"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

Thursday 30 July 2015


My biggest cooking pot was employed last night. This morning I used it as a basin to wash the dishes instead of filling the sink. I have taken the foam off the top and the water will go on a patch of new sod that has turned brown. 

Life time habits are hard to break. The dish water was soapy when I was young  and  kept aphids of the roses. Still does. Dishes were routinely washed in a basin especially if water had to be heated in a kettle. 

The fishmonger, fruitmonger, coal man,milkman  baker and the man with kindling in neat little bundles tied up with string and  green fairy soap and paraffin for the little oil stove that cast light patterns on the ceiling. In a thrift store, I found a short one coloured blue enamel instead of black and it sits in my garden.  I'm not sure if I ever told anyone why it has pride of place. 

The pedlars came around the streets daily with horse and cart,crying their wares. One man, between the shafts, pulled a cart behind him calling  HERRING  ..FINE FRESH HERRING.

A Frenchman wearing a black beret got off the train and came around the streets  on a a bicycle with onions braided on a string of straw around his neck. Maybe he was Spanish,the onions were beautiful to look at.

The only car belonged to Pepini ,the son. He had an ice cream colored convertible with an ice cream freezer in the passenger space. He made the rounds on Sunday afternoon. People brought out bowls or jugs and bought tuppence worth of ice cream and a pennyworth of wafers.

The  beautiful car with a cheerful jingle for a horn was pushed into the harbour the night Fascist Mussolini joined the axis in the second world war. 

Italian families had to take refuge with friends while their homes and businesses were ransacked and belongings, even their clothes, were scattered and tossed  into the harbour and the river. It wasn't because they were fascists. It was because they were Catholic It was also because hooligans never need an excuse to be hooligans. 

Mrs Guzzelli whose shop was down near the shore was always crying. I don't think she was ever happy living in that cold and dreary place even before that night. There were days when the wind was so strong, it literally blew the river back up into the hills. The whitecaps were breaking in the wrong direction. 
The vandals waited in entry closes for the nine o'clock news as a signal to start the rampage. No guns or knives. Just big stiicks and a lot of pent-up envy. Italians kept to themselves .When their children grew up, somebody went to Italy to find spouses for them. The children were as Scottish as the rest of us but the culture was important and not to be mixed. It took a post war generation for that to change. 
Theresa Pieronni married Terry McGinn.

Propaganda is a powerful weapon during war. Harper's doing a number on us right now; like a war between Russia and Canada would be a brave new world. 

Back In the day, some  women carried bread knives in bags along with important family papers in case they came across a German parachuter. 

Windows had blackout curtains. Air raid wardens shouted abuse from the street and fines were imposed if a glint of light was allowed to escape.

Street name signs were removed. So that a stray German parachuter would not know where he was and wouldn't be able to find his way to wherever he happened to be going which might have been to sabotage the local munitions plant. We managed to do a pretty good job of that ourselves on occasion without help from the Germans. 

The only Germans we ever saw were prisoners-of-war working on farms. 

But I digress .

Horse dung was never allowed to stay long  on the road.  It was cleaned up immediately by whatever kid got there first. À coal shovel was goid for scooping  and the right size. Horse manure is especially good for roses .

Everybody had a  garden plot where rhubarb and  parsley and carrots and cabbage and kale and turnips  and sweet peas grew in neat rows. There was always a midden in a corner.

Grannie got her parsley from Mrs. Miller's garden and the Campbell's on the other side always had plenty of rhubarb. Rhubarb has to be pulled to flourish. I takes up a lot of space in the garden. It's called a rhubarb patch. Rhubarb with a poke of sugar was a treat. 

My sister or myself would be sent to ask for the rhubarb if my mother was baking tarts. And parsley when Grannie made soup which was most days. 

My grandmother had a small square of grass edged  with strip of garden with alternating crocuses and snowdrops blooming together in Spring.  A fence made from slats of butter barrels divided grass from the garden proper.

Roses flourished  but the most spectacular display was Gladiolii. People stopped in passing. They couldn't miss the amazing display of colour. Every day a fresh vase of the beautiful blooms were picked and brought indoors. 

Hyacinths were  forced in bowls in a dark press in the living room and every room in the house had a pot with a different coloured cluster. Room doors would be kept closed so the scent would be concentrated inside. A brown bowl with faded pink roses in the design hung from the ceiling above the kitchen sink with masses of pink and purple fuschia with long white stamens cascading over the sides. 

