"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

Wednesday 29 April 2020


Try as I might I can’t move far from our town’s business. After  my last post , a request came
to write more stories of my childhood. I’ve been doing it regularly on a web site on my birth town . An old postcard gets published and it’s like turning on a tap: one thing leads to another  and before I know it ,I’ve been writing non stop for thirty minutes. Like the Last of the Mohicans I guess. Of the few left,not that many are using computers and clicking on Facebook. The stories of course go with the postcards. They wouldn't make a lot of sense without them and only then to other Irvinites. I’m not sufficiently computer literate to transfer it to my blog and that would probably not be honest . My contribution is appreciated , my output is prolific and it suits my scattered approach.

I watched a “virtual” Aurora Council  meeting last night. I learned Ontario Emergency Measures suspends parts of the Municipal Act and  allows Council to hold meeting without being physically present.  It’s still tricky though. Depending on how thorough the work done to suspend one Act to allow another Act to supersede, therein lies potential for challenge to whatever decisions were made  by Council at the “virtual “meeting.

It might be difficult however for even the smartest lawyer to figure out what actual decisions were on made.  I watched because the Agenda seemed to indicate the Chief Financial Officer would  report on the financial impact of the $56 million Library Square Complex. That is not what happened. The Report focussed instead on the financial impact of  the  coronovirus emergency measures. It’s grim. The impact is likely to extend into the foreseeable future.

The town has a slush fund of $10 million created by taxing property owners in excess  for the  last several years. The fund was created in anticipation of arbitrated awards to increased firefighters to staff  new fire-halls built with lot levies calculated on the basis of population growth forecast in Master Plans. Fees collected to build new firehalls can only be used for that purpose.Millions of dollars of equipment must be installed. Custom made in the good old US of A. Sleeping, cooking and recreational facilities must be  provided. A fire crew numbers seven. Over a twenty -four hour period and three shifts ,  new hires number twenty-one minimum. The town’s genius financial advisor of a few years ago, recommended taxpayers of the day should pay  forward to meet the financial demands of the future.Now those  funds will be used for a different emergency . And it won’t go far.

No matter: lot levies will still be charged, new firehalls will continue to be built and politicians will argue development does not pay for itself. It increases taxes . The logic is flawed.  But if  money can be extorted from developers, who tack it on to the  price of a home, well, hell, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, who’s going to argue against it.

Me ...that’s who. But it’s like spitting in the wind.

Aurora Chamber of Commerce argues the town isn’t doing anything to help business owners get through the crisis. While the town itself deals with shortfalls and continues to contemplate spending$56 million on the Library Square Complex to stimulate business activity down town. Like the Armoury project was supposed to. We still don't know how much that cost nor, it seems,  has downtown business noticed any great advances.

I do run on, don’t I. A couple of other things happened, or didn’t, at last night's “virtual” meeting.
But that’s my offering for now.

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