"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

Twenty-per-cent Logic Eighty-per-cent Emotion

It" s nice being the hero of the day. I like it. But there's neighbour with a problem that needs to be resolved and we should get at it.

Yoir Council is not altogether  atfault  There's enough blame to go around.  Mistakes were made and it's time to talk less and ghet it fixed.

With one exception ,everybody at the table realised on Tuesday ,the gig was up. For the grading to srve its purpose the trees had to go.  Like it or not ,the  neighbours will just have to put up with it.

Tuesday night I called the Mayor's attention three times to the question on the table. It was to approve the planting plan. Three times he acknowledged I ws right but added it was  sensitive subject and he would allow the cmments.

I have never seen aanything  resolved by  circuitous discussion.

Councillor Humphreys acknowledged she understood the solicitor;s advice that Council never had the authority to approve or disapprove  but as she listened to what she was saying her anger grew visibly and she vowed to vote for the trees.

The Mayor thought he was doing the right thing and with discussion Council would arrive at thee right decision. Then he failed to bring the quuestion to the point of decision.

Councillor Gaertner got riled up enough to accuse  the builder of deliberately plotting to destroy the trees.  I heard a short bark and the builder nearly jumped out of his seat.

 Councillor Gaertner's often makes everybody in a room gasp while the Councillor  herself remains  totally oblivious to  the reaction.

Councillor Gallo, Ballard and Gaertner have formed a loose alliance. I think they look to each other for support ,then find themselves under an obligation to do so.

The mayor took the thing to a point where he didn't know how to bring it to a close.

There wasa group of neighbours. There was applause for people who  said the right thing. That has a powerful effect on Councillors. They're on camera. What if the crowd gets out of hand.

The Mayor  said at the beginning we are going to deal with  civility. And he meant that.

But you know, to keep control, when you have a bunch of people sure they are right and determned for things to go their way, you have to be at least as bloody -minded as they are .

The Mayor did say he would clear the room if they didn't respect the Council.

"We do the talking " he said. I thought that was a good line.

But it went on too long nd then he  turned to the CAO  and asked if he had a solution forCouncil.

I objected on a point of order.

The CAO said. "Table the recommendation  and pass a resolution to save the trees. "

Well, you know, I culdn't believe it.

The  eleven page report .written by the  solicitor,  set out in detail why Council had no authority in the matter of the trees. The question to be decided was the plan for  planting seven tees , replacing three
that had to be removed.

I've never  seen a solictor's clear and unequivocal advice rejected .

The report was signed by the solicitor, the planning director and the C.A.O.

And  Council did what he said.Which  was nothing.

We did not approve the planting plan. We passed a resolution "to save the trees"

Like we're going to  place guards around trees privately owned on private property twenty-for hours
seven days a week.

Like I said.  A new neighbour has a problem.

He has seen the enemy.   And  we are it.

What it will take now is for a Councillor who argued and voted twice for a decision he did not have the authority to make, has to have the courage to admit he did not understand, and ask for the vote to be re-considered.

The problem will not correct itself.

It remains.


Anonymous said...

I take your point but doubt if there will be a break. In the meantime, the current by-law is on the side of the property owner. It is in his hands & those of his lawyer.
Council over-reached themselves.

Anonymous said...

You know the cast. We are just paying observers.

In case I get tied up, have an excellent holiday.

Anonymous said...

This is a monstrous disregard for good governance.

Tyler Barker said...

hello I watched the meeting on Tuesday on the computer
to me it is very simple it is private property the owner bought the lot. He has even stated he will plant six small trees. By removing the trees he may be improving the value of his home.due to the grading issues as well as drainage problems . He has had his closing date pushed back twice this man has a family. This is a unfortunate matter between neighbors.
With respect this discussion was debated way too much.
What could the town do anyhow except fine the owner.
I'm in total support of the owner this is his property.
That does not mean the gentleman is anti-environment. Just one man's opinion thank you Tyler Barker

Anonymous said...

The Law is clearly on this man's side. Two lawyers who might end up opposing each other made that plain to council Everything else was hogwash. We can have special Councils for stupid pole discussions, The Mayor needs to get off his butt. It's not like any real business is getting done.

Anonymous said...

Looks like everyone is back on board now that we are out of the gardens and it gets dark earlier. All we need would be Robert the Bruce and maybe Bill Hogg.

Anonymous said...

It was sad watching councillor Humpfryes at that meeting. she has displaced her anger at her Dad for cutting down a bunch of trees in TO years ago onto the shoulders of the man with a troublesome trees today. It is not his fault that she was unhappy in the past.