Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Guest Post: Preparation for the next Election

Posted by auroracitizen on March 29, 2009

Thanks to Councillor Buck for the following Guest Post.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of the AURORA CITIZEN.

The election will be in mid-November 2010. Generally a campaign ends after an election. With Phylis Morris the campaign never ends. Last time out a Morris slate was touted. Group alliances formed to make sure the slate were elected. Though they did not state that as their purpose. It was not entirely successful but no doubt the strategy will be repeated next time out.

There is nothing illicit about the process. But it is a new facet in municipal politics and people should be aware from whence the persuasion emanates and that the consequences of electing a majority behind a Mayoralty candidate does not result in a Council of nine self-sufficient and independent thinkers. It puts all power in the hands of one.

Citizen readers should have a discussion about what they expect from their elected representatives.

What are the responsibilities? Should candidates be expected to be “qualified” from the outset? Or should they be briefed at the beginning and given further opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to form good judgements?

What are the merits of paying a Councillor? How much time is part-time?

What are the advantages of a ward system and the disadvantages? What is the average physical size of a ward? What is the average population of a ward? Does a ward system cost more or is it more effective in those municipalities where they exist. The question of wards only comes up during an election campaign. Would it not be better talked about calmly and deliberately and outside the heat and dare I say it, the inevitable distortions of a campaign?

Should property-owners fund the cost of campaigns? The Mayor has introduced the issue of banning campaigning contributions from unions and corporations. Is that an issue in Aurora? A Professor invited by the Mayor to Council argues candidate self-financing should be banned also. What is an acceptable method of financing a campaign?

Campaign rhetoric is not always conducive to understanding fundamental issues. This Blog would be an excellent way for people to express and listen to alternate viewpoints. Perhaps come to a common understanding and from there arrive at a variety of well- informed opinions.

Now is as good a time as any, I’d say.

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43 Responses to “Guest Post: Preparation for the next Election”

  1. Anonymous said

    When I was at the market on Saturday, I heard that Nigel Kean is going to run for mayor. Although I did not vote for him last time, I actually voted for Morris, I will vote for him this time if he runs. I liked his platform but Morris seemed to be the best person. I was fooled but that will not happen again.I know a few folks who feel the same way as they all felt that he did a good job as a councillor and seemed to very involved in the community.

  2. Anonymous said

    I am not surprised that phyliss and the GOS are all writing to the blog trying to dsicredit Buck. They have to, to cover their mistakes and floundering record of achieving nothing in three years.Granger,Wilson,Gaertner,McEachern and non elected Gallo are all going to pay dearly when the elections come in 2010. They have supported this non mayor to the end even though she has done so many thing swrong. They are nothing more than followers who have lost their way.
    Now they are writing the blog trying to discredit the only person who has tried to keep them on the straight and narrow.
    AGAIN, when is dear phyliss going to come clean on the Dream Team and the money collected and spent? When will there be an audit to account for the money? When will she give the residents of Aurora the truth?
    Oh yes, when will the lost flock of followers ask for the same audit?

  3. No Thanks said

    Gee, all the Buck naysayers must be eating their shorts now that the GOS’ ridiculousness has come out,eh??? Good job Ev!!!!!

  4. James - almost only one not "anonymous" said

    I am seriously considering running for Aurora town council in November 2010. Any advice that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. I would like to thank Bill Hogg for offering to share his experiences and I will be contacting you soon Mr. Hogg. Best regards, James.

  5. Anonymous said

    “What about Buck and her e-mails? Her expense for lawyers?”

    Just how many lawyers did Buck retain at the expense of the taxpayers? What for? To what end?

    Buck isn’t in jail. She hasn’t been beheaded. She’s still doing what she promised to do, isn’t she? So why the big kerfuffle?

    Buck makes some comments here, sure, but it seems everyone else talks about her more than she does herself. Negative publicity is publicity nonetheless.

  6. Anonymous said

    Guess what, the more Buck rants the less influence she has.
    Eyes glaze over at the sight of her name.
    Let her indulge herself.
    Ranters are quickly losing currency in our society.
    Critics fill space easily.

    New thinkers, those who motivate or inspire, those are tough to find.
    Let’s search for, and applaud them.

  7. Anonymous said

    “Enough already with Buck. She’s way over-exposed…… I’m tired of seeing her in print everywhere.
    She doesn’t leave space for others.”

    Seems to me the local papers will accept letters to the editor from anyone. But yeah, go ahead and jump all over Buck because she does what you WISH the rest of them did do.

    Reverting back to the original topic – one thing I do know is that Buck TELLS everyone what she thinks. I know where she stands on so many issues. As for the rest of the current councillors – they really don’t say much…outside of the council chambers.

