Aurora Citizen

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Archive for the ‘Geoff Dawe’ Category

Flower Boxes

Posted by auroracitizen on April 27, 2012

Some time ago a reader asked a question about the large deposits of earth dirt along Wellington — between Bayview and Leslie.

We asked the question of Mayor Dawe and received the following response.

With respect to large deposits of earth on Wellington, between Bayview & Leslie: this is a project that goes back about 10 years with respect to the “2B” development. The 2B is the (mostly) housing development that is between Wellington & St. John’s Sideroad, on the East side of Bayview.

It is a streetscaping project, and those are flower boxes. The project was approved in principle many years ago, but never received budget approval until last year. It was started in the fall, suspended for the winter and restarting with the good weather.

This is joint project by the Town and the Region, and when it is done will certainly enhance the eastern entrance to Town.

Thanks for the question — and thanks for the answer.

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Geoff Dawe | 1 Comment »

When Will We Get A Cultural Centre Update?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 27, 2012

At a Special Council meeting on April 5, 2012, Section 5.1, among others, of the Terms of Reference, was amended to replace two members of Council with two members of Town staff, plus one alternate.

The apparent reason for this amendment is that insofar as the Negotiating Working Group will be meeting in secret, members of Council could not participate. A secret, or closed session that involves elected representatives is only permitted under the Municipal Act in very limited circumstances; the Negotiating Working Group does not qualify.

The above having been said, we are now almost three weeks after the above referenced Special Council meeting. Has there been any public announcement from the Town advising which two members of staff, plus one alternate, have been named to the Group?

Is the composition of the Group just as secret as its deliberations? This does not appear to be typical of our democracy at work.

The Group is only dealing with approximately $500,000 per year of taxpayer money. Is this not a large enough sum to warrant some limited public disclosure?

Has anyone heard any updates?

Posted in Community Corner, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership, Legal, Politics, Town Council | 24 Comments »

The Dirty Side of Politics

Posted by auroracitizen on April 21, 2012

Aurora saw the dirty side of Aurora politics poke its head out of its hole again recently. We had hoped that brand of politics had been run out-of-town last election — but alas it continues.

Recently Mayor Dawe made an intemperate remark during a confrontation initiated by Councillor Ballard. Councillor Ballard was making veiled allegations that Mayor Dawe had strong-armed the Aurora Cultural Centre into concessions that Councillor Ballard disagreed with — and Mayor Dawe responded “I have also stopped beating my wife”. Details can be seen in the April 17 issue of The Auroran – page 6.

No doubt — the comment was inappropriate and Mayor Dawe should apologize.

However, what was of equal concern was the additional fall-out of this remark.

In the April 12 issue of The Banner, a Letter to the Editor was published from Evelina MacEachern, former Councillor and recently defeated candidate and vocal supporter of defeated Mayor Phyllis Morris. It was published as an open letter to Mayor Dawe. In the letter, Ms MacEachern takes the Mayor to task for his comments. Was it genuine concern or political opportunism?

It is indeed a strange day when Ms MacEachern can take the high ground regarding language when knowledgeable Council watchers know she drop F-bombs in town hall on a regular basis during her terms as a Councillor. Her language and bullying behaviour was one of the contributing factors to the resignation by former Councillor Grace Marsh and is potentially part of the matters before the courts in the Councillor Buck abuse of power lawsuit against 6 members of last Council.

Knowledgeable Council watchers also know she was the real brains behind much of the political manoeuvring by defeated Mayor Phyllis Morris last term.

So it came as no surprise that her letter was followed up with an email blast — also on April 12 — by defeated Mayor Phyllis Morris which applauded Ms MacEachern for her letter and then tried to align herself with the yellow brick house and the white ribbon campaign. You can see it on Councillors Buck’s blog. Again, was it genuine concern or political opportunism?

Between these 2 people, they caused more pain and suffering by staff and people in our community than possibly any 2 politicians in the history of Aurora. Yet here they are trying to take the moral high ground on this issue.