I've grown each and every one of the  flowers in my grandmother's garden at different times. But they never flourished as well as they did in the salt air and dampness and coal block soil under her care in that faraway place. 

The family name was Diamond.The main flower bed was shaped in a diamond and four beds around it with paths between  formed a square. The  backdrop was upended railway ties. Beyond that a signal box and wagons loaded with coal and lumber and bricks clanked together day and night in the railway switch yard.The railway station and steam engines with  brakes screeching metal against metal and bells and steam whistles as they came and went throughout the day were a prominent feature of every town. 

This post took off in its own direction this morning. 

It wasn't what I  intended when I opened the IPad. 

Have  a great day. 

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Stephanie took the photos . Also posted them to the blog for me. 

I bought the bulbs at the 2014  Aurora Home Show. They  cost $10.00 for three or four but they were huge. I don't believe I ever spent so much for so few bulbs.

The bag stayed in the car. it wasn't the best plan. By the time  they were  planted, I wasn't really hopeful. Weeks went by and no signs of life emerged above ground. It was hardly surprising. The car was hot. 

This Spring pale green shoots appeared. They grew. Tall and spindly. Then clusters of buds appeared.

They grew ....and grew ....and  grew. Finally ,on Tuesday, Stephanie came into the house with a spectacular photo on her cell phone screen . The flowers were a deep and vibrant pink. Each petal sported a precise white  border. 

It was one of the lilies I thought had desiccated in the back seat of my car in a brown paper bag. 

Two days later the second bloomed...snow-white with dark red stamens. 

Then the third, as beautiful  as the second. 

So  I'm sharing.

I figure they deserve to be shared. 

Not just for their beauty. 


Tuesday 28 July 2015


So....we have dialogue . It's a good thing. 

Brock Weir excels in using accurate quotes. Choice  of quotes is his decision. 

I take cues from the Auroran. It's  the source of news for most. I fill in details from personal experience. Chris Watts posts are extremely informative. . Anna Lozyk Romeo attends meetings and posts regularly on her Blog. 

I think Brock is biased but no more so than any other reporter. He's not writing Hansard. He has to start, flesh out ,finish every story and fit it into available space. It's the nature of his job. 

It also represents  an occupational hazard for politicians. 

The former CAO has been credited  with maintaining order at meetings.

It's not his job and that's not what happens.,

Staff reports bear two signatures. The relevant Director and CAO's 

Had  he still  been on board, the CAO signature would have been the second on the radio station feasability report. 

Unless he decided Council's authority should be disregarded. It wasn't likely. It clearly was the Mayor's 
Heart's Desire. resolutions by a Presinf Member is not the norm. 

During the last term and the previous, the elected body was frequently disrespected. Resolutions passed were never heard of again. The process was selective and the Mayor was complicit.,

If a Council can't depend on the Mayor to support  their collective authority.,they are compelled to exercise it themselves. 

That never happened.  

The right to govern ourselves, well or badly, as far as I could tell, was a foreign concept to this Mayor and the former and various staff members.

The Chief Administrative Officer is not a traditional role and is loosely defined in the Municipal Act.

The Municipal Clerk carries the weight of  statutory responsibilities. His signature accompanies the Mayor's on all legal agreements and municipal bylaws. It is his/her job to ensure Council direction, determined by resolution,is precisely followed.

He is under pain of prosecution if things are not done according to his  legal responsibility. 

Public Records rest entirely with the Clerk. 

A duly certified municipal clerk  and deputy-clerk are required to be appointed by law. No such stricture applies to either CAO  or Town Solicitor position. 

think the office of CAO conflicts with legal responsibilities of the Municipal Clerk. 

In the last ire-organization, recommended by the CAO, the position of Director of Legislative Services  was terminated  to "save money" . The Municipal Clerk now  serves under the jurisdiction not only of CAO but alsoTown Solicitor, who is also not required by law.

Bad stuff happens and has happened in Aurora because of lack of clarity and confusion generated re authority of the  role of CAO and Municipal Clerk.

The former CAO exercised authority surrendered to him by current and former Mayors , each for a different reason but both for political ends.,

In my judgement, the community is not well served by the circumstance.

Successive Councils have failed to recognize or exercise their authority.  The Mayor is but one of nine. 

A Council  member disrespected means all members and the community at large  are disrespected.