    Heck, Granger won’t talk to anyone about politics outside of the Town Hall. Perhaps because he doesn’t have MacEachern and the Mayor there to puppet him around? Not that Granger and Buck are comparable in any way – but don’t criticize her for having her name all over the place. What’s better – words and actions all term? Or just plastering the town with campaign signs at election time?

  8. Anonymous said

    Enough already with Buck. She’s way over-exposed, and it’s not a pretty sight. I’m tired of seeing her in print everywhere.
    She doesn’t leave space for others.
    She keeps many people I know away from the political process. She’s made it a relentless blood sport.
    I don’t see anyone else on council shouting every day.
    All she does is complain; not my idea of an invitation to run for office.

  9. Anonymous said

    To Anonymous 7:59 YOU GOT NEW BLOOD! Still Buck is the one you go after. Where are the others? How are they looking after your needs?

  10. Anonymous said

    Wow I wish I could make judgement calls the way the last commenter has. I wonder how she knows that Buck is “by choice the lone voice and not by principal”. If I have learned anything about Buck she is more about making the RIGHT choice for the Town!!

  11. Anonymous said

    Wasn’t this post about how to go about getting elected? Why do people feel the need to go on about there own personal vendetta when it has absolutely nothing to do with the post. You talk about Buck not sharing the stage!! Seems to me you are looking for your own stage here!

  12. Anonymous said

    Poor Ev. I don’t think many line up behind her attitude. TOOOOO polarizing. Not much space for common ground.
    Sorry Ev, I was hoping for something better for you.

  13. Anonymous said

    Power in the hands of one group or one person?
    Seems Buck wishes it was one person: her.
    I don’t care for a ward system. If Buck represented my ward it would leave me voiceless.

  14. Anonymous said

    To Anonymous
    April 9, 2009 10:36 AM

    What do you have to say about the email MacEachern sent to the opposing side in a lawsuit. It’s been made public. I think it’s a common business practice that when someone is suing you, you should NOT sen them information to help them. Perhaps the administrator should start this as a topic. Lets elect someone who clearly DOES NOT act in the Town’s best interests. Does anyone know the decision in that case anyway?

  15. Anonymous said

    Why bother with Buck. New blood, new Aurora puleeeese!

  16. Anonymous said

    If you read Buck’s “novels” you’d see that she perceives the mayor to be in control of staff and the majority of council. That’s always what she whines about.
    Buck is the lone voice by choice, not by principle.
    She’s all about the attention.
    She really is incapable of sharing a stage.
    I certainly wouldn’t trust her to look out for me.
    I’m still waiting to hear her position on the e-mails she sends behind the scenes, but doesn’t want public.

  17. Anonymous said

    Candidates should be briefed when elected. It is only fair thing to do. People should not have to be university educated to run for local politics. Local politics is for who ever wants to put their name out there. If you want it then go and get it. You should know confidently that when elected the right information will be passed down to you so you can make a difference.

  18. Anonymous said

    “Also it seems to me that Buck campaigns for her own very personal agenda.”

    EVERYONE on council does that…just because Buck does it alone doesn’t make her wrong…it just makes her different. Lone wolf vs pack wolf.

    Neither is ‘wrong’. One just gets more votes than the other.

    “The world according to Buck casts the mayor as the most powerful person ever elected: super human.”

    I think if you read some of the postings on Buck’s blog you’ll see that’s not what she’s saying. Seems to me that when she speaks of the Mayor waving her arms above her kingdom – she’s being sarcastic. Evelyn has been the mayor – I’m SURE she knows that mayorality doesn’t make you God.

  19. Anonymous said

    Buck offers food for indigestion. I have a problem with that. Her intent is to divide.
    When she’s confronted with her tactics she finds some distraction.
    I too would love to hear her take on the email situation that I saw her walk away from at the last council meeting.If she tells it like it is: please inform us about her own behavior.
    Also it seems to me that Buck campaigns for her own very personal agenda that seemingly rejects out of hand the various needs of the residents of Aurora. She seems to have no respect for any faction of Aurora.

  20. Anonymous said

    Some people seem to forget that Aurorans elected this council.
    I for one appreciate that they respond to the requests of those who elected them.
    It’s no accident that the one person on council who regularly is the lone vote criticizes everything, and is against everything.
    The world according to Buck casts the mayor as the most powerful person ever elected: super human.
    I just don’t buy it.
    I give the voters and everyone on council a lot more credit.

  21. Anonymous said

    Heather said “If you want YOUR WAY to be THE WAY, the most common way to do that seems to be to find a group of people who want something, promise to give it to them if you’re elected…and then hope that you can follow through.”

    And that is exactly what Mayor Morris did.
    You get what you vote for….

    I’d like to see Damir Vrancic for Mayor.

    Who else could be candidates?

  22. Goodie Two Shoes said

    I don’t agree that Evelyn is an electioneer. But I do wonder who else she should be campaigning for if not for herself? I think Evelyn does an excellent job of keeping us informed. Her statement above states HER opinion of the qualities we should look for in a candidate. I think that Evelyn offers “food for thought” and I have absolutely no problem with that.

