"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

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Correct and to the point

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Guest Post":

It is only at the discovery stage - if I have heard accurately - and the process could grind on for years. That being said, it is not the fault of Aurora taxpayers if the purchasers in the area were misled. Nor is our responsibility to remedy their problems.
We saw a tiny similar instance where a group of neighbours believed they had the right to dictate what was done with 3 aging trees in their midst. Council turned itself inside out on that one.
I do hope the lesson was learned.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 30 September 2014 13:02


The comment is  absolutely correct and to the point. 

The process could drag on for years. 

It doesn't have to. Up to  the beginning of trial and even after , the process can be brought to a halt with agreement to settle,

It takes two parties to agree. 

Value of the former 6 acre  school site will not diminish.

The town is not in the business of land speculation  with tax dollars. Nor litigation either for that matter.

But it does  mean the issue is shelved for the time being.

Relevant time being the period of  an election.

Whether or not it's an appropriate way to use dollar collected in taxation will no doubt be reviewed  following .

Then everyone will  have a clearer view of  how the issue became an issue.

The same cannot be said about three trees standing in the way of proper drainage of  a building lot of record with a house already built and awaiting family occupation.

At Christmas no less.

Guest Post

KA-NON has left a new comment on your post "Commitment ???":

Just read through the material on the Mavrinac website, and watched the video of Mr. Mascarin addressing council. Seems to me that there are a few issues colliding here.

Issue # 1 - The right of the town to purchase the land. It seems clear that the intent of the town was to establish a right of first refusal to purchase this land. And it seems that the developer understood this v-a-v the subdivision agreement. If, legally, this is trumped by the absence of this intention being included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) between the developer and the School Board, then the blame for that probably lies equally between the developer and the Town. The developer, for not including it in the APS (motivation unknown) and the Town, for not catching it. They are going to fight that one out in court - we'll see. On the basis of what was intended in the subdivision agreement, it would seem wrong to me if the Town does not prevail.

Issue # 2 - If the town DOES prevail in the action above, (i.e. if it does manage to legally enforce its RIGHT to purchase the land at what is now a discounted price ($2+MM), should it exercise it? The answer to this question should be considered amongst Aurora's overall needs and objectives when it comes to the land it owns and the parkland it requires, including in this area. I am not a lawyer, however the fact that the developer advertised it as either a school or a park should have no bearing on what the town chooses to do with it. (Though it does seem by reading the subdivision agreement that whatever use the town comes up with for the land, it
 must be for "municipal purposes".)

Issue # 3 - The purchasers of homes in the neighbourhood were led to believe by the developer that the land would be used for either a school or a park. I agree that the home owners would have this expectation, based on the marketing material put forth by the developer. That said, if that does not 

come to pass, their primary beef is with the developer, not the town. Unless they choose to pursue a claim against the town for not adequately reviewing all of the legal documents (e.g. the APS) to ensure that the intended right of first refusal remained intact. Of course, had that happened, the Town would have had to exercise the right, and even then they would have been free to assign to any "municipal purpose". So, no guarantee of a park.

So, the question for Aurorans in general (not just those in the neighbourhood), is, "Would you like to pay $2+MM plus the legal costs to (re)secure that right for a piece of land to be used for a "municipal purpose", perhaps a park?

Posted by KA-NON to Our Town and Its Business at 30 September 2014 08:54


Because the town is in litigation  I am required  not to speak of it.

I can't pretend that isn't frustrating.

But  there are details in the public domain.

The Planning Act requires developers to provide school sites if  the need is indicated by the school board.

A municipality is entitled to require 5% dedication  of a development area for parks.

Adequate dedication  for  neighbourhood parks  was obtained in the 2B planning area .At. no time would the town have indicated  a  neighbourhood park was an option for the school site.

A site for a community park was offered at raw land price . It was recommended  by staff and refused by the Council of the day.

The public school board purchased a site from the developer for a future high school to replace
Dr. G.W.Williams High School on Dunning Avenue.

The plan went agley and investment was made instead  in the old facility.

The public board site is large enough for a community park. It was bought at raw land price. The value is now developable land price . Last market value established on  Stronach lands  sold  at auction was $1.2 million an acre.

No other  raw lands within the town's boundaries  are available for a community park.

If the public board's high school site goes on the market, it would accommodate considerable more
additional residential density than the Mavrinac  site.

If the town is in the market for a redundant school site, that's the one we can justify. It will likely take every penny we can muster.

It's complicated and yet not. But  the details are really important .

That's where frustration arises.

Things that first appear not to be simple are not even as simple as they first appear,

Monday 29 September 2014

Commitment ???

Questionnaires have increased substantially in this election.
I spent time this morning searching for one from  families in Mavrinac focussed on 
the vacant  6 acre site in their neighbourhood . They don't want  it to be developed. 

The questionnaire went  out to all candidates. There's  a web site. Theintention is to distribute candidates' answers prior to the election. 

I can't find it and I can't spend any more time searching. 

Candidates are requested to commit the town to purchase the site and use it for a park or some other public purpose. 

I cannot make the commitment. I really need them to know that. 

The land was earmarked for a school and not needed.

The area is better served than most for park facilities and meets the standards set out in the Master Recreation Plan.

The only other public use would be affordable housing. The last land  that went to a bidding process fetched $1.2. million an acre. 

It's my impression, housing is exactly what the neighbours don't want. It's that commitment they seek.

The land is a square. It would not lend itself to detached lots facing on Mavrinac. It would require a new road to be sensibly divided. Likely a configuration of town houses.

The town is currently locked in litigation to compel the owner/developer to sell the property to the municipality for a fraction of its value.

I did not vote for that.

The land is  completely serviced with water and sewers, roads and sidewalks, 
street  lighting , snow plowing, street cleaning, parks,police protection, fire protection and everything else that swallows up an inordinate portion of most families'  livelihood in property taxes.

