Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Start, Stop, Do Differently

Posted by auroracitizen on January 17, 2009

Every year at this time people tend to review the past and look forward to the future. In business, a performance review acts in the same manner. We have already seen a number of “Year in Reviews” for our current Council, but what about the coming year? What you think Council should be focusing on?

If you were providing a review for Council, what would you say to them for 2009? What would you tell them to Start doing, Stop doing or Do differently?

Share your thoughts.

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27 Responses to “Start, Stop, Do Differently”

  1. Anonymous said

    Great letter Phyliss. At least you stand up for yourself.

  2. Dekhard said

    hallelujah – some one finally gets it!

    thanks Anonymous 8:03 am!!

  3. Anonymous said

    “I just think there’s something unusual about a member of council losing an 8-1 vote then publicly undermining the decision of council.”

    It wasn’t that the one woman out ‘lost the vote’ – she voted against the idea. And there’s a thick line between publicly undermining the decision of council and asking for more details to be publicized, isn’t there? Councillors or not, I’m sure the oath of office and the code of conduct doesn’t say they have lost their freedom of speech.

  4. Heather Sisman said

    Anonymous 1:16 said Some people are saying that Buck/Sisman…..Buck does censor her blog but demands free expression for herself.

    Of course she only posts the comments that further the discussion, or that include information she wants to share with everyone.

    It’s her blog filled with her thoughts and her opinions. That’s the beauty of it – it’s a place where she can say whatever she thinks.

    What’s wrong with that?

  5. Anonymous said

    This town seems to be making an effort to respond to the many needs of its constituents.
    I think their job is tough.
    I believe they are trying, more than any council in my memory (I’ve lived here for at least 30 years), to listen to everyone. That alone is hard to do.
    They’ve brought in experts, speakers on every issue that affects the community.
    I feel the majority of council cares about each member of our community.
    I think intention matters and I feel that with the exception of one member of council their intention is to hear and serve the members of our community, with the notion of community uppermost.
    With that as their intention, it is obvious that they can’t please everyone.
    In previous years when I watched council meetings I felt I didn’t understand how decisions were made.
    Sometimes members of council made no contribution to discussions week after week.
    The only issues I remember discussed had to do with parking, garbage, and traffic congestion at Yonge and Wellington.
    Lots seemed like talk and no action.
    I had no clue about big issues in town.
    This council, for all its warts is making an admirable effort to inform us about issues that affect us.
    I for one would not be able to withstand the pressures of office, and appreciate the efforts of those that do.

  6. Anonymous said

    Goodie two shoes, I guess, having watched on my Cable 10 the discussion regarding the removal of windrows from the driveways of seniors and those who are handicapped, I agreed with the final decision.
    I would be okay with paying the whole shot for that group as many municipalities do.
    I just think there’s something unusual about a member of council losing an 8-1 vote then publicly undermining the decision of council.
    We as tax payers pay for many services we do not all use. That’s what a community is about.

  7. Goodie two shoes said

    Opinions. You have yours, Evelyn has hers. If an argument has substance that supports both opinions then you have a debate. In this case you have those who just have nasty things to say and one who has facts to back her up, sharing them with you. You don’t have like it, but at least she tells you how she sees things. Where are the facts backing up your arguments. Sounds like a lot of name calling. People are known to hide behind these kinds of attacks because they can’t handle the truth.

    Do you really have so much money that you don’t care where or how it is spent. Why aren’t YOU asking how much the windrow clearing is costing YOU? The facts are there in Evelyn’s blog. You do the math and remember it’s only January and we have had winter since November. The numbers DO NOT add up people! Full Cost Recovery, my a++!

  8. Anonymous said

    Some people are saying that Buck/Sisman have devoted their time to bringing down this mayor and council.
    It’s like their goal, a test of their power or something.
    I came to this site to check it out.
    From what i see here and Buck’s blog, that ironically is into VERY heavy censorship, I’m thinking there may be something to the stories I hear.
    I do know that Buck does censor her blog but demands free expression for herself.
    I do like the idea that the duo provide comedy and that may be what they are up to, during these cold winter months.

  9. Heather Sisman said

    “You shared this, Heather.”

    Yes, I did share it…I was under the impression that the meetings were for the purpose of debate before a decision was made, but it doesn’t seem that way. Everyone arrives with a vote one way or the other (don’t they?).

    Reading Evelyn’s latest post – I think the issue is more so that sometimes the rules apply, and sometimes not. I’m sure she’ll tell you what she thinks if you ask her.

    As they say, “Your mileage may vary.”

  10. Anonymous said

    Thank you Heather Sisman for understanding my point!
    I think that the majority of the ‘work’ done by the council is done prior to the meetings – isn’t it? Reading agendas, researching, forming opinions, etc. All they do is finalize it in the council chambers. You shared this, Heather.

