Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Toronto Star Editorial Weighs In

Posted by auroracitizen on August 13, 2009

EDITORIAL: Aug 13, 2009 04:30 AM
TheStar.com

Aurora losing its aura?

Aurora rarely gets a second glance, but the bizarre behaviour of town council in recent days merits a double take. A war of words on the web and a bruising battle at city council has culminated with the outlandish firing of Aurora’s integrity commissioner.

The surprise sacking of David Nitkin by city council – he served as ethics watchdog for barely two months – came just one day after he submitted his first formal report. Nitkin had dared to defy council by rejecting a bitter complaint against its most outspoken member, dismissing it as a politically motivated affair.

The target of council’s wrath was maverick councillor Evelyn Buck, 80, who has embraced blogging with a blunt style that gets under the skin of her rivals. A 40-year veteran of politics, her passionate web posts are the talk of the town – one reason why council wants to rein her in.

But when the watchdog refused to muzzle the maverick, he found himself in the doghouse. Aurora council is making a mockery of the integrity process and providing more grist for the blogosphere.

Writing in her blog yesterday, the irrepressible Buck neatly summed up council’s public relations blunder: “All they did was prod me with a pointy stick and create another unholy mess for themselves.”

Aurora’s aura of good governance is on the wane.

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78 Responses to “Toronto Star Editorial Weighs In”

  1. Anonymous said

    "And what degree is it that Councillor Buck has?

    She certainly has no post-secondary education, no real business experience.

    She has garnered all her positions at taxpayers expense over the years.

    She has kept her name and ego in the public spotlight all these years doing whatever it takes.

    Her need is to seize the spotlight, take tax money,
    slay anyone in her path.

    As she has said many times she has nothing to lose.
    Some of us have lost a lot, but that matters not a bit to her.
    In fact she celebrates with her own version of a victory dance.
    If she were playing a legitimate game she'd be penalized for showing poor sportsmanship.

    No one can possibly look at what is going on in Aurora without realizing the destructive nature of Councillor Buck.

    Can anyone point out a positive role Councillor Buck has ever played in Aurora?
    Has she spearheaded any community building ventures?
    Has she volunteered?

    Her children have grown and left home for more than half her political time in Aurora.
    What positive has she contributed with her time?
    She has always played the easy role of critic.
    Easy to tear down.
    Hard to build in these changing times.

    August 16, 2009 1:25 PM"

    Wow talk about vengence and ignorance.

    Who said Evelyn has a degree? You obviously did not read the post entirely, you only chose to take from it what you chose to see and it has blinded you to the point that you think it is okay to malign her. What gives you the right to say these things about Councillor Buck, where did you get your information?

    I am upset, to say the least, if you are going to state misinformation about someone at least have the common courtesy to back up what you are saying with facts.

    Unless you are someone who is extremely close to Evelyn you have no incite into her past at all. Your despicable lack of decorum leads me to believe you are one of the GOS, if not you are someone who obviously has a grip.

    What I like about Evelyn is that she has no association with particular groups, she does not volunteer in the community, which tells me she has no agenda when it comes to making unbias decisions, she is making them with an open mind. What more can you ask for from an elected official.

    It also informs me that when Evelyn is elected it is by people who appreciate what it is she has to offer, experience and knowledge, and the ability to make sound decisions. Her decisions are for the town in general NOT on the grounds of what will this do for me and my status in the community. If you want a puppet than you most definitely got what you wanted with the GOS.

    I am a proud volunteer and have been for many years this is how I serve my community.

    If I wanted to represent my town in an elected position I think that I would have to eliminate myself from the groups of which I am associated on the grounds that I would make informed decisions based on the merit of the argument itself, not who I know or who I am associated with.

    Again being seen as open and transparent, intelligent and unbiased are attibutes that I hold in very high regard.

    Make no mistake about this, this is strictly my opinion and it only matters to me but some how I think I am about to be crucified for it. Oh well it is par for the course!

  2. Anonymous said

    To the moderator: I thought you were not going to publish unsubstantiated material? Anonymous of August 16th at 1:25pm. claims to know all about Councillor Buck and her past. Where are the facts to back up this anonymous's contentions?

    When I posted that the three councillors have the experience, degrees and knowledge I did not explicitly point to the degrees, experience or knowledge of any of them, it was my overview of what these three councillors have to offer their community. The anonymous commentor who chose to address this issue is apparently a very disturbed individual, they took my comment completely out of context and chose to direct hatred at Evelyn and I take acception to that.