  23. Suggest an alternative to this Mayor said said

    Bill Hogg, are you going to run again?
    Nigel Kean says he won’t run for mayor, but what about for councillor? He’ll have a better chance at that.
    I just hope there is an alternative to this Mayor.

  24. Heather said

    How many candidates have we seen who are either brand new to the town, or they’re business owners, or simply citizens who wish to be on council to make a difference in the community? That’s the reason parent’s join the PTA, volunteer for the soccer club. It’s the same reason people join the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, etc. Everybody on council wants to be there for one reason or another.

    Seldom do we see Joe Candidate step up to the podium with nothing listed beside his name. Everyone brings SOMETHING. I wasn’t convinced that a slate of candidates was possible, but I can see now, that it does happen.

    If you want YOUR WAY to be THE WAY, the most common way to do that seems to be to find a group of people who want something, promise to give it to them if you’re elected…and then hope that you can follow through. As I see it…that’s what Evelyn did. Without a slate. Without a group. She just said she’d be herself. Obviously that was enough. People complain that she’s ‘old school’, or that she argues (who wouldn’t, if you don’t agree?)…but she’s certainly following through on what she said she’d do.

    As for the point about Evelyn changing parties, changing positions… if it were you, wouldn’t you go where you BELIEVE you should be? Change positions as new facts are presented? It makes sense to me.

  25. long time resident said

    Ms Buck is rare in the political world – she says what she thinks, does what she thinks is right and does not pander to anyone.

    the rest of that council could learn a thing or two from Ms. Buck.

    Love her or loathe her you cannot deny her abilities, fortitude, certitude and ethics.

    I don’t agree with many of her positions but I respect the fact that she puts them forth out of a firm belief that she is doing her job – to work for the Town’s best interest.

    Machiavellian Morris and friends – especially that god awful Granger – think of nothing but themselves and have done a grave disservice to this Town.

    I know, my opinion will count for nought in the next election (seeing as I won’t be here) but I truly hope that the residents of this Town wake up and smell the napalm before this town truly is a wasteland…For god’s sake don’t vote for the gang of five again…

  26. Anonymous said

    Anonymous 12:51PM presents the facts well.

    If Evelyn Buck’s claim to fame is that she keeps us informed we need to examine what that means.

    When Evelyn Buck is taken to task by council, she clams up and/or leaves.
    She writes emails to conduct town business that should be made public but wants them to be private.
    The council wants transparency from her but she pulls up the covers.
    Where is her integrity?
    Easy to spin, exaggerate, distort under the fraudulent umbrella of keeping “us” informed.
    It’s an easy role for her to claim because no one else wants it.

  27. Anonymous said

    Evelyn Buck promised she would keep us informed and that is what she is doing. If keeping you informed means that her names is always there then she has done exactly what she said she would do. Nothing more nothing less. If that makes her name familiar then so be it. But She has done exactly what she said she promised. Can others say the same? I keep mentioning Evelyn Buck, I must be campaigning, maybe for Evelyn or maybe for Anonymous.

  28. Anonymous said

    Evelyn Buck is a consummate electioneer.
    She has devoted over 40 years to compulsively campaigning for HERSELF.
    For her all tactics are fair game: changing parties, changing positions, inciting conflict, designing battles, standing apart for the recognition afforded her.
    All so that, as she states, her name will be recognized on the ballot.
    For her all publicity is good publicity and, as we have seen, her principles are such that no tactic is beneath her.
    In that one regard she has been consistent.

  29. Evelyn Buck said

    A candidate must be prepared to do what it takes. Beyond anything, people appreciate an individual who makes the effort to ask personally for support. It is a mark of respect.

    It’s easy to say but not as easy to do as it once was. It takes time,thought and determination.

    First you have to decide. Then let people know. You have to look for ways to show …what you are about..what matters to you.

    People who exercise their franchise,place a high value on their vote.

    Never.Never under-estimate how much it matters to them.

    They expect you to wage a campaign. Put up signs. Distribute leaflets. Give a good account of yourself at all-candidate meetings.

    A campaign is more about them than the candidate.They are the ones who decide.

    They expect you to be informed. Have opinions.Be frank and open.

    They make an intuitive judgement.

    An organisation and funds are essential.

    You can’t just stick your name on a ballot and expect divine intervention. Unless you are a lawyer.

    The internet is a new and proven
    asset in a campaign. I don’t know how it raises money in small
    donations but it does.

    A newcomer to the political scene cannot start too soon. People have to recognise your name on the ballot

    There is never enough time to be backward about coming forward.

    The campaign itself is a learning experience.

  30. long time resident said

    Bill is totally right!

