Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

See It Yourself — Then Decide Yourself

Posted by auroracitizen on May 14, 2009

There has been considerable discussion about Tuesday’s meeting, where Council waived the procedural By-laws to give Sher St Kitts the opportunity to speak at length about the questions that have been raised by Councillor Buck about the activities and accountability of a Town Committee that is organizing the July 1st Parade.

Most people did not attend and many will miss it on TV due to other commitments when it shows.

However you can avail yourself of the service provided by Rogers to see the meeting online on their website. All televised meetings are available although the May 12 meeting has not yet been uploaded (probably not until after the regularly scheduled airing this weekend).

You will then have the opportunity to decide for yourself who did what and whether conduct was appropriate.

Possibly someone who attended the meeting could suggest what parts of the meeting should be reviewed so everyone doesn’t have to watch the entire session (horrors;)).

Use the envelope and pencil icons immediately below to forward this post to friends or leave a comment.

49 Responses to “See It Yourself — Then Decide Yourself”

  1. Anonymous said

    Mr. C. Sorely, did you manage do write that posting yourself or did you have to cut/paste Ms. Buck’s again?


  2. Anonymous said

    I have to wonder what happend to Robert the Bruce? Has he been struck down? I hope not he was quite entertaining.

  3. Anonymous said

    If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be hilarious. I see this as an incredibly successful sitcom. The reality is, no one outside of sleepy hollow Aurora, would believe this actually happens. Who would believe so much time is spent on soooo little and so many resources are spent for nothing…absolutely nothing!

  4. Evelyn Buck said

    It seems the Aurora Citizen may be coming of age. Those last comments
    were a delight. I laughed out loud.
    I knew it would only be a matter of time
    I think every community should have the opportunity for this kind of exchange.The ability to laugh at oneself is,to my mind, the ultimate sign of maturity. And the only saving grace.

  5. Anonymous said

    Good point about academic politics Walt.
    However, isn’t it possible that this political silliness flourishes because Aurora flies under the media radar? Perhaps some embarassment is in order. It might even help unclog the drains around here if the outside world was treated to an Aurora Council special. A four hour marathon to discuss whether or not the sun will come up, conducted with the ceremony of a UN Security Council session but with the face slapping and eye-poking of a Three Stooges movie only to reject Galileo’s theory because it didn’t get a 2/3 majority vote and finally referring the whole question back to staff because they don’t have enough information to make a decision. You could save the CBC with this stuff!

  6. Walt said

    Viewing council online one is immediately reminded of Wallace Sayre’s line that “academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.”

    I’m mostly bemused by the goings-on with Aurora Council, and just relieved that we’re such a small jurisdiction in the GTA that the foolishness goes mostly unnoticed by outsiders.

    I remember a time when As It Happens on CBC radio had near weekly updates of the latest stupidities coming from the mouths of elected officials of St. John’s Newfoundland. Be glad we’re not held up to the same scrutiny and ridicule.

  7. Anonymous said

    “I see no such respect within the council and when that happens, disaster normally strikes”

    Too true. Fortunately, although quite common, Aurora disasters are normally of the minor variety. The “Squiggly Yellow Line” traffic calming measure was an expensive dud and we’re just now having a “Did not!, Did too!” spitting contest over a pricey baseball field but in the main all the huffing and puffing is small potatoes. There’ll be a bit of name-calling and a few daggers stared – enough to feed what can charitably be called the local “media”- but the “news” never gets farther than the flight path of a well-thrown cat anyway. Renaming streets because they aren’t clever enough to honour citizens that have already passed on and tossing money at parades no-one cares about are just a few of the items I’ve come to consider as “tax wastage”, much like pilferage in a large store, it’s just the cost of living here. Fortunately, in spite of all that, the Town staff (at least those that haven’t quit) do a decent job of keeping the place from going to hell altogether.

  8. New_Man_in_Town said

    “Let me add my “Welcome to Aurora!” and as Councillor Buck mentioned Aurora is indeed a very nice town with lots of great people. Luckily, the major services that will normally be of concern to you are handled at the regional level like police, hydro, education, most roads, environment etc. Unless you have a personal interest in municipal politics, really don’t like the name of your street or wish to install a ferris wheel in your front yard then you won’t have much need for Aurora Council. Please don’t be disheartened by the foolishness. To paraphrase a common website disclaimer “This Council is for Entertainment Purposes Only”. Enjoy!”

