Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

More Tax Dollars Wasted

Posted by auroracitizen on July 28, 2009

So what possible rationale has Council developed for the outrageous purchase of a half-page ad in The Banner to target Councillor Buck? Our money.

It was bad enough that the information was published on the Town website, when the process is supposed to be confidential — but now they are spending our tax dollars to promote their agenda through advertising.

And before you start saying Councillor Buck started the issue of non-confidentiality by posting on her blog — let’s remember, she is acting as an individual Councillor. Agree or disagree with her actions, when the Town purchases ad space, they do so as the corporation. Regardless of your point of view about Councillors Buck’s actions, surely we must all agree that the corporation must hold itself to a higher standard than an individual.

It will be very enlightening to see where the Integrity Commissioner nets out on this behaviour. Let’s hope he will be allowed to look at the bigger picture when evaluating accepted behaviour.

For example, will he include a review of how Council meetings are run and comments by other Council members towards staff, so he has a baseline of what is acceptable for others by Mayor Morris and this Council?

Or how about Mayor Phyllis Morris allowing a citizen from outside Aurora to publicly attack a Councillor without intervening?

We look forward to seeing his written report. It will be interesting to see what Council will allow to be published — sort of like the fox guarding the hen house.

Possibly some citizen will test the process for some other members of Council. Just a thought.

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24 Responses to “More Tax Dollars Wasted”

  1. Anonymous said

    No comments about Evelyn's appearance on the news? I'm really surprised.

  2. Anonymous said

    "Hugo's ideas are respected and appreciated…"

    …not by all, it must be said.

  3. Anonymous said

    Hey don't go after the messenger.

    Hugo's ideas are respected and appreciated… all the more because he is an informed observer.

  4. Anonymous said

    Yes Hugo. You are one lucky man as the last post says. Where else does a failed Ward Three Whitchurch Stouville Councillor candidate get to wade into the morass that exists in Aurora and be received as knowledgeable. It amazes me that he writes so self assurred about the goings on in Aurora, but again remember he finished Third in his home town. Also a lot could be written about WS's mayor whose reputation is one of a buffoon and terrible politician, but alas we get Hugo's take on Aurora instead.Insiders at the Region blame him for some of the Experienced Senior Staff leaving the Region in disgust with shenanigans going on there.

  5. Anonymous said

    Hugo, you are one lucky human being.

    I can only dream that one day my dream of Aurora can be realized in my lifetime.

  6. Hugo T. Kroon said

    Anon, 6:52 pm, July 30

    Yes it is quiet around here…
    Quite pastoral, I might add.
    Not a whole lot of anything going on, really.

    Oh, that's not to say we're not busy. Not at all.
    It's just that everybody has a job, knows what it is, and does it quite well. Without bothering anybody else, or thinking they should be doing somebody else's job just because they think they know better.

    No, we all stick to our business, but are ready and willing to help each other out when the need arises.
    That's something we like to call cooperation. And community. And caring about each other.

    We would rather give each other a hand up to raise us all to a higher level,for the common good, rather than stomp on each other's faces as we individually scramble, scrape and grub our way to the top.

    No, not a whole lot of back stabbing, infighting and petty squabbeling going on here either.

    Gives us lots of time to try to spread our particular brand of peace and harmony to our neighbours… only if they want it though.

    Although, for some reason or other, some people don't want that…pity.

    Yup, it's pretty quiet here all right…

    Jealous yet?

  7. Anonymous said

    Welcome aboard Hugo!

  8. Anonymous said

    "I've learned a lot from you Hugo."

    I've yet to learn why Mr Kroon constantly feels the need to "stick his oar in" our town's affairs. Things must really be quiet in bucolic Bethesda.

  9. Anonymous said

    No way stay home next election!
    And Ron Obvious,
    I'm not a councillor.

    Yes we elected a council to make decisions.
    Yes we expect them to hold themselves to account.

    Yes the last Town lawyer said Councillor Buck was bound by the Code of Conduct even if she didn't sign it because she signed an oath of office, and that covered the Code of Conduct. Check it out.

    The biggest penalty Councillor Buck faces from my reading of things is 90 day loss of pay.

    She doesn't get booted out.

    And it's important to understand Councillor Buck always wins because eyes are on her.

    Most of us would be extremely unsettled but if you read her last blog entry she's quite okay.

    It's her show.

  10. Anonymous said

    Thank you for posting Hugo T. Kroon.

    I love the way you express your ideas first of all.
    You make me nod and smile.

    Secondly I love how you explain your ideas.

    I've learned a lot from you Hugo.
    It makes me appreciate the existence of this blog.

  11. Anonymous said

    Hugo and the two posters following have missed the point. The formal process is confidential. That's the PROCESS, doesn't mean we are living in "North Korea" and being kept in the dark. Just the rules on the code of conduct that THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE WANTED.