Then to further demonstrate how dirty politics is in this town, former Councillor, Nigel Kean and also recently defeated mayoralty candidate jumped on their band wagon in the April 17 Auroran adding his own commentary. Surely if these 3 people are all commenting  — it must be genuine concern — not political opportunism?

You may remember the last time these 3 people worked together on anything. It was immediately after the election — where both Morris and Kean were handed stunning defeats — they joined together in Morris’s doomed 6 million dollar lawsuit against 3 Aurora families for comments made anonymously on this blog.

Ballard, MacEachern, Morris and Kean. What a team, selflessly giving to the Town of Aurora with no thought for themselves. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Genuine concern about an inappropriate comment by Mayor Dawe — we think not. If that was really the case, would not a simple email or phone call to express their disappointment have served the ultimate goal of informing Mayor Dawe. Others surely took that option.

No. Instead they choose to try to embarrass and humiliate Mayor Dawe publically. Their standard method of operation.

Political opportunism — you bet!

Jumping on a comment to try to take advantage for political gain and revenge? You simply need to look at the history of the people involved and how they have worked together in the past to accomplish their goals to form your opinion.

We are pretty clear what the intent is. We also believe that while folks in Aurora may have been fooled in 2006 — they weren’t fooled in 2010. And they aren’t fooled now.

Should Mayor Dawe apologize. Absolutely. But he should do it because it is the right thing to do — not because some political opportunists trying to resurrected their failed careers say so. They have no moral basis or credibility to make the case.

Posted in Code of Ethics, Community, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership | 9 Comments »

Silly Is As Silly Does

Posted by auroracitizen on April 5, 2012

Tonight Councillor Gaertner again demonstrated just how silly she has become.

First, she voiced her opinion that Council was discussing an illegal motion because she felt that the motion of March 28 was contrary to the approved motion from Feb 27. Then, when the Clerk stated that his opinion was that Council was discussing a legal motion — she indicated that she couldn’t vote. She even made a point of stating twice that she hoped the press had heard her.

Yet she continued to stay in the chambers and participated fully in the debate. Then when the vote was called — she leapt from her chair and took 2 steps away — then returned to her chair to vote on the confirming by-law and adjournment. What’s was that supposed to mean?

For someone who seems to be so concerned about following the letter of the rules — surely she also knows that you can’t declare a conflict on a matter unless it is a pecuniary conflict. And furthermore, when you declare a conflict you are required to leave the room.

So what happened to her interpretation of the rules here. The was no conflict and she participated fully in the discussion and was in the chambers during the vote

Since a non vote is considered a “nay”, the Council minutes must show that Councillor Gaertner voted “nay” on the motion.

It will be interesting to see what the record shows.

Hopefully the press saw that as well.

Posted in Community Corner, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership, Legal, Politics, Special Meetings, Town Council | 10 Comments »

Common Sense Returns

Posted by auroracitizen on April 5, 2012

Tonight Council revisited the decisions made in the Aurora Cultural Centre debate and brought some long overdue common sense to the table.

Tonight Council amended their earlier motion to remove politicians from the discussion and now staff will work with the Cultural Centre towards a new agreement — which will then be brought forward to Council for discussion and a decision.

This removes much of the politics from the debate and staff can now look to the Mar report for direction.

Kudos to Councillor Pirri for bringing this motion forward and to most of Council for supporting this motion. Only Councillor Gallo was not in attendance. Of interest was the silliness perpetuated by Councillor Gaertner. See next post for details.

Now let’s look forward to some productive staff-led discussion and a new agreement in place for the start of 2013.

Posted in Community Corner, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership, Legal, Politics, Special Meetings, Town Council | 2 Comments »

Update: Have You Heard the News?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 5, 2012

There is a special meeting tonight (April 5) at 6PM. Because it is a special meeting, it doesn’t require  notice. We have checked the Town website and currently there is nothing indicating a meeting is taking place. Of note, the announcements were updated this morning with a notice of service disruption. But nothing yet about a special meeting.

