Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

New Council Math

Posted by auroracitizen on May 19, 2009

On May 16 Councillor Collins-Mrakas provided the following information in response to questions raised about why 5/8 was deemed to be a 2/3 majority.

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
(IX) NEW BUSINESS/GENERAL INFORMATION – COUNCILLORS

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.

It will be interesting to see how Council explains this change in procedure.

Addendum: Elizabeth Bishenden provided a link in her comments that provide some additional insight into this issue. According to the “Parliamentary Procedure Instructional Materials Centre” a two-thirds majority of 8 voters is 6.

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10 Responses to “New Council Math”

  1. Anonymous said

    did you check out the mayor’s explanation for why 5/8 equals 2/3??

    hysterically funny

    (though I guess it’s not funny for the town)

    she’s spinning around and around and around…

    sorry, but does anyone else think this is all a bit looney tunes??

  2. Anonymous said

    Mayor Morris seems to have her own rules in Council. It all depends on what she wants.
    In both cases the election or appointment or in the second case to protect another friend in St Kitts she got her way. She got a friend,Gallo, on council and protected her friend St Kitts.
    What else would this mayor want.
    She always gets her own way with her loyal followers.

  3. Anonymous said

    On May 12, 2008, Mayor Morris brought in a Municipal Lawyer (at taxpayers cost) to re-inforce that a vote of 2/3 (66.7%) was required to force an election for councillor to replace Grace Marsh. Since the vote was 5-3 for an election, the motion failed the 2/3rule.Fast forward to the last council meeting where a very peturbed Sher St. Kitts got Mayor Morris to waive the 2/3 rule (again the vote was 5-3) to waive procedure.What changed? Is Morris playing us by interpreting when this rule applies? That is the fallout from this council meeting that has not been addressed.Since Morris blew it don’t look for any clarification.The residents of Aurora deserve better. Sadly they bought the BS from Morris about her skills and are now paying for it with this joke.

  4. Heather said

    E. Bishenden provided the following: “According to the “Parliamentary Procedure Instructional Materials Centre” a two-thirds majority of 8 voters is 6. “

    The part I don’t understand then, is why five votes out of eight was NOT a two thirds majority at the time the by-election vs. appointment issue was on the table, yet, now 5/8 IS a two-thirds majority.

    Does anyone know?

  5. Evelyn Buck said

    A conflict of interest is defined as a situation where an elected member or a committee member stands to benefit financially from the question being put to a vote.

    For an account of what happened at the meeting I was at, check my blog.

    I have posted.

  6. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    According to the “Parliamentary Procedure Instructional Materials Centre” a two-thirds majority of 8 voters is 6.

    To determine the number of votes needed to pass a motion, the rule is to round up to the next whole number rather than to round to the nearest whole number.

    See the table here for more information:

    http://pzen.northwest.net/index.php?main_page=page_11&zenid=vlmqpev0e9cee7i4jv6tsklt14

  7. Anonymous said

    I just got an email from a friend regarding how we citizens can complain about what’s going on. The official Code of Conduct complaint procedure says I’d need to write everything down (no problem), but I also have to include a signed affidavit. Does anyone know the name of the integrity commissioner? If there’s something bad going on can’t we just put a bug in his/her ear?

  8. Anonymous said

    “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.”

    Voting on what exactly? Nobody has mentioned WHAT they were voting on. I remember from the bit of the meeting I caught on tv that they voted for Sher St-Kitts to have a meeting with the Mayor and the town’s lawyer (I think) – but why SHOULDN’T Councillor Buck have a say in that vote? I don’t see why that would be understood as a conflict of interest?

    I also don’t understand how five out of eight is a 2/3 majority in some cases, and NOT a 2/3 majority in others. Does anyone know? Are the rules different now than they were in 2008?

  9. Anonymous said

    Again, with the deflection…

    I am sorry but are you a simpleton?

  10. Anonymous said

    Was Evelyn Buck in a conflict of interest?

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