"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

Monday 23 October 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION": 

Keep writing, keep talking. You have readers and listeners and hopefully some will learn from your experiences. I have, and I'm grateful. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 24 October 2017 at 06:53

Much as we hoped the election of 2010 would change things, it was not to be. Four of the gang 
of six were not re-elected and that was a plus. But the greenhorns had little concept of why they 
were elected. They had been paying little attention, the situation was exploited and the legacy 
lingered . 

Except for the lawyer, town advisors remained the same. Councillor Abel understood their functikn 
was to get members re-elected .The Mayor found the nest woven by his predecessor much to his liking and continued the process to render Council irrelevant. 

A consultant was hired to change the Rule of Order. Time allowed for a Councillor to speak was reduced from thirty minutes to ten. 

Thirty were never  used but  a Councillor always knew there was time to outline a well-rounded argument or strongly held position without fear of being cut short. 

This term, Mayor and Clerk have buttons on the desk, to cut off a Councillor's microphone.The 
power is easily abused. Today's Councillors don't even understand what they've lost. 

It's a far cry from the days when the clerk would subtly slide a note to the Mayor to indicate the need to advise council. 

Not so far from the Cojncil meeting when the Mayor and Councillor MacEachern chatted cheerfully to each other,oblivious to all present and regardless of order. 

I thought of leaving. Then I slid down in my chair and pulled my jacket over my head. 

Laughter caught the Mayor's attention. That might have been a moment she hoped I had 
expired. "So rude " she said.

Last week The Auroran had several news stories perfectly illustrating how Council is manipulated.

Page 6 had coverage of council debate on a recommendation for limited audit of the JOC. 
project. The CAO has been replaced since the project began during the Mormac years.

 A financial audit, limited or otherwise ,will not tell the story. 

What went on behind the scenes when Morris was Mayor may never be known. But enough is and understood to track responsibility. More, much more, than could be told in ten minutes.

Against regulations, the Hydro property was transferred to Queen's York Rangers with no benefit 
to the municipality. It was perfect accommodation for the Parks Department. 

About the same time, a totally unsuitable site was purchased . On the ravine incline,on a dangerous curve on Industrial Parkway. 

Also outside regulations, a commitment  was made to sell the joint Works and Parks site to the 
abutting property  owner. 

The  CAO's authority to spend from $75 to $250 thousand without requiring council approval...
was approved.  

Without a published report or Council authority, renovations  in the old library proceeded to accommodate town hall staff while the town hall was being expanded. That didn't happen. 

$350 thousand was spent and plans for that project received bids. The estimates exceeded 
budget approved. 

Council received a report notifying the project was cancelled by the CAO. 

The  plan for the JOC included two extra floors without designation

The spacecraft currently accommodates administrative staff . 

 A ledge had to be built on the ravine slope to create a building platform. A road had  to encircle the property for access and egress to an exceedingly dangerous curve on a heavily travelled artery. 

Parks and works departments are entirely heavy vehicle and  equipment operation. 

Estimates kept rising. From $13 million.to $18 million ,to $26 million. Council just kept approving
 new figures. 

Enormity  and complexity did not phase our doughy crew.  

The project was placed under the same supervision of the youth facility addition to the Family Leisure Centre which was was well over budget and consideraby beyond schedule. 

Provincial regulations govern public works as they do public property sales. 

Plans and specifications are prepared,cost estimates are calculated, budgets are set and tenders called with deadlines. Bids are opened in public and recorded. Then referred for careful analysis to determine prices are realistic.

The lowest bid is not necessarily accepted . Huge differences are a indicatin of miscalculation. 

Performance records of the company with the winning  bid must be checked. 

The project needs to be supervised  throughout.

Change orders are anticipated. Expediency funds are budgeted.  

Not building the floor in the greenhouse and eliminating the environmental roof  do not fit the definition of change orders. They indicate serious miscalculation of estimates, of bids, and a contract wrongfully awarded 

We now know,two floors constructed without purpose always had a purpose. Council was mis- informed. Funds had to be provided for the space to be equipped . What budget ?

So the Joint Operations Centre accommodates  Parks and Works and town hall 
Administration. That was not be the plan publicly proposed. . 

A financial audit with columns of figures will reveal nothing of the hokery-pokery.

If Council were in on the secret ,they would hardly be seeking an explanation. 

That leaves the Mayor and Councillor Abel as Harbingers 

 Bafflegab  from the CAO in the last column of Brock Weir's story indicates Council is on course to spend another $29 thousand to be none the wiser. 

The tortuous route has taken  a long time getting to this point. 3 Terms of council.,

The CAO ,with Certificates of Excellence from an Institute of Excellence with  a membership fee of $12,000. a year, paid by the town. Director of Infrastructure and Environmental Services , with Business Administration Degree from  a "Distance" university in Scotland, are no longer in the town's employ.

The Director responsible for the  plan to expand the town hall  that had to be scuttled  after $350 thousand was expended has been promoted. 

And Councillors' role has been reduced to Social Conveners. 


Anonymous said...

A couple of those greenhorns learned enough to grease the skids for the electoral demise of the most experienced member of council. Your professions of sagacity and omniscience didn't save you from being kicked to the curb.

Anonymous said...

You should write a history - concise or otherwise - of how and by whom Aurora was governed over the course of the half-century that will be ending next year.

I don't know if the Canada Council still hands out money by way of grants to assist financially struggling authors - and after your legal bill - you probably qualify as one of those.

Since that period represents the last third of Canada's first hundred and fifty a provincial or federal token of assistance might also be available.

No harm in asking.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad idea. However, the writing of such a document would be too one-sided to be considered accurate.

Anonymous said...

7:45 - I've been following Evelyn for a long time. Have watched, read, listened and spoken to many on all sides. There were many times that I wished she was inaccurate, but she wasn't. I don't think she's written or spoken about all the ugly political facts.