"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

Saturday 2 May 2020


In again. ..out again...on again ...off again. Round and round the mulberry bush....0n and on it went , the non- debate about an imponderable number of parking spots in a development proposal.

The same points repeated over and over and  over again with no attempt to follow procedure and no calls to order. Seven people around the table and not a one sufficiently proficient to get the Councillor off the spot.

It started off with a heartfelt expression of regret because the development was close to her heart being rental n’all and some of it assisted. Then on went the fan dangle about how many spots the bylaw called for,  how many were being provided. After endless  repetition and motions to reconsider which the clerk informed required a two thirds majority, which it did not receive  and eventually a motion to re consider the reconsideration which did not receive the required two-thirds majority ,   the Mayor volunteered that the application would undoubtedly proceed immediately to the formerly known, Ontario Municipal Board, if a decision was not made within the time limit. Which would be, the very next morning.

But oh my , the ladies already knew that and the decision was not difficult. Council had to ensure existing  tenants, they would not be inconvenienced or lose parking spaces by the construction.

Like the town has such unlimited domain .

We’ve  seen it all before.

A few years ago , in a subdivision at Bayview, a new owner of a million dollar  mansion needed his lot graded to lead drainage away from his house. It was the last remaining feature before occupancy permit could be granted.A tree had to be removed.An abutting owner liked that tree. He claimed he bought the neighbouring lot because of it  and objected to its removal. He collected signatures and petitioned council. The right to be able to enjoy that tree with their coffee in the morning was their
earnest contention. I am not making this up. It’s what we have become.

Dear lord, what a moral dilemma for Councillors Gaertner and Humfreys but hthey never doubted the decision. Over and over again  they claimed responsibility to protect the property owners rights . But not the rights of the tree owner.  Oh Dearie me, no. It was the other fella’s rights they had to protect with much  weeping and  wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.
I did make that last bit up. It’s called poetic licence.

The developer tried every computation possible to meet the concern. The owner  had sold his previous home and despite being owner of a brand new million dollar mansion, he was obliged to move his family of teens and pre-teens into a motel for Christmas. But none of that touched  the hearts of the morally bound Councillors.

The final solution  called for a virtual plantation of mature trees before the neighbour backed down from his  totally selfish and unreasonable demand to retain the tree.  At last the ladies were rescued  from the moral high ground of protecting the interest of “the voters”

Councillor Gaertner and Gallo were the only survivors of the Mormac regime. Replacements for the regime proved just as febrile.

The Mayor of this day stayed apart from the fray.He may have voted for thevtrees remkval but he certainly provided no leadership in the face of the farcical.

Rules of procedures,properly applied would have prevented the three ring circus .And it’s where lack of experience and competence or courage in the chair  always fails the day.

Here we are , several council terms distant  and still haunted by ghosts of our relatively recent ignominious past.

Nothing much changed despite clear intention of the voters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that tree drama. I could be mistaken, but wasn't that when they were exploring to designate the tree as heritage property? The time and money wasted on that whole performance was embarrassing. The Mayor was correct in regards to the development on Wellington. This is going to the board and the town will lose, and and lose any of the changes that the developer was offering. But maybe, just maybe that was the plan all along. But then again dumb, dumber and dumbest does seam to run through this council.