    The Co-Mayors are desperately trying to find ways to get themselves re-elected. And what better way than to ensure newcomers can’t raise the funds to pay for a campaign!

    we need some of our previous leaders to come back for a term, to get things back on track.

    what say you Bill? Ron? Nigel? Any other former councillor’s (Steve? Chris? Betty?) still willing to serve our Town and restore some order and good governance?

    I hope someone step’s up (or a few people god willing) to do something as we are quickly turning into a banana republic – we’ve already got our tin pot dictator and her henchwoman…We are well on our way!

  31. Anonymous said

    Yes,isn’t it amazing that Grainger ran on the ward system, Wilson ran on reducing garbage and no tax increases yet both of them are not saying anything now that they are elected. They both got sucked in by the mayor and now only do what she says or should I say co-mayors.
    A ward system would be the best for the size of Aurora. That would make the elected councillors responsible for their actions or in this case their lack of action.

  32. Anonymous said

    Anonymous April 2, 2009 7:57 PM may want to refer to the post dated Sunday, September 21, 2008 Community Corner: Ward System — what happened?

  33. Anonymous said

    I have been thinking about running for office. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I should go about it? I would love to hear from people.

  34. Anonymous said

    I am disappointed in our current council. I thought during the last election change was a good thing, but it seems that a lot of change is not. We need elected people who sit at that table who are prepared to educate themselves on all the aspects of an issue. They need to speak and think for themselves. We do not have Party politics at the municipal level. We elect 8 individuals and a Mayor. Where are those individuals?

  35. Anonymous said

    The writer is right. Why is it we only hear about wards during an election campaign. Is it really an issue the people of Aurora care about or is something that is staged to give someone an election campaign. Do you care about the ward system and have you done or heard anything about it since the last election?

  36. Anonymous said

    I am disappointed at the comment from anonymous 2:01. To say that he or she would not vote is exactly what Mayor Morris wishes. That would assure her of a victory. There will be an alternative to this Mayor.
    As citizens of Aurora we must not allow this farce to continue.
    There have been names pop up every so often and I know that there is no clear favourite at this time.

  37. Anonymous said

    I agree that there is a slate currently on council with a couple of exceptions. To strengthen the group this mayor made sure that her slate voted to appoint Gallo rather than having an election. She was so happy to lose Grace Marsh as Grace Marsh was not one of her choosen ones. Gallo was.
    With the co-mayors Morris and McEachren and there followers they have been able to force through their agenda with little or no discussion. The best thing that could happen would be that Wilson,Grainger,Gartner,Morris and McEachren not get re-elected and that Gallo not get elected.
    As for the funding of a campaign I am sure that the the co-mayors are looking for ways to get themselves back into power with no opposition since candidates would not be able to run a campaign leaving the incumbents to get re-elcted.
    What a plan. Residents must step in now and stop this joke from going forward.

  38. Suggest an alternative to this Mayor said

    The problem is that most Aurorans only care about local politics if their garbage isn’t picked up or their kids don’t get enough ice/soccer pitch time.
    Unless there is a viable alternative to Phyllis Morris, I would expect she has a clear victory ahead of her WHEN she chooses to run for re-election.
    I won’t be voting for her THIS time.

  39. Anonymous said

    How is a person to run a campaign if they can neither ask for donations or use their own money? Does this now
    leave the doors open to those with special resources and close the doors to those who have none? I firmly believe that if you wish to run for office you should be able to do so. Let the people of the community have the opportunity to choose. This is our right!

  40. Anonymous said

    One would have thought that getting elected and then getting on with the business of town was how things progressed. But in this case we do have a Mayor who looks after number one first and the town second. YOU CAN NOT PLEASE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME! Politics is not for the person who is always worried about whether their decisions will get them re-elected, it is about standing up above the crowd and doing what you sincerely think is good for the town. Win or loose. You need to be strong and not PARANOID!

  41. Anonymous said

    I read this post with great interest. I’m not sure whether I fully believe that the Mayor has a ‘team of acolytes’ surrounding her…. but I would be interested to know how we can avoid putting the public in this situation again. Does anyone have any thoughts. I will pay closer attention to the next election – I did vote for two of the current councillors but had no idea of their ‘alliance’.

  42. Anonymous said

    I always thought that we were to have 9 self-sufficient, independently thinking individuals. That is how we end up with debates. Everyone brings something different to the table. I would like to see that again. It is ok to have for and against in a discussion. This does not happen very often on the council. This council has many followers and not enough independent thinking people on it.

  43. Not interested in a ward system said

    I don’t think Aurora is big enough for a ward system.
    Also, if I have an issue I shouldn’t be limited to having to go through the lone councillor elected for my area. What if my area was lumbered with some ineffectual councillor? You get what you elect, but sometimes they turn out to be something quite different from their campaign rhetoric and then you have to wait four years to press the re-set button.

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