"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 26 April 2013

We make no false claims

A comment  expresses the hope I am not suggesting readers of this blog represent the community at large. Of course it does not. No more than do the residents of the Marsh Harbour neighborhood .

 When a Council holds meetings with twenty-four hours  notice and makes decisions involving  hundreds of thousands of dollars,  it's  hard to argue the community at large  has had any opportunity
to have input and the decision is representative of the community at large either

A meeting scheduled and advertised to deal  the issue of a new Procurement Bylaw has been hi-jacked to deal with the issue of the cell tower.

An issue which had a full meeting scheduled, will now be squeezed into a hlf hour early start to the next regular meeting of Council.

The entire Council  an the Mayor are taking a beating over their  handling of this matter.

What isn't seen is how much of this came about as  the result of  weeks of calculation. This is a Council without much in the way of political skills. They have not had time to learn what people expect of them. They don't  even know how much there is to learn.

These are the tactics that  put politics on a par with the oldest profession. Like the  zebra mussel and the life- sucking green beetle , they are not native to these parts.

This Council, with  the  exception of three, possibly four members has  no idea of the calculation that
went into the cell tower issue and how  easily they were sucked into the vortex.

As I write  I recall  a young inexperienced Doctor Martin Dobkin , elected Mayor  of the  newly created  city  of Mississauga. Regional Councillor Hazel McCallion , former Reeve of  the village of Streetsville, oversaw  his crash and burn . Then she slipped into the seat next  election and has been there ever  since.

I doubt the young Doctor ever  knew what hit him.

I came out of a meeting during a recess a couple of weeks ago and came across Councillors Ballard, Gallo and Humphryes  in a huddle.  AHA, I thought.  what  are they up to.  I think I  know now.

Another image comes to mind.

 An all candidates meeting organized by Susan Walmer. for the 2003 election. It was a Sunday. The turn-out was tremendous. The format included random questions being drawn from a hat  by the late well-regarded  Dick Illingworth.

Former Councillor Mac Eachern was a candidate. She had not run for the previous term . But had served the term before t. No other candidate had  served that term.

She was asked, apparenyly at random, ; had  she observed  any conflict of interest among the  Mayoralty candidates.

MacEachern said, "I can't believe I'm being asked that question.

Then stated Tim Jones  had failed to declare a pecuniary interest  on a  matter of employee
compensation  She stated he did in camera but did not in open Council.

It was cheating on several levels/ Not least in using  the late Dick Illingworth to give the  affair
a semblance of  integrity and impartiality.

The question was asked of the only  person  in the slate who could have spoken to that issue. No other candidate  could have made that  allegation. They were not members  of Council during he last contract negotiation.

Councillor Ballard has not organized the Cell tower brouhaha.  He's not smart enough. John Cunningham ,who went from door to door last week-end  encouraging residents to flood Council members with tales of outrage  and betrayal was not likely the mastermind either.

If  Susan Walmer's name  was even hinted , it would have  blown their cover.

The cell tower is one of a succession of  contrived  events.

Like  Mayor Doctor Martin Dobkin of Mississauga., forty-two years ago , the  current neophytes on  Council  may never know  or acknowledge what hit them.

But  some of the residents, marshaled  for  the  crowd scene  at Tuesday's and Wednesday 's meeting might, after listening to the  solicitor on Wednesday evening. have begun to smell a nest of rats.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps contrived events should join music in the park as a regular part of Aurora's entertainment.

All you have to do is carry a clipboard, go from house to house, and those driving by would assume that you are doing charitable work.

When in fact you are out raising an army of jack-booted thugs whose presence will send tremors up the backs of spineless councillors. All under the direction of a somewhat rotund whale queen.

The Town Solicitor's report MUST be posted on the town website or the entire council is guilty of gutlessness and opacity and for the most part deserves to get a giant kick in its respective posterior. My, that's so polite.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, there is awareness of the planning. It is quite easy to follow particularly with Ballard's web-site & Twitterings high-lighting the path for quite a long period before they activated the process. The truly sad thing is that Councillor Humpfryes probably believes all the guff she has been spouting. Not a natural at doing the actual research herself.

Anonymous said...

This situation may represent a good example of why Aurora might be more successful with a ward system. In this situation, a specific councillor would be more responsible to get the facts and perhaps try to influence other councillors to make a decision favourable to the issue within the given ward. Other councillors might be able to sit back and assess the facts before jumping into the "vortex".

Further, remaining councillors may have constructive things to do with their time because of the demands of their ward. With all due respect, it seems that some councillors show up to meetings to pool their ignorance and ensure very little core business is accomplished.

Finally, this Mayor has just not shown the type business leadership he was elected to deliver.

Aurora needs to make changes - electing new people to play the same game is not likely to succeed.

Anonymous said...

We don't represent the community at all. But I do think we are an interesting slice of contrary individuals from just about every part of Aurora. For some reason, we seem to be able to work together in order to assemble material which that then be argued from different angles.

