"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 2 July 2015


In 2013  a consultant study reported on town service levels and the relationship to higher than average tax levels. 

The conclusion intended was to prove high taxes were attributable to a high services levels. Questionable  municipal comparators were used to prove the argument. 

At the end, as if tossed in as an afterthought, the consultant advised savings could be 
achieved by reducing  by one the number of directors on the management team. 

Without further ado ,the  Director of Legislative Services  was chosen to be the one expendable. 

As required by the Municipal  Act, the director was replaced by a municipal clerk, placed under the authority of the Municipal Solicitor now Director of  Legal and Legislative Services. 

I did ask once about savings realised. 

With friend and protector in the chair and remarkably uncurious Councillors in support, awkward questions from a lone,vintage Councillor were not required to be answered. 

Now we learn of a budget overrun in 2014  of close to half a million dollars. Savings were obviously not  reflected in that circumstance. 

Which prompts  the question....what  really determined redundancy of the position of Director of Legislative Services the week before Christmas in 2013 ?

Y'know , for eight years, town budgets failed to win my support. 

Hundreds of thousands of dollars transferred to a non-elected  body to spend as they pleased ,and a continued grant of $70,000 to five  or six people on the Historical Society were ancillary reasons.  

The over- riding concern was  lack of confidence in the integrity of the process . 

The budget is the most significant function of any municipal council.

Nothing matters more. 

 It determines the burden Imposed on weary taxpayers. 

For eight years, I was unable to provide assurance the system was working as it should. 

Expenditures having nothing whatsoever to do with municipal function were paid from 
public resources. There were no checks or balances. 

Funds collected  legally for a specific purpose were used for a different  purpose. 

The Treasurer's statement to Council, as reported in the June 24th edition of The Auroran, reveals revenue realized from development charges were used to cover an operating budget deficit, simply confirms my long-held concern town resources were not being properly managed. 

The community interest is not well-served. 


Anonymous said...

The budget also did not include provisions for staff severance. And the one for the COA would have been substantial. We have no idea if there are others eying the door.

Anonymous said...

12:25 That Highland development is going to happen. Sooner than most might think. When their is money to be made by a developer and the Town, things move rather quickly even with huge opposition. Time is money.

Anonymous said...

I know that and you know that but did you hear the anguished, passionate rhetoric ?!?!

Anonymous said...

18:21- Yes i did. I hope they realize that all the developer and the Town heard was Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Lawyers I'm sure were circling around. They did at Glennway and made tons of money off tax payers backs. The Town and lawyers knew that they were going to lose that fight and they still went ahead and supported going to the OMB. It was pathetic waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

The werd thing is the # of people who feel the owner of the land should do nothing with it just because it conflicts with THEIR wishes. The town can't go to the O)MB and say they want NO development. Even if it happened we would be stuck maintaining THEIR park with all the rules THEY would create.
I live close to a bit of Highland and I think the project should go ahead. But no one wants to hear a nay-sayer.

Anonymous said...

Your right. Unless changes happen with municipalities having more control with what is being developed everything is just time and money wasted. But that won't happen. Why? Because the Town and Region prefer to point the finger at the big bad developers and province. The truth is, they want development as well. All kinds of it so that the piggy bank can continue to pay for those 30% of the people who vote. And lets not forget the Region's almost $3 billion debt. You really think that they care about opposition? They need help in paying down that debt and Aurora is part of that debt.

Anonymous said...

Let them fight it out. In the meantime, people with dogs and those who might want a quiet smoke can wander unmolested by by-law enforcement. It's a great place to wander in the evenings.

Anonymous said...

The Highland proposed development should be opposed by ratepayers at the OMB and appealed to the Cabinet if necessary.

There is no way this parcel of land is compatible with "infilling." It will destroy the value of the homes to the north and south.

You can't compare Highland and Glenway. They're like black and white.

Anonymous said...

Going to the OMB will make a bad situation worse. I've seen it too many times. The OMB has to be dismantled for any community to stand a chance against developers and municipalities. And that can only happen at election time. If the developer is showing that they are working with the community and the Town with the infilling plan and are making consessions in trying to make the infilling work. They win. It's as easy as that. Developers have lawyers and people on the payroll who do this all day long. They wouldn't invest all this time and money unless they knew this development wouldn't work. Accept that the infilling will happen, fight for what type and how many units will be planned, as well as protecting your property and its services while construction is happening and for a period of time when it's completed.

Anonymous said...

They can appeal all they want on their own dime.
We saw what happened in Newmarket and would be foolish to follow that costly path.
One lady boasted at the meeting that they had all the money and resources to do the job.
Let's see how that works out for her.
I want no part of her battle on my tax bills.

Anonymous said...


Highland as it now exists is a natural as a park and various activities could be catered to with facilities built especially for them.

Let's say that 400 people turned out for the public meeting June 24 which could represent 200 homes. If each homeowner were to contribute $5,000 to a fund to fight the application, $1,000,000, they could fight the developers with a significant team of lawyers and planners. This might seem like a large amount, but not when you consider the potentially huge damage to the value of the existing homes.

I think it's time the town recognizes that not every parcel of land is is an "infill" project simply because there is nothing presently situated on it. The town has a moral responsibility not to permit development, particularly when neighbouring properties could suffer and consequently might have their appraised value drop precipitously. If appraised value drops then property taxes would also drop.

These owners must form a powerful, well financed ratepayers association, retain top legal and planning advisors, take off the gloves and show the town and developers that they would be getting into a war

Anonymous said...

Millionaires versus billionaires - guess who wins...

Anonymous said...

Fine, let them do that but not on my dime, please.

Anonymous said...

11:07 Take that money and pay for kids education, vacation. Don't give in to these lawyers or BS from the Town. I have no vested interest in this development. I've been tracking " arms lengths" government orgs. for years. There is nothing "ams lengths" about them. This is your community and your money. Keep it in your pocket, and remember this at election time with both provincial and municipal representatives want your vote.