Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

2009 Budget Priorities

Posted by auroracitizen on March 4, 2009

Everyone is tightening their belts. Luxuries are being cut back. Essential services re-considered. Each of us is re-evaluating what we can cut with the least impact on our families and our lifestyle.

The Town of Aurora should be no different. As Councillors review the budget, they should be evaluating where dollars can be saved, cut and re-allocated to provide the highest level of valued service to the community.

And this where the issues arise. What services are valued above others. Each of us have differing viewpoints, but what should drive the decision-making process.

  • Services that impact the most residents.
  • Impact the most vulnerable.
  • Those that scream the loudest.
  • Most recently appeared in front of Council.
  • Represent the largest voting block.

As Council deliberates the cuts, they should be actively seeking public input. After all, it is our money they are spending.

Call the Mayor and Councillors. Let them know what you think.

Make suggestions here for discussion. Let us know what you think.

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17 Responses to “2009 Budget Priorities”

  1. Alison Collins-Mrakas said

    To anonymous March 11,

    While I really appreciate your concern, I must say I am a bit puzzled by it.

    Please rest assured that I have suffered no ill-effects or repercussions for expressing my opinions and voting accordingly at the Council table.

    When decisions are made there will be those who agree with you and those that don’t. Some may take great umbrage at the position I (or my colleagues) may take on a given matter and others may not. That is human nature.

    I do freely admit that I listen to and consider the opinion of all my colleagues at the table prior to making a decision – and that includes, of course, the opinions of Councillor Buck. I would expect that my colleagues do the same. Frankly, it is what we are expected to do as Councillors.

    Your concern about potential repercussions for my continued exercising of my right to an opinion and voting accordingly, though well-intentioned, is unnecessary.

    But thank-you just the same.

    AC-M

  2. Anonymous said

    Thank goodness we have 3 independant thinkers on Council. To say Collin-Mrakas gets her cue from Buck is a joke. Between them, they have more smarts than the fearless five put together. These ladies are the only reason we know any of the Town’s business. The co-Mayors have done an excellent job keeping the truth from us. And…why is anyone suprized the fearless five are one voice? Didn’t they run an ad encouraging residents to vote as a slate? The others got in on their own merits and are proving their value. As for the fearless five we knew exactly what to expect. What’s confusing me now though, is which Mayor is calling the shots? Evelena or Phylis??? I can’t decide anymore.

  3. StephanieAllen said

    Verbal rundown or not, Councillor Collins-Mrakas actually makes her own judgments on what is best for the town based on solid reason and a complete understanding of the issues, and sticks to them. So who cares about the “verbal rundowns”.

    But that’s the point.

    Your own argument falls in on itself. So, let me get this straight. You are saying Cllr Buck gets annoyed when another councillor doesn’t agree with her – in this case Cllr Collins-Mrakas – and goes their own way?

    Cllr Collins-Mrakas and Cllr McRoberts and Cllr Buck all decide for themselves. So your baseless comments are just that – nonsense!

    Their voting records are clear evidence that they make up their own minds. Unfortunately, Cllr Buck is usually the odd one out. Unlike the rest of them.

    Let’s recap – Cllr Wilson caves when Cllr MacEachern glares at him. So does Cllr Gaertner.
    Cllr Granger asks Cllr MacEachern what to do. And Mayor Morris, well, no one is quite sure what she’s thinking. But she rarely votes against Cllr MacEachern!

    Cllr McRoberts and Cllr Collins-Mrakas always decide for themselves.

    Can’t say the same for the rest

  4. Anonymous said

    In response to Anonymous March 11, 2009 12:57 PM – haven’t seen that of what you speak of. But, I have seen the likes of Councillor Buck, on several occassions, give Councillor Collins Mraekas a verbal run down when she shifts from Councillor Buck’s party line, on a given issue. Can’t miss that -even on the smallest TV screen.

  5. Anonymous said

    Television Guy says:

    Theoritically, the Council Meetings are televised on Saturday afternoons – I believe it is sometime around 3:00 PM, but a quick scan of the program guide on Channel 17 would provide the proper information.

    Also, if you or someone in your family is technically inclined, you can turn a computer into a PVR for anywhere from $150 to $250 (example, http://www.snapstream.com).

    Not as fancy as a PVR, but no monthly fees! (assuming you already have Cable and Internet access).