  3. Anonymous said

    Whether you agree with the avenues that Evelyn has chosen or you don't it really doesn't matter she will be re-elected because of her conviction that she is doing what is right for the people of Aurora. She was elected by the people of Aurora and she was shut down by a slate of candidates who have contravened their own Code of Conduct by the very disgusting attitudes that they direct at these, now three, councillors. Evelyn stood alone at the beginning of this term and has stuck to her beliefs and forged ahead on her campaign promises. Evelyn has kept you informed and will continue to keep you informed whether you like it or not.
    Evelyn hold your head high we stand behind you.

  4. Anonymous said

    Oh my goodness, look ma we finally have a debate, wasn't this why this blog was created? I love a good discussion and it is finally happening! Keep it up.

  5. StephanieAllen said

    Just to go back a couple of posts to Anonymous at 2:08: We harp about by-election with good cause. As I stated somewhere else, there are issues in the Municipal Act REQUIRING a 2/3 majority, and this is one. That rule is there for a reason – – because citizens should not be deprived of their right to elect their leadership unless the situation is one that clearly does not need it, and in that case there would be very little dissension amongst councillors – – hence a 2/3 majority. We were deprived of our right because the major chose to ignore the rule. That is a fact.

  6. Anonymous said

    Robert the Bruce you are way off base when you say that once an item is debated in council and voted on the issue should be closed and those on the losing side should accept it and move on. I agree with this premise… but this Aurora we are talking about!Yes the town where even residents of King City sign their name as living in Aurora (see Era Banner today)Mr. Bruce, under the leadership of Ms. Morris weren't we schooled during the bye election debate that a 5-4 or 5-3 vote does not win the debate. It must be by 75% . Then why do votes of less than 75% carry sometimes but during crucial votes as deemed by Ms. Morris 75% it must be. This confusion MUST lead to further after debate. Also in Aurora what do you consider debate?Granger, Gaertner, Wilson, Gallo couldn't debate what day it is let alone the complex issues facing this municipality. Sorry Mr Bruce…You are offside on this one.

    Broderick Epps

  7. Anonymous said

    "Mr. X had his opportunity to debate the issue in the PROPER venue – council chambers. Mr. X position was defeated legally. "

    Let's change the names up for a minute…because although Mr. X might be able to debate in the council chamber, Mrs. B. is not allowed to say as she sees fit without the GOS objecting and simply moving along.

  8. Anonymous said

    if "it is OUR job to keep the elected officials on task. If it is to harp about 2 year old issues then fine."

    Then i expect that the ppl i have casted my vote for to do the same on my behalf..Not let a issue die cause they have voted on it…The reason being, that more ppl will listen to them, and hear them, and will understand what is truly going on…Cause as we all know you can't find out the truth by reading the minutes!!!!!

    Once again that is politics…are you sure you watch the news or read the papers??

    So sorry for not being as bright as you RTB..It seems obvious that you know all….

    ARE YOU SURE YOUR NOT ONE OF THE GOS???

    OR maybe your Phyllis, cause we all know she knows everything!!!

  9. Robert the Bruce said

    To Anonymous at August 20, 2009 2:08 PM…

    Are you Steven Granger? You're kind of all over the map here with your last post.

    Let me spell out my argument for you, perhaps you will be able to understand it and not jump all over the place.

    Let's say there is a town councillor. That councillor is Mr. X.

    Mr. X goes to council meeting and a particularly intense issue comes up. After a vote, the motion is passed 6 – 3. Mr. X is one of the 3.

    The next morning, Mr. X writes on his blog how the other six were wrong and the motion should have gone the other way. He then writes a letter to the editor of the local paper saying the same thing.

    THIS PRACTICE IS WRONG!

    Mr. X had his opportunity to debate the issue in the PROPER venue – council chambers. Mr. X position was defeated legally.

    ================================

    Now you talk about us and the byelection issue. I have not talked about us, the public, not harping about issues. We are the ratepayers – it is OUR job to keep the elected officials on task. If it is to harp about 2 year old issues then fine.

    ——————————-

    Next you talk about Morris making nasty comments about Jones. Were these comments contained within an election campaign? The game of politics as you say gets intense around election time… well duh…

    Neither of these last two examples have anything to do with my contention at all. Let's try to keep my previous comments in context.

    Fuimus

  10. Richard Johnson said

    I had to write a letter to the editor of the Auroran in response to Councilor Granger's recent letter. I could not possibly hold myself back from giving a reality check on at least a couple of the claims made in The Lone Granger’s defense of the status quo at our Town Hall.

    I had to question his self proclamation that he is a leader in our town (the thought of which really struck me as odd), as well as his assertion that Mayor Morris is our “chosen leader” as a result of winning the election by a “vast majority”.

    The truth is that the Mayor received 5,208 votes and if 206 of her votes had gone to Tim Jones she would not be Mayor today. Furthermore, when you factor in the 2,364 votes that Nigel Kean received as well as the 4,798 votes that Tim Jones received, the total difference in the vote count was decided by less than 1.7 per cent of the total number of ballots cast. The margin of victory was hardly a “vast majority” as claimed.

