Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Farmers in it up to their ears

Posted by auroracitizen on May 13, 2012

This week saw the genesis of a most bewildering and ill-conceived concept, a Code of Conduct for the Aurora Farmers’ Market.

We in Aurora cannot forget a similarly titled document that was introduced by the former mayor, as part of her “Gold Standard” of democracy and governance. It applied to members of Council and came replete with an Integrity Commissioner.

That gentleman did not last long in his position as he was fired without ceremony when his first decision did not agree with the former’s opinion.

The Aurora Farmers’ Market was created by a municipal By-law passed on April 8, 2003. A copy is attached below for those who wish to read the entire document.

In the By-Law the Town appointed a Market Clerk who effectively administered the market. Lease agreements originally were between the Town on the one hand and the Lessee on the other for operation by the Lessee of a market stall.

At some point the location of the market moved from Temperance Street to its present location in the Town Park.

The Farmers’ Market seems to have acquired a Constitution, exactly when is a matter of some speculation. There was a rumour that former Councillor Granger had drafted one. We don’t know that the copy of the document attached below was his work.

The jam lady, in her capacity as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Aurora Farmers’ Market, has produced a risible bunch of words that purport to be a Code of Conduct for Vendors of the market. Attached below is the only copy we were able to find, and it is with thanks and hopefully the permission of Evelyn Buck.

We will refrain from commenting, other than to say that these words seem to simply demonstrate someone’s heightened sense of ego run berserk.

We would love to have your comments on this latest test of our town’s sanity.

AFM Enabling By-Law 135

AFM Constitution 136

AFM Code of Conduct 137

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29 Responses to “Farmers in it up to their ears”

  1. Anonymous said

    We are really behind here but tomorrow is Market Day so there is time to catch up. We need to know if there are still 6 hold-outs and if those who did sign in a hurry have had second thoughts and asked for their copies to be returned. It might have been straightened out. But judging from the comments of the current head and the former head, it did not look good. It is frightening when the former leader refers to her period as her ‘ reign “. If they pull the plug and drop the threatening gestures maybe, just maybe, we can settle in to watch and see.

  2. Anonymous said

    It has recently come to my attention that the ownership of the company that collects our garbage/yard waste has changed hands. Apparently there was some concern as to how this might affect our service.

    Well, there has been no change whatsoever in service or in collection times. The changeover was seamless. Congratulations to the people involved at both the collection company and on town staff.

    It would be nice to think that our Council could function just half as seamlessly. Is that possible?

    • Evelyn Buck said

      This is an interesting comment. The writer takes responsibility for providing assurance of quality of town service. .But does so anonymously. Why dat?
      What does he/she mean by a seamless Council?
      What is it you want? A Council that meekly conforms to a single idea at all times?
      Or never challenges staff advice even when it is not acceptable?
      Or is it deemed to be always acceptable no matter how ridiculous?
      Is that unacceptable conduct from a Councillor?
      Nine people sit around a table, representing a community of fifty-six thousand.Should unanimity and equanimity be the rule of order at all times?
      Is that what’s meant by seamless or half as seamless?
      Is it the same as witless or half as witless?
      Or robotic or half robotic?
      Maybe comatose would be an acceptable definition of seamless.
      No visible signs of life.
      Such a Council has never been seen in the town of Aurora. I would not expect one any time soon.

  3. Anonymous said

    Several members did not sign the code and several signed it without being aware of what they were hurried to sign.
    The individual who may have said something to initiate the conductive clauses has been identified.
    They were the talk of the market today.Do they have grounds to take this to the Human Rights Commission?
    Any legal eagles care to comment.

  4. same old, Same old said

    That Jam Lady aimed her weapon at one vendor. She did not even consider the customers or the possibility that they might take umbrage and simply walk away from her domain. The thing should be used with the weekend fireworks or there will be some unanticipated ones in Aurora.

  5. anonymous said

    According to Jan, only 2 vendors had not signed that code. She claimed that the ‘ executive ‘ would have to decide if non-compliance would lead to ‘ being turfed ‘. Lovely woman!

  6. Anonymous said

    If you watch something long enough and listen hard enough a pattern appears.

    The core of central Aurora, as Christopher Watts refers to the latest lobby group in today’s post, by letters WSN-HEAT, which “entity” has addressed a letter dated April 30, 2012, to the Heritage Advisory Committee, starts to emerge from the ooze.

