"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 4 October 2013

To Emphasize the Point

This story , like the Consultant Study on Service Levels has a purpose.

In the last term a situation repeated many times. The Mayor took it upon herself to raise hell in a particular direction.  An employee of eighteen years standing stood his ground.

It  turned out to be  in ground for dismissal.

He walked out the door with a settlement sufficient to pay off his mortgage, buy a new car and then some.  Started a new job the following Monday in another regional municipality for more money than
he was paid in Aurora after eighteen years.

I asked  to be informed of the circumstances. I was refused the information. It was the authority of the administration and not my right to kow.

Of course I kept burrowing and  learned what I have revealed  above.

I told you it was not a solitary incident.

There was never a  separate public accounting of how much tax money was paid out in severance settlements during that time. But there were severl in the  hundreds of thousands range.

Then there were the legal fees. Also contrived to remain a dark and dusty secret.

Except for the $70,000 paid to  the lawyer  to hunt me down like a dog.

The $650,000 it cost for the OMB hearing on the Westhill Development Application. That didn't include all the court  proceedings  and legal costs beforehand  and repeated failure to get a joint  board  environmental hearing .

Phenomenal   waste of  resources  was reflected in the annual spending levy in the previous term.

The election should have meant  an immediate reduction in  the tax levy required to support the profligate  spending.

It  didn't . Each year since  taxes continued to increase.

Assessment growth, new grants from gas tax sharing from senior levels of government , intended to lessen the burden on home-owners, create jobs and stimulate the economy , have not reached our pockets.

Even  the Province  absorbing increases in education taxes for the last ten years  has not provided  intended relief to the property tax burden.

When the Mayor says taxes must rise he believes that's true. He is not  skeptical .

Because it was there when they got there, they think CULTURE  is an essential service .

it should be provided "free"

Picking our  pockets to distribute  largesse to every Tom,Dick and Harry is perfectly acceptable.

To say nothing of pandering  shamefully to every outrageous demand  from the nimby set within our midst.

The pattern  was set by the last lot. It  caused them to be ejected without a parachute.

Unfortunately ,those who replaced them, like Michael Ignatieff thought the election was about them. Not the people.


Anonymous said...

If Aurora's idea of providing service to residents is reflected in this ongoing, expensive mess about 3 lonely trees, it is no wonder costs have sky-rocketed. Same with that tower in King. Completely unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

I can't find any minutes for the GC Is that normal Does it always take so long ?

Anonymous said...

Looks like not much was learned from the Westhill fiasco. There is an alarming tend in Councillors wanting to take the legal route without forethought. So far the solicitor has kept them in check but a couple really seem desirous of having their ' own ' action.

Anonymous said...

Some of them are still using the town's money as a parachute.

Anonymous said...

It spoke volumes when even the new, specially selected and vetted staff were cautioned on election night not to show their delight at the results.

Anonymous said...

Hope the majority of this lot is ejected without a parachute at election time.

Annual tax increases above the level of inflation are the norm and the Mayor thinks this is a good thing. His Deputy, so aptly compared to Barney Fife, is of the view they are a necessity.

Numerous councillors have been a net drag for this term so it will be nice to see them free falling. No staff, consultants or lawyers to call upon landing - unless, of course, it is on their dime.

Bon voyage