The institution fails. 

Nothing good can come of it. 

And nothing has. 


A flurry of comments today make no sense except they are personally abusive. Anger literally splutters on the page. 

It's  interesting. 

I wasn't in the council chamber. I don't watch Council on Cable. Yet I knew Lsomething was missing from the news story about the "community" radio station.,

The report was tabled, declared to be a mistake and a decision made that bore no relationship to the substance of the report or the resolution that triggered it.

I followed the links Chris Watts provided in his post and tracked things back to the Mayor's resolution
giving direction to staff. 

Despite the outrage, bitterness and abuse, no alternative explanation is offered.

The event does not reflect well on Council or the Mayor.  Despite the hazy,lazy days of summer, It has generated substantial interest in the community.,

A resolution directed staff to report feasibility,  a report submitted under the signatures of two directors, the Clerk's responsibility to compile the Agenda, the Mayor's responsibility to vet the Agenda, the second  item of every Agenda calls for a motion and vote of Council to approve the agenda.

It's just that simple. No room for error. 

If It's wrong show us how. Calling me names is not conducive to a different understanding. 

Had the former CAO  been at the table, the Mayor's dodge and weave might have been more skillful under guidance The report might not have made it's way to the table despite being directed.
But the cost of equipping a broadcasting studio would still be the same.Reserve funds  legislated by Bylaw can't be tampered with so the only source of funding is an additional dip into taxpayers' pockets. 


Monday 27 July 2015


The unfinished room available for a broadcast studio is a detail of the incomplete renovation for  youth needs at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex. 

It was to have been finished by October 2014. Obviously it still isn't. 

The renovation budget was exceeded by hundreds of thousands. Still  there's a space with  no floor covering or electrical outlets or purpose it seems. 

 $10,000 spending has been added that won't show in the over-run.  It could have taken up a quarter of a million.

The Director in charge of the $6 million renovation project was initially put in charge of construction of the $20 million Joint Facility project. He thought it was the architects responsibility to supervise the project. 

The project was undertaken under the former CAO while he was taking a Certificate Course in Business Administration at the Schulich  School of Business at the town's cost of $15,000.

The Mayor and others were re-elected with improved ratings.They can't be faulted for believing it  meant approval of their efforts in the previous term and encouragement for more of the same in the

Whether by vote  or non- vote, the electorate chose the path. 

I could sniff haughtily and maintain a dignified silence. 

Sometimes candidates pack up and remove themselves from the scene of defeat. 

I have always enjoyed explaining  details to anyone interested.  I think there's a need .

I plan to continue what I do well.

 In or out of office, in the long run, it does tend to have an impact.


Standing over the sink washing breakfast dishes thinking about the radio boondoggle and the feasability report requested from staff:

The report was precisely to the point. The cost to equip a studio is quarter of a million. To obtain the funds the town's budget would have to be re-opened and taxes increased by that amount. 

It might have happened had the report not been called for discussion. 

Councillors's concerns were about how to manage a radio station. 

Not how to manage town business.

No questions were reported about implications of re-opening the budget. 

Was the Treasurer on hand to answer?

Was it explained how that could be accomplished? 

A budget is  struck and legislated by Bylaw.

Did the solicitor speak on the issue?

I've never known a budget re-opened. 

Think about it. 

The mill rate is calculated in April. Tax bills  have been printed and distributed for each of three payments until year end. 

budget is struck every twelve months. 

What is so urgent about a radio station to. Compel  the budget to be re-opened and  a second mailing of higher tax bills sent out two-thirds of the year through. 

It's another example of how little comprehension there is of the reality of the municipal operation.  

How much it matters to have competent staff. 

The Municipal Act states the function of the Mayor is to provide leadership and guidance to Council. 

The Act contemplates whoever holds the office has  the competence to fulfill it. 

Sunday 26 July 2015


Veteran federal politician Flora MacDonald dead at age 89 (via @torontostar) http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/26/veteran-federal-politician-flora-macdonald-dead-at-age-89.html

I recall Flora Macdonald's alliance with Dalton Camp. No-one else had the courage to do what needed to be done when John Diefenbaker needed to be replaced .

Flora was Party Secretary at that time and she paid a price. 

I shook her hand before nine a.m. on a London street campaigning with a candidate, every inch the lady and twice as charming.

I particularly remember her reaction on  being defeated in her last election.