    Thank you very much for the kind welcome and the same goes to Councillor Buck for her comments.

    I have been living here for about 3 months and generally love the place. It is small enough but also large enough to get a real sense of community.

    I must admit thought, while I am not usually into municipal politics, I do seem to have taken an interest in what is going on with the Aurora Council and am deeply troubled. If the Board of a business was run in the same fashion, the company would probably be bankrupt by now. A council needs to support each other. Council members are not always going to agree whole heartedly with each other but there needs to be “respect” and once a decision is made…whether you agreed 100% with it or not, the council needs to show support for each other and also for the decision that THEY made.

    I see no such respect within the council and when that happens, disaster normally strikes.

  9. Anonymous said

    To New Man in Town

    Let me add my “Welcome to Aurora!” and as Councillor Buck mentioned Aurora is indeed a very nice town with lots of great people. Luckily, the major services that will normally be of concern to you are handled at the regional level like police, hydro, education, most roads, environment etc. Unless you have a personal interest in municipal politics, really don’t like the name of your street or wish to install a ferris wheel in your front yard then you won’t have much need for Aurora Council. Please don’t be disheartened by the foolishness. To paraphrase a common website disclaimer “This Council is for Entertainment Purposes Only”. Enjoy!

  10. Anonymous said

    I hope C. Sorley responds to the comment made by Anonymous May 18, 2009 11:11 PM.

  11. hello dolly said

    There is no conflict of interest

    Council members voted on the validity of waiving the procedural by-law

    Councillor Buck was well within her right to vote on a procedural matter.

    Phyllis’ reputation has been completely shredded by this stunt. I can see why she and her remaining supporters are desperate to move the discussion elsewhere.

    Once again, smoke, mirrors, deflection…

    That’s all she has left

  12. Anonymous said

    I would be interested in Evelyn Buck’s response to the conflict of interest notion as presented by Anonymous
    May 18, 2009 11:31 PM.

  13. Bill Hogg said

    We see where your imagination takes you also.

    Just because someone disagrees with the current Council you assume they do so because they plan to run in the next election. Why can’t they do so simply because they are interested in their community and desire change? So much for the open-mindedness you claim to desire.

    Each time someone speaks against the current Council you slam them personally. Yet you rarely have anything to say about the issues.

    Well I hope that people who are concerned about how things are being run consider standing for election. That’s how change happens. We definitely need change.

  14. Anonymous said

    Bill Hogg stated,
    “This whole thing was obviously a well scripted exercise by friends Morris, St Kitts and MacEachern. Frankly I expect better.”

    May 16, 2009 10:13 AM

    Mr. Hogg – we have all seen where your imagination takes you. Tarnishing others with your wild imagination and accusations.

    Can anyone answer why Evelyn Buck would be voting on the matter to begin with? She was and is definitely in a conflict of interest.

    And Bill, kinda early to start your election campaign.

  15. Anonymous said

    Evelyn Buck posted the following on her Blog May 13, 2009:

    “.. ignorance of proper procedure , patronising, insulting, demeaning, condescending and disrespectful conduct from the head of the council”

    C. Sorely a local lawyer practicing law in the Town of Aurora posted the following May 16, 2009 on the Aurora Citizen Blog:

    “.. ignorance of proper procedure, patronising, insulting, demeaning, condescending and disrespectful conduct from the bulk of council”

    The begging question – did Chris Sorely plagiarise or did Evelyn Buck plagiarise?

    Ms. Buck is never lost for nasty words and since May 13th comes before May 16th, safe to assume either Mr. C. Sorely plagiarised or he writes Evelyn Buck’s columns?

    Truly disgusting!

    Yes, the “copy cat mentality” at it’s finest.

  16. Anonymous said

    I agree with the points made by May 18, 2009 3:38 PM

  17. Evelyn Buck said

    New Man In Town, you have made a good choice. Our town is beautiful, we have staff who take a pride in providing good service. We have an excellent library ,an Arts group, a great little bijoux theatre and many other opportuniities to engage your interest.

