"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

Monday 26 August 2013

A Field Trip to Illustrate a Point

To bolster my judgement. in this instance upon the Region's fiscal  management.

From Henderson Drive north, on the east side of  Bathurst, new privacy fencing  has been installed and paid for by the Region. I have heard the  cost was  $2 million . I watched the project underway

 I have no difficulty accepting that figure. The funds would  derive  from our  property tax.

On Mulock Side road, east towardsYonge Street, privacy fencing of a different style protects the homes. Wood  sections  are supported by massive brick pillars.  The  structure  is several years older and  built by the  developer of the homes.

Cost would be included within the price of the homes.

Market value (the price) sets the assessment upon  which property taxes are calculated.  Mortgages are negotiated . Interest is  added  and  taxes  are  collected forever and a day.

In effect, owners of homes on Mulock and elsewhere in the region  pay for  all amenities provided with their homes , pay taxes on the amenities and pay  in addition, taxes  for privacy fences erected by the Region  at no cost to property-owners on Bathurst Street.

Some  ten  years or so ago, the Region contracted to have trees planted on the east side of  Bathurst from Henderson Drive North. Seventy-five per cent did not survive the  transplant.

Seven years later dead stumps  still stood  in evidence of thousands of  tax dollars scattered to the wind.

New  trees  are being planted  on the road side  and close to the privacy fence erected by the Region.

I  have inquired about the  purpose and type of tree . Purpose is not  apparent. The trees are white spruce.

They  are not hardy against winter road conditions.

On the other side of the fence , mature forest  and , I believe, a thirty meter setback was required to be retained when the land was developed.

 The town set the standard.

To maintain the  country ambiance of  Bathurst Street and protect  residential development from the major  arterial Bathurst is and has been  for forty years.

So ....I do not share the confidence of my  Council colleagues in the fiscal acumen of the Region of York.

I cannot commend it to the  taxpayers of Aurora.

City Council is debating the question of appointment or by-election to fill the vacancy left by Former Councillor Doug Holyday . On Channel 24


Anonymous said...

Regional government is a concept mandated by the province to oversee the expenditure of tax-payer money in a more efficient manner than was the case with umpteen municipalities.

Those on regional councils do not have either the wisdom or the experience to spend our money so that we get our "money's worth."

Regional government has been a big failure, but then so have most other forms of government.

So we're stuck with it and its stupidity.

By the way, there was a lengthy report prepared by Don Drummond at the request of faultin Dalton that laid out a plan to re-establish financially sound provincial government. This report was quite severe. Therefore it became lost, missing in inaction.

It's too bad a number of local and regional councillors don't do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

All the fencing in the world did not stop the ' dastardly intrusion ' of the cell tower. The neighbourhood residents were so busy with fences that they forgot to check out their mail for notices of development.

Anonymous said...

From what I can see whoever has the most Regional representation gets the money. The Towns that have only one representative is at the bottom of the totem poll, and if he's a newbie with no experience..well...that's where it gets kind of bleak.

Anonymous said...

No surprise in TO. But it is good that the potentials will be vetted first by Etobicoke residents. Not like here when a pet was selected without any input from the voters. Oh, well, c'et la vie.

Anonymous said...

Did they shred the report or is it still a possibility ?

Anonymous said...

But the pay-out after you lose the job is still substantial. No?

Anonymous said...

I beleive that the Bathurst Street fencing is borne out of a different need than Mulock.

The development north of Mulock was done when Mulock was already a fairly major arterial road of 2 lanes each way. For the developer, it was to their advantage to fund and build the walls as they are.

The houses in question on Bathurst were built in a time when Bathurst was a 2 lane arterial road. Now the road is a 2 lane each way major arterial road with a large increase in traffic. The Region - who expanded the road - must step up to maintain the standard that those who bought there expected.

The trees on the other hand is an interesting situation. We all think that trees are good. They spent all that money to plant them, they put those plastic tents around the first 3 feet or so of trunk and then promptly forgot about them. No watering, no fertilizer. Road salt killed most of them (of course it's okay for salt to leech into the ground, it's natural).

Another brilliant tree planting was at the corner of Keele and Bloomington (whatever # that side road is). There was a major project to align the intersection. The east/west roads did not align at Keele. There were no stop lights. As a major rout to the 400, this needed to be addressed. When the project was completed, the Region or was it King came to the intersection and planted a huge number of trees between the road and guess what? A tree-line!! That's right they planted trees in front of trees! They have the same diaper around them. What a stupid waste that was.