It's no shame for a politician to be defeated .The shame is not to have tried, was how she responded.

She never stopped trying to make the world a better place.


Following the links to the July meeting ...reading the agenda....continuing on to reports....the museum 5 year plan ... the municipal radio station.... reminded me of regular summer exasperation. 

This July agenda was 279 pages long. Several important issues listed.  Each deserving a separate meeting for thorough discussion and analysis by Council before making a decision. 

So much is regularly  crammed on to a single summer agenda, important issues never do  get the attention fthey deserved. 

From a staff perspective .....I couldn't help wondering. 

Regular town business was heavy enough workload for part-time Councillors without seriously entertaining opportunistic ideas from outside. 

Yet it keeps happening. Like there's an invitation outstanding. Like Aurora is known for it. 

Ten year Capital forecastes are updated every year. 

Official Plans,Master Recreation Plans, Strategic Plans, Emergency Plans, and now something called Master Cultural Plan are the staff workload that generates a hefty payroll that produces little real substance.

Every need  that can be planned ....is. Price tags are fastened and eventually automatically realised.

 Without ever having been seriously analyzed in public or the ability to pay determined. 

Like a juggernaut it advances. 

And Still, will-o'-the-wisps like a university, incubator lab, heritage parks and now a radio station are frenetically chased by air-heads anxious to leave a lasting impression. 

None of these projects ever appeared in any ten year capital forecast. 

The radio station boondoggle might have passed  at that Council meeting without garnering any attention.

The Mayor and others might have been counting on that.

Had it not  been called for discussion, approval would have slipped along unimpeded.

But it was called. 

The  $240,000  price tag stuck out like a sore thumb and that's where it stopped.  

Plainly, up to that point, the project had been fostered,nurtured and ushered along by the Mayor. It was his resolution with nine whereases    that brought it to the table with a recommendation. 

And suddenly it was  abandoned.  The Mayor reversed himself. 

Deemed it to have been miscommunication that the Mayor never intended it to cost public money. 

Yeah Right. 

Like how does one get to be President and CEO of a radio station that doesn't exist without a penny of private investment.  

Funds to process a Licence application from a $1000. grant from the town and $3,500. from the Mayor's Charitable Golf Tournament;  a decision made by himself alone. 

We should talk about merits and otherwise of that tournament one of these days. 

Saturday 25 July 2015


Courtesy of 680 News.. Ontario headline. .. A prisoner escaped from jail by disguising himself as a prisoner.  Incredibly ...It worked. 

Chris Watts posted on the radio proposal with links to the staff report that provided ways and means 
to accomplish the objective and to the attached resolution giving the direction.,

The resolution was moved by Mayor Dawe,seconded by protege Councillor Thom. 

Nine whereas clauses set out every benefit under the sun of having a municipal radio station. 

It was adopted without a recorded vote, usually signifying unanimous support.  

$1000 already provided from the town's arts and culture fund and  $3,500.from the Mayor's Golf Tournament supports the understanding. 

Steps to follow,after equipped space is provided by the town,is application for a Trillium Grant and  donations and sponsorships sought  from the community. Like the Culture Cemtre.

Licence is stated to have been obtained from CRTC.

The hirsute gentleman- proponent from Bradford is referenced as President and CEO of the non-existent Radio Station. 

So....  the Report submitted to Council, jointly signed by Director of Parks and Recreation and Director of Buildings and Bylaws was exactly as required by Council.  

It outlined how the project could  be accommodated and the cost and source of funds.   

The Budget Bylaw has to be re-opened and amended to add a quarter of a million dollars to provide  equipped space needed to operate a radio station. 

So .....this much is known. 

The radio station was the Mayor's Big Idea. Clearly, by moving the motion, his intention was to claim credit.

All that was needed to move the project forward was equipped space dedication. 

A feasability report was requested, a  feasability report was provided. 

Then whammo ....the report was a mistake ...staff misunderstood ... It was not the Mayor's intent that public funds be used.... even though Aurora  grants,mostly from the Mayor, were all that had carried  the project thus far.  

Clearly the proponents were dependant on handouts thus far and were without resources to take it further. 

It seems it was the Mayor who did not understand the depth of commitment required.

No mistake here ...Just the usual air-head approach to  town business.

Friday 24 July 2015


The Mayor said the  report before Council was in error. The difference between quarter of a million dollar funding for a project he has been privately discussing with a proponent for more than a year and $10,000 for electrical outlets and carpet in a room that did not have a purpose in the renovation at Aurora Family Leisure Facility to fulfill Youth Needs. 

