"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 10 May 2008


I have had hate mail delivered to my box at the town hall.It is three pages long and entitled :

Evelyn Buck : a destructive force.

The writer wished to "remain anonymous out of fear". I am accused of

  • Being the cause of a dysfunctional council;
  • Creating discord;
  • Manipulation of councillors into emotional responses;
  • Grace Marsh's resignation;
  • Tim Jones defeat in the last election;
  • Procedural dilemnas;
  • Costing $40,000. for a by-election;
  • $16,000 for lawyer's fees to explore options for dealing with my behaviour;
  • Bringing a torrent of pollution to the town's business ;
  • Making personal attacks on other councillors;
  • Being willful, malicious and self-righteous;
  • Seeking to create conflict;
  • Caring more about winning than anything else;
  • Creating the potential for more resignations;

All the while I thought I was having no influence at all on this council with its controlling block of five votes of which I am not one.

I leave the descriptive language which filled the three typewritten pages of the letter to readers' imagination. It is not elevating.

I have pondered how to handle the situation. I believe hate mail is against the law. Should I have a chat with the Chief of Police? Could they do anything about it. Did anyone see who put it in my box? The Councillors' office is secure. If it came from outside it had to be handed to reception at the town hall entrance - unless it was someone with access to the councillors' office.

Was it handed to the administrative assistant? Or was it placed in my box when her back was turned? Was it a councillor who needed to be anonymous in case I would direct the letter be placed on the Council Agenda? I have had similar but shorter emails from a councillor.

Nasty letters to the editor have a name attached. I can deal with them or not, if I so choose. But this one is sinister. Should I feel threatened? By a delusional coward? I don't think so.

Now and then I feel a twinge about doing the Blog. Though it is probably happening elsewhere it is probably the first time Aurora councillors have had to contend with this additional form of communication. Of course if things were working as they should and council was congenial there would be no reason for concern. I would be writing positive stuff.

Then I think - why should I not use it. It's much the same as having a conversation with a resident. They ask what was this about and that. Who was it asked you to step aside and let him have your seat the day after the election? The Blog allows me to fill in the details of the ongoing saga which is their Town business. Only in more detail and to more than one person at a time.

When I write a Letter to the Editor it is open to contradiction, agreement or criticism. People tell me it's appreciated.

Mind you, if council was functioning as it should I would not be so frank in my observations. It would be necessary to nurture a cordial working relationship with colleagues. But since it has been clear from the beginning, there was little interest or need for the gang five to hear any views but their own. They had all the votes and all the expertise they wanted or needed to take care of the town's business with no input from the rest of us. I gave it two-thirds of a year before I abandoned hope. I still hope it might improve.

When we were a small town with a small Town Hall in the middle of the downtown block, Council had few secrets from the community. A politician's character and behaviour were familiar . Discussions and decisions were abroad almost before we were. People could follow the play-by-play even without Aurora Cable Cameras.

There was no place to hide. A person could have a ton of different reasons for a particular vote but heaven help him or her if caught being blatantly hypocritical. A facility for double-speak was not an asset.

Nowadays a reputation can be ripped to shreds through no fault of the individual. A person's flanks need to be protected.

That is likely why I am emphatic and take time to make my points clear in what passes for council debate.

Do I enjoy it? Yes, of course I do. Do I hope I am making a contribution?

Why else would I do it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since when is everyone suppost to have the same opinion? Do you not see how others badger the administration!
Difference of opinion is suppost to be a good thing. Seems to me the Professionalism of the other Councillors is lacking here. Have you heard Mrs. Buck tell other Councillors they should stay home! Personal attacks are made by others. As for Grace's resignation- I DON'T THINK SO! Tim Jones defeat, that was created by Morris and Kean, but that also meant that Morris did not have total support of the people. More people vote for Kean and Jones combined than Morris. Whats wrong with questioning how things are done. Don't you want to be sure the right thing is always happening. I like the questions. I thiink it is a great thing. No By-election yet. The people have said loud and clear that is what they want. Mrs. Buck is only trying to respect the voice of the people, who are screeming loud and clear that is what they want! $16,000.00 big one it was councill who who hired the lawyer. Mrs. Buck voted against on the grounds that NO REASON was given for hiring the lawyer.Torrent of Pollution - BREATH OF FRESH AIR IS MORE LIKE IT! You always know where she stands loud and clear. Hear her roar! I have never heard this she only states the facts. Howwever if you listen closely you will hear who attacks who. Being Professional Strong and Informed, not a bad thing with this council. Caring about the town, how it is run and how YOUR money is spent is more like it! More Resignations is not on the shoulders of Evelyn Buck. I'm sure she can sleep at night, after all she lays everything on the table. Theres plenty of Transparecncy and Openess here! Keep it up Evelyn! You are doing a Fanatastic job!!!