"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 11 April 2013

A blast from the past

Councillor Gallo forwarded the e-mail he received from the Fire Chief. It answered the questions asked on Tuesday night because the Mayor ruled they were out of order. Not our business,he said.
Newmarket has a contract with King and Whitchurch Stouffville.
Aurora has contracts with both those municipalities.
No mention made i the e-mail of a contract with East Gwillimbury.
Not to have a contract would be the decision of E.G.
The 12 minute response time therefore would  appear to be solely the responsibility of East Gwillimbury.
Aurora Mayor's  judgement that no questions could be answered   regarding any responsibility    we might have shared in the tragedy  was  not  better iluminated.
The e-mail forwarded by Councillor  Gallo from the Fire Chief was extensive. It provided details
of mutual aid  as well. The information was promptly and fulsomely provided in response to a request from a Councillor.
Under the circumstances, it appears communications were working as they should.
Newmarket never received  a call.
I am almost positive East Gwillimbury did have a contract for fire service with the town of Newmarket. A twelve minute response time from the nearest volunteer firehall would certainly indicate the need.
East Gwillimbury residents in the neighborhood of the tragedy certainly do need to take up the matter
with their Council.
It would seem to be  about saving money.
Not to take anything away from the seriousness of the issue,  I have a  story from years ago.
Before the amalgamation of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
A Councillor from Whitchurch came to Aurora  Council accompanied by Whitchurch
Police Chief. We had a contract to provide fire protection.
Grass fires were common in Whitchurch. Farmers started them to burn off winter dieback.
The Councillor had a suggestion to save costs.
The idea was before the fire department  responded to a call , the police chief should go to the location and make an assessment of the necessity and maybe put out the fire himself.
Grass fires were mostly controlled but occasionally  they would get out of control and become a threat to property.
Response time always was  and is the  most critical aspect  of an incident,
On one occasion, Aurora Volunteers arrived at a  barn fire south of Oak Ridges
before  the full-time brigade from Richmond Hill.
After I was defeated in the Mayoralty, Aurora established  twelve full-time fire-fighter positions.
They worked  office hours. If  they had to attend a fire after hours,they were paid the fire call fee
in addition
For several years  they had  a coke machine  that dispensed  beer  at the firehall.
When I returned to Council, I  privately tried to discourage the practice ; to no avail.
Eventually and inevitably, I received a complaint of tipsy firefighters, in full uniform
receiving food donations at the firehall.
I raised the question in a Council meeting.
At a following meeting several Councillors rose to disassociate themselves from my
disgraceful behavior. Volunteers wives  were in attendance to  witness  my comeuppance.
The coke machine was removed . Only after did I discover the firehall had been a favorite watering hole for  years to people in the know. Like the  Mayor who created the full-time department, various town officials and the postman and such.
Public works employees had asked at one time to be allowed beer in their frig to have with
their lunch sandwich. That was refused. At the time, I didn't even make the connection.
A coke machine appeared on the front porch of a house on Metcalfe street and stayed there for a while. Obviously not dispensing beer.


Anonymous said...

Unrelated to the current topic.

But see today’s online version of The Banner for the article http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/2524322-lucid-threatens-lawsuit-if-proposed-aurora-festival-approved/

That is titled “Lucid threatens lawsuit if proposed Aurora festival approved”.

I thought something was funny when I read this week’s council agenda and saw that 2 groups are again vying for a summer festival for this end of July. (A little late isn’t it to get something really together. Sounds more like an old movie where the actors gather together and say “Let’s put on a show, kids!”).

I didn’t watch the Tuesday night meeting nor have the minutes been published as yet. But I would be interested to know who voted for what as the article states: “in a 6-3 recorded vote, council granted staff the authority to meet with REAL Celebration representatives to discuss the proposal”.

Really, a musical festival for this summer, now and from a group that is ex- Lucid. Regardless of the threat for legal action, this all sounds like trouble brewing. Give it a rest and do it properly next year.

I wouldn’t doubt that C. Ballard and Gallo are not directly named in any action if it ever goes that far.

Anonymous said...

2:11 PM
You have to consider the source of your information. In this case, the Banner. Until you learn otherwise, it is likely to be twaddle. On the other hand, if Councillors Gallo & Ballard have managed to get themselves hit with a lawsuit, there will be no crocodile tears in Aurora. We have no idea what nonsense went on behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

Is the Coke machine at the firewall a metaphor for alcohol purchases on the councillor expenses??????

Seems to be the same issue.

Anonymous said...

From 2:11 to 2:47

I don't give any weight to any legal action ever being taken and you're right in considering the source of information, as the Banner just wants to stir the pot against the current mayor, etc. C. Ballard's extra involvement in what should have been Town staff's due dilegence may just come back to bite him (crocodile style). And yes, it was probably all nonsense behind the scenes. It all just seems to put egg on the face of Aurora all over music festivals. Let's get the council to move on.

Baffled Observer said...

I would like to solemnly propose that the word "fulsome" be struck from the English language. In not a single instance in recent memory have I seen this adjective - a lofty-sounding favourite amongst politicians, bureaucrats and media pundits alike - used correctly.

To quote Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride, by William Goldman):

"You keep using that word! I don't think it means what you think it does."

(Hint: it does not mean "completely" or "thoroughly" or "sincerely.")

Mind, in the world of politics, it is often indeed an apt descriptive, when considering its actual connotation.

Anonymous said...

If we can still manage a decent event on that weekend with the co-operation of the entire town, the exercise might prove to be worth all the aggro. Try to fill that hole in the calendar instead of leaving a told-you-so gap & irritant .

Anonymous said...

3:39 PM
Say what? And why?