The news story indicates the $10,000 is to be an increase in BUDGET and taken from A RESERVE 

Which budget ? Which  reserve fund ? Hydro...Cash in Lieu...or the new slush fund in the budget recently referenced . Once again no input from the Chief  Financial Advisor. 

In the absence of particulars ,one would have to read an increase in the AFLC renovation budget
already  hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget and apparently still incomplete and nine months behind schedule. 

With no input from the Chief Financial Officer, Councillors plunge head first into Donald Trumpland.

It sounds familiar. Fantasyland Heritage Park comes to mind. The Mayor swallowed that scheme hook,line and sinker. Months of high priced staff ,support and effort  went into it before a consultant was retained to save face with a report indicating no advantage to the municipality that allowed the scheme to be abandoned. 

But not without the Mayor's adamant statement that he still believed it was a good plan. 

The Title of Mayor headed the petition of support collected in advance of presentation to Council. Prominent citizens added their names to support a plan with no hard facts to commend  it. 

Of course they were the true progressives while others with feet planted solidly on terra firma obviously had no vision,closed minds, lived in the past and were impervious to change. "K!!?".?..?.l.lSlackers and laggards the lot of them. 

This time ,in public, the Mayor scrambled to untangle himself from the price tag to finance a municipal radio station from town coffers. 

"It's not what I talked about with the proponent" he said.

Miscommunication had apparently ocurred and according to the Mayor, pstaff were responsible. 

All very strange. With little to support the Mayor's protestations of innocence. 

Staff received direction from somewhere to discuss the matter with the Man from Bradford but still apparently basking in the glories of the past. An ex-air-force wallah wearing the big bushy upcurled mustache Air Force glamour boys wore to distinguish themselves in the forties, seventy -odd years ago in another time and another place. 

Substance of the staff report suggests discussions were to determine resources required  for a municipal radio station to emerge from fantasy to reality and justify it's location in a space renovated to serve needs of youth in the community. 

A substantial price tag was identified for a sound studio for budding young musicians which would also serve the needs of a radio station

His speedy reversal, indicates the merits of the plan entirely escaped the Mayor's comprehension. 
It was not what he had in mind. 

Which was what exactly?

Therein lies the problem. 

The other question is how the report came to be tabled at that meeting. 

The Municipal Clerk is responsible for preparing the agenda of business items for Council attention.

The Mayor is responsible for vetting the agenda prepared by the Clerk. 

That calls for  an element of familiarity with content. Like reading reports. 

The agenda is required by law to be complete and publicized days before a Council meeting. It's not a courtesy. It's a legal requirement to ensure public awareness of decisions contemplated.

At the start of  the  Council meeting, a motion is moved,seconded and a vote taken to approve the agenda. 

Even though it managed to pass scrutiny of the Mayor, at each step the weight of the report should have been recognized and referred to general committee for a full discussion before deciding. To say nothing of opportunity for public input.

Mayor Dawe is in his fifth year as Presiding Member of Council . But possibly, his first meeting without the former CAO at his elbow to guide his every step. 

What have we here?

A presiding member who, in five years, has absorbed nothing of process and a table of Councillors with no more facility between the lot of them than himself alone?


For obvious reasons,negotiations to purchase or sell land is one of the few reasons a Council may hold private meetings.

The Municipal Act requires deals  to be "reported out ". Relevant details like the whys and wherefores of funding should be included. One might reasonably anticipate an accompanying report from the Chief Financial Officer advising of financial ways and means. 

When a budget is set and taxes imposed, the purpose for which  resources are taken from our pockets and transferred to town coffers, is legislated by Bylaw. 

Shifting funds about later for a different purpose is not kosher.
It is shifty.
Not professional accounting practice. 
A likely trigger for an auditor's letter to management.
Tantamount to a failing grade.
And scandal. 

Budgeting  for a deficit is also prohibited under the Municipal Act. 

The decision to litigate against Minto was public.
The Mayor stated and re-stated enforcement of the agreement was moral and virtuous. 
More Rah Rah. 

The town's need for more land was not referenced as a factor. 

Even if the town did have the same option as the Separate School Board  to buy or decide there was no public need for a school site, there is no need for a park site.

The Public Board  owns a much larger site in the same area.