    If only Ev had read the agendas,and researched she would have recovered the information she missed when she missed two council meetings in a row.

  11. Heather Sisman said

    Anonymous said:”(choosing to amuse herself on her blog rather than do a job she is paid to do: attend and work at council meetings).”

    I think that the majority of the ‘work’ done by the council is done prior to the meetings – isn’t it? Reading agendas, researching, forming opinions, etc. All they do is finalize it in the council chambers.

    That being said, it’s still very interesting to hear everyone’s take on things around the table.

  12. Anonymous said

    Hey in defence of Mrs. Buck her blog was posted on tuesday morning not on Tuesday night. If memory serves she had nearly perfect attendance last term so what is the big deal if she misses the odd meeting. Ever have a sick day yourself? Sh!t happens.

    I heard she had some surgery and booked it in the summer break not like Al Wilson who goes on holiday during the working months.

    At least mrs buck tells us what she thinks. Others should do the same. funny how she and Alison are the only councillors who have added to this blog.

  13. Anonymous said

    I haven’t a clue why suddenly Wilson, one of Buck’s favorite targets, is being hit on, on this site.

    Evelyn seems to be stirring the pot once again and I must confess to enjoying how outlandish her spin becomes.

    Ev’s our own Comedy Central, our own “Aurora Character”.

    If anyone takes her seriously they are the losers.
    Every good play needs comedic relief, especially in the tough times that we are now approaching.

    Ev sees herself as bigger than life itself. She knows all and looks down on those who do not recognize how brilliantly superior she is.

    I find her enormously amusing. Anyone who is able to suspend belief, should enjoy our very own Auroran Court Jester Buck: long may she reign!

  14. Anonymous said

    I can’t believe anyone gives Buck a second thought. Not only did she not attend this week’s council meeting, she didn’t show up for the Dec.9 council meeting and apparently didn’t read the minutes from the previous meeting.
    She’s not doing her job, but has become a spectator lobbing abuse at anyone who tries to deal with the many needs of this community.
    I have yet to see her support any community initiative.
    So easy to criticize: so hard to try new ideas.
    You’d think an 8-1 vote might give Buck pause for reflection… but instead in her mind it is confirmation that EVERYONE is wrong and she alone holds the keys to the empire.

  15. Anonymous said

    Given that Al Wilson got elected as our tax-paying watch-dog, he needs to be held to account during the budget process.
    Al, put the taxpayers first. We’ll be watching, and we don’t want to see you looking to the Mayor for her direction and approval.

  16. Anonymous said

    Buck’s blog on this issue is interesting reading. Even taking in account a certain level of
    Buck hyperbole, it is still a head-shakingly ridiculous recounting of the time and energy expended on an issue that does not benefit the town as a whole.
    Squeaky-wheel politics everytime.

  17. Anonymous said

    Why didn’t Ev go to the council meeting this week if she was so concerned?
    On her blog it seems clear that she knew the issue she distorted was going to be cleared up.
    She posted her blog, resurrecting one of her old issues, but didn’t go (choosing to amuse herself on her blog rather than do a job she is paid to do: attend and work at council meetings).
    It’s easy to stir up trouble then hide. It’s easy to write things but avoid the harsh light of day. That is something that is VERY clear in this instance.
    Ev muddies everything with one sole purpose: attack and destroy.
    It seems obvious that her intentions are not pure.
    If she really wanted the information it was clearly available.

  18. Anonymous said

    Anonymous Jan.23 8:28 AM:I’m very confused by your entry. Please explain away the minutes from the Nov. 25 council meeting that clearly shows the direction of council to staff.
    (7) PW08-047 – Implementation of a Snow Windrow Clearing Program for Seniors and Physically Challenged Residents

    Moved by Councillor MacEachern Seconded by Councillor McRoberts

    THAT the Town of Aurora provide the snow windrow clearing program at full cost recovery for $70 per household; and

    THAT Council direct staff to report back in the Spring of 2009 on the programs successes and challenges; and

    THAT, when the program is reviewed in the Spring of 2009, the options of outsourcing the entire program to an external contractor with no Town involvement, and delivering the program through a tendering process, be considered; and

    THAT staff be directed to review the 40 “hot spots” indentified; and

    THAT windrow clearing requests from residents be referred to Neighbourhood Network for volunteer services; and

    THAT local high school students be encouraged to fulfil their volunteer requirements through offering windrow clearing to seniors; and

    THAT the Director of Public Works send a letter to all local high school principals, requesting that a program be set up for students to offer windrow clearing in order to fulfill volunteer requirements.

    Buck lost that vote 8-1.
    It means EVERY person voted for it except Buck.

    It means Buck is misrepresenting the work of sitting council or is unable to process what is happening.