We found out through Councillor Buck’s blog post “Further Thoughts“. Pity we didn’t find out through the Town.

Councillor Buck indicated that the problems many readers/watchers anticipated are coming true. It will be interesting to see how Council works their way through the mess that has been created.

If you have time, drop by and see the proceedings.

———————————–

Updated @ 11:41 am

The agenda is up, but still nothing on the home page. So if you don’t know there is a meeting — so we guess you will never know until it’s over and published.

According to the  agenda, the focus is to seek Council direction on “Council membership of the ad hoc negotiating working group and the provisions of the Terms of Reference relating thereto” which smells like a reconsideration.

Hopefully when they reconsider they will come up with a plan that makes sense and is not subject to the criticism we have heard thus far about inappropriate closed door and confidential meetings.

There is still time to get this situation back on track. Let’s hope it gets done tonight.

Posted in Community Corner, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership, Legal, Politics, Special Meetings, Town Council | 5 Comments »

Have You Heard The News?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 5, 2012

There is a special meeting tonight (April 5) at 6PM. Because it is a special meeting, it doesn’t require  notice. We have checked the Town website and currently there is nothing indicating a meeting is taking place. Of note, the announcements were updated this morning with a notice of service disruption. But nothing yet about a special meeting.

We found out through Councillor Buck’s blog post “Further Thoughts“. Pity we didn’t find out through the Town.

Councillor Buck indicated that the problems many readers/watchers anticipated are coming true. It will be interesting to see how Council works their way through the mess that has been created.

If you have time, drop by and see the proceedings.

———————————–

Updated @ 11:41 am

The agenda is up, but still nothing on the home page. So if you don’t know there is a meeting — so we guess you will never know until it’s over and published.

According to the  agenda, the focus is to seek Council direction on “Council membership of the ad hoc negotiating working group and the provisions of the Terms of Reference relating thereto” which smells like a reconsideration.

Hopefully when they reconsider they will come up with a plan that makes sense and is not subject to the criticism we have heard thus far about inappropriate closed door and confidential meetings.

There is still time to get this situation back on track. Let’s hope it gets done tonight.

Posted in Community Corner, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership, Legal, Politics, Town Council | 1 Comment »

Aurora Cultural Centre

Posted by auroracitizen on March 30, 2012

The discussions surrounding the Aurora Cultural Centre (ACC) have been ongoing since Jan 2011, but recently heated up when Councillors Abel and Pirri tabled a motion to terminate the existing agreement with the intention to get a new agreement in place before the start of the 2013 budget year.

This raised considerable debate between fellow Councillors, members of the ACC Board and members of the public. This resulted in a raucous meeting Feb 28, when a large number of ACC supporters arrived at Town Hall in defence of the Centre.

A number of articles have been published in the Era Banner covering these activities.

http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1306140–cultural-centre-contract-vote-tonight

http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1307550–update-cultural-centre-compromise

http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1321906–town-cultural-centre-close-to-agreement

The Auroran has also provided coverage in their latest 2 editions.

There was even a Rogers TV program on the topic; http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=70&sid=4011&gid=92671

Last Tuesday night (March 27), the second significant meeting took place and again Councillors were unable to find common ground.

The full tape of the discussion can be seen on the Rogers TV website starting at 2:39:30

In fact, Councillor Gaertner even left the meeting — refusing to vote on the matter — and Councillor Ballard offered some less than flattering comments towards the Mayor, which Mayor Dawe refused to respond to. This interchange can be seen as part of the Council meeting taping  at 3:53:00 of the tape.

Overall the situation is a mess and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of. Accusations of inappropriate closed door meetings, bullying, non-compliance with the Municipal Act.

Bottom line; Leadership is lacking — Collaboration is lacking — and Aurora taxpayers are still not seeing accountability and transparency on this issue — and we can only “hope” that a new agreement will be in place for the 2013 budget year.