The joint facility for works and parks ,at a cost of $27 million is being built to service
such new areas in town.

A $6 million  youth centre is currently being constructed based on the same need.

We just spent half a million on an old shed in the town park  that we should have had returned to us at no cost. We don't know what we're going to do with that but whatever it is,it will cost a bundle to maintain and operate.

We need  developable land to be developed to help pay for all this stuff.

6 acres sitting idle and vacant do not share the tax burden . That's  surely a concern we all have in common.

Land provided with all municipal services, producing zero revenue is on the wrong side of the ledger. It's a liability not an an asset.

As much as I would like to have the votes of families on Mavrinac who believe the town should
prevent development of that property, I cant do it in good conscience

Their website will reveal which candidates are making the commitment. The web site has Mavrinac in the name. If I find the e-mail, I will publish the web site.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Gingerbread,apple sauce and whipped cream

I went to the barbecue at the United Church site yesterday. It was a cheerful gathering with music and friends

It was great to see people on the sidewalks of Yonge Street . A fire pumper was there and firefighters.
It reminded me of the annual buggy race down Tyler Street hill the volunteers organised .

It stopped when there were  so many kids and buggies the race  became hazardous.

I think it would be nice if the Farmers Market moved over and had a pumpkin sale on Yonge Street for Halloween.

I  scooted up to Wellington Street . Stopped in at the paint and wallpaper shop. It really is a beautiful little store.

I think we might be having the same problem we had years ago with commuters leaving cars in available parking spaces while at work in the city all day.

Carried on up to the  traffic lights and discovered why Gabriel's Cafe is never open when I'm there.
It' s only open for lunch trade.And for reservations.

Further on the sidewalk was utterly disgusting

It was a special day.

The community was invited.

They came.

I can not believe  a business on Yonge Street would be so disconnected  as to be so gross.

I crossed at the lights, scooted south and turned  east at Mosely and south at Wells.

Last time and the time before in almost the same area ,I stopped to chat and the unmistakable aroma of gingerbread baking wafted around me.

I suppose it's possible that freshly-baked still -warm  gingerbread with apple sauce and whipped cream might be the traditional Saturday evening desert in the same neighbourhood.

Or maybe Saturday was Scanlon's day...all day...to bake gingerbread.

Time ran out

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "That is not what I said":

Evelyn, didn't the town borrow money from the hydro fund to finance their garage? If so, would your idea have to wait until the money is put back?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 28 September 2014 15:27


The finance plan was put forward  to show how that facility could be financed .

Part is proposed to be financed by debentures

Part with proceeds from sale of lands owned by the town with $6 million spent making it ready for sale and development.

Part from development charge revenues which come in as new homes are built.

 Debenture debt is a perfectly acceptable  way to pay for a facility that will serve the towns needs long beyond the term if the debt.

It means the people  using the facility pay for the facility.

Pretty much like a house mortgage. While paying the mortgage, the house provides shelter for the family.Money costs money.

Whether buying or renting, there's a cost.

It infuriates me to be told  it is my obligation to pay higher taxes now to save future residents  from having to pay what it costs to maintain facilities needed to maintain  public service.they enjoy.

The idea is a canyon width  from the basic principle of fairness in taxation.

The hydro reserve is intact.

We  fought off the crazy heritage theme park.

We were saved from the satellite university boondoggle.

A number if other significant extravagances were cancelled.

We are engaged in an election.

It is your turn to make your intentions  clear.

It helps to be talking about the same thing

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "That is not what I said":

Evelyn you must know the developers have their own agenda.Forget your pie in the sky; sell it all and let the bedroom community go into a coma. 

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 28 September 2014 14:14


The town owns all the property from .Church  Street to Mosely. The  old library buildings were made redundant when the new one was built.

But that's a story too. The entire lock was designated in my time of influence  as  a Civic Square. The main entrance of the library was built at the back because I. I time it was intended to be open to Yonge Street.

We bought the house that Chris Watts   keeps on about with  the open square in mind.

Councils change as do plans. John West's council bought the north- east corner of Church and Yonge and built the new library. Later  John said the old library should have been demolished at the same time to provide for adequate parking

But the Seniors were  putting in a strong bid to move out of the old firehall into the old library. Instead a new facility was  built to suit their needs.It's a hive of activity seven  days a week.

Victoria Hall is a primitive structure that doesn't really justify the space it occupies.

The town would be the developers.  The soil could be problematic. But there is no land
that can't be used if resources permit.

Condos are  already built in the neighbourhood. More are planned.  Residents living in small spaces will no doubt welcome the facility. Lot levies for recreation would add to the hydro fund.

The  project is entirely feasible. All it takes is leadership.

This last term $300,000 was spent preparing "swing space" for an addition to the Town Hall.

It never happened  and the money went down the tube.

Every year we give away half a million  tax dollars to a facility which is totally inadequate for the purpose used.

I know my idea is not pie -in-the-sky because it's already been stolen twice .

It doesn't even take courage. Everything we need  is on hand.

A project like this brings a community together like nothing else can.

Downtown could become a niche market for art supplies, costumiers, stage props,musical instruments and who knows what else.We could have our own comedy club circuit without even trying.

Her's  another thought, maybe the answer to Yonge Street doldrums is  not to try and provide parking on the street  but maintain the heritage facade and proved access and parking at the rear.

That too is not beyond the realm of possibility.

A pox in the promenade plan with a  price tag of millions.

Let us think outside of the box...behind Yonge Street.

That is not what I said

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Neccessary Revision":

A building on Yonge St. "to give young people who have fallen through the cracks in the education system a second chance to recover and discover and follow a dream"

I have to ask Councillor if perhaps you mistakenly picked up Councillor Abel's notebook and in the rush to do your blog used his notes? This does not sound like you. This sounds like some nonsense coming from someone with little regard for taxpayers' dollars.

