"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

Sunday 12 July 2015


The  Mayor and several members of last term's economic development  advisory committee were quite excited when the current hospital CAO was appointed.  He had ideas for all kind of possibilities for development of research facilities and medical manufacturers in towns in the halo of Southlake Health Facility. 

A university would have  been icing on the cake. Remember that kefaffle.They planned to gift $11 million to York University. 

I am not sure CAO credentials as manager of a large hospital qualified him to speak  about economic development but it certainly got the minions all fired up.

The last attempt to get a decision on the redundant municipal buildings on Victoria Street was set aside once againon a motion by Councillor Thompson who was always quick on the draw to defer.

Three hundred thousand  had already been spent fixing the old library up to accommodate 
staff for transition while a multi million dollar renovation was done on the town hall.

Construction in the old library was done without Council knowledge or authority. Can't say what the Mayor knew. 

After the CAO  obtained authority on his own recommendation to spend  $ 200,000. without council or the public knowing what he was doing. He actually recommended $300,000 but that didn't fly. Councillor Thompson moved it be reduced.  

The incubator thingy  in the old library the  committee was so keen on never came to be and $300,000 was spent on the old library  before the town hall renovation project  was cancelled. 

It seems the CAO was still learning on the job and not doing too well. 

Estimates for Designs under authority of the Chief Building Official exceeded the budget approved by Council. The contract was cancelled  before the report reached  Council.

I inquired a few times which business had been persuaded to stay or grow In the town since we had a two person department (a manager on the sunshine list) bearing the title of Retention And Expansion. 

The name was changed after the second enquiry when the Mayor would not direct the question to the director responsible. 

A story in The  Auroran last week touched on the question again. 

Don Constable asked at a meeting of the committee   "what did the town do to persuade Magna to stay?"

It seems the question generated a bit of a flurry but no answer. 

The Mayor made feeble reference to a conversation a while ago. The facility was no longer adequate for Magna's purposes and the lease they had with themselves was up for renewal. 

According to the press report The Manager of Economic Development had nothing useful to contribute to the discussion.  

An application for residential development  can be expected as soon as they can whip one up. 

They won't build it. They'll sell it.


Anonymous said...

Cllr Thompson voted to defer or delay whenever one of their project or motions was in trouble. But I am not seeing so much of that this term. He seems less willing to stall the process now.

Anonymous said...

I had not known the Magna place was owned by an insurance company,

Anonymous said...

Will the residents of the gated estates community want the Magna HQ to become a housing development?

Anonymous said...

Council better pull the reins on the amount of $$ that staff can spend without council approval. Maybe we can also hire a director of micromanaging our money.

Anonymous said...

They do not get to decide. They cannot even agree what they want for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the drawings for the development are already complete.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing anyone could do to persuade them to stay. When your sitting on a piece of propropery like that in today's market, there's nothing to really talk about.

Anonymous said...

Mr Constable joins the long line of disappointed electors

Anonymous said...

I was the one who posted the comment about trying to keep Magna would have been futile. I want to clarify my comment. If the Town truly cares or appreciates the businesses in this town both large and of course small, they need to be attentive to their needs. Not when they’re just about ready to move thinking of moving or ready to close. I’ll tell you as a business owner myself (20+yrs in Aurora) I don’t think anyone at Town hall or any staff member knows that we exist. And it hasn’t been for lack of trying either. I tried numerous times to reach out and introduce ourselves within the first 10yrs to various departments in the Town, but nobody was interested. The Chamber Of Commerce was the only group that seemed to care who we were and what we did. We are no Magna operation, and we don’t expect to have the red carpet rolled out for us, but a courtesy phone call once a couple of years or decade would be nice. You might be able to retain your red carpet businesses as well as maybe help grow the little small ones if a little more attention can be paid to them once in a while.

Anonymous said...

There are 3 years left before the hammer falls, I think. Absolutely no reason for Magna to rush or to play any part in finding a replacement for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that. This is at least the second mayorship to ignore local businesses. That little hardware store on Yonge experienced ugly times from the Former's tenure. I had hoped that would end. Looks like not.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that before. After the ribbon cutting, everyone disappears.