"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 11 October 2013

About Ownership and Property Rights

A neighbor walked past my house a couple of days  ago. She called to me:

"I don't know how often you get told Evelyn. You're doing a good job for us on Council. We need you there"

My neighbor is an original home-owner, as I am.  Her house is on Knowles  Crescent.

It's a street of fifty-nine homes. The Town spent a million dollars during the last term , re-paving,
installing storm sewers, curbs and gutters. It's  picture postcard pretty.

Five home-owners got $60,000 distributed among them to fix up their driveways in the style they were accustomed on threat of taking legal action against the town.

I wasn't persuaded that was right and I said so. I was pretty sure the neighbors would feel the same way about  using their tax dollars that way.

I received an invitation on Sunday to visit 33 Longthorpe Crescent from the owner  of 31 Longthorpe.  He wanted to illustrate how  Number 33 could be graded to suit the purpose of the owner of 31. His.

I  politely refused . I  talked a bit about the excitement of  kids making new friends and creating a new neighborhood.

I had  been to the site before.   I knew all I needed to know about the lay of the land .

Number 33 is different from the rest. It's the end of a cul-de-sac...pie-shaped with rear lot lines  shaped  like patchwork in a quilt.  The abutting lots belong to the  same neighbors objecting to removal of trees  that don't belong to them.

As a councillor,I have nothing to say about how lots are graded.  Developers hire engineers to do that.

Plans are submitted to the town and engineers check them out and give them the stamp of approval.

 I think that's how it should be.

Even if I didn't, interference  on my  part would be seen as micro-managing  and that's  definitely a no-no.

Five  thousand trees have just been cut down on a development on Leslie Street in the vicinity of St.John's Side Road.

The town hasn't heard a dickie -bird about  that.  Not from Councillors, neighbors  or passers-by.Not even from Susan Walmer, passionate advocate of the crazy bylaw to  permit  injury
and destruction  to trees.

Ms Walmer was at Council on Tuesday, speaking in  passionate support of a more restrictive bylaw.

Council was  informed ,municipalities who have one don't prosecute .

Maybe because  no judge  is likely  to punish a person for cutting down his own trees on his own property for his own  good reason.

Especially if the penalty is a  fine in excess of a hundred thousand dollars  like Councillor Gaertner   would  like  to see.

Councillor Gaertner owns neither property nor tree.


Michael Suddard said...

Correction: There are 45 houses on Knowles Crescent.

I delivered the Banner on that street for 10 plus years.

Anonymous said...

I would hope - but do not expect - that Council has received a good object lesson about the dangers of interfering with the rights of a property owner on behalf of ranting neighbours. Instead I fear, they will veer off and try to even further intrude with even more restrictive by-laws.

KA-NON said...

It strikes me that the shock expressed by the residents at the idea that the trees were to be removed for grading, though the subdivision agreement indicated, in black and white, that the trees may be removed for grading reasons, is NOT UNLIKE, the shock expressed by some councillors, former and current, that the Town actually sued town residents, based on a resolution to take "any and all means" to pursue the identity of the Aurora Citizen bloggers who were critical of the former mayor.

Both scenarios, in my opinion, raise disgingenuousness to the level of performance art.


Anonymous said...

Susan Walmer has an impeccable record. She always shows up at council with her coterie when she wants something & believes taxpayers should pay for it. This time it's a rigid & onerous tree by-law. It would be awesome if one day she appeared with a hefty cheque to help defray expenses in Aurora. Or even a decent donation to the Food Pantry.

Anonymous said...

What crazy acronym does Walmer have for this cause? She always pulls one out of the bag.

She must have been a big fan of M*A*S*H.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he can have you over before Xmas. Surely the dust will have settled by then. It's not as if other councillors aren't making house calls. We all know they are.

Anonymous said...

From reading Councillor Gallo's letter to the Auroran, it would appear that they might be considering a re-run of that horror show.

Anonymous said...

Rogers streaming is miles better than the town's static pictures. I figure we are paying Communications staff enough to have at least equal quality for the GCs. It's a service charge, doncha know ? And we pay over and above the average for them./