided to dispose of surplus tanks. Probably never saw a battlefront, fresh off a production line, sitting in costly storage somewhere.

Municipalities are always the first dumping ground that come to mind.

Queen's York Rangers, originally a cavalry regiment, transformed into a tank regiment, similarly obsolescent had quarters in Aurora funded by the Feds.

In a small corner of the drill shed, in a corner of the town park, an officers' mess provided a home away from home for those who could not let go of the most exciting experience of their lives.

Uniforms, ribbons, pips and protocol; saluting, standing to attention, parading the colours, traditions, lesser ranks ....the entire scenario was reproduced for reliving the ever-loving Glory of War.

At that time, not long after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the responsible world had agreed, war between nations could never, ever be contemplated again.

Nevertheless, the idea of a surplus tank placed in the War Memorial Park reached Council. I was not a Councillor that term but I wrote the story for The Era, making sure the Aurora Legion was quoted.

Members were veterans then. Their experience of war still fresh. Opposition to the tank display, was clear, firm and immediate.

As I write, I realize the War Memorial Board, representing Whitchurch, King and Aurora had complete authority. They would have known the War Memorial Act does not permit intrusions onto the site.

The idea of a tank at the War Memorial, "for kids to play on" never took root.

Fifty years later, courtesy of Aurora Council and a valuable town property, Queen's York Rangers cavalry-turned-tank regiment survives in a world where conventional war is a horrible memory.

Fort York Armoury in Toronto, was closed by the Federal government while a town department was evicted to make space for the regiment to survive.

Aurora Legion's remaining few veterans are in their mid-nineties. That they gave thumbs up to display a weapon of war alongside the Cenotaph is hardly credible. That they were asked, even less likely.

Friday, 3 November 2017

BETRAYAL OF TRUST

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "REMEMBRANCE": 
This piece of gutted America scrap metal is an absolute disgrace to the citizens of King, Aurora and Whitchurch and to those brave souls whose names have been etched into those splendid monuments.

All because of some modern day soldier and a few pandering politicians, who haven't the foresight nor hindsight to see the error of their ways.

Since 1924 that place has been respected by all who pass by as one of the most impressive

Monuments of Remembrance in the country, so sacredly protected by all previous councils of Aurora and the founding War Memorial Board. One must wonder what Colonel Fred Tilston must be thinking as he rests in peace knowing that the site he and his fellow veteran heroes protected so well has now been defaced so ignorantly.

What a shame.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 3 November 2017 at 07:52

*************************
There's a leaflet in the library accessible to anyone, on the history of the War Memorial.

It was a beacon in the boundary fields of Whitchurch and King, when it was constructed.

An organization was formed to choose the location, the architect, the design. Until sometime in the last decade of the last century, it was managed by a War Memorial Board with representatives from King, Whitchurch and Aurora.

The town parks department has cared for it conscientiously ever since.

It is the War Memorial for the three communities. Still we failed to protect it.

A new perimeter fence was installed after 2003. The veterinarian in Edward's Plaza had cut a hole in the old fence and installed a gate for his canine patients to use the area for defecation. He appeared at Council to request a new gate in the new fence. He had paid to fence the leash free park and felt it was his due.

I was on council. The fence was constructed without a gate.

I've always felt the War Memorial and Church Street school, the orderly tree lined streets and the town park said more about the historic values of the Aurora community than all the blather.

Now the War Memorial, for so long a symbol of what the community holds dear, will tell a different story.

Thanks to those elected to preserve and protect.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

REMEMBRANCE

Today a light armoured vehicle is scheduled to be hoisted into place immediately to the north of the
War Memorial.

Al Downie said it should be done the day after Halloween but failed to mention possibility of vandalism.


It's real.

I was over there a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to check the dais. It cost $15,000 and had been there years.

The story in 2015, indicated Queen's York Rangers would raise $17,000, the cost of the death machine.

Aurora Legion has been talking about funds for repairs since the St Kitts woman was involved in fund-raising affairs and that's seven years since.

The chair of the fundraising group published names of the members in The Auroran. Her name wasn't on the list. She had announced her involvement earlier.

The Legion is a social gathering place. It's hard to fathom why maintenance isn't factored into costs of operation.

Council conveyed the impression, the town would pay for the dais, QYR would buy the machine.

Success was hardly likely. Fund-raising is hard work. Needs many willing hands and meticulous book-keeping. I think the Legion is still trying to get it going.

I was about to write a post about the merits of spending $15,000 on a concrete platform to sit empty while concurrently applauding the vacant space. But it's not to be.

TV recently featured a story with parents of Captain Nichola Goddard still mourning their loss, as they will to the end of their lives.

Their girl was killed in one of those infernal machines. She was standing up in it when she was hit by two missiles, one from each side.

She was twenty-six years old. A beautiful, wholesome, young Canadian woman. Recently married, looking forward to coming home to start a family.

Canada is not at war. This week, the government announced withdrawal from Afghanistan----without an accompanying statement about what has been accomplished.

In Aurora, we have an exceptionally beautiful memorial, surrounded by a green and pleasant place, to honour those who did not return from the war to end all wars...World War I.