Posted in Geoff Dawe, Leadership, Town Council | 15 Comments »

Committee Appointments

Posted by auroracitizen on December 10, 2010

A reader submitted a comment that started us thinking (which is always a scary thought). They were enquiring about committee appointments.

How did Mr. Ballard manage to be on 4 committees when others who applied (my husband included) were brushed off with nothing more than a curt note from the clerk? Wouldn’t it make sense to broaden citizen participation with more diverse experience, knowledge and expertise rather than concentrate it into the chosen few? I hope the process changes this year. We are being short-changed if it is the same old few monopolizing all the committees.

The question for discussion is how should committee members be appointed in the future. What should the process be?

In the past, public notice was made of any opportunities and confidential applications were reviewed in camera by Council. Selections made and announced publicly.

Folks who applied, but were not chosen were not disclosed so people were not offended or embarrassed by not being chosen. But at the same time, there is no opportunity for public scrutiny to confirm that no favouritism was shown or that the best people received the appointment.

The issue was one of how the decisions were made in camera. Were the most appropriate people chosen? Was Council fair and impartial in their selections or was favouritism shown?

Councillor Ballard has been and continues to align himself with Phyllis Morris and her initiatives. When there is an appearance of favouritism it adds a stink to the air that is not helpful to anyone and breeds resentment on all sides — because suddenly there are sides versus working together for the benefit of the community.

To avoid any perception of favouritism and to demonstrate leadership in this area Mayor Dawe clearly stated in his election campaign that none of his key supporters would be appointed to any committees.

This term, a small group populates a disproportionate share of committees. The Town is not leveraging the diverse population to get the broadest input. I commit to encouraging diverse participation and will not support the selection of any of my key campaign team to any Town committee.

He subsequently listed his key campaign team on his website as part of his election thank you’s. So you can quickly tell if any are appointed to any committees.

We fully expect that he will honour this commitment. We are also confident readers will report if they see any conflict with this commitment. It’s pretty transparent from where we sit.

The fact that he felt the need to make this type of commitment suggests his view of past appointments, but does not implicate the process itself.

During his inaugural comments, Councillor Gallo made reference that politicians are held to a higher standard. We agree. They are in a position of public trust. It’s not just what they do, but how they are seen to do it. The commitment to simply not appoint any favourites to committees resets the bar and clarifies his position.

But the question still remains, what is best process for making committee appointments  — so it is seen to be fair and transparent by all members of the community.

And in this case, is there a loss to the town? In an effort to make sure the process is seen to be fair and impartial, potentially valued resources are precluded from participation because they were part of Mayor Dawes campaign team.

Your thoughts?

Posted in Code of Ethics, Community Input, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership | 18 Comments »

Mayor Elect Says No Means No

Posted by auroracitizen on November 22, 2010

On November 17, 2010 @8:29 pm in the post Recount Results,  “Anonymous” stated;

“Humfryes, Ballard, Gaertner, and Gallo should be a good check on Dawe, to make sure he doesn’t sell out the town to developers, and gut the new official plan.

I’m looking forward to seeing Dawes financial report to see how much developer backing he has.”

I was originally going to simply respond with a comment, but then I decided to submit a stand-alone post and see if we can’t have some fun with it.

First, to reiterate, I stated during the campaign, that I would not accept donations from developers. I said this a number of times and I was quoted (accurately) in the paper. So, that fact is very much public, and I fully expect it will be verified with my audited returns.

As I used to have to say to my kids, what part of NO do you not understand.

Should the audit show that I did unknowingly receive a donation from a developer, then I will

  1. return that donation, and;
  2. personally donate an equal amount to the Aurora Food Pantry.

HOWEVER, should the audit show that I indeed DID NOT receive donations from developers then I ask Anonymous to make a donation to the Aurora Food pantry – say $100.00.

What say you, Anonymous? Are you up for this challenge? Are you ready to make a positive difference to life in Aurora?

Let me know.

Geoff Dawe – Mayor Elect

Posted in Code of Ethics, Election 2010, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership | 28 Comments »

 
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