    Think for a moment of all the controversial activities that grind through our lives, Cultural Centre, Farmers’ Market, Jazz Festival. These all share a small and relatively common geography.

    The Town should retake the first through a discontinuation of funding and evict the other two to a fringe field off to the east.

    55,000 people should have more impact than a dozen or two. It’s time to stand up for “our town.”

    • anonymous said

      Man, they really want that block of condos instead of a new town building for everyone’s enjoyment. No money in it for them.

    • Anonymous of course said

      “grind through our lives”? For real? Maybe you should get an actual life and you won’t find it so grinding. It seems to me that 54,988 people do have an “impact” by their blissful ignorance of what the dozen or so of us find interesting on this blog.
      Excuse me, my life is calling…

    • Anonymous said

      Anonymous Of Course pretty well nails it. Almost everyone in town is oblivious to the local blogs, and to the ‘issues’.

  7. Anonymous said

    I would hope that the town would rise up once the first vendor is turfed, targeted or not ! This culture of fear has got to stop!

  8. anonymous said

    Some people just like meanness. ” No divine possession, no Satan, no unhappy childhood or chemical imbalance in the brain. For some people, there’s no pleasure except meanness. ”
    I did not write that. Wish I had done so.

  9. Citizen of Titipu. said

    How very ironic, a Code of Conduct fabricated by people who do not know how to conduct themselves properl!. The jam lady needs to be booted out, the Committee disbanded and the administration taken over by the Town, as it should have been from the very beginning. I am sick and tired of this group’s continuing to tarnish the image of this wonderful town.

  10. Anon said

    I have only lived in this town for a few years and have never ceased shaking my head in disbelief at the way business is conducted. This town is run by a few little Hitlers who, because of their bloated perceptions of their own self-importance, believe they have the right to dictate how everyone should behave.
    Never have I lived in a place like this. If this town were an individual, it would have been referred to a psychiatrist long ago. This town is in serious need of help for its mental health. It’s about time that the town collective put a stop to the megalamaniacal few, i.e. those, elected or not, who feel it is their right to make rules for others’ behaviour. Surely this lesson should have been learned from the ex-mayor’s debacle of a C of C! Duh!!!!

    • Marie said

      I hear you, anon. I’ve never lived in a place like this either. I’ve never witnessed a place that indulges a small group of self-inflated, entitled buffoons the way this place does — again and again. Do Aurorans think this is normal?? Because, trust me, it’s not.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      I know it’s frustrating but it happens elsewhere too.
      Aurora’s particular problem is that the Town – in particular Town council both past and present have failed to live up their responsibilities.
      This has led to an unacceptable level of ambiguity when it comes to management and control of programs like the Farmers Market.
      In some cases I believe the “door” was intentionally left open so “friends” of council could do grab their little piece of “turf” and a catchy title to go with it.
      Other cases I believe result from an honest intent for the process to be more “inclusionary” and not cause “offense”
      No matter.
      The result has been “you are responsible but I’m in charge” or “You pay but we have control”
      Farmer’s Market and the Aurora People’s Directorate for State Sanctioned Culture are two glaring examples.
      This is why we now have yet another “Made in Aurora” SillyStorm because even though the Town issues the permits somehow a hitherto unknown person who apparently makes “jam” says she has signing authority.
      WTF?
      And they’ve come up with some Kafkaesque code of “control” so if you bad-mouth the Royal Family you go to prison – just like in Thailand.
      Are you SERIOUS?

      It’s the Town’s problem.
      The Town must fix it by deciding if they’re running this market or not.

      And Wellington Street STILL hasn’t been paved

      BTW – for those who care – here are the rules

      “Farmers’ Market” is a seasonal, multi-vendor, community-driven (not private) organization selling agricultural, food, art and craft products including home-grown produce, home-made crafts and value-added products where the MAJORITY OF vendors are primary producers (including preserves, baked goods, meat, fish, dairy products, etc.) Each member Farmers’ Market has a vote at a meeting of the General Membership.

      “Public Market” is usually a municipally owned/operated (not private) year-round operation consisting of unique, specialty food and crafts merchants who sell some products they produce or grow themselves but who often sell items they buy from local producers or wholesalers. Public Markets usually include local producers during the growing season. Each member Public Market has a vote at a meeting of the General Membership.

