"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 14 March 2015

All politics are local

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "With A Clear View":

That delegate did have a product to sell. His company had brought the clear bags to Markham & another town [ can't recall which one ]. He was the one who claimed it was effective but seemed unsure about how it could be proven.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 14 March 2015 at 11:16
The only reason the clear bag initiative is not going forward
Is community involvement. It gives me great comfort. 

It's the fourth initiative to be stopped in it's tracks. 

First was the crazy heritage theme park. Second the South- east heritage neighbourhood. Third the cockamamie treatment facility for melting snow. Now the clear bag garbage initiative. 

I thought of another little facet of the snow melt treatment fiasco. The last and final argument offered brought a regional rep to delegate to Council and tell us the snow dump was on the wellhead protection area. 

It wasn't always. In fact it had only been moved there when the town sold the Jack Woods property .

The community gardens was there. When it was sold a new site was needed for the gardens. The snow dump was  moved to accommodate the gardens. 

Then it was decided a treatment facility, original estimate $750,000. was needed to treat the snow melt to remove non-existent salt. 

Councillors do get  e-mails from suppliers to promote this and that. No doubt the Mayor's office and the IES Director and the CAO  get more.

Who knows how many luncheon interviews take place to promote the product before it gets to a Council table?

It's that last aspect we need to be concerned about. 

The Mayor claims the clear bag initiative for himself. But as I recall, that's not how it came to the table. The  IES Director tabled a report.We may take it from the Mayor's  claim, by direction from the Mayor.

The last Council adopted a Code of Conduct. It states staff  take direction only through  a resolution of Council. No Council member has authority to direct a staff member, including the Mayor.

When I write about process, I know I have only half an audience. But if I keep doing  it, at some point, the importance of process will be understood. It's not really that complicated. Watching Council in action will become a spectator sport. The dodges will be easily recognizable as will the inept players. 

In the last term, Dawe,Abel and Thompson were the three wise men. Pirri and Humphrey's were most likely to tag along.

This term the unholy trinity continued  to hold. Until the clear bag initiative. 

Three active blogs are being posted. Chris Watts, Anna Lozyk 
Romeo and my own. 

Anna is an engineer  with serious concerns for  the environment and heritage and a growing interest in town politics. Anna attends Council meetings. 

Chris Watts is a tiger, second to none,on communications and heritage issues and whatever else strikes him as ludicrous.
Chris takes no prisoners. 

I myself live and breathe the straight and narrow  of town affairs. 

We have three new Councillors yet to show their mettle . 

And the community has discovered they can make a difference and there's a  powerful need to do so. 

All politics are local.

Evelyn Buck


Anonymous said...

Thank god we now do not need to be "educated" by Mr. Abel. In my view, this guy has fuzzy logic.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, "politics are local" is a constant learning experience.

Some learn faster than others and some don't seem to ever learn .

If this were a school room it wouldn't matter so much.

But it isn't, and the cost comes at our expense.

Anonymous said...

Chris would make an entertaining council member. He really is bang on with everything he writes. Well...almost everything. I remember when he would not let go the issue with the Browning house . I thought he competely lost his marbles when council gave the go ahead with that demolition. That "house" should have been demolished years before the permit was requested, and for some reason he didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

I think that ' delegate ' might have been the speed-talker. If so. he talked so darn fast that people stopped listening to the content and just focused on the flow of words.

Anonymous said...

"It's that last aspect we need to be concerned about" The so called "behind closed doors" or "back room deals" are a given in business and especially in politics. In fact, I think businesses took a page from that book from politicians. Im sure the word "transparency" was a term that was invented by a politician from somewhere. It's all sham. These games are being played each and everyday, unfortunately they're played with our money.

Anonymous said...

I liked that delegate. He was a fast talker, but thought he did a fairly good job. What he had to say was interesting. Not that I wanted this clear bag program here in Aurora. I'm happy that it got tossed. It was my impression that staff didn't want this program to happen. It was communicated to residents poorly. Staff and council couldn't answer some pretty obvious forseeable questions that residents brought forward. What a waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

We seldom demolish buildings when we should. The old library should have been gone last term but a few nut-bars were determined to leave it despite the whole neighbourhood being short of parking. They are still gong to have to wait to see if parking is included in a future pipe-dream. The Fab Lab went the way of the dodos...............

Anonymous said...

First we have to get past the budget - I think it is going to be ugly.

Anonymous said...

14:38- Interesting.. ugly between who? I really don't see anyone on that council that will stand up to the spend thrift movement in this Town. I'm hoping you're right, and I'm wrong.

Michael Suddard said...

I still can't get my head around the whole bag issue Eveyln.

I used to live in Aurora (a stones throw from you on Knowles) and disagreed with the logic. I posted a comment on Anna's blog stating that the whole safety issue that came up just didn't make any since.

Since moving out of Aurora & Richmond Hill to Ottawa, I've noted who picks up our garbage. Richmond Hill & Ottawa: Miller Waste. These same guys who used to pick up Aurora's garbage for the longest time.

So am is my Ottawa Miller Waste garbage hauler in more danger than Markham or Aurora's ? Doubt it!

The fuzzy logic behind it all seems scant at best. Besides Markham, what other place has clear plastic bags? Anyone else in southern Ontario?

The same requirement with using compostable bags in the green bin. I was surprised Ottawa's didn't accept anything the Region of York had approved on their website.

Ottawa doesn't allow plastic bags and not even compostable plastic bags(which is it's own issue unto itself) but encourages paper bags be used or newspaper.

I tweeted the Region of York to see if they would accept compost wrapped in newspaper (complete with Ottawa's YouTube Video on making a paper bag cone shape that fits in your kitchen bin) and received a reply in the affirmative, yet it's still not listed as an option on their website: http://www.york.ca/wps/portal/yorkhome/environment/yr/garbageandrecycling/compostgreenbin/!ut/p/a1/jZDLTsMwEEW_pYssiSfuI4adFR5OSkiREE2zQU5wHUuJHTmGCL4eU7FBPNrZzejcmXsHVahEleavSnKnjObdZ1-tnlJ6kzK2hqxYkAQoFDTDMYGr5dwDOw_AH0XhmD474QC2eZJLVA3ctWdK7w0qJbc1l4LrZyuat6ZTWqKyMf1gRietELpWGm1RddiO8WLFogQyiOJzSK_vkof7HGN4hB8AK4gH4s3ykrAI1vgL-CefDyA7Ux9-taO6nhPv1Iq9sMKGL9aPW-eG8SKAAKZpCqUxshNhwwP4TdH6AKj8BqKhL99vGahNvyUjnc0-AGtZcCM!/dl5/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/#.VQcHTY7F-i8

If we are looking to improve anything municipally, let's look at what other municipalities are doing with the pros and cons equally weighed.

There's lots of best practices out there that Ontario municipalities have tried, tested and kept that would improve Aurora and probably save some $$$ Let's take a look to see what others are doing before coming up with cockamamie schemes.

myonlyphoto said...

Thanks Evelyn :).