"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

Saturday 8 March 2014

No Refunds Allowed

Someone was asking  if the Town would get it's money back if the SE Heritage Designation  Plan does not proceed.

I think not.

The consultant did what the Town required ; prepare a plan to designate the south east quadrant heritage .

Ostensibly, the study was undertaken at the request of a  S.E. quadrant Ratepayers Association using the acronym H E A T.

Much is made about communication with property owners  to  explain the concept and overcome opposition but that's not the  real objective.

The  aim is to designate the S.E. quadrant no matter  how property-owners  react.

Politically  expedience downplays opposition ....Full  Speed Ahead and Damn the Torpedoes.

The consultant  reported " a significant minority opposed"

It seems the significance of the minority may have been underestimated.

The  plan  has gone awry.

Owners on  the north and south side of Wellington Street ,south to Mosely  are not in favor. They are
not inclined to be acquiescent or easily persuaded by airy-fairy concepts.

More than that, they are not about to legally convey  shared control of their properties to a
municipal bureaucracy........  Not in a million years.

Last week, the Honorable Kathleen Wynne ,Premier of Ontario,announced  her government's
intention to  create  yet another layer of supervision over Ontario Municipalities .

The same government gave municipalities power to impose heritage designations on
private property  with or without  owner agreement.

The same wrote Conflict of  Interest  legislation that  doesn't stand up in court , places onus on a private citizen to foot the bill and  suffer abuse in the process.

The same wrote Code of Conduct legislation that  allows  its use for exactly the
opposite  intent.

The same that wrote the Clean Water Act that could see an entire Council, including the Mayor, jailed for  potential failure in the system.

Nothing like that at the Provincial level for squandering $1.2 billion in return for a couple of
seats for the government  in the  legislative assemby.

The same  government introduced four year terms for municipal Councils  that seriously eroded
authority  of  the local electorate to exercise  judgement on performance control .

It's that Generation X thing again. The ones that got everything  easy ,donned the mantle of entitlement  then, hasn't taken it off since and  learned not  a bit of sense in the process.

We worked hard, gave them every opportunity, asked for nothing for ourselves and this is the tanks we get.

Oh Woe.


Anonymous said...

I can't see a plan where houses opt in or out working. And council cannot just push the whole thing onto everyone holus bolus, There is too much anger backed with sound research and deep pockets. If it hits the OMB, the entire project will be toast. The Region is insisting upon in-filing along the main transportation routes.

Anonymous said...

I am frankly astonished that the lesson of what happened to the last Council has been lost. This was the Council elected to stop the nonsense. Wait until spring comes & people get out of their homes into their gardens and over to the Market !

Anonymous said...

You have raised a good point about the responsibilities of municipal councils when it comes to the Clean Water Act. In essence, persons responsible have a duty to ensure the system is being operated in accordance with its approval and in accordance with the Act. Operators( including elected officials) may make a defence of due diligence if charged. This means they are not superhuman and they tried best efforts but something beyond their human control happened.

In a situation where an employee said he wanted to do the work but council or his superiors did not provide the budget investigators will want answers.

Clearly, there would have to be a sufficient paper trail to convince investigators of an operators due diligence.

And this brings me to my point. It seems in the Dawe regime councillors have limited access to staff and documents. Apparently some are deemed off limits. This would be a lame excuse in a situation where investigators came knocking.

If a serious situation arose a councillor would want to be very clear by demanding answers and documentation from responsible staff - was the equipment, testing, monitoring etc. completed and when. And it would be quite reasonable for a councillor to ask for this in clear language and not in engineering or technical jargon. The information got held up in the CAO's office would not cut it.

It seems a situation of concern where, I understand, it is fuzzy on what happened with the Clerk's position. It seems unusual that a councillor cannot be provided with a copy of a lease signed by the municipality or be given a clear status on various projects undertaken by the town.

Councillors are elected to conduct our business. They cannot do this with blindfolds. They cannot be expected to complete Freedom of Information requests for town documents.

Anonymous said...

According to the Town's web-site, the Mayor is available after Mar 10 to meet with interested individuals or parties who book appointments with his secretary. I wonder if anyone is actually going to try and talk to him now that he no longer seems to go out for a beer with friends. We gave up months ago but perhaps others might have better luck.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the Mayor to remind him of a commitment he made in writing on a small issue. Never heard from him again. When I emailed to request a status and I got some bunk from staff.

I understand not all deadlines are met or commitments given in writing can be met. Stuff happens. I was not looking for any special treatment. But this man did not even have the decency to call or write to say anything. It was COLD, COLD, COLD.

He can sit in his office until election time and I would never call him. Hopefully, he will be gone after that.

Anonymous said...

OK 13:17 I will help but we have got to get it better this time around. I'm afraid we misjudged him badly and are partially to blame for not following up after the election. He came to believe his election was based upon merit.