"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 16 October 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE NATURE OF 

To change the subject to something more local,the JOC has been on my mind. What could have gone wrong? Seems it is now realized it was a very difficult piece of land. Did anyone know about this at the time? External auditors on the taxpayers' dime might be needed to figure it out.

I would love for you to refresh our memory here and perhaps in a letter to the editor on your advice at the Council table when the project was proposed.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 October 2017 at 14:50


The first half of this comment was rejected. Truth has to be twisted like a pretzel for such a statement
to be made.

I will not repeat it. 

The town's joint operation centre never had my support. Best use was not being made of existing facilities.

I had no confidence in recommendations from staff. It was not the professional advice expected. 

There was an exodus of senior staff at the beginning of the 2007/10  term. 

Under -qualified replacements  were made with the understanding the Mayor was in charge. 

Advice Council received would be what she perceived to be to her political advantage. 

Five Councillors consistently provided the support. Councillor Grace Marsh resigned and 
then there were six.

 Staff continued to be replaced . 

The first sell- out of town interest was  the former hydro property being  handed over to Queen's York Rangers to extend their existence. 

There were administrative offices, a garage /workshop, 5 acres of  electric-fenced storage yard 
and parking lot with landscaped frontage. 

Two lawful options existed; for the property to be sold, realizing the financial asset,obtain an industry, earn assessment revenue and replace the twenty-seven jobs lost when the utility was sold. 

 Municipal Act regulations govern disposal of surplus property. Leasing  to QYR forfeited the asset,  revenue and jobs. As landlord , the town is responsible for upkeep and receives no grants in lieu from the federal government. Adding insult to injury, the town paid the federal government half a million dollars for the drill shed that occupied a corner of the town park since the days of Queen Victoria.
Several hundred thousand was spent on the hydro building to suit QYR needs. 

The Municipal Act requires surplus property to be publicly declared. Invitation to tender to an advertised competition.

The second option, was already in place. The parks department had moved in. The yard was being used for storage, parks furniture was being built in the workshop and town archives were being stored 
In the office building. 

Either the sale or parks' use would have served the town's interest well. Instead parks was evicted
to make way for QYR. 

A newly elected Council could have changed that. Instead, the lease with QYR  was extended to thirty years.

The existing works yard was badly organized. Waste materials were hoarded. Heritage salvage was transferred from the Hydro property. Contractors used space for storing vehicles and equipment. I understood access to vehicle maintenance department was also available.  

A particular service contract, plastic lining  of pipes to prevent water loss, was re-signed annually
without tenders. Even after it was learned Newmarket was getting a better price.  Average of a million dollars is spent annually on the process. All of their equipment is kept at the town yard at no expense to the contractor. 

I asked once when the work would end and was cockily informed ,probably never. When it finished  
it would start all over again. I never saw the logic .
Original estimates for the JOC was $13 million ,moving to $18 million and again to $26 million.
Initial estimates  must have been meaningless. And that  raises the question of accuracy of specifications. The awarded contract,we now know, was not met. 
An audit might show is how much more will be needed  to complete the project as originally 

Under the circumstances ,there can be no confidence in the design either.   

Had Councillor Ballard not vacated his seat,the project would not have proceeded. His replacement provided the vote to carry it forward. 

 Mayor Dawe is adamant, "micro-management" of decision-making  will not be permitted. 

So.....neither  Council nor Mayor has a meaningful function.there is no Council control. 

The youth facility addition to the Family Leisure Centre was a disastrous failure. 

As a result , a committee of the Mayor, Councillors Abel and Thompson were appointed to oversee the JOC project. 

The end result of the second was not an improvement. 

There's enough blame to go around. But two main protagonists have already flown the coop. 

The ravine site was  always a bad choice. On a dangerous curve of the Industrial Parkway, a road had to be built to circle the property for  access and egress for an operation composed entirely of trucks and equipment. 

I did not support the project going forward. I urged Council to step back and take a closer look.

The decision was a one vote majority. 

My opposition was noted as negative. A  frequent vote of eight to one was evidence of my failure 
to comprehend.

In Hollywood ,I could never hope to win an Oscar or have a Star on the Walk of Fame. 

In Aurora, my parting gift was a pad of lined copy paper with a plastic cover.... in a gift bag ...with a bow ...from the dollar store. 


Anonymous said...

Funny thing how Dawe, Ballard and Thompson formed a committee to oversee the JOC project to make sure it was on track and on budget. I seem to recall the engineering dept.(in Dawe's view)could not be counted on for this task.

Well now, the committee of three stooges sure did a fine job. They have no idea what happened and feel a good outside audit might help. The auditor could tell them where the money went, what went wrong and teach some "lessons learned".

Now lets look in our crystal ball and skip forward 18 months or so from today and we will see that the auditor priced the job at X dollars but because of "unforeseen circumstances" the budget of the audit is now X+1, X+2... until they can squeeze the town for what they can. Meanwhile, the costs over at the JOC keep rising to fix or replace what was not done the first time.

All of this incompetence is really no problem over at town hall. Money is not an issue as the town treasurer just has to factor these costs in upcoming tax assessments.

Anonymous said...

Watching you on TV was always a treat. I always knew where you stood on an issue by just looking at the expressions of your face, and the tone of your voice. You were the only one really looking out after everyone's tax money. Don't watch as much anymore. The other 2 levels of government is really piling on the grief right now. Where have all the good politicians gone?

Anonymous said...

This sounds a lot like the recreation centre where nothing seemed to work properly or did not exist or was too small or leaked.

All levels of government excel at only one thing - incompetence.

Anonymous said...

The IES Director has already paid the price for the JOC as the sacrificial lamb.

Anonymous said...

He well deserved it, long before the JOC disaster. The JOC was the final expensive straw that broke taxpayers backs.

Anonymous said...

The Financial Monitoring Task Force was comprised of Abel and Dawe..