"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, 1 May 2017


I had a wee back and forth with Councillor Mrakas on Facebook last week. It started with the
Councillor's post, from his perspective,of  news of a  tender for the  6 acre  Mavrinac park . The bid is apparently a third over estimate.Combined cost of land and construction is currently expected  to be $5 million. Even those who pushed for the land to be purchased by the town said they would not expect the town to spend that amount. 

I opposed transfer of the land from private to public purpose. Full cost is still neither disclosed or acknowledged. 

Legal  fees to extort the acquisition are not listed. 

According to the town's master recreation plan, the neighbourhood  is better  served with parks than most. The legal  process for acquiring  land and resources for a park were already satisfied by the subdivision agreement. 

Forfeited Revenue  from potential development represents an expenditure. 

It is anything but efficient financial management. II

In his own words Councillor Mrakas believes the  town is better served  with more green space than with "legoland housing" and cites studies to  show growth does not pay for itself . Every $1 of development revenue  costs $1.30 to service.  

Tax increases despite new assessment are certainly contra- indicated. 

Growth is not to blame. 

Council without a glimmer of its purpose  is the clear and evident factor.  

Numerous examples  of senseless extravagance highlight  gross financial mis-management during 
the last three council terms.

Mavrinac is only the most current. 

The park planned for the erstwhile golf course development is another.

Hallmark Cards property has changed from private,revenue producing, to public ownership. 

Acres of land around the railway station have been taken out of revenue production to hold hundreds of cars coming in to town to be parked every day. 

Queen's York Rangers occupy a town property with a  thirty year lease. The town has all the responsibilities of landlord.  If that isn't an outright f---g gift, I am a monkey's uncle. 

The town parks department was evicted  from the building to make room for QYR. That created  the need for a new site and architect -designed  public works and parks facility.

  It's built but incomplete . The project was mis-managed from start to finish just like the one immediately previous. We still don't know the eventual cost. Two of the officials  responsible  have already flown the coop.  

Council has asked for an audit to determine where the fault lies.

 " It lies with thee, dear Brutus" it was a mess from the start.They had to appoint a citizen to fill 
a vacancy to get the vote they needed.  

The Culture Centre's continues to siphon a million dollars annuallyfrom town coffers. 

If it's so damned popular why isn't it paying for itself? 

The Promenade Plan adopted  six years ago  at considerable expense has contributed nothing but gobbledigoop to downtown revitalization: zero, zilch, nada, nothing ,Amen my friend. 

The list is endless.Councillor Mrakas doesn't know half of it. Their ideas of financial efficiency in municipal management continues what the Mormac cult  introduced. 

Taking serviced land out of development is absolutely counter-productive . 

Soaring costs have far more to do with fungal growth between the ears of those  responsible 
than it ever has to do with growth of the municipality. 


Anonymous said...

Most of the members of Council were involved with those projects and it is funny [ not ha ha ] to watch them try and blame each other now. I do clearly recall that the Mayor and Mr Thompson were members of the " oversight committee " who promised to keeps an eye on expenses on the Joint Op construction. They obviously failed to do so.
Brock has had a couple of excellent articles about the constant talk and no action at council meetings. He must go crazy hearing the same discussions repeated for years. His patience is remarkable.

Anonymous said...

The Wynne government's very recent attempt at addressing the housing bubble in and around Toronto, including Aurora, has got it all wrong with its list of actions.

The problem is caused by a housing shortage. I don't know what the annual capacity of the GTA's largest single home builders is but I doubt they could go onto double or treble their present volume. Toronto is supposed to receive 100,000 new residents annually at the present rate.

The only way to accommodate such rising numbers while keeping development revenue below servicing cost is by multi-rise condominiums. We in Aurora still believe that our land base is limitless - it isn't. Our population is projected to grow past 75,000 within the next 20 years.

Unfortunately provincial, regional and municipal planners have all got their heads in the sand, or other less attractive places, be it with respect to housing or transportation.

The erstwhile Scarborough subway with possible only one station has seen the cost escalate from the region of $2 billion to more than double that, with fewer projected riders.

I would like to see Councillor Markas' studies that he is citing. Probably prepared by some of the aforementioned planners.