    Doesn't anyone find it a bit crazy that Buck, who didn't sign the code of conduct, is being held accountable to it in a formal complaint, while those doing the complaining – – who DID sign it – – are breaching their own code?? Things that make you go hmmm…

  12. Ron Obvious said

    "We need to be informed. The money is spent to counter the misinformation and spin that Councillor Buck spews out on a regular basis.
    I appreciate the Town giving me information I need to make informed decisions."

    Huh?

    You must be a councillor then because the townsfolk aren't in on this deal as this is strictly a council decision that they've decided to publicize. Normally citizens get to make their decisions at election time but it doesn't look like council wants to wait and take a chance that you'll screw up and re-elect Councillor Buck – they want to get rid of her now.
    The childish squabbling used to have a certain amount of entertainment value but now it's all just sad and pathetic. Time now to join the ranks of the majority of voters who have seen the light and stay home next election.

  13. Anonymous said

    We need to be informed. The money is spent to counter the misinformation and spin that Councillor Buck spews out on a regular basis.
    I appreciate the Town giving me information I need to make informed decisions.

  14. Anonymous said

    Anonymous July 29, 2009 7:11 PM makes an excellent point.
    It is Councillor Buck who has been complained about, who has refused to accept responsibility for public harassment of others.

    It was her decision to attack others in print, rather than deal with issues, questions, through approved channels set up for the protection of all.

    If she's violated the code let her bear the consequences.

    Since the code was established she has ratcheted up her attacks on others.

    Obviously, she is achieving her own purposes.

    I'm just glad that the Integrity Commissioner is investigating because I can't accept her position that she is serving those who voted for her.
    I expect disagreements to be dealt with through proper channels.

    Many times I watched Councillor Buck say nothing in council, then write her views in other forums.

    People have gotten turned off political involvement because of her nasty approach to being a
    councillor.

    And she hasn't limited her attacks to just other politicians.

    The whole thing is a dirty business.
    It's polluted the town.

  15. Hugo T. Kroon said

    Hey do you hear the "whooshing" sound?
    Thats the sound of the credibility of this "citizen's forum" flying out of the window.

    "So what possible rationale has Council developed for the outrageous purchase of a half-page ad in The Banner to target Councillor Buck?"

    Please, come on now…
    if council had not printed it in the papers you all would of started screaming about not making this information available to those who don't peruse the town's web site.
    And if it had not been published at all, you would of been whining about some alleged cover-up, and a lack of "openess and accountability"

    Sheesh, you folks sure know how to suck and blow at the same time.

    "It was bad enough that the information was published on the Town website, when the process is supposed to be confidential…"

    A statement from council about what they are doing on behalf of the citizens is suposed to be confidential, and kept from the public?
    What, did Aurora get moved to North Korea, or Iran, or Cuba when nobody was watching?
    If somebody would actually read the municipal Act (instead of cherry-picking bits and pieces out of it to support your already inacurate and fanciful selfserving interpretation of it that you are currently labouring under), and perhaps understood it, you might find that the actions of an Integrity Commisioner can be kept secret when the need arises, according to The Muncipal Act of 2001, as it is spelled out in Section 223, paragraph 5, parts 1 thru 3.
    (Not "provincial Statute 223.5-1", as young Evelyn states in this week's edition of the Auroran. No such "Statute" exists. But then things like accuracy and factual correctness are typically things that are not terribly important to councilor number 7)
    The provision for secrecy is required "with respect to all matters that come to his or her knowledge in the course of his or her duties…" (part 1), and does not apply to matters of council. Unless of course it is a matter that falls within the umbella of an "in camera meeting", which by the way is another concept councillor number 7 has a problem with, I understand.

    "…but now they are spending our tax dollars to promote their agenda through advertising."

    "…their agenda…"?
    "…their agenda…"?

    What?

    When will you people understand that council's agenda is your agenda?
    You voted for them remember?
    And don't get on your high " well I didn't vote for them" horse.
    If you think that old excuse is acceptable then you really don't understand how democracy works, and I might as well add you don't deserve to either.
    What do you want council to do? keep their intentions and actions secret?
    Well, now we're back to that sucking and blowing thing again, aren't we?
    And besides, if this is the biggest waste of tax dollars you got to complain about…
    Consider yourselves lucky.
    (On the other hand, what is Ron charging a quarter-page ad these days? …Maybe there's your wastage problem.)
    If you want to talk about waste, somebody should start nosing around the parks and works departments and their hiring/staffing issues.
    …just sayin'…

    And finally its time to stop kevetching about "…allowing a citizen from outside Aurora to publicly attack a Councillor…"
    It may of been wrong for Ms. St. Kitts to say what she did, when she did, and perhaps the mayor let her go on for a little too long (actually the fault of the clerk or the CAO), but the fact she is not a citizen of Aurora should have nothing to do with it. Continually bringing that part up makes you look prety childish… that means you too, Stewert Ivol.

    No one is blameless in this mess and it's time for all of you to to grow up…
    Start acting like adults. All of you, Mayor Morris, all the councilors, including number 7, and especially you, Aurora Citizen… you should know better.

    You have the right stuff to be effective, valuable and influential.

