"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

Tuesday 3 November 2015


A little more than a year ago the town was well on the way to spending a million dollars on a treatment facility to remove salt from melting snow. 

Almost $3 hundred thousand was already spent in the facility "design".

I was a Councillor at the time. The project was deferred several times over four years but never rejected outright. It kept coming back. 

It was first recommended  as a means of removing salt from melting snow. 

It was pointed out salt dissolves in water and can't be removed . The decision was deferred. 

The recommendation returned with a new rationale . It wasn't about salt it was about removing pathogens from melting snow.

 Pathogens are dog excrement. 

The question was posed  how much can there be in snow removed  immediately to keep roads clear for traffic. 

Again the decision was deferred. 

Oncd more it returned. The  snow dump was located in a ground waterprotection area.

Still, it was neither approved nor rejected. 

Finally  the project was approved  for inclusion in the 2014  budget

That year, Council had to fill a vacant seat. 

When the contract came forward for award, the majority voted against.  

Interim Councillor Don Constable found no merit in the recommendation. 

Anna Lozyk Romeo and Christopher Watts both have blogs commenting on recent approval by Council for a staff recommendation to increase salt on secondary roads this winter.

It might save $136,000. 

With less clean-up of sand and dust creation in spring. 

No mention of the million dollar " treatment facility"  that took up so much time and resources  to remove salt from melting  snow just one year ago.

No reference to increased charges for storm drain maintenance in the current water rate bill. 

Christopher Watts mentioned a single question  by Councillor Abel but doesn't elaborate. 

Now I ask a question:

How can a group of nine, elected to protect the interest of those who trust  them to ensure the municipality operates efficiently,  not recognize blatant contradictions in advice they  receive. 

Millions of dollars are expended  annually for competent professional advice. 

How can so many be so consistently and routinely blind to the obvious?


Anonymous said...

The salt/whatever removal facility has bombed in the towns that bought into it. Noisy, expensive, useless.
I always felt that was pushed by the Region and Aurora nearly followed the CAO's lead there.

Anonymous said...

Remember that Mayor Dawe is part of the Region.. The CAO was only one man. He couldn't concock and execute by himself.

Anonymous said...

"How can so many be so consistently and routinely blind to the obvious?"



Anonymous said...

And talking about stupidity, in votes today, Ohio votes down legalizing pot for medical, recreational use, Associated Press, and Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Rejected by Voters, the latter being a ballot measure to extend nondiscrimination protections to gay and transgender people, Wall Street Journal.

You can have and keep the US of A. And Trump should go ahead and build the wall separating it from our country.

Does this mean our new Prime Minister will not be allowed to travel to Ohio?

Anonymous said...

"The recommendation returned with a new rationale . It wasn't about salt it was about removing pathogens from melting snow.
Pathogens are dog excrement."

I think your statement should read: "Pathogens INCLUDE dog excrement".

That is a minor point but this whole snow melting thing is strange to me - and not always for the same reasons as you. The Town salts and sand our streets. Eventually they plow the street too and the plow's windrow ends up on the side of the streets - usually on lawns and in driveways. The salt that was put on the snow has dissolved as part of the snow melting process, BUT it is retained in the melt water that either freezes (because the salt content is lessened) or goes down the storm sewer. The sand is carried by the snow and ice and remains there until everything melts.

In the spring when snow and ice melts off of the front lawns, the sand and salt that was held in suspension in the ice remain on the lawn - sometimes huge quantities are on side of the streets. Meanwhile the lawns struggle to live because the salt and sand contaminate the grass.

So, where does the snow come from that was/is supposed to go to the snow dump? There is no one picking it up at the street level and transporting it. Is it only from parking lots? How many dogs crap on a parking lot? I am confused on this point.

Anonymous said...

He was never the Driver in his first term. It was always the CAO. Now he sometimes is. That radio station
was all his.

Anonymous said...

Credit where it is due. It was Cllr Abel who broke from the pack over the treatment process. But he wanted some
weird snow melter that would have to be moved around town and took ages to do the job.