    We have excellent restaurants,vigorous sports organisations and friendly people.

    The Aurora Citizen is a new element in our community. I suspect many people are expressing themselves in writing for the first time.

    They have to get used to the idea that slagging people they don’t even know is not the best way to win friends and influence people or win an argument.It doesn’t even come close.

    Welcome to Aurora and welcome to the Aurora Citizen.

  18. New_Man_in_Town said

    “On a recorded vote the motion FAILED TO CARRY, as the required 2/3 majority was not achieved.”

    I am a new resident of Aurora. I just watched the recording of last Tuesday’s meeting and am shocked.

    I obviously was not around at the time of the meeting mentioned above (does anyone know the date and whether it is still available online?) but if that is true then maybe people ought to back off Councillor Buck and start an investigation into what kind of ship the Mayor is running here??

    I wish I had known this prior to moving here…

  19. Anonymous said

    Not Surprised,
    I must say I feel surprised at your comment.
    I have difficulty following your points.
    I had difficulty finding Anonymous comments that were “vile and destructive”.
    I thought most of the Anonymous comments called on everyone to refrain from gossip, give the democratic process an opportunity to work, avoid spin, avoid pitting one part of town against another.

    I assume Anonymous is not one person but individuals who want to participate but who don’t want the angry “them-us” to be attached to their names.

    I don’t pretend to understand the whole picture but I do believe we’ll continue to get more information as this controversy unwinds.

    I hope to keep an open mind. Something isn’t right, and hopefully we’ll be made aware of all that is a problem.

  20. Not Surprised said

    Ha ha ha ha, I cannot stop laughing. I expected nothing less. It never ceases to amaze me. I am NOT SURPRISED because I cannot afford the !!** that would be dumped on my head should I identify myself. I have a valid reason for not identifying myself. What is yours?

    I have provided quotes and told you where to find the exact information that St. Kitts provided in her own words yet, and you still try to deflect from the issue.

    I too enjoy the good in people, the opportunity to volunteer in my community and most importantly I contribute to and benefit from my community greatly.

    The only negative thing I have to say here is to you as an individual, you anonymous should truly stay anonymous because you are anonymous you are vile and destructive and because we don’t know who you are (or do we?) we don’t care what your response is, I can only laugh.

    I will remain Not Surprised for the next succession of sour comments that come through it is quite entertaining.

    Everyone enjoy what is supposed to be a great day!

  21. Anonymous said

    I would like to thank Cllr Collins-Mrakas for providing such pertinent information and for putting it in context. Very illuminating…

  22. Anonymous said

    Not Surprised,

    Why didn’t you use your name?
    There is no difference between “Not Surprised” and “Anonymous,” both being protected entities.

    The people who set up this blog are Anonymous.

    Seems like you would like only people of like mind to participate.

    You seem unhappy with many responses and choose, with a broad stroke, to diminish them.

    I take this forum at face value and will continue to participate accordingly, supporting the ideas of others who share my concerns.

    I am, after all an Aurora citizen, and feel it is important to speak my mind, knowing I don’t speak only for myself.

    There are many voices in this town.

  23. Anonymous said

    Not Surprised is a clear example of the attitude this site promotes.
    It is a destructive force.
    The nastiness, pettiness and fear-mongering does not invite or support community.

    It sets one faction, or area of Aurora against another.
    Divide and conquer…. but thankfully only a small number of citizens are engaged on this site… out of a town of about 50,000 ( not all taxpayers).

    Many are engaged in the community having fun, helping others, and cheering the good in this town.

    Let’s hope they avoid the tawdry business presented here and instead hug trees, their
    kids, their spouses, their friends, their neighbours, their good-hearted residents of Aurora.

  24. Not Surprised said

    If there was ever a question of whether or not the Aurora Dream Team and the Canada Day Parade Committee are one and the same then that question has been answered in the The Era, page A4 Thursday May 14th, 2009 edition. I quote “Last year Aurora Dream Team set up a virtual map of Canada flags displayed in Aurora. The Dream Team even marched in red and white during the annual Santa Claus Parade” Mrs. St. Kitts said. There is no mention of the Canada Parade Committee. She also stated “We already of the undercurrents and those undercurrents are coming to the surface”. She is right there, they are now at the surface and still we have no accountability, no answers to the questions put before her by council members and the taxpayer.