Is there a moral obligation to compel the Public Board to sell that site to the town? 

The circumstances are identical except the Board,not the developer, owns the site.

Will the same argument prevail with after-the-fact disposition of Highlands Golf Course ? 

If not...why not? 
The Tennis Lobby is panting with anticipation. Softening, kneading  and elasticticizing  of public opinion is already in progress.The yeast is rising. The Hydro Reserve is still intact. 

The town has no purpose for golf course lands. 40 acres is proposed to be dedicated. The need is questionable and maintenance will add substantially to parks operating budget. 

The  Mayor states the town has a moral obligation.

In a pig's ear.

No moral,legal, ethical or practical reason exists for land purchase for which no need exists.

The imperative is clearly political. 

The Mayor is being disingenuous. 

Whether lying to himself or the community at large, pretext of virtue makes the affair particularly sleazy. 

Such conduct brings politics into disrepute. Reason enough  for a reference to " the second oldest profession"

Modern peurile comprehension of politics is the reason many spurn the hard-fought right to vote at every level of government. 

Look no further to explain rejection of government. 

Was it the Romans who said ? "Give them bread and circuses" 

Didn't work too well for them either in the long run?  But it is understood the Mayor has no plans for 
a long run and in his profile does not identify himself as a politician. 

Doesn't matter how much public money is spent on "communication"( read political promotion), useless  land purchases are not the legitimate role of a municipality any more than assinine schemes to finance such enterprise as a radio station with tax dollars not budgeted for the purpose unless under a pseudonym. 

If there is no taste for what you have to sell, there will be no sale. 

Of few who vote,many watch with horrid fascination as Mayor and friends contort themselves artlessly on the political trapeze. 

Flying Wallendahs they are not. 

Only the rarified atmosphere of the Council Chamber holds them aloft despite the clunker clumsy rhetoric. 

Wednesday 22 July 2015


Another challenge to my explanation of the Cash in lieu fund and how Development Charges are calculated and disbursed. 

I said it wasn't a simple concept. According to everything I know about development charges,the revenue NEVER  EVER  finds its way into the Cash In Lieu of Parkland Reserve. 

The 6 acre school site on Mavrinac was not purchased by the town with funds collected from Mavrinac homeowners by the home builder and subsequently transferred into town coffers. 

No information was ever conveyed by the town that the site would be a park . 

The sign on the property, required by the town,clearly Indicated the site was intended for a school. 

Provincial law compels municipalities to justify funds collected from developers. Needs generated 
by new development must be identified. 

It wasn't always like that.The money was easy come,easy go. Like everything easy, greed and lack of accountability and the contrived notion it came from developers profits, compelled a new provincial law. 

A Master Recreation Plan is required. It forecasts needs for anticipated new population and must be updated every five years concurrent with the Development Charge Bylaw. 

The Master Recreation Plan is prepared by Consultant paid for the work.then it can be squirrel led away for a year with the Recreation Advisory,chaired by Councillor MacEachernin the term before last.
The plan that finally emanated had been changed to reflect the Councillor's ideas of what was required. 

The Plan should  be seen to provide fair and equal treatment for all. 

Instead,in Aurora, with St Andrew's College and the Salvation Army, that did not happen.The  D.C. Bylaw can be ignored  when it pleases Council Lawmakers. They pass the Bylaw. It is  imposed on some but not everyone. Depending on how many friends you have on Council.

Facility needs calculated in the D.C. Bylaw must be constructed within the five year period of the Bylaw. Otherwise, it's deemed not to have been needed and cannot be included In the next round of calculations. 

Funds can be borrowed if not immediately available. Debenture payments can be made as DC revenue becomes available. The current treasurer prefers to describe that as a "deficit" in the fund. It helps to confuse things. 

D.Cs are prohibited from being used for operating  and or maintenance costs. 

Repeat...They are NEVER funneled into the Cash In Lieu  Reserve Fund. 

A capital project must be funded 90% from DCS and 10% from the community at large. The 10% can  be raised In the form of an increase in user fees over a fixed period by agreement with sports organization claiming need for the facility. 

We do not maintain fair and equal treatment there either. Ergo recent relief from fees to the Aurora 
Minor Baseball Asociation for use of a million dollar facility which they argued desperate need but paid no share. Now they've merged with King Baseball Association because of a shortage of members and Aurora provides King residents with facilities and they pay no user fees, courtesy of Aurora Council and taxpayers. 

