"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 "A DIFFERENT OPINION IS NOT NECESSARILY WRONG": 

It is sort of different from refusing to have your neighbourhood singled out with special by-laws....
Expecting the town to buy a neighbourhood an enormous, expensive, un-needed park space strikes me
as being 'way over the top. 
It could still happen given the way some issues just keep coming back onto the table, 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 13 December 2015 at 14:04


It already has happened in the Mavrinac neighbourhood. Council even asserted moral righteousness 
by going tocourt to  "stand up for the town's contracts" 

Saints preserve us.,

Now it's a vacant lot, completely serviced by town infrastructure; roads ,water,sewers,street lights, parks ,schools, police and fire protection , administrative costs, and consultant studies in all manner of shapes and sizes.

It contributes not one red cent to reduce the tax burden. 

From a business perspective , 69 acres of developable land, enveloped by municipal services and contributing nothing to their cost, is utterly preposterous.,

No business succeeds operating along those lines. None would even try.

The last ten years of Aurora's  " management" has been a succession of such decisions. 

Each one a precedent for the next. 

Councillor Gaertner expresses the principle best. " We have to do what the people want" she regularly and confidently expounds with an obvious following.

When I was first elected, the first lessons learned was the slippery slope of precedent. It was the Clerk- treasure  who advised ; "If you do that you will set a precedent"

"Do it for one ,you must do it for everyone"

He was sole director on the payroll. 
Now we have a multi-million dollar administration and never hear a whit of advice of financial consequences from any. cOnsultants are used as a means of avoidance. 

For example, how many millions of dollars of assessment revenue is forfeit when the town takes the golf course out of private ownership. 

How many more millions in development charges are forfeit by rejecting the development 

What rational argument can be presented at an Ontario  Municipal Board hearing to oppose 
development , where every single municipal service is available. Including public transit on Yonge Street,Mcurrently operating with massive deficits because of low ridership. 

By any  measurement, the idea of transferring that land from private to public sector, from revenue to liability columns in town book-keeping is utterly preposterous. 

Yet not a whimper of financial advice do we hear from the source. We pay for a product we do neither invite nor receive. 

ICouncillors can scream until blue in the face about an unelected Ontario Municipal Board making decisions in opposition to the will of the elected council. 

They  claim to defend the town's Official Plan. 

Upholding Municipal Official Plans, legislated by the Province of Ontario, is the reason the Ontario Municipal Board exists. 


Anonymous said...

I can almost understand the Highland area people expecting that they would be treated the same way but the two prices
make it quite impossible. You can just imagine the look on the mayor's face when he saw that number. I am probably one
of the few who really felt he was going to buy that property. That hydro money has been burning holes in his slacks since
he was first elected.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Gaertner got all sorts of votes so her catering to the whims does have its rewards.
And she was very very very attentive to the Highland delegations.

Anonymous said...

It isn't even an election year but I have little confidence in how this will end.

Anonymous said...

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

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

Anonymous said...

The cost of maintaining Highlands was one of the prime factors making them decide to sell. They did not have their
own wells like Beacon Hall and all that grass has to be cut and the trees kept clean and out of the way. As a park, the
costs would be even more as people demanded more services and fewer visitors to " their " park.
Insurance would be through the roof. I would bet the town is already having trouble just with Marvinac which refuses
to allow the park it pretended to want to even be created, Even tennis is deemed too noisy and disruptive.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor is probably the #1 member of council that wants the land developed.

Anonymous said...

This golf course business is really a dumb subject for council to consider.

The Mavrinac "park" cost about $2.6 million for six acres or about $433,000 per acre.

Highland, as developer land, is priced at several multiples of the above.

What are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you didn't post my first attempt last week at distinguishing Highland from Mavrinac. As I said then, and as I will say now: price matters. There is no contractual price advantage with Highland. Mavrinac was purchased in 2015 at less than 500k per acre for 2007 prices precisely because the Town held the developer to its contract. Highland is being offered at $1.5 million per acre; over three times the price per acre Mavrinac was purchased at. Additionally, there is no contract between Highland and the residents and there is no contract between Highland and the Town. However, there was indeed a contract between Mavrinac developers and the residents, and between Mavrinac developers and the Town. Mavrinac residents paid more to the developer directly to back onto the school/park option -- as in, Town residents were purposefully lied to by the developer. Further, and I can't stress this enough -- Council rejected the Mavrinac purchase when it first came up EXACTLY because of price -- the developer acted as if the contract didn't exist and tried to get market value for it. Luckily, the Town figured things out quickly and held them to the contract. Bottom line, the Town does have an obligation to protect its contractual interests, especially when developers are less than forthcoming, otherwise it will get railroaded all the time and we will all suffer for it. Finally, all the residents around Mavrinac paid into the Cash in Lieu of Parkland Reserve Fund because existing parkland in the neighbourhood did NOT meet minimum statutory thresholds. Your attempt at establishing Mavrinac as a precedent for Highland doesn't work. The commonalities are superficial. Land is at a premium, in our Town and in the GTA generally. When the price is right, it's short-sighted and narrow-minded for the Town not to take the opportunity that arises.

Anonymous said...

How can you reach that conclusion ? He went for the Heritage Centre and the University Hub. For goodness sake.
he can be a unpredictable as Humfryes.

Anonymous said...

11:20- The Town is in need of the development money. The Region is in desperate need of this development money. The OMB is a tool that all cities and municipalities use as the "bad guy". The developer is always looked at as the "bad guy". When in fact, they bail out mismanaged government.

Anonymous said...

Enforcing the contract was correct. Then you go off the rails.
That area was not short of parkland. There are parks within an easy distance. And this has been confirmed
by the residents refusing to allow the space to be used as an "active" park. It is a large useless weed source.
And, it is not the business of the town to bail out residents gullible enough to swallow sale pitches.

Anonymous said...

I quite agree - does he ?

Anonymous said...

He wouldn't agree with the mismanagement, but would agree with the desperate need of the money.

Anonymous said...

One day we might get a council with the courage to sell it off to a developer, and maybe make a few $'s.

Anonymous said...

Mavrinac ? Not need to sell it all. There is room for a few decent homes without eliminating their
" green space ". That would seem sensible if they continue to refuse even the mildest activities in
there. Courage in Council - now, that is another thing altogether.