    She went on to say that “last year, over 10,000 citizens were treated to a sea of red and white.” Not bad for a town that has approximately 50,000 taxpayers.
    No plagarism here, this is fact unless the reporter quoted St. Kitts incorrectly.

    More questions arise out of this:

    1. How did they come up with 10,000 citizens attended was there some kind of recording system being used?

    2. Where were the other approximately 40,000 citizens?

    3. How much did it cost the total taxpaying contributers for 10,000 citizens to view this parade?

    4. What else is this council frivorlously spending taxpayers money on?

  25. Not Surprised said

    Anonymous: Without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, or the like:

    If I sign anonymous what is stopping me from saying things that are not factual? What is stopping me from spreading rumours and such?

    Who is this person anonymous? I could be your neighbour, I could be your co-worker, I could be your best friend who just needs to get something off of my chest, so this is a good way of doing it, telling you what I feel but not having to take ownership of it.

    What rules apply to me to not just direct insult upon insult to any given person I so choose?

    My point to anonymous is that you add no credibility to the discussion.

    The numbers that are calculated at the end of the blog are not accurate as to how many participants there are only that there are that many posts. When you read through the blog anyone can see that there are individuals who continually misinform and are calculated and bitter at others who sign their name to their response.

    The good thing that I take out of this blog is that the number of contributors are very limited and are quite often the same individuals so really their is no damage occurring here only an opinion that holds no validity.

    I believe the blog was set up to give people the opportunity to communicate with each other. It is an open forum for individuals to state their opinions and then wait for the couple of anonymous’ who display their displeasure at the named individuals. This blog is not being used as a positive tool to assist people but turned into a venue for personal vendettas without the need to be identified.

    I understand, to a degree, the need to remain anonymous but if you have something to say that is legitimate and is going to add some kind of information to the discussion then at the very least use your discretion and come up with a name and it does not have to be your real name.

    Anonymous is quite simply out played here.

    P.S. to the woman whose daughter gave her a computer and advised her not to sign her name for fear of reprisal, if you fear for your life on this blog why don’t you go to another blog that is not so threatening. Of course, I have not heard of a single attack either verbally or physically by anyone on this site. There is nastiness and vulgerness and rampant ignorance but that does not pose a personal threat. But I suppose that can all change with whatever the content may be should you decide to partake.

  26. Anonymous said

    Watching a Westinghouse,
    Too much spin. I don’t understand your point. I don’t see how the last couple of comments are even connected.

  27. Anonymous said

    What a fascinating town. I’m surprised there aren’t more people making comments, considering the size of the town and all.

    I guess maybe just the unhappies come here to lift themselves up. Tough times can be had by all.

  28. Anonymous said

    “Remember that you are blessed. Remember that in exchange for those blessings, you must give something back. You must reach back and pull someone up. You must bend down and let someone else stand on your shoulders so that they can see a brighter future.”
    Michelle Obama

  29. Watching a Westinghouse said

    “Well, not really. Status quo.”

    Yes, particularly in light of the last couple of comments. More spin than a clothes dryer.

    No, sorry, in deference to the mayor’s grandstanding… er, I mean, crusade, I should say more spin than an umbrella-style clothesline.

  30. Anonymous said

    It’s amazing that individuals are proud to attach their names to conspiracy theories.
    Conspiracy theories, assuming what goes on in the minds of others, are constructed in accordance with the needs of those proposing them.

    I recall when someone suggested Buck was manipulating procedures she called it hate mail and showed the offending comment to police, in her blog.

    Strange to see all the situational ethics taking place.
    Well, not really. Status quo.

  31. Anonymous said

    The concern is spreading destructive gossip.

    Kids are struggling with the problem. They are looking for leadership from the elected representatives.

    We have new tools, to be used for good or ill.

    Part of the problem seems to be two distinct groups fighting for their own agenda.

    I am a parent who is upset with how little respect there is for anyone, how destructive writings are held up as respectable pursuits of those so committed to their rightness that all ideas are turned into battle retorts.
    No high ground here.
    No awareness that no one wins at war.

