"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

Friday 16 May 2008


Tuesday's Council Meeting was particularly vexing. Despite my experience with this council I was hopeful the people would be heard. I have found it wise not to comment on the heels of a bad outcome. I am always haunted by the thought there might have been something else I could have contributed to make a difference.

After I've contemplated for a few days, I generally come to the conclusion that sadly there was never a possibility of a different outcome. Then I look for a positive side. Incredibly, I can always find it.

This time, there were speakers from the community to address the question of how to fill the vacancy created by Grace's resignation. They all had the same message. There should be a by-election. The people should choose the successor. The applause from the audience left no doubt of strong support for that position. But it was all for nought.

The stage was set to meet whatever challenges might be presented to Mayor Morris' agenda. Where previously a two-thirds majority of eight had been set at five, now it was six. That made it possible for two to vote for a reconsideration without allowing it to pass.

External counsel shared the table with Town staff ready to speak to every possible challenge that might be raised. His purpose in being there became apparent as the evening progressed. He offered a personal comment in contribution to the Mayor's side of the debate.

Finally. a letter was included in the agenda from John Gallo saying he would accept an appointment if it was offered. That option was finalized without debate.

The positive aspect was participation by residents in the events and how they must have felt when their input was described as "lobbyists" by the redoubtable Councillor Granger. The Mayor dismissed the multitude of emails received as "form letter emails."

The recognition of how Grace Marsh felt before she made the decision to resign. would be clear and startling at that point. Add the image of the horrendous scene on the stairs to the second floor of the town hall the night before Grace's resignation and the picture is complete.

There can be no lingering doubts as to the nature of governance in the Town of Aurora during the 2007-2010 Term of Office.

In the body of the agenda, we passed a resolution to adopt a Code of Conduct. It purports to assure the community of respect, integrity, decorum, openness and transparency and consultation with the people before epic decisions are made. There are penalties for failure to uphold the Code.

That is the subject for another Blog and a potential source of formal, sober and impartial judgement in the near future.

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