Canadian Tire or any other business operation planning to expand is not a developer in the sense raw land is being urbanized. Homes are not being built. New park needs not being created. 

Provincial law permits municipalities to collect cash in lieu of land for a park in this circumstance. Municipalities can't resist . They take it and stash it.

Recently there was talk of purchase  of 11 acres of the former Hall Mark Card property at $11million.
Cash in Lieu Reserves were the only possible source of funds. 

The smelly old contaminated barn situated in the corner of the town park, used by the Federal Government for over a hundred years, was returned to town ownership with an invoice for over half a million dollars. The town celebrated. Haven't heard of a use for the building. 

Council has  reportedly used  $2.4 million of Cash in Lieu Reserves  to purchase the Mavrinac land  in an area where needs are BETTER  served than required by the Master Recreation Plan.  

Needs specified in the Master Plan are excessive,have never been met and if they were, maintenance and operating costs would add substantially to the annual budget and generate additional hefty tax

Residents may interpret what they read in documents on the town's web site if they so choose.
Some reports are difficult for Councillor to comprehend or accept even with an expert defining the terms. Sometimes even the expert isn't so expert. 

Not being involved, I don't know what advice Council received on the Mavrinac purchase. Whatever wheeling and dealing took place, a written report detailing any purchase with public funds is certainly a called for.  Secrecy is not legitimate.

Considering the CIL Reserve  is intended for purchase of parkland and was used to buy the 6acre parcel, it would appear to shrink options for its use. 

Despite an open invitation from the Mayor for input. 

Previous invitations to participate in decision-making process have been equally fallacious. 


This morning two comments are  quick to take me to task for failure to acknowledge important information in the previous post. 

Kudos to John Gallo are not in order. I made the point the  Councillor would not have known of  the clause without being  informed by the one who had it inserted. 

Staff would not  expect it because neither solicitor and possibly planning director were on staff when the crazy clause was inserted by a short-term politician who never accepted limits to power in municipal politics. 
In a position of trust, confidence can be earned or lost. 

The public is a harsh taskmaster. As is the penalty for betrayal. 

The second comment is seriously misinformed. 

Cash-in lieu of parks is a fund generated by taking cash in return for a building permit where no  park need is generated.

 Like an addition to Canadian Tire a few years ago; Instead of encouraging business in Aurora to expand, the town whacks them with a whopping  great fee that cannot be justified. 

Except of course , in an exemption like the one granted to St Andrew's College for  building an ice arena that will likely compete with the town for bookings .St,Andrew's doesn't have to pay until they sell the  property. 

Not sure if the town secured  that by a lien against title of St Andrew's to ensure payment when that time comes.  

Development charges  are probably closer to $50,000  than $10,000 as stated In the comment. 

At  time of application...no fee...no permit. 

Along with other taxes like provincial property transfer tax , hidden taxes were about $100.000 in the price of a home last time I checked. 

Property assessment reflects the hidden taxes .

Then taxes are paid on taxes forever and a day after that. 

I'm not sure  development of a park comes out of Development charges or the subdivider builds the park. I am sure whatever overheads are necessary to supply the housing market,  they are ultimately paid by homebuyers.

The building industry is no more altruistic than any other.  They are a very large part of the  country's economy. 
Builders have a better view than most, how governments at all levels feast off their efforts. 

They are not enemies of society. Their remarkable sons  go to St. Andrew's College to become remarkable men and  future remarkable leaders of society. 

 Conrad Black was a student at Upper Canada College who dreamed of wearing ermine trimmed robes and satin knickers with ribbon garters at the knees. 

And did. 

Also wore an orange prison jump suit in jail for a while and lost at least some of the perks. Though he did willingly surrender Canadian Citizenship before that. 

I digress....but only slightly. 

The  comment about  the homeowner's tax burden worries me most because it might  have come from one of our redoubtable members of Council. 

On one memorable occasion, the former Treasurer spent fifteen minutes explaining development charges in response to a Councillor's  query; how they are calculated and  required by the province to be re-calculated every five years and used only for the purpose stated and if not used cannot be re- stated as a need in future calculations. 

It seemed  the explanation would never end. When it did, the Councillor requested it be repeated because she didn't understand.

It's not an easy concept. Like theory and practice. Without practice, theory is tricky .

That's why a commenter should know whereoff he speaks before issuing  challenge or criticism.