"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

Wednesday 22 July 2015


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. 


Anonymous said...

Nobody I know is giving Gallo any kudos. He ran a complete hash of a campaign.

Anonymous said...

"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. "

What is further frustrating with the Town and this particular transaction was that Canadian Tire's original plan was for building the size WITH the expansion already. The Town made them trim it back to approve. So, CTC then had to get approval later for the expansion. It costs CTC and the Town more money than it would have been to give the approval in the beginning.

Of course that can't be blamed on MorMac... that was pre-MorMac.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be like with Highland = they feel ' entitled ' to have all the greenspace

Anonymous said...

I hope the town realizes that the insurance for any accidents on that place now passes to them. The property cannot just sit idle for years while they dither about

Anonymous said...


You are wrong when you say that the Cash in Lieu of Parkland Reserve Fund is in return for a building permit "where no park need is generated." A simple Google search leading to the Town's website finds this little gem: the fund is "established to receive and hold cash payments received in lieu of the conveyance of parklands otherwise required in respect of the development or redevelopment of lands as set out in the Planning Act ... and Town policy. ... Funding in the Fund shall be used only for the acquisition of land to be used for park or other public recreational purposes." You are right to state that the neighbourhood residents paid MUCH more in other taxes and development charges, but somewhere in the range of approximately $10,000 per home was just into the Cash in Lieu of Parkland Reserve Fund, which can only be used for parkland, and which was deemed at a deficit in this area given the Planning Act and Town policy, and accordingly, the developper had to pay into the Fund, for which it handsomely charged new home buyers.

The fund is separate and apart from general funds or regular development charges or regular tax moneys. You should have indicated that as it goes to an issue of a perceived lack of fairness or alleged "entitlement". Omitting that information is unfair. You did not provide all relevant information and the way you are presenting the story seems purposefully divisive. The Town won a lawsuit without needing to go to trial and acquired a great piece of land at an extremely low price and then paid for it from the Cash in Lieu of Parkland Reserve Fund, which the residents around the land paid into, and which could only have been used for the purposes of parkland.

Anonymous said...

More "they", eh?

Anonymous said...

@ 14:48
Then perhaps the money should not have come from that source.
I have no idea who determined the source of the funding. Certainly it is not set in concrete and can be shifted.

Anonymous said...

Since matters involving legal procedures and sometimes land purchases are dealt with away from the council table, we may not know for at least a while what has taken place with regard to The Minto situation. I do hope that council has not tied its own hands by deciding the use of the land.

Anonymous said...

Seems clear enough to me. What " they " did you have in mind ?

Anonymous said...

Yup! This town takes great care of its businesses. There will be more that will be saying "see ya".