    In either, she lacks credibility and is a drag on the workings of this town.

    I think that it is sad that she suggests that she must seek information from the Freedom of Information Act when that information is available in the minutes posted on the Town’s web site AND the information was public during a meeting that Buck DID attend.
    Does the “Code” that Buck didn’t want to sign cover this effort on her part to undermine the council on which she sits by using her position (pretending to be giving the inside story while totally misrepresenting reality)?
    This situation is pretty clear cut.
    It’s hard to pretend when the evidence is so transparent and official.

  19. Anonymous said

    My understanding of the whole windrow thing is that council approved the windrows to be removed by a contractor, and because there weren’t enough people signed up, the contractor’s minimum wasn’t met, so the town went ahead and started the program with one of it’s own trucks and some manpower. I don’t know if it’s one truck and one person, or more than one.

    When she raised the question of why the plans were changed without council’s approval, she was jumped on. “Decisions made on the fly like that are perfectly acceptable” – was the gist of it I think. But isn’t that why Rogers was canned, for making a business decision on the fly? What makes this one okay?

    During new business Buck gave notice she was going to bring a motion forward to have staff answer WHY they did this, and Morris told her she couldn’t do that under new business.

    Buck says on her blog that notice is required before you can bring a motion to the table, and the motion should be in writing. When else should she have mentioned it then? That’s what I don’t understand.

    Can the town make money earning $7 for each windrow? That I don’t know, but I doubt it, and if the money wasn’t budgeted for, will it be in ’09 and our taxes will go up?

    There’s another thing about the budget process. Morris raves about how low the increase will be..and then all year long they keep adding things in. Sure the initial snapshot is low, but where are we at on 12/31? Spooky.

    I think I side with Buck on this one. You can’t have a rule for one and not for all.

  20. Anonymous said

    I’m told Wilson and Buck missed the last council meeting.
    I heard Buck once again didn’t want to face the music.
    Buck is verbose in the Letters to the Editor and now it’s brought her down. Her last letter about windrows showed she didn’t remember a decision that she voted on a mere two months ago.
    She wanted to use the Freedom of information Act (instead of reading council minutes) and called for the Code to be used, pretending evil had occurred, when Town Staff were following what the council had voted to do about clearing windrows for seniors 8-1.
    I guess in Buck’s world if she didn’t vote for it it shouldn’t happen.
    She has become a cartoon character: not what I look for in someone making decisions for me, in my community.
    She is a grumpy sort who crosses her arm, glares and bellows “no” when things don’t go her way.
    She seems pretty committed to gotcha politics, without letting reality get in her way.

  21. Robert The Bruce said

    I feel the same way about the “hip” part of the ads too. In looking at the people in charge of this town…. none of them are what I call “hip”. I am not sure if I would want someone that is hip in a powerful position anyways.

    As far as 2009 is concerned, I feel that it will be a “lame duck” year as will 2010. It is too bad but with the turnover of staff, the learning curve for the new folks will occupy a lot of the time and resources of staff.

    It’s funny to see the comments about Al Wilson here. He used to be quite verbose in the Letters to the Editor but now that he sits on council, he is quite unremarkable. I do enjoy his mannerisms when he thinks he has made a good point and he flings the microphone away from him and grins to the camera.

  22. Anonymous said

    I feel embarrassed by the use of “hip” in the town advertisements. The meaning of the word “following the latest fashion”, makes it seem like whoever wrote the advertisement is trying to represent the town in a superficial manner.
    Taxpayers want experienced, results-driven professionals to be recruited.
    Then let them do their jobs without micro-managing elected officials costing the taxpayers more money.

  23. Anonymous said

    To Anonymous 4;20 PM

    You missed a third cornerstone of Mr. Wilson’s campaign…Fight crime in Aurora.

  24. Anonymous said

    Question for the Mayor. Is it “Hip” to spend more money than we have? Come clean and show us every nickel you have authroized to cover the needless legal experts you’ve hired to support your bumbling.

  25. Anonymous said

    I’d like to see Mr. Wilson give some attention to the 2 cornerstones of his campaign.
    1. A Youth Centre
    2. Fiscal responsibility.
    I guess he’s finding it a lot tougher than when he sat in the stands and threw all the rocks at Council. Now he is having to produce and clearly, he’s just not up to the job.

  26. Anonymous said

    How can we expect the mayor to focus on what this community wants during the second half of the term, given it never happened during the first half. Now it’s totally about getting re-elected, even moreso than the first half, if you can believe that!

  27. Anonymous said

    I think that the only thing that most of this council and mayor will do in 2009 is work towards getting re-elected. This group of followers have done nothing and I hope they continue to do the same as most of them do not deserve to get re-elected or in one case get elected for the first time.

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