    It sure has opened my eyes, my family’s eyes and my friends’ eyes.

  32. Anonymous said

    Ahhhh, attack the person versus address the concern.

    A strong offense is a good defence.

    A tactic used at the last meeting by 2 members of Council. Is it possible the similarity in tactics is not mere coincidence?

    I guess we will never know for sure unless they too reveal themselves.

  33. Anonymous said

    Ah yes, Aurora Citizen broke the story:
    MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2009

    “Speaking of Ethics…
    The following post was sent as a comment to the original post “Ethics Commissioner” below. We thought it was worth repeating here for its own separate discussion. A number of worthwhile questions are asked. Does anyone know the answers?

    Speaking of ethics…the question MUST be asked. Enough people in the community are talking about it. What is “The Dream Team” and who are they accountable to?”

  34. Anonymous said

    I think Bill Hogg should start touring our schools, speaking at commencements at all levels, presenting his views to all churches and charities.

    Silly to worry about gossip that harms others.
    After all this IS the face of Aurora as defined by Aurora Citizen.
    Come to think of it didn’t Aurora Citizen raise the whole issue?
    Perhaps those who chose to bring the issue forward, courageously fanning the flames of discontent, may choose this time to step into the spotlight, fully revealed.

    Ah the possibilities boggle the mind.

  35. Heather said

    Alison Collins-Mrakas stated above:

    “On a recorded vote the motion FAILED TO CARRY, as the required 2/3 majority was not achieved.”

    So, when 5 out of 8 people voted for a by-election the motion FAILED, but when 5 out of 8 people voted for the motion on May 12th after Ms. St-Kitts came to Council – the motion PASSED.

    New math indeed!

  36. Bill Hogg said

    I was willing to take a position (unpopular or otherwise) when I sat on Council and I am just as passionate and opinionated as a private citizen. Right, wrong, agree or disagree; I am comfortable signing my name.

    A shame others aren’t willing to do the same.

  37. Anonymous said

    Bill Hogg you wrote;
    “This whole thing was obviously a well scripted exercise by friends Morris, St Kitts and MacEachern. Frankly I expect better.”

    May 16, 2009 10:13 AM

    It seems to me that you are making accusations.
    Do you have facts?
    Do you feel that it is in any way helpful to suggest a conspiracy took place?
    Do you enjoy spreading gossip?
    What purpose do you serve in a situation where the reputation of several individuals are at stake?

  38. Anonymous said

    I’m glad you weighed in Bill Hogg because it makes it very clear to me where you stand on a number of issues before us.

    Now I’ll sit back and wait to see what the hired experts say. I expect it will help us all evaluate our own agendas, in this very political game.
    The political game takes a fair amount of collateral damage in stride, from where I sit.

    And it it’s the scope of that collateral damage that concerns me greatly.

    Are the strategic games played worth the destructive forces unleashed?

    Not for me!

  39. Scallywag said

    Great quote from our Mayor 😉

    “For once let the chair think and rule.”

    God bless her! We’re all still waiting.

  40. Bill Hogg said

    In the 2 terms of Council that I served, I don’t recall 5/8 was ever equal to 2/3. This must be the new math. You may have noticed the clerk never indicated that 5/8 was 2/3 — she simply stated that it was a majority.

    Very disappointing display from the chair when Cllr Buck sought to get clarity on the procedural bylaw. The disrespectful manner that the chair spoke to Cllr Buck was completely inappropriate. That in itself would seem to contravene the Code of Conduct.

    I am puzzled why this Council has chosen to use this situation to attack Cllr Buck, rather than responding directly to her questions. The questions seem legit — if there are easy answers why don’t they just provide them and that would shut up everyone so more important issues could be addressed. Why doesn’t Council just make a motion to have the sub-committee provide the financial information requested and be done with it?

    The majority of Council seem to have gotten swept into personal animosity by Mayor Morris/Cllr MacEachern towards Cllr Buck. Weren’t they all elected to serve our interests. In their rush to attack they have forgotten the main issue. They all need to stick to the differences on issues — not personalities. This I learned through personal experience.