As if a building on Yonge St. could do this. I think we need to know the scope of the problem, how it can be solved and whose responsibility it is to solve it.

Heaven knows, it could be a haven for those finding school a drag and finding a nice warm place on Yonge St. to meet their buds. All paid for by the taxpayers!

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 28 September 2014 10:31


I am not talking about a building on Yonge Street. I am talking about the site owned by the town on Victoria Street. 

I am not talking about using tax dollars. I am talking about creating a self-sufficient  asset with  proceeds from the sale of Aurora Hydro.

I have been talking about it since Hydro was sold in 2006 when the Council of the day resolved not to allow the funds to be frittered away on stuff current taxes should cover.

Ridiculous schemes are not my forte.

Since  2006 , I've been saying the hydro asset should be used to create  a new asset.

It should be invested in business project we would never  even think of adding to the tax burden.

A  facility  that  would be a magnet for people of all age groups who are not playing hockey ,baseball,soccer,rugby,climbing rock walls, flying off roofs and walls on skate boards, or swimming ocean knots in Aurora swimming pools.

A centre for a different  kind of activity that could well  prove to be a stimulant for a niche market in our downtown core.

I have no access to  contents of another Councillor/candidate handbook. If  the ideas  don't  sound like me  it's because they are  not.

We have the land,  the funds and four years to get it done.

Not every Council gets an opportunity to  start and complete a project that will make a difference in people's lives for the foreseeable future.

The last Council  had  the opportunity and the Council  before . They didn't take it.

Now I'm saying enough of the lallygagging. Let's  get at it.

Let's make sure we have something to show for the proceeds of the sale of  Aurora Hydro.

Eight years ago.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Neccessary Revision

So I did my two minutes. Twice. Rogers  provided the opportunity for two takes and a choice. 

The first take was a bust. Too much stuff.  In the second one I just he stated who I was ,how long I had lived in  the town. I had raised my seven children here and  also spent most of those years involved in the town  in ways too many to list.

I talked about the need to mme a decision on  redundant buildings on Library Square . That I think 
funds that came from the sale of a valuable asset should be used no to create an equally valuable asset.  Lne that could never be contemplated as a tax burden.

A building to serve every age  group  from nine in the morning until evening hours.
Studio  space  for music,dance,art, writers and  drama workshops, chess,bridge,photography and a computer by cafe, whatever  people might need to challenge their intellect and artistic bent.

To give young people who have fallen through the cracks in the education system a second chance  to  recover and discover and follow a dream. And  provide people at the other edge of the age spectrum
a reason to rise in the morning.

We have the site. The financial resource.  A four year term of office . Enough to see such a project through from start to finish.

All it takes is determination on the part of the new Council.

The project could  easily  be a tremendous stimulant to business in the downtown core.

The time is right.

That's all I had time for.

Stephanie was with me. She said she wished I had smiled more. After the first take she took the notes from me and  said....  " Just  look into the.camera and talk Grannie "

Easily said. Two minutes are but a flash . The challenge is to say something sensible.

Choosing high points from forty seven years of involvement is not easy. Squeezing in goals for the town's future  doesn't make it easier.

Anyway, it's done. Can't remember if I thanked the people at Rogers. They were very nice. Candidates  reading who haven't done their two minutes yet  should relax. It will be fine.

We drove off into the  blinding sunshine and forest of  election signs lining the roads.

Oh .Oh ..Oh  ...

I don't have those resources.

If I had, I' m not sure that's the best use.

Frenzy  behind the scenes is what the proliferation suggests.

Friday 26 September 2014


I sometime indulge myself and respond to a comment otherwise intended .I let myself go.

I  acknowledge an inclination towards the dramatic. I make no apology.

I left the post in draft form.

Stephanie has been editing.my blog.

 My old fashioned style  of punctuation combined  with a lack of facility with the keyboard,  is a source of hilarity and irritation both to my grand-daughter.;  herself a University grad in Dramatic Arts and communication,  a feminist and an erstwhile Green Party candidate.

A draft not intended to be,was published.

I have removed it and assigned it to oblivion. It was a satisfactory  exercise never-the-less.

Being involved in a legal process for the past five years has been enlightening.
Today's news item in Toronto's Mayoralty is the endorsment of John Tory by an organization of Chinese shopkeepers.

By itself that would have been an insult to Olivia Chow. But to add injury to insult a spokesperson
for the group was a shopkeeper who had himself been in the news recently.  He was charged with offences Ms. Chow was instrumental in having removed.

Mr. Tory was pleased to have the endorsation.

I think that could be problematic.

The group looked to be no more than seven or eight shopkeepers. It would seem to me the Chinese community in Toronto would be substantially more than that.

Olivia Chow was a Toronto Alderman before she was an M.P. Before she was Jack Layton's wife.
She was small but she was mighty and she had a high profile in the city's politics. It's hard to imagine
considering  her ongoing political success that she might have lost the loyalty of the Chinese community. NDP support would likely be substantially augmented by the Chinese community.

The question that comes to mind is....would the Chinese community be represented by the group that endorsed John Tory? Or would they be embarrassed by the betrayal of one of their own?

Also......Olivia is not the person for Tory to beat.

He seems to be acknowledging that when he vows not to attend debates unless Doug Ford is there as well. He's obviously not too concerned about the women's vote.

I think seeking or accepting this endorsement has the potential to cost Tory support.

It's also a surefire indicator that neither Tory nor his team have a sense of voter intuition about what's fair. People have an instinct about stuff like that.

Well y'know he's been in this race before. He lost to Rob Ford last time.

These are early days. The fight has just begun.

There's no sign of urbane finesse in the Ford camp. More like knock 'm down and drag'm out.


I have to do the thing at Rogers today. It's two minutes not ten. I have to organize my thoughts. It might as well be here.

