"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 March 2008

A Comment on - Go Figure

I have chosen to post my reponse to Anonymous' comment here instead of in the comments window.

Anonymous said:

If you are aware of current societal concerns, you would be aware that new information informs and changes on a daily basis. The times they are a changing.
Are you?

And my response:

When the Region of York was created and given planning authority over nine Municipalities there was not much inclination on the part of the municipalities to defer to the Region. Murray Pound was the first director of planning. He undertook a study of the Region's land forms. Sue Seibert, our recently retired Director of Planning worked for the region at that time and participated in the study. Sue became the first planner in the Town of Aurora. It was from her I learned about the drumlins, the types of clay left behind after the ice age and the fact the Moraine held the "last vestiges of Carolinian Forest." Long before any government at Queen's Park had heard of the Moraine we understood it's significance.

Since those years, we have treated the lands with sensitivity. They make up much of our municipality. Even before then .we were one of the first municipalities to have air line mapping to clearly delineate flood plains for a hundred year storm. We have been assiduous in our determination that no development ever takes place in flood plains, in concert with the Holland Valley Conservation Authority and its successor, South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority.

In all modesty, I do not need to be lectured on how to exercise good stewardship over the place we are privileged to share and pass on to our children. I believe the values of the people who created a settlement in this place one hundred and fifty years ago have been upheld.

I take personal exception to relative newcomers looking down long patrician noses at our community , past and present, who have striven to protect the town's heritage and make this a better place for the present and future inhabitants. Frankly, they piss me off.

I do not argue in favour of a golf course and a seventy-five town house condominium.Although fifty-four million dollars of new assessment would contribute substantially to stabilise our tax rate.
I support abiding by Provincial legislation. . However much one might wish to arguethe law is an ass and inadequate to protect the Moraine. It is the Law and we are bound to abide by the law. Planning staff are statutory officers. They must advise council in accordance with the law. Lawyers retained to advise council have the same professional obligation.

There have been two Public Planning Hearings held for public input into this application and every opportunity provided for formal objections to the plan.The most recent hearing lasted from 7pm. until miidnight.

Staff have previously advised there are serious outstanding issues the applicant has yet to address. My understanding of the decision made by council last night will involve hiring new consultants to take an opposite position to the work so far undertaken. I do not believe that is a legitimate use of the town's resources. Unless the applicant abandons the project, neither do I believe it will lead to a satisfactory outcome from any perspective.

I put considerable store on the breadth of my experience, knowledge and intelligence. I do not claim infallibility. But I do commit to taking my responsibility seriously and being accountable to the people who elected me to act on their behalf. That I might find myself in conflict with other views on any issue is something I anticipate. We all have that privilege.

I make no apology for that .I will continue to exercise my independent judgement in consideration of what I believe to be right for the community.

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