    This whole thing was obviously a well scripted exercise by friends Morris, St Kitts and MacEachern. Frankly I expect better.

  41. Alison Collins-Mrakas said

    As there seems to be considerable discussion of this matter, and, frankly some confusion, I provide the following for your information.

    For those who are not familiar with previous decisions of Council which by procedure required a 2/3 majority in order to carry, I draw the residents attention to the matter before council on May 13th, 2008 regarding the reconsideration of the decision to hold a by-election.

    As you can see from the excerpt of the meeting (appended below), the vote was 5 to 3 in favour of reconsideration – a majority – yet the vote was defeated due to the fact that we did not have a 2/3 majority.

    Please review the Clerk’s comments and explanation provided with regards to the reason for defeat.

    Council Meeting May 13th, 2008

    Moved by Councillor McRoberts Seconded by Councillor Collins-Mrakas

    THAT a Notice of Reconsideration for the motion related to holding a by-election be accepted.

    On a recorded vote the motion FAILED TO CARRY, as the required 2/3 majority was not achieved.

    YEAS: 5 NAYS: 3

    VOTING YEAS: Councillors Buck, Collins-Mrakas, Gaertner, McRoberts and Wilson

    VOTING NAYS: Councillors Granger, MacEachern and Mayor Morris

    Note: On a motion to reconsider there must be a majority of at least 2/3 of Council in favour of the reconsideration to allow it to pass, as required by the Procedural By-law. In this case the 2/3 majority was not achieved therefore the motion failed to carry.

  42. Anonymous said

    2/3 of 8=5 1/3… rounds out to 5

  43. C. Sorley said

    I watched the council meeting of the 13th of May with the utmost horror and disgust, both as an ex-councillor and a citizen of Aurora. The total ignorance of proper procedure, patronising, insulting, demeaning, condescending and disrespectful conduct from the bulk of council toward Ms Buck, along with a lack of basic math skills, was only outdone by the misguided, choregraphed, preplanned attack of Ms Kitts. (Do the 5 lemmings hold rehearsals? – just wondering).
    The Town solicitor’s meeting with the Mayor should have been with a focus to shutting down and making suit against Ms Kitts for her actions, words, and failure to provide citizens with simple answers to simple questions. The gang of 5 are embarrassing and poster children for amalgamation.

    C. Sorley

  44. Anonymous said

    Suspension of Procedural Requirements
    4.6 (a) The provisions of this By-law shall be observed in all proceedings of
    Council and its Committees, except that the rules and regulations
    contained herein may be suspended by a two-thirds majority vote of the
    Members present.

    two thirds of 8 is over 5 but under six

    so since a person can’t be split up, you would need six to satisfy the suspension of procedure

    not hard to understand.

    but i guess when your the Mayor you can do whatever you want and follow the rules only when they help your stance

  45. Anonymous said

    Thanks for the link. Seems like procedures were followed and Mrs. Buck said she’d fight back.
    Game on!
    Look forward to the next episode.
    Council Wars, York Region Chapter Hee Hah!

    I don’t have even a touch of sympathy for Mrs. Buck.
    She loves to stir up what she can…

    Go girls!

    Soviet-era show trial? Love your humor.

  46. Anonymous said

    All those university educations and not one person other then Cllr Buck, Mrakas, and McRoberts could see that 2/3 of 8 is 6 (simple math)

    the procedure should have never been suspended.

  47. Felix Dzerzhinsky said

    It certainly brought to mind a Soviet-era show trial. It was an obviously pre-orchestrated calumniation of Cllr Buck. What a disgrace.

    I haven’t seen council meetings lately due to the deterioration of cable TV service since Jim Irvine was squeezed to sell. I thought the mayor was bad before but she is clearly worse. This arranged display of open animosity and vindictiveness was a shameful discredit to those involved, particularly in its nakedness.

    The mayor’s recorded vote editorial remark of “Yes, with regret” was sickening – and a bald-faced lie!

  48. Anonymous said

    The video has been posted on the rogers website

  49. Anonymous said

    The order of Council business is agenda, minutes then Open Forum.

    I think the portion of the meeting you want to watch is Open Forum

    so I guess tune in for the first 20 minutes or so?

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