"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 13 December 2015


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "TWITTER NOTWITHSTANDING": 

Business, business, business...blah, blah, blah.

The town is NOT a business - it is a community of people.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 13 December 2015 at 20:07y 


If we follow this logic the town is a philanthropic society with an inexhaustible source of funds . Essential difference  being the source is not voluntary. People's pockets can be picked at will. 

The view  above is obviously  shared, not least by members of this, the last and previous to last Council. 

It started with the traffic control plan for the north-east "Heritage quadrant" which the Mayor of the day described obsequiously as " a special neighbourhood"

When the  the bid of $ 311.thousand, to build obstacles, with road reconstruction,sidewalks and lighting, Council was  stunned. Consultant  estimate was $100 thousand.

Staff were directed by the Mayor to knock on doors in the quadrant and warn residents the bid could be rejected. 

At the following meeting , the Council chamber was jammed with furious and determined residents. 

A parent brought a photo of his child and insisted Council was responsible for his security.

One after another, Councillors caved under the pressure managed by the chair, and approved the

After the next election and  defeat of the Mayor,her chief cohort and two others, $89 thousand were expended to remove the chicanes but the  elaborately dead-ended streets remained closed. 

Shades of things to come.

The abiding principle of road design is for traffic to flow smoothly and efficiently. The town spent $311.thousand to achieve precisely the opposite. 

Stuff  like that kept happening. Staff  responsibile  to provide professional advice were shown the door and replaced with others who perceived their role as political rather than professional. 

To the point of paying outside legal counsel for political chicanery.

The electorate eventually ruled the conduct unacceptable. A new Council was elected.

Unfortunately little else changed. 

Practices established   by the 2003/7 Council proved  politically convenient to the new.

Foolish schemes and devious aims proliferated.Councillor Gaertner's philosophy of giving "the peoplewhat they want " was a definite direction.  

Growth  is the business of an urban centre . Assesment is the meat and potatoes of municipal finances. Millions are budgeted for professional management ...function being to promote growth in an orderly fashion and within planning law. 

Buying land specifically to prevent development is not one of the rules. 

Neither is leasing a valuable property at a loss to another level of government for some airy-fairy notion of status.

Nor  is forking over more than half a million dollars to the same sharp-shooters for a contaminated building. 

To say nothing of some Johny-come-lately cockamamie notion of almost a million dollar purchase of culture like it's a manufactured product. 


Anonymous said...

But, but, but.. our mayor says he is running a business... that was right after he wrote that raising taxes was a good
and necessary thing.

Anonymous said...

The chicanes keep on giving. The council got into a recent tussle trying to put in a few " to study their effect ".
I think they will always be divisive.
One has to go a fair way back in the town's history to when High Tor was dead-ended, If a street had been allowed
through there, it would have siphoned traffic off to Bathurst and lessened the flow on smaller roads. We are now
stuck with the result.

Anonymous said...

"If we follow this logic the town is a philanthropic society with an inexhaustible source of funds ."

Holy Leap of Illogic, Batman!

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how our staff complement keeps fairly steady on the surface while consultants, legal, financial and/or cultural,
continue to be needed for so many "issues ".

Anonymous said...

This type of spending Evelyn will be stopping. In the not to distant future the cost of hydro and water are going to be skyrocketing. Add the carbon tax and all the enviromental fees that will added to our eveyday lives and we will see an economic fallout like we've never seen before. What part of "We can't have it all", don't people don't understand?

Anonymous said...

"In the not to distant future..." Future??? This is a reality now.

It was not too long ago, we had the province screaming at us during the summer to cut back on A/C because of the drain on the hydro grid. Now, everyone thinks hydro is some endless resource. We have groups wanting to electrify the GO trains and UPX. We have electric cars with drivers expecting to have plug in stations every 15 miles because that is how far they can go on a charge. When will this madness stop.

Anonymous said...