  6. Anonymous said

    I really wish Rogers would televise the council meetings in the evening like ACI did.
    I understand that Rogers consulted the Mayor on the broadcast times. I guess she didn’t want the antics at council to be so visible.
    I’ll have to find some after-the- tax-hike money to get a Rogers PVR so I can record them for my viewing displeasure.

  7. Anonymous said

    Anyone who has worked with Ms. MacEachern knows that she is not what would generally be considered as a “nice” person, and thata she is absolutely not receptive to hearing opinions that are in any way, shape or form, different from hers.

    If you want some indication of this, simply watch the Council Meetings on cable (or better still, attend the meetings). You will see that Gaertner continually defers to her; that she is passing Granger notes on what he should say; and watch her body language when Wilson strays from the party line. She rips off her glasses and gives a scrowl that would curl your toes.

    Anyone who thinks that Morris is the Mayor is fooling themselves.

  8. Anonymous said

    Morris may be the lady with the chain

    but it is MacEachern that yanks it

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  9. Anonymous said

    I wonder if we are giving Evelina too much credit here. Perhaps Mayor Morris is giving her rope in the hope that she will say something that would only discredit Evelina?

    I know some people that know Evelina and they tell me that among other things, she is a bit of a “Nut” looking for things that are not there.

    Watching her on council she tends to say “I don’t know what this means” or “Maybe I am missing something” alot (or things to that effect).

    Maybe it’s just a case of “good cop – bad cop” for the TV cameras.

  10. Anonymous said

    Perhaps Evelina is trying to distance herself from an unpopular Mayor by being seen to be a “leader”? Ready for the next election.

  11. long time resident said

    As someone who has watched Town politics for the last decade or so, I have to admit I am amazed at what has transpired with this Council. Phyllis Morris could never be described as a shrinking violet. She is extraordinarily adept at getting her face in front of the camera, of taking credit where none is owed and shifting blame to those undeserving.

    And yet.

    Here she is, regularly taking a back seat to a Councillor, on virtually every issue. Look at recent reports on the budget, on infrastructure – the reporter has gone to MacEachern. Or even other councillors.

    MacEachern regularly cuts off Morris, mid sentence. She answers points of order for Morris. She directs staff – all the while the actual mayor sitting there mutely. Or worse, nodding her head in agreement like a living bobblehead doll.

    It is well known – among staff, residents, council itself – If MacEachern doesn’t want something to go forward, it doesnt’. It’s that simple.

    For someone so aware of public perception it is truly amazing that Ms. Morris cannot see what is right in front of her nose.

    MacEachern runs the show. Everyone knows that.

    Morris is just the lady with the chain.

    For now that is…

  12. Anonymous said

    I noticed in today’s Banner, it’s Councillor MacEachern who is quoted regarding the revitalization of downtown, not Mayor Morris. Why aren’t they getting quotes from the Mayor? This isn’t the first time. This either confirms MacEachern is calling the shots or, the latter is in fact looking to unseat the Mayor in 2010and is unofficially launching her campaign. Guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see which it is.

  13. Aurora 5 by 5 said

    The library requested 7.6% after growth (which is 2.77 per cent). Given that the library has experienced upwards of 8% increase in use, the request was entirely reasonable. Town Council should be commended for recognizing the importance of the Library’s function in our community and approving the budget with only a modest reduction.

    Some Town departments made a zero per cent request others asked for double digits. For example, Public works asked for (and got) 14%

    Not sure why they needed such a significant increase over last year. Why wasn’t that reported out?

    As for anonymous’ statement, “glad to see they’re working as a team”
    I assume this was said, tongue firmly planted in cheek??

  14. Anonymous said

    Morris deferring to MacEachern? Wow, I just saw a pig fly by.

  15. Anonymous said

    Good to hear they are working as a team. BTW, I hear in these difficult times the Library Board requested a 10% increase over last years amount. Can anyone confirm this?

  16. Anonymous said

    I also noticed each time there’s a quote about the budget, the quote comes from Co-Mayor MacEachern. Kind of makes you wonder who is driving the ship at the Council table. I’ve been in the audience for a few of those meetings and there is no doubt in my mind Morris is taking a back seat. MacEachern is clearly calling the shots.

  17. long time resident said

    While I applaud the efforts of the folks behind this blog in providing a forum to put forward residents’ thoughts on the budget, it is a bit late now.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the co-mayors have finalized the budget. Co-Mayor Morris said it will “…likely be endorsed… on the 24th” and “they” aren’t “expecting any surprises…”

    or so it says in the Banner…

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