The torch is raised high... And a tree grows for every lost soul.

It's hard to see how it will be improved by the addition of a light armoured vehicle. Nothing recommends it.

There's no indication Queen's York Rangers raised the funds. There's a gap in the story as it's told.

$32,000 in total from the town.

On November 11, past Councils have stood at the Altar of Sacrifice and dramatically opened a basket to release a flock of doves as a symbol of peace.

This year, it may happen alongside a machine signifying belligerence of war and the terror, horror and grief that accompany it.

Like we are keeping our promise to the fallen.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

DISCUSSION IS GOOD



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "CORRUPTION ....A COAT OF MANY COLOURS":

One of the reasons these things can be done is because there is plenty of money to go around. If the money is there it only requires imagination to co-mingle receipts, cook a deal, or simply have invoices altered to fit the right category.
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 31 October 2017 at 14:29

*******************

I have a different perspective of how things should be because my experience is different.

The town had a population of 7,500 when I was elected. Before then, elections were held every twelve months. Issues stayed fresh. Secrets were few.

Council's agenda included the correspondence and accounts payable.

Cheques were co-signed by the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer. Later it was Mayor and Treasurer.

Principle being, one individual alone was not responsible for funds disbursed.

The budget struck was the first to reach a million dollars. Mayor Clarence Davis made a solemn pronouncement.

Once I asked why we were buying mosquito repellent for the works department. Angus McGregor, Works Superintendent, had a brusque way with him.

There were no microphones or video cameras and we rose to address the Chair. Council meetings were well re-hashed later in Ray's Cafe, predecessor to Moon Garden.

When I came back to Council, early this century, correspondence and accounts payable were no longer part of the Business Agenda. Cheques were not signed by either Mayor or Treasurer. The budget was closer to sixty than fifty million, and Councillors remained seated when addressing the Chair. A small thing but some dignity was lost. Not that we didn't have at each other with gusto in debate. Time limits to speak were never heard of and buttons to shut someone up would have been ill-regarded.

Accounts and correspondence were on file in the councillors' room.

The massive administrative structure was like a Berlin Wall. A Mayor insufficiently mindful of Council authority meant council had none.

At the same time, a council without sense of the value of working together behind the Mayor's leadership, also undermined authority.

In a new and different circumstance, capable professional staff were replaced, the Mayor exercised powers of omnipotent plenipotentiary and evil transpired.

In his role of Mayor, I am critical of Mayor Dawe. I do not challenge his personal integrity.

When staff spending authority is increased, it's generally because prices have increased.

None of which is to suggest hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on legal fees for purely political purposes was permissible use of public funds. It certainly is not and never should have happened. The authority to collect taxes does not extend to using the funds to protect any person's political posterior.

The law never intended it that way.

Monday, 30 October 2017

CORRUPTION ....A COAT OF MANY COLOURS

I am double- tasking. 

Listening to news of criminal charges and a guilty plea related to the American election and the lecher in the White House and writing a post. 

I recall  Richard Nixon's solemn statement on TV __-"The American People have a right to know their President is not a crook"

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Americans now know Richard Nixon was a crook. He was lying in his teeth while staring  intently into the camera.

Years later ,the swindling, lying, lecher currentlyin the White House  is doing the same--- only onTwitter instead of TV.

In Washington,Ottawa ,Aurora and Toronto, much is about what people choose to believe.
Honesty can not be taken for granted in any sector of society. 

Last week, the talk was about a " salacious dossier" compiled on the Republican candidate____initiated by Republicans____picked up and partly paid for by Democrats. 

How payment was made caught my attention.Lawyers working for the campaign paid the retired
British spy who compiled the dossier,then invoiced the Democrats. Does this soundlike political
 intrigue and master spy fiction. It even has essential components of sex and a dark secret no-one wants to talk about.

I digress. It's hard not to. Back to the point. 

Private resources were use to pay for research engaged for political purpose.

In Aurora,  a public relations firm was hired by lawyer John Mascarin to manage the fallout from the Integrity Commissioner's decision in 2007. Mascarinpaid the fee then invoiced the town for  the expenditure.

Public funds financed an attempted political cover-up. 

As  a Councillor,I knew nothing of the contract expenditure until Mascarin's files were subpoenaed 
during the litigation. 

The cover-up was not authorised by Council. Nor could it have been. 

Town Treasurer ,like the Clerk, is a Statutary Office. It carries legal authority and responsibility for ensuring only legitimate payments are made from town treasury. 

Annual audits are required by law for the same purpose and intent. 

So....the relevant inquiry is, how was that fee paid from town funds. The expenditure was 
not  authorized  by Council. 

John Mascarin is a municipal lawyer. He was first introduced to Aurora Council by Bob Panizza ,
Town clerk. The two worked together in the Town of Markham, one on his way up, the other on 
his way. 

Are public funds still being so carelessly disbursed ?  

If the answer is no... and it should be and likely is...what checks and balances. would stop it now
 that didn't stop it then? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed from town coffers for 
Inappropriate purpose ? 

How can we be sure it won't ever happen again?