There are all those rules about what a council can or can't do. We have seen that there is nothing to stop them. And
I am not just referring to the current group. When they spend money where they should not or use money that they
should not, a buzzer does not go off somewhere. Yet somehow, one seldom hears about a council going bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

What 23: says is correct to a point. But when costs, greed and incompetence get out of control the innovators see a market. How about only using potable water with all its testing to drink only? Other impure water can be plumbed for laundry, cleaning and wastewater. Toilets and gardens don't need high quality pure water.

As technology advances, we will see ever increasing battery storage. Homeowners at certain times will rely on sun and wind to charge batteries and use this power for some or most of their household needs. There will still be a power grid but reliance will be dramatically decreased. Prices will go down as there could be an abundance of supply. Likewise, with water and wastewater we won't need the "big pipe" as a small pipe will do. In fact, we might return to supplying our needs locally.

Anonymous said...

When the big stores turned down their lights to save energy those few times, shopping was much more pleasant.
When they turned them back on full, I asked a manager if it had not been better for the staff too. And might we
maybe compromise on less ? The answer was that they had enjoyed it but " It is not my decision to make ". Head
office makes those calls.

Anonymous said...

15:42- Prices will not go down. Hydro is a trading company. They will be expecting returns on their investment every year. The cost of these batteries are not cheap. The cost of repair and maintenance to turbines and panels is not cheap. The cost of technology is very expensive. This environmental shift is a money making industry. These "save the planet", "save our children" and "fight against climate change" are just marketing slogans by government to sell these products and services, and grow an industry to make up for their destruction of our manufacturing industry.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

AFP Rothesay, United Kingdom
" On rainy Scottish isle. Syrians struggle to adapt "

Anonymous said...

Oh. I see there's a new character to the golf course story. Mr. Ballard...exit stage left please.

Anonymous said...

8:05 Indeed new technology is initially not cheap. I remember paying $2000 for my first computer. A computer today with 100 times the capacity is 25-30% of the cost. Remember also what it cost to make a long distance phone call or get your photos developed 25 years ago. People now take thousands of photos and develop them in an instant. Many don't make phone calls but instead email or text. We never thought it possible 25 years ago.

Generally, technology is expensive when it is new but it declines in price as the technology advances. This will happen with hydro and water. Even today there is ample technology to treat water in your home. People in rural areas use various filters and ultra violet light to name a few. The cost of municipal water is in the testing and to a lesser degree the treatment. The commodity itself comes free from the ground or a lake. We will still likely need the infrastructure to deliver water but not in its present day quality.

Hydro is now a publicly traded company (and soon to sell more shares) which is all the more reason it will have to adapt just as Bell has done. When was the last time you saw the distinctive Bell service truck and repair man in your subdivision? Bell survived and pays its shareholders a nice dividend. We all know what would have happened if they thought the future was in land lines. Every day it has to look over its shoulder to see what Rogers and others are doing to keep a competitive edge.

Hydro and its shareholders may expect returns but those returns will likely be based on a different business model at some point in the future.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ballard actually suggested Highland Corp. call the integrity commish. I hope they don't - he just wants the
publicity and votes.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we've improved our emmisions in Ontario. Manufacturing is dead in this province.

Anonymous said...

Charges in the gas cover-up. I do hope the opposition parties in the Aurora ridings are getting their act together for
the next election. I tried to help them stop Ballard last time but they messed themselves up too badly. Get it
right next time.

Anonymous said...

So....We have a new CAO. A CAO that apparently got let go as CAO in Sudbury. I'll never understand how government hires for these positions. That being said, I'm happy it wasn't anyone from the Region.

Anonymous said...

The result of the election was an indication of the values of this province. Pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

He'll get yanked from the stage with one of those long hooks in 3yrs.

Anonymous said...

When we moved into town a long time ago, the old Library was hanging on by a thread, A lot
has been said since then about doing something on that property which the town already owns. There should be a study of how many studies it takes to solve a combination building/parking problems. Seem to me it should be a