I was Mayor for four years. In my third and fourth term of office the economy had tanked with an oil crisis. The town could only issue 13 more building permits. The tertiary sewage treatment plant was at capacity.

In my four years at the helm, library space was tripled.

A new public works facility was built.

New administration offices were completed in partnership with the York Region Board of Education. We replaced the biggest blight on the landscape with a beautiful public building with no land costs.

A downtown BIA was formed.

A parking lot on the west side was designed and constructed.

Heritage light standards were installed.

Flower boxes, hanging baskets and heritage style benches were placed.

The Seniors Club got their first dedicated space in the Church Street School.

A museum was created.

A curator was hired who doubled as a heritage researcher.

The first Local Architectural Advisory Committee in Ontario was created and serious heritage research undertaken.

We borrowed money and bought Jack Wood's farm to develop the first showcase industrial park.

Little theatre became a reality on Henderson Drive. We obtained ownership of a small square box of a factory building using an LI.P. grant of $21,000 and hundreds of hours of free labour and the first play "Charlie's Aunt"was staged and the dream of every drama lover in Aurora was realized.

We created little green spaces on property we owned on Yonge Street.

Bought a burnt- out site mid block and created access to the parking lot recently constructed.

Aurora was on the move. We recognized opportunities and sprang into action.

When I left the Mayor's office, people said I had moved too far, too fast and they hadn't had time to catch up.

Whatever.... I had the opportunity to make a difference and I used it for the betterment of the community.

I think that's what elected office is about.

The present Council had that same priority.  Unfortunately we wasted time chasing after ideas
presented from without rather than within. They were mostly about separating the town from the leg Hydro Reserve Legacy.

Also garbage from the previous term remained, which was all about spending millions on legal fees to wreak vengeance on the former Mayor's imaginary enemies.

For two full terms, a decision has been pending on redundant public buildings on Library Square.

A major site in the town centre with tremendous potential for creating a beating heart within the core.

The site is there. The funds are there. One four year term of office is enough to start and complete an
asset to the community the equal of Aurora Hydro.

I picture a building open from nine in the morning into the evening, serving every age group.

Studio space on several floors to accommodate music, dance, acting, writing, computer/coffee shop, art, chess, bridge. The list goes on.

A place where non-academic students slipped through the cracks in the education system might have a second chance to follow a dream and achieve excellence.

The site is available. Funds are in the bank earning minimal interest. Four years is long enough to start and complete a project that could make a difference in the lives of Aurorans for years to come.

It could also, all by itself, be a mighty stimulant to the down-town business core.

Build it....they will come.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Not A Penny More

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "They Can't Take That Away From Me":

Wasn't yesterday another court day for the town? Like maybe in the Kitchener Waterloo area

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 24 September 2014 18:28


Yesterday was another court date in Kitchener/Waterloo area. 

A new date was scheduled to hear arguments about why the Claim should be amended to $25,000 from $250,000 to allow the case to be sent down to Small Claims Court.

At this time costs of the proceedings are more than $25,000. 

It is the town's intent that the town will not shoulder any part of the cost of this action. 

Unlike the Town's Insurance Company which kept paying and paying and paying to the tune of a million dollars.

Signs and Portents

Signs are without a doubt the most expensive and work intensive of any campaign. I prefer to place them with a willing host on private property. They are safer.  I would very much like to hear from anyone willing to have a sign.

Once they are up, a daily round is needed to ensure they are not torn, blown off the stake, folded in the rain or lying on the ground.

There are rules about where signs can be placed on regional roads.

As the weeks of a campaign wear on, candidate stress grows. The late Dick Illingworth was fond of saying about political involvement; "You don't have to be crazy but it helps".

You can't know what it's like without actually doing it. Even while doing it, you keep wondering if you are reading the signs right.

Nowhere are politics more real than at the municipal level.

I time out when I need too by contemplating Toronto's Mayoralty contest.

We hear nothing at all about the Council races. Focus is on the top job.

My grand-daughter Stephanie insists I am a Ford brother supporter. I insist I am not.

It's just amazing politics. Yesterday in a speech the U.S. President made a speech in which he stated. "Might makes right". Might meaning power.

The fascinating aspect about the race is the number of gladiators in the ring. It's impossible to tell where "might" might be hiding.

The press and the Police Association are right in there.

In Aurora we have an incredible battle of the signs.

At this point, nothing can be discerned about any candidate except that some have spent mightily on signs and a mighty amount of work placing them.

I put signs out as late as possible. In one election, I didn't use any.  I received a letter of commendation from a resident for not visually polluting the landscape.

It was nice to receive.

I was not elected.

Last election most of my signs were re-cycled from previous elections.  So I splurged and had several huge signs securely placed in locations of my choosing by the sign-maker.

I drove around to look at them and was mighty pleased with my decision.

Within hours the sign on the north-east corner of Bathurst and Bloomington had disappeared. Panic stations. Was that going to happen to all of them?

Turned out the missing sign was out of synch with regional rules and had been removed.

Yesterday the Town Clerk informed candidates that the Region intends to enforce the rules.

This morning an e-mail circulating from a candidate suggests the Region is only enforcing rules in Aurora and they must be doing it because of a complaint from a candidate who doesn't have any signs.

Twenty eight candidates are in the race. That's a record. I can only focus on one. Me.

I can see who has signs. I can't tell who does not.

I know of one resident sufficiently incensed about the numbers of signs. He is threatening to boycott the election and encourage his friends and neighbours to do the same.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

They Can't Take That Away From Me

What a weird wind-up for a last council meeting.

Started off with delegations about trafficking of women and consequences of bullying. Two organizations funded by government presented.

Council was advised children in high schools are being drawn into prostitution rings by boyfriends.

If such a horrendous thing is happening in Aurora, school boards and parents should be first alerted.

On the other hand, if it's happening one would think they should already know.

And-if not-it's an extraordinarily unnecessary fearful statement to make.