Anonymous said...

Ballard is replying to the Ex via twits this morning that there is an effort to stop him from speaking for the ' affected residents'. The boy is acting seriously paranoid.

Anonymous said...

9:03 AM
The ward system appears regularly only to be greeted with a collective yawn. Meetings to discuss the possibility draw merely a few stragglers. I agree with your assessment of the current situation but a ward system would not offer a solution to it. It might, in fact, make matters worse by allowing one councillor to become a scape-goat. If the last lot could have isolated councillor Buck, they would have jumped at the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

There would seem something there about the planning aspect of Ballard’s fight against the tower.

It just hasn’t popped up – when you see all the info on his blog including the list of documents:

King Township report.
King Township tower protocol
Aurora tower protocol
Industry Canada tower protocol
FCM's protocol for municipalities
Housing value study

As well as the lengthy Q&A on the page.

This was not put up in haste. (Now this would be all done researching over the net – but you have to know what you are looking for as the FCM’s protocol is from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in conjunction with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

Now mind you this is the type of information you may need to try to convince people that the sky is falling so there’s been quite a bit of research and time spent on it.

Evelyn, you state that “The entire Council and the Mayor are taking a beating over their handling of this matter”. I beg to differ as Councillor Ballard will ensure that he is on the giving and not the receiving end of things. Ballard is the new “Teflon-Man” – as nothing sticks to him.

Anonymous said...

"When in fact you are out raising an army of jack-booted thugs whose presence will send tremors up the backs of spineless councillors."

Such ridiculous hyperbole just kills any credible comment you might make.

Anonymous said...

9:04 AM It is fascinating that he waited until construction was under way to holler. There is a concerted effort at comments on the Star GTA article about the tower. The problem is that there are only a couple of individuals & they have no real argument. The lady thinks cell beams are going to jump in her kitchen window and the guy just pounds away that the ' process' was flawed. Guess he wasn't asked & suspect he doesn't even live within range of the thing.

Anonymous said...

"...from just about every part of Aurora."

How can you possibly think to know this?

Anonymous said...

"If the last lot could have isolated councillor Buck, they would have jumped at the opportunity."

She was, and they did ... at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 9:32 AM, I saw that Twitter conversation with @PhyllisMorris2. (Hmm, I guess the '2' stands for her place in the last mayoral election)

Anonymous said...

Given all the rhetoric pouring forth from C. Ballard, I am hoping that this does not mean that any of it is being directed at you or your Blog. He should have better things to do with his time, but motives are quite fuzzy with that fellow. Take care,

Anonymous said...

Good Grief ! Ballard is twitting about a " B.S. Election Campaign " which he says is in effect. Does he mean what he is doing because I have seen no evidence of such a thing. He seems in self-destruct mode. There isn't even an election on anyone's horizon right now, except perhaps for his own. Wow. Could we maybe just quit the personal witch-hunts and tend to some town business ?

Anonymous said...

Can we put George Rust d'eye on a big retainer to do a review? His report might be useful if the town has to hire lawyers to litigate.

Anonymous said...

OK I am working very hard to be objective about the side-tracking of town business by anyone { anyone } for
personal reasons. Whatever personal reasons. Let us try to be objective here. That tower has been in the works for a long period. Neither town could do zip to prevent it. No one on the staff of either town could have stopped the construction. There was no dastardly dereliction of duty.
If residents suddenly decide that they should have yelled sooner - which would not have worked - that is not the fault of the rest of Aurora. Nor should we have to pay the freight for a fight with wind-mills.
Now I'm going out to collect garden waste & enjoy the rest of one of the better days this spring.

Anonymous said...

6:14 PM
May I humbly suggest that Councillor Ballard & any lawyer he might have on retainer take a look at precedents ? If Bell were to rollover for an entitled few in Aurora who did not bother to attend the meetings they held or read their signs, they would have to do so throughout the country. IANAL but it seems logical that this is not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

These days it is increasingly difficult to figure out which door is the one that has lions lurking. But we have had a heads-up. Seems premature to me but then I don't know the game plan. Nasty for sure.

Anonymous said...

There is a GC on the 30th. Perhaps we could get back to business in Aurora and stop this petty posturing ? I wouldn't mind so much if it didn't always cost taxpayers money. Staff have to get paid, lawyers have to get paid....yadda, yadda, yadda.... There is plenty of entertainment elsewhere in town. Move it out of the Council meetings.

Anonymous said...

Why, 6:14 PM ? Does someone need to have a handbag carried?

Anonymous said...

All this nonsense makes one almost yearn to be a diamond miner in Zimbabwe, or a Cypriot banker, or any one of a long list of the ridiculous.

Are we all back in grade school?

Anonymous said...

No Agenda posted yet for the 30th.

Anonymous said...

To see a Council deal with a Real emergency, check out the town of Minden flooding. " Overland flooding " is not covered by any insurance in Canada according to the Canadian Insurance Agency.