      “Neighbourhood Farmers’/Community Partnership Market” is a community driven (not private) multi-vendor seasonal or year-round market featuring primary producers and other vendors suited to the interests/needs of a particular neighbourhood or community (e.g. local prepared food makers, fair-trade and organic product vendors). Vendors may sell items they have not produced to enhance selection and keep the market viable year-round, thereby, increasing customer loyalty and sales of local storage crops, meats etc., however, farmers’, producers’ and growers’ own products take priority. Each Neighbourhood Farmers’/Community Partnership Market has a vote at a meeting of the General Membership.

      “Associate” is an individual or an organization that supports the Mission Statement and the goals of the organization but does not fit the description of a Farmers’ or Public Market. Associate Members do not have a vote at a meeting of the General Membership and an Associate member cannot be a voting member of the Board of Directors

  11. jd said

    Methinks the jam lady and her cohorts would do better to stick to making jam.

  12. anonymous said

    The only conduct infractions from the Market that I can recall involved 2 former councillors and Jan when she went after Geoff Dawe for breaking a rule he had not known existed. He complied immediately. I cannot find that rule on all of their literature. Maybe she made it up on the spot. Typical!

  13. anonymous said

    If it is required that the Market consist of at least 50% Farmers, does the same apply to the number of members on their Board ? How many board members qualify as ” farmers “?

  14. Anonymous said

    Stifle: The stifle joint in the hind limbs of quadruped mammals such as the goat, sheep, horse or dog. The equivalent joint to the human knee.

    Stifle: Synonyms: smother, asphyxiate, throttle, suffocate, choke, strangle.

    The jam lady should be down on her stifles begging forgiveness and throwing out bouquets of apologies to the vendors of the Aurora Farmers’ Market and to all those who live in our fair town.

    It is amazing how the smallest minds apparently feel that they should have the maximum power to lord over us. Power over a farmers’ market? WOW!

    The former mayor and her gang were glaring examples of this conundrum. And many of them continue to wallow in their stupidity even to this day.

    • anonymous said

      There will be a statement. It will refer to ‘ slight misunderstanding ‘ & perhaps ‘ communications glitch ‘. They are probably working on it right now.

  15. Just Asking said

    Why do the vendors even need to have a Board ? They receive their permits from the Town of Aurora. It is wasteful and creates a possible source of friction to insert an additional layer of paper-pushers and rule-makers.

  16. Anonymous said

    The target is on one vendor who they wish to gag.
    Shockingly similar to Councilor Buck and the saga she endured.
    I think we can summarize who that vendor is because from year to year somebody tries to stifle them.

    • Same old, Same old said

      Is there anything we can do to help that won’t make the situation worse for the target?

    • Anonymous said

      To Same Old,Same Old

      This person with the target on their back has it coming from more than one angle.I think they are about to throw in the towel and that would be a great loss to our town.I attend the market almost weekly and see the positive energy shared.The problem is that you cannot talk to anyone around the market without wondering who is listening, or leering.I know this person has been excluded from many parts of the market and if I was them I would be screaming.They will be accused of a misconduct, or speaking out about someone, or something.They may have told someone something out of sheer frustration.The problem is they still have fear of being sued;when you have little resources then it looks like a SLAPP lawsuit.Here we go all over again.

    • anonymous said

      Jan must have felt very secure to venture out on this limb of public relations..She may even have consulted a lawyer, I will refrain from guessing who. We need to know the specifics & that cannot be done on the Blog. I would suggest you look very carefully at all the truly bright and positive people in town & talk to them quietly. Alison mentioned wanting to know what was going on for her show. If she cannot assist, perhaps she could refer you? We don’t need any more kangaroo courts in Aurora.

    • Anonymous said

      Alison teaches ethics at York. She can keep a confidence. If she says the code is legally wrong, it is.

  17. Anonymous said

    At last week’s Council Meeting Councillor Abel said that apparently under provincial regulations governing farmers’ markets at least 50% plus one of the participants had to be bona fide farmers, as opposed to craft and artisan types. I don’t know which the jam lady is but am willing to give her the benefit of a doubt – actually everything about her involves some sort of doubt or other.

    But farmers are the backbone of any farmers’ market and it would be interesting to hear their reaction to having a cock-eyed document headed Code of Conduct thrust at them and then being told; “Sign or leave.”

  18. anonymous said

    That Code of Conduct purports to elevate Jan and her group of bullies above a vendor’s allegiance to his religious affiliations and any job he might have. What dangerous arrogance !

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