Bullying and intimidation are not foreign to Council.

I've experienced my share.

Yet it seems a proactive defence against degradation and humiliation is also frowned upon and leads to more of the same.

The first meeting of this Council called for termination of litigation against three residents by the Mayor using their own tax dollars to add insult to injury.

This Council paid the fees incurred after terminating the litigation.

A judge ultimately found the lawsuit was a deliberate attempt to silence political criticism during an election campaign. To me, it was a vengeful act.

The target families were served notice of action on Thanksgiving Eve.

The complainant twice refused to commit to reimburse the municipality for funds expended
on her behalf.

Council proceeded to pay the bill anyway after incurring an additional legal fee of $8,000 to advise.

I did not agree.

It was the first indication of how the term would proceed.

As it has-with barely a pause.

A final piece of  twisted mosaic fell into place last night.

Six town house units on half an acre fronting onto Old Bloomington Road, were approved last night. The section was abandoned by the Region thirty-five years ago.

It dipped down steeply from Yonge at Bowen Motors corner and the Region decided in their wisdom to abandon the hazardous section and move the alignment of Bloomington Road south.

The town inherited a rough gravel right -of -way serving about fifteen lots of record created perhaps, as long ago as 188 years. Similar to Ridge Road on the opposite side of Yonge Street. Both would have been carved into the hills in neighbouring rural townships at the time of original settlement.

Six modern town houses said to be worth a million dollars apiece, urban density in a rural setting are now going to use the road for access and egress.

The road is seriously inadequate. Millions will be required to upgrade it to an urban standard.

With only twenty assessed properties to contribute to the cost.

No road have ever been planned for that location. Whats there was abandoned for useful purpose.
Without the possibility of development on the south side, economic feasibility is completely impractical.

Staff informed that lot levies could contribute.

Six levies will contribute little.

Lot levies were recently re-calculated.  Re-construction of an existing right-of-way cannot have been charged.

History is many faceted. Not easily absorbed. Especially by one with little experience beyond the classroom or Council Chamber.

Councillor Pirri expressed difficulty.

Forty-seven years of experience can only be acquire with forty-seven years of experience.

But the Councillor dismissed everything he heard with the sweeping statement it made no sense.

In eight years, only once have I sunk to the level of naming a Councillor "Jackass". In politics, name-calling is unwise. It signifies loss of control and opens the door to like-minded retaliation.

All dignity is lost.

I didn't do it last night, the re-call was enough.

Oh my...it felt so good.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

We shall see what we shall see

I  can't help watching Toronto's Mayoralty contest.  Were it a work of fiction, the characters and plot would simply not be credible. The  real political backdrop is also compelling  but never referenced by the  media.

Old stuff can be  easily dismissed with a  disdainful sniff.

To-night  in the news ,in the Nanos poll, Old Toronto's  support  for John Tory  is overwhelming. Which should surpise no-one.

As I listened  I wondered about the depth of political acumen reflected ink the poll.

The new City of Toronto is an amalgam. It is not an amorphous blob.

When John Tory speaks of being the man to bring Council together,it's hard to imagine he is not
aware how difficult that will be and wonder if he has the skills  or the connections to make that happen.

In the last election ,Rob Ford of Etobicoke  was elected Mayor, Doug Holyday,former Mayor of Etobicoke as Deputy Mayor, and Doug Ford  brother of Rob re-elected as Councillor.

There was no coincidence.

Old Toronto got it's comeuppance from the Boroughs  wisped out with boundaries but not in spirit.

 It was a long time coming.

Former boroughs rallied in support of their own. The Mayor is elected at large. I assume the Deputy Mayor is as well.

In this election, Rob Ford although a candidate for the office of Mayor, has been  virtually conspicuous in his absence.

The shocking news of his health crisis has compelled a change in media tone.

Doug Ford devastated by the tragic news of his brother's health is a last minute candidate for the office of Mayor understandably with a halting campaign start.

Despite all that's happened that shouldn't and not happened that should, despite John Tory literally
being the only one in the race since January. Torontonians are less than captivated.

The Ford's traditioanal support will sustain him. If the tide breaks, it will carry him forward in an almighty surge.

Loyalty will prevail. Who can disrespect a brother's love? There is no subtlety in the Ford's. They are large as life and twice as real.

Olivia Chow's vote will hold fast. She is, as she says, small but mighty and an Aliant champion but the city does not lean left.

The race is between Ford and Tory.

Tory is not a dark horse. As he has stated, he has been involved in the city's affairs for many years.

He failed once against Rob Ford to win the Mayoralty. He was a definite choice.

He won the leadership of Provincial Conservatives but lost a safe seat vacated for his benefit.

He is twice loser with significant resources behind him.

Whatever it takes and I won't try to put my finger on it, I don't think John Tory has it.

We shall see.

Monday 22 September 2014

Round and Round We Go

Rogers is providing candidates ten minutes free time to make a presentation. It' a generous offer but requires preparation.

Sport Aurora requires a two page "synopsis " of a platform related to sport and land acquisition, and the Master Plan for Recreation.

A lively exchange needs to be moderated on the blog.

And an environmentalist employed by a small charitable group with a mission to protect Lake Simcoe, wants a written promise I will not accept donations from developers and unions. First the request was by e-mail with a questionnaire, then a follow-up phone call on Saturday.

The request, I was told, derived from sound research that proves municipal decisions are controlled by such donations.

Readers may recall that fellow McDermid, a professor at York University who was invited to Aurora Council by the former Mayor. You know how the former Mayor always managed to find people to say things she wanted to be said but didn't want to be the one to say them.

He presented as a delegate. Claimed to have researched the issue. Turned out his research amounted to a computer search of Councillors financial statements from the previous election. He had checked the Town of Ajax but not Aurora.

He appeared later on Cable T.V. with Jamie Young, former Mayor of East Gwillimbury, then we
never heard from him again.

