"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


Alright now...to pick up the thread...there was  little  meaningful exchange with  the treasurer at last night’s meeting.No-one asked how staff were being deployed while the town hall was closed and service suspended. No payroll savings were noted. The library budget would have to be reduced with twenty-eight employees laid  off but it wasn’t mentioned.

Reference was made  to a planned increase in water and sewer rates not being applied. No-one asked why rates 9% higher than last year?  Councillor  Gaertner expressed concern that delaying the increase would make it harder later .

That’s when I become irritated that Councillor  Gaertner may not be a resident or a taxpayer in Aurora . When the Councillor sold her home , the real estate sign on her front lawn proclaimed the fact.Neighbours privately  raised the question of whether or not the family had moved out of town.
The Councillor had cared  for her elderly mother in North York in her last years. At that time , staff had difficulty making contact and once , they were accused of harassment.  

When the family home was sold , Councillor Gaertner claimed to  be  living with former Councillor McEachern. Had she moved with her children out of town, eligibility to serve on Aurora Council was over. A vacancy would have occurred, a by -election held and things might have been different from that point.

The Councillor subsequently provided an address on Murray Drive. I was never able to accept that. I don’t think someone who doesn’t live in the town or pay taxes to the town should have a say in what taxes should be imposed.  Especially  if I am opposed to a particular tax. Like the Culture Centre for example.  That’s another thing the treasurer didn’t reference.There’s  half a million there that should
not be expended.

Apparently only  twenty -six people viewed the “virtual “ meeting last night. Councillors should be glad of that. It was not their finest four hours. At the end of the meeting,Councillor Gaertner in her sixth term of office , asked if she could make an amendment to add something to the Agenda.

The Municipal Act spells out clear and simple the responsibilities of a Council. Every Councillor receives a copy. At least one  business meeting a month must be held.  Public notice must be given of decisions to be decided and Councillors must be in their place,uncovered, at the same time ,the same night of the month ,as determined on the night of the inaugural  meeting of each new Council. Two items are on the agenda of an inaugural. Swearing into office and passage of the Procedural Bylaw. All to ensure the public are informed of the business to be conducted. After twenty-two years , Councillor Gartner has never understood the terms of engagement. She may not be the only one at the table who doesn’t.

Normally, it would have been the Mayor’s responsibility  to provide the guidance. Tom Mrakas is the fourth Mayor Councillor Gaertner has served under.

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