    Don't screw it up by hitching your wagon to a horse that is saddled with with pettyness and vindictiveness.

    Don't blow it.

    …Whooooooosh…

  16. Heather said

    "How did you find out?"

    I don't think that Evelyn 'found out' – it's there for everyone to see. I believe I read it that it was part of the motion that the whole thing be posted on the website.

  17. Anonymous said

    Ev you wrote "It was published as part of the public record.

    It was posted on the Town's web site by direction.

    It was advertised in both local newspapers, at your expense, by direction."

    How did you find out?

  18. Anonymous said

    Did you ever think saying nasty things about a variety people and Town business fits with your statement… "Think about it. A written statement accusing a person of wrong-doing is fraught with legal liability" —

    slander fits?

  19. Anonymous said

    The Integrity Commissioner is supposed to keep the name of the complainant and the person complained of confidential.
    Evelyn Buck was the one who broke the confidentiality provisions on both counts.

    This isn't a legal trial.

    This is a challenge to the code.

    As usual Buck breaks the rules, then complains of unfair treatment.

    And yes most of us understand allegory, Ms. Buck.
    You are no Snow White!

  20. Anonymous said

    I am shocked that Council in Aurora has come to this. To date, during this term a councillor has quit, a non elected person was offered a position that should have gone to an election to allow the public to vote and now there seems to be bullying going on to force another councillor out of an elected position.
    It is amazing that these co mayors want to bring in another non elected person if Buck leaves as they already have enough votes to pass anything that they want.
    I guess they will leave a legacy as the most dysfunctional council ever. Not only did a councillor leave but all but one department head also left as did many other staff.
    And just imagine, mayors phyliss and mceachern will probably get re-elected as most people really don't care about how bad things are in Aurora. The mayors seem to fool almost everyone except those who care.
    More money wasted is an understatement!!

  21. Evelyn Buck said

    The tale of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is an allegory.

    Snow White, pure as the driven snow, resembles no-one you know,any more than the corrupt and murderous Wicked Step-mother Queen.

    Time might be better spent reading and gaining a clearer understanding of the Code of Conduct than by leaping tall buildings and risking impalement.

    The informal part of the complaint process under the Code of Conduct is not confidential.

    The formal process is required to be totally confidential.

    Think about it. A written statement accusing a person of wrong-doing is fraught with legal liability.

    How many times have you heard the media comment on facts "alleged" or facts "not proven"?

    All evidence is "alleged" or "not proven" until a trial is complete. Evidence has been examined, accepted or rejected. and a judge has made a decision.

    Even then, the decision may be appealed to a higher court.

    The Mayor and her loyal followers were advised by a lawyer at taxpayers' expense, they could make their formal statement of complaint public. As well, the documentation he prepared under their instruction to support their complaint, all at your cost.

    Subsequently, it was proclaimed live on television at a Council Meeting.

    It was published as part of the public record.

    It was posted on the Town's web site by direction.

    It was advertised in both local newspapers, at your expense, by direction.

    All of which is in direct contravention of a Provincial Statute requiring secrecy in the process of complaints under Codes of Conduct in general. The Town's Code of Conduct, in particular, also stipulates Confidentiality.

    Read it and weep.They are your hard-earned dollars being flushed down the sewer.

    The disposition of a complaint about contraventions of the Code of Conduct, which itself contravenes the Code of Conduct, should prove to be interesting. If it ever emerges from the shroud of secrecy.

    It is also interesting to note how many supporters of the Mayor and co-horts are happy to spend tax dollars to establish limits on a Councillor's ability to speak for the people she/he represents.

    May we assume it to be part of the Morris/MacEachern philosophy on
    governance?

    May we expect it to be fluffed out and expounded as a principle in campaign leaflets in the next election?

    When clenched fists knock on our doors, may we expect Mor-Mac campaign workers to hammer home their interpretation of the democratic process on door steps
    throughout the town?

    Are we, in Aurora, looking at a political party system customised to Mor-Mac standards?

    There's a picture in my mind complete with uniform and boots.

  22. Anonymous said

    I will take Buck any day over this fumbling council. You call Buck "Snow White" while I call this council the "Keystone Cops" only not that funny but rather embarrassing.

    Is Anonymous 7:28 a council member.

  23. Anonymous said

    To: Anonymous 7/29 @ 7:28
    In order to keep confidential (unlike Ms Morris et al)….. I will just say that this process is under way.

  24. Anonymous said

    There is opportunity for anyone to test the Code of Conduct.
    No point in complaining while doing nothing.
    If you think you have a legitimate complaint, contact the Integrity Commissioner.

    The majority of council is doing just that, and keeping us informed, to boot.

    Surf this site and Buck's blog and see all the whining about wrong-doing and secrecy,,,,.
    Whoops now not enough secrecy?
    Testing out the code? Not fair?
    Taking action is somehow unfair?

    Seemingly up is down and down is up with the fair Snow White, innocent and vulnerable, needing others to rescue her.

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