His was the research referred to by the environmentalist seeking a promise in writing I would never accept donations from the obvious enemies of the environment.

My financial statements published as required by law were apparently not sufficient re-assurance for anyone who might be interested.

While I was on the phone, I asked why the organization seeking the promise in writing, was not making an issue of York Region's plans to divert Aurora and Newmarket's wastewater from York /Durham trunk sewer to Lake Ontario to a trunk sewer to be constructed north from Aurora with a treatment plant on the edge of Lake Simcoe compelling urbanisation of all rural areas between this town and Lake Simcoe.

The question was a clear irritant. The organization is small and only has one employee and I have made my concerns know to the Minister of the Environment, my caller informed me.

I didn't ask where funds came from to pay her salary. Were they from the Region or the Ministry?

It was Saturday afternoon. I've no doubtt she believed her priorities are straight.

Even less doubt the promise will easily be extricated from all other candidates who are just as unlikely to receive a voluntary donation from developers or unions.

The Argument Fails

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "October 5th ,Sunday at 2p.m. At the Town Hall ,,Ce...":

So we complain when a member of council does some that is illegal, immoral or other wise bad. But, we do not want to subject those potential members the check by police? We ask volunteers for coaches, scout troops, etc. to submit to a police check.

What's wrong with asking a potential officer of a multi-million dollar corporation to have a police check to see if they have any criminal convictions. To the anal-retentive, we are not looking for traffic infractions.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 22 September 2014 08:55

Writing a post calls for organising a reasoned argument.

The comment above calls for review.

Coaches and scout leaders are in charge of our children. Police checks to ensure they are not convicted pederasts have not always been required.

Only since it became terribly apparent and impossible to deny, they are essential.

I do not understand why men are more likely offenders than women. Or why police checks for priests and members of lesser orders are not required. But the difference between judgement exercised in
management of financial resources and care and protection of helpless, vulnerable children must surely be obvious.

Furthermore, a police check giving clearance for conviction is no guarantee an elected official or several constituting a majority, will not abuse authority and trust to perpetrate a plan for the purpose of damaging and removing another from elected office or any other reprehensible act not authorised under the Municipal Act.

It will not prevent an insurance pay-out of $845,000 to defend them from the consequences of their malice.

Under the best of circumstances, service in elected office is fraught with potential for public repudiation.

Betrayal of trust is by far the greatest offence.

Politics is a harsh taskmaster.

Few who value privacy and reputation are inclined to participate.

Requirement of a police check and its purpose of weeding out potential criminals is hardly
conducive to those who do, to join a circle of potential thieves, vagabonds, pirates, ne'er do - wells and pathological liars.

There is no conviction under the law for being a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

No certification for common sense or good judgement.

There can be nothing more than the decision of the electorate in the options provided.

Sunday 21 September 2014

October 5th ,Sunday at 2p.m. At the Town Hall ,,Celebration of our Freedom.

Sunday Oct.5th at 2p.m.an All Candidates Meeting will be held at Aurora Town Hall.

Organized by Aurora Library staff it represents the community as a whole. It has been conducted this way for many years.

I know very few candidates. As a participant, I will be focussing on my own campaign.

People will tell candidates what they expect.

"Don't be telling me why I shouldn't vote for the other fellow. Tell me what I need to know about you"

I don't want the blog used that way. I hear the Scuttlebutt. It adds nothing to the process.

Wednesday's meeting produced a couple of surprises by way of questions from the floor.

John Gallo referred to his children and stated family needs are a priority.

It was an odd thing to say. There are family sacrifices when one commits to serve.

A question from the floor suggested he had missed meetings because he puts his family first. He stoutly defended his position.

The weird thing is, he didn't miss any more meetings than anyone else. Once his daughter broke her collarbone and another time was school graduation.

The second answer that brought my chin to the floor was when both candidates said they supported police checks for candidates. What experience led them to believe the elective process would be improved by police involvement?

The Police Act of Ontario prohibits political involvement by members of the force.

Toronto's Police Chief 's contract has not been renewed.

He ordered helicopter surveillance on the City's Mayor. And produced a video showing the Mayor in the posture of peeing behind a tree and putting four empty liquor bottles in a plastic bag into a garbage receptacle.

Toronto's police department is thousands strong.

They have power over people's lives. They carry weapons that kill.

Without the community's respect, they are powerless to maintain law and order.

Without their respect for the rights and dignity of the individual, our rights are worth nothing.

Why would candidates for the position of Chief Magistrate in a town like Aurora be willing to surrender the right to be a candidates for elected office without first being investigated by the police?

It is never going to happen.

That the question was asked and answered as it was, is concern enough.

Saturday 20 September 2014

You were asking

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Anything can happen in politics":

Perhaps someone will ask why team baseball has been banned from the Town Park as " disruptive ". The world does not spin on more soccer fields

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 20 September 2014 17:03


I have heard about baseball being banned in the town park. And told it is not so. I do know in minor hockey the association is responsible for scheduling who plays where and when.

I have heard soccer and minor hockey are not members of Sport Aurora. We hear the number of organizations. Never hear who they are. 

Aurora sports have representation on the parks and recreation committee.

Unless a problem is brought to Council's attention, I don't think it's my job to be poking my nose in where it's not needed.


It would certainly not be wise for the M.P. to endorse a candidate. There is potential to lose more support than gained.


Hard copies of candidates two page "synopsis" of plans for sport and recreation facilities are to be distributed to attendees at the candidates meeting.


There's some crazy stuff going on in the a campaign trail. I don't want to be dragged into that.


If we terminated the culture contract, took over Church Street School, operated the facility with user fees, we could reduce taxes by 3 points in the mill rate. That's close to a million dollars reduction in the tax bill.

If we stopped using external lawyers and consultants to tell us what to decided  and made our own decisions, we could save another point in the mill rate.

