"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 25 October 2013

Council's Authority Trumps ...Doesn't it?

Chris has submitted another comment / argument  complete with pictures.

The historic picture  shown was no doubt taken  at  a point in  the building's history  when it had lost the clapboard cladding.

I only became familiar with  te structure while it sat at the roadside

A remnant of clapboard could be seen still fastened under the peak of  the roof.  At one point,
patches of insulbrick, a cheap product used to keep the elements off the  shaved logs underneath were still visible.

It was never a log house as  some  have claimed.  Clapboard cladding was its original finish.

The lack of cladding is what caused the  log corners to rot and  require  replacement.

Christopher, I do not pretend to be an expert. But I accept that Van Nostrand of Vandorf  is as close to an expert on historic housing  in this area as any we are likely to find.

I am in the business of seeking out advice that I comprehend  and accept on the basis of the evidence.

$100,000 was budgeted for the project before I came back on Council  in 2003.  My position was , it should not continue to be included  in the town's budget.

I don't recall support from any other member of  any of the three Councils responsible for  ten  years of budgets since.

Taxes were raised and funds were allocated for the purpose. over and over again.

It was a majority decision of Council with  no public  outcry of note,

The location is fine, highly visible . How the building is used  determines the amenities required.

Sprinkler systems are not required in every building. Factory Theatre has no sprinkler system.

Hydro  is connected.. Heat can easily be provided.

Not only is the building visible to  the passing parade, it is situated at the beginning or end, however
your walk takes you , of the town trail system.

There's a bocce court, open to the public close by.

Chris, you are a  self-professed  aficionado  of history. You must know municipal  boundaries had little  relevance to the community  that was the  Village of Machells  Corners and the farms and families  stretching out from the intersection  where the post  master was located.

Former Councillor Walt Davis told me once how it was in Aurora in his younger days.

If a person wanted to make headway on Yonge Street, he  had to step off the sidewalk onto the road.
The sidewalk was jammed with groups  catching up with  a week's gossip.

Farmers and wives in from the country to pick up  the mail and grocery shopping chatting with the
town's residents.

Settlers families  on the farms grew up , found sweethearts in the villages and  elsewhere and founded their own families in the  town's and villages  or wherever.

Walt himself, married Jessie from  a  farm in Pottageville.

I believe the donation to support saving the Petch House came from an Aurora ancestor of the Petch family.

The name Petch is  common  in  Aurora. I think  a Council photo on the wall of the Town Hall
has a Petch in a Council group.  I  think I can see his face as I write.

I didn't favor  spending money on an old structure that no-one had a use for. But the  majority of   four Councils did.

The project  has finally moved forward.

The forlorn, decrepit ,old remnant of the past no longer sits  rotting at the side of  a road,  a testament to  a council's lack of resolve.

There was resistance within the town hall. There still is. Councillor Thompson's comments  bore  a reflection of it.

The  only question outstanding is; does Council have authority or does the town building department make the determination.

We are about to deal with that.

And  it's well past time.


Anonymous said...

"Christopher, I do not pretend to be an expert."

That's okay, he does...about everything.

Anonymous said...

Now now, he does not pretend. In his mind he is an expert. He can find a reference in Wikipedia to prove it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Evelyn. Driving past the Petch place on its last location during all the fuss about saving it, I used to say a small prayer that some kid wouldn't start a fire close to it and ignite the firetrap. Not because I thought it should be saved but because of all the trees surrounding it that would be destroyed.
It is fine where it is now. I'm pleased you asked about it because most of us had forgotten it.