If we charged user fees to everybody who uses facilities, we might not earn more but at least we would be treating everyone equally.

Last year we provided a budget if $197,000 to celebrate the town's sesquicentennial.

As far as I can tell, it was the Mayor's idea.

The committee did everything with $100,000, including a time capsule.

There's $97,000 left.

We now have a plan to spend another $10,000 for a war memorial DVD if the Legion or Queen's York Rangers are interested in such a project.

Turns out, according to Councillor Humfreys, Queen's York Rangers are in the process of planning
an anniversary celebration of their own. $10,000 will undoubtedly come in very handy to finance their plans.

We are planning to put what's left of the Sesquicentennial budget which was twice as much as it needed to be, back where it came from....Council's Discretionary Fund.

The fund derives from Hydro Reserve interest.

In the 2014 budget, in order to be less dependent, the draw from interest that helped to reduce taxes,
was reduced.

Now we're looking for ways to spend it.

Go Figure...

Anything can happen in politics

In this election, it seems every day presents something new.

Normally candidates  put their heads down and get on with the  campaigns. Usually involving personal contact with as many voters as possible. Generally meaning door knocking and handing out leaflets. It's a daunting task.

A Mayoralty contest can include mighty whacks at each other depending  on personalities. Or cunning schemes with external forces designed to manipulate the outcome.

All is fair in love and war.

Before I go further I want to say I think Chris Emmanuel is a loss to Newmarket Council and residents of his ward. He made the right decision in not asking voters to overlook a serious error in
judgement but still it's unfortunate his years of experience and commitment  are lost to the community.

Anyone can fall short in personal judgement. Not everyone demonstrates the best interests of the community at heart.

The Mayoralty contest in Toronto has been a lifeless affair without Rob Ford. There's still  time for Doug to infuse life into it but he can't do it without an element of sadness. and grief.

We shall see the measure of a  man

Twenty- eight candidates for  Aurora Council is an unwieldy number.It breaks the record and
produces a few other weird but not wonderful effects  as well

All Candidates are invited to a meeting organized by Sport  Aurora.

Instructions for participation have been forwarded.

Sounds rather more like a session of  the mediaeval Grand Inquisition .

Candidates  are requested  to submit a two page  "synopsis" of their campaign platform as it relates to sports and parks and recreation programs  by Oct 3rd . In time for it to be published and circulated in hard copy  to twenty-seven sports organization members of  Sport Aurora?

The  format does not allow candidates to speak unless spoken to.

A question addressed to a specific candidate will be responded by two candidates opposed to the answer.

Panel questions will be  interrupted by questions from the floor.

When questions are exhausted or 9p.m. arrives, candidates will be allowed to mingle with the audience  and "invited" media.

Sport Aurora's address is Aurora Town Hall. It helps with applications for grants from Trillium. A recent grant of $75,000. was obtained.

The magazine is regularly published with a healthy financial balance of commercial  advertising.

There are no premises. No rent or taxes to pay. Nature  of  the organization  appears to be neither fish
nor  fowl nor good red herring.Intent to influence the outcome of the election is  more than clear.

But there's  nothing wrong with that. I will go and I will write a two page "synopsis"

I will share it on the blog.

Friday 19 September 2014

That Scottish Vote Mattered

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Six of one and half a dozen of the other":

I don't know where the idea came from to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote on the referendum. Remembering myself and my friends at that age, we just thought we were mature.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 19 September 2014 09:57


The idea undoubtedly came from  Alec Salmond leader of the  government and the yes vote. 

Petitions for Home Rule have been circulating  in Scotland forever. I signed every one I  saw.

Maybe the reason for the  phenomenal turn-out was because the adults knew how  kids would vote so they had to get out and vote to stop it from passing. 

But that may be  too easy an explanation. Scots don't take anything lightly.The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Since Tony Blair gave  a measure of self government  things have improved for people. There's no reason to believe that won't continue.

If  the  English are less satisfied as a result and demand better from their  government that can only be a good thing.


Six of one and half a dozen of the other

I am a long time separated from Scottish politics. I imagine anyone who took the trouble to register intended to vote. So 84.6% turn out was not extraordinary.

If I have to give an opinion, or even if I don't, I think the vote was obviously for certainty.

Scots are essentially practical.It would be like trying to remove salt from water. I've no doubt every Scot believes they could manage their own affairs better. But they also recognize U.K. government services and finances are inextricably intertwined.

The  referendum was like asking people  to buy a pig in a poke.

Would I  have to have a Scottish passport to come and go freely as I do now?

Would I be a foreigner in London where I lived for eleven years,my husband was native and my oldest sons were born?

Would I pick up extra citizenship or lose one?

There may be more Scots and children of Scots  with U.K. status living in different parts of the aodld.
Would they have lost that if Scotland separated.

Maybe I should have had a vote.

My heart would have said yes . The practical would have said no.

Thursday 18 September 2014

People ask for very little

If a candidate  listens  to people during a campaign, there is much to learn

We have read about a  resident who plans to put a sign on his door to deter candidates
from making a connection.

Time and time again I've  heard of a decision  to vote for a candidate because "he was the only one who knocked on my door and asked for my vote"

A  comment  made a couple of days ago about a candidate not being a taxpayer started a discussion.

The immediate  response was ...." So "

It evolved, as it often does to an accusation that  I  have attacked Councillor Pirri  for the same reason.

Councillor Pirri and I have agreed and disagreed during the term.It  haas made no never mind to either of us.

If I  ever made a point the Councillor's inclination to support an extravagance I opposed  because he
wouldn't be paying for it, would that be a low blow or would it simply be a strike against a weakness in his argument.

People  18 years and over have the right to vote and be candidates. If  successful, is it a dirty trick to remind them  of their unique  circumstance  if the occasion arises or  is it a risk they  must be aware of  and take when they decide to make a bid for office.

The voters make the decision to elect.

If Councillor Pirri  or his parents were multi-millionaire, and a person living on a fixed income hurled the charge that he spends more having the hair on his pointy head cut than his parents pay in property
taxes, is  that a relevant point in a debate.

Again, the people will decide.

I think it might be especially  in the heat of the moment when passion arises.

Or is passion  also a no-no.

Some would  argue council meetings should be apolitical. All present should adhere to  calm deliberate, dignified, demeanour, conscious of sensitivities and stupefyingly  dull.

A pox on that.

A rhinoceros hide is not a necessity for participation in politics. But it's not the place for the
easily offended.

Aurora's politics have always been robust. I take personal responsibility for upholding tradition.

The advent of  social media  has  expanded the opportunity outwards.
Simpering  politician  have a hard time coping.

They become whiney and quarrelsome.

I was at the Mayoralty Debate  last night.

Several candidates  introduced themselves to me.
One was the twenty-year old.
He is a pleasant young man ,looking older than his years, wearing a three piece suit ,intent on making a good impression.  He did.

These things also matter.

There are as many reasons for a person to vote as there are persons who vote.

In the last election, John Abel was extremely friendly. Last  night he walked past without acknowledging  my presence.

Politics is about respecting people and their differences.

Things go on in people's lives a candidate knows nothing about.

Often a voter  just needs a reason to hope.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Wrong impression

I didn't do all that work to produce those quotes.  They were not sent to me as a comment. I didn't know if the sender woukd want his  name attached. So I didn't.

But I didn't intend to create the impression the work was mine.

Sorry about that.

In Politics Pesky Little Details Matter

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "You were asking":

08:25, I recalled that it came up earlier in the term when Cllr Buck had a go at Cllr Pirri over it. It apparently mattered  then

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 17 September 2014 11:05


When George Timpson was a member of Council, he  lived at home. 

He made a point of paying the taxes on his parents property . He made sure people were aware .

It mattered then.

Chris Emmanuel lived at home with his parents when he was elected. He moved afterwards .

It mattered then 

Councillor Betty Pedersen married and moved to Newmarket and although she still owned property in Aurora,, she did not run again  for Council

Councillor Pedersen had built a reputation and was held in high regard.

Lots of things are legal. But in politics they matter.

Words to live by

Quotes About Free Speech
Quotes tagged as "free-speech" (showing 1-30 of 67)
Søren Kierkegaard
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Salman Rushdie
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
― Salman Rushdie

G.K. Chesterton
“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Kurt Vonnegut
“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let's get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States -- and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”
― Kurt Vonnegut

Winston Churchill
“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
― Winston Churchill

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Stephen Fry
“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

[I saw hate in a graveyard -- Stephen Fry, The Guardian, 5 June 2005]”

Richard Pryor
“You can't talk about fucking in America, people say you're dirty. But if you talk about killing somebody, that's cool.”
― Richard Pryor

Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

George Bernard Shaw
“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”
― George Bernard ShawMrs. Warren's Profession

Christopher Hitchens
“The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind.”
― Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…”
― Christopher HitchensHitch-22: A Memoir

Vera Nazarian
“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists.

Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.”
― Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Abbie Hoffman
“Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.”
― Abbie Hoffman

William Lloyd Garrison
“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
― William Lloyd Garrison

Daniel Gilbert
“We live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough shit. That's the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we're in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it's time to make a run for the fence.”
― Daniel Gilbert

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets..”
― Napoleon

“The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.”
― Hubert H. Humphrey

Northrop Frye
“Nobody is capable of of free speech unless he knows how to use language, and such knowledge is not a gift: it has to learned and worked at. [p.93]”
― Northrop FryeThe Educated Imagination

Vera Nazarian
“Yawns are not the only infectious things out there besides germs.

Giggles can spread from person to person.

So can blushing.

But maybe the most powerful infectious thing is the act of speaking the truth.”
― Vera Nazarian

Thomas L. Friedman
“When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.”
― Thomas L. Friedman

Earl Warren
“The censor's sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression.”
― Earl Warren

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law.

Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love.

All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.'

If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been.

All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.”
― Robert G. IngersollAbout The Holy Bible

William O. Douglas
“The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty."

[Beauharnais v.Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) (dissenting)]”
― William O. Douglas

Peggy Noonan
“I should say here, because some in Washington like to dream up ways to control the Internet, that we don't need to 'control' free speech, we need to control ourselves.”
― Peggy NoonanPatriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now

“The true test of liberty is the right to test it, the right to question it, the right to speak to my neighbors, to grab them by the shoulders and look into their eyes and ask, “Are we free?” I have thought that if we are free, the answer cannot hurt us. And if we are not free, must we not hear the answer?”
― Gerry SpenceGive Me Liberty: Freeing Ourselves in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Jefferson
“The only security of all is in a free press.”
― Thomas Jefferson

John Updike
“[I]n my own case at least I feel my professional need for freedom of speech and expression prejudices me toward a government whose constitution guarantees it.”
― John Updike

“When society gives censors wide and vague powers they never confine themselves to deserving targets. They are not snipers, but machine-gunners. Allow them to fire at will, and they will hit anything that moves.”
― Nick CohenYou Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Thank you Ka-non

This will be a short note.

If numbers are an indication, interest  abounds in the topic of this last week. I owe the Mayor and Councillor Abel for bringing the issue to the fore.

Bits and pieces have been filled in far as I am able,while still involved ,after five years , in the litigation. I  was in my 81st  year when it started.

In the last week, there's ben  a frenzy of hysterical effort to re-write the narrative of the nightmare years.

I am mindful of the people whose lives were blighted. Former staff and Council members who shared the experience but had no recourse.Others who had to retain legal counsel to protect themselves from harm even after separation from the town.

Their stories may never be told.  But they are not forgotten .

" The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"  Edmund Burke of

There comes a time when a person has to do what's right.