    I guess this latest spin emanating from the G6 is yet another example of Council’s funny math and unusual analytical skills being applied when and where deemed necessary.

  11. Anonymous said

    so i guess we shouldn't harp about the by-election issue then??

    majority of council voted and passed to have someone appointed…

    or do we harp about it cause the majority or citizen's wanted a by-election??

    all decisions of gov't are harped about after the fact…thats politics…..

    if you don't like how the game is played then don't play..

    and don't kid yourself…politics is nothing more then a game…

    it becomes a bigger game around election time..

    was it not the evil one that made mention at the ratepayers debates that former mayor jones had a conflict in closed session but continued anyways… this statement from her first of all was like from 2001??? 2002?? sometime like that…she made it just to discredit mayor jones..

    is that not harping on something??

    all politicians harp on about issues …. it is the essence of democracy and it is any politicians right to continue to make the issue that they believe in to be known and heard as long as they have breath in thier lungs….

    so you see Thats the way it is in all levels of gov't….plain and simple!!!

    By the way, if there is any trouble about blogs in Toronto it is because miller is almost as bad as phyllis when it comes to free speech….

    they can spew out the insults and speak thier minds but can't take it…

    i think they should get out of politics…no place for a whinner!!!!

    look at all the garbage that phyllis has said in the past about mayor jones….if someone had said anything close to what Phyllis has said in the past, said it about her..she would hire lawyers with taxpayers money and try to muzzule you…
    I think in 2010 we need real change…someone with true leadership skills and no experience in the political field..

    Because being the mayor is all about being a true leader….not someone that stomps all over everyone when they don't agree with the mayor's views..

  12. Robert the Bruce said

    Evelyn Buck has accused me in the past for always taking the last word…. so that I do not disappoint her, I have to respond to a couple of points…

    To anonymous at August 19, 2009 4:15 PM.

    Just because council has voted on a issue and it passes lets say 5-4. that means i now must say what a great idea and stand behind it 100% even thou i voted agaisnt it and didn't believe in it??

    wouldn't that make me a hypocrite???

    You misunderstood me. I did not say that they have to stand behind the decision. There is a public record that they did not agree with it. It is their obligation, however, to ACCEPT the decision and not continue to debate it after the fact. That is not hypocritical. There is no benefit to harp about loosing a vote. It is a democracy and majority ruled.

    Regarding the Toronto councillors and the media. I think you must agree that Toronto council is very much a political party driven body – that does not seem to be the case here. Alot of the media outlets that have them on have particular party leanings as well (CFRB comes to mind). If I recall, there is an issue about a Toronto councillor and a blog.

    To Elizabeth Bishenden….

    You said Robert the Bruce, Evelyn is not using the media. She's using a single medium. It's her blog.

    Are you serious? My guess is that 3 out of every 4 issues of the Auroran has a letter to the editor from Evelyn. These letters, like her blog, are continuations of debates from council. She is usually on the losing side of the debate and feels it is her obligation to "inform" the public about how right she is and how wrong the rest of them are.

    Blogs are written by one person. They contain that person's opinions. The rest of the world can comment or ignore or abuse or whatever.

    You are correct except in Evelyn's case, she runs the blog. She has no obligation to publish comments that go against her stance. That makes her blog a one-sided rant and not a discussion.

    I had to laugh about Granger's letter to the editor. Is this the first time in almost 3 years that he has done such a thing? It might be. Perhaps he is not as dim as we think. He is looking at the calendar and thinking that an election is just over a year away. He needs to get his name in the press. "There is only one thing worse than being talked about….. and that is not being talked about".

    Fuimus

  13. Anonymous said

    "I wonder if Phyllis instructed him to write in her defence."

    Of course she did – that is why it is ironic that he is trying to persuade everyone that he is not a puppet on a string. The very letter that he uses is one that he was ordered to write.

  14. White Knight said

    Re Granger's letter
    I thought Councillor Granger babbled when speaking but he WRITES even more convoluted gobbledeguck. He is like Tennyson's "Brook": "… for men may come, and men may go but I go on forever."
    I have heard of "it has been my privilege TO work…" but never "it has been my privilege OF WORKING." He must have mixed it up with "I HAVE HAD the privilege OF working…", but then he is generally pretty mixed up anyway.
    Refrain from public writing, Mr. Granger;it only serves to support your buffoon image.
    I wonder if Phyllis instructed him to write in her defence.

  15. Anonymous said

    Wow. Granger's "letter." See, that's why illiterate buffoons scare me. They lack the critical thinking skills to proofread their own superficial flabby writing.

    Two problems with Granger's letter:

    1. Too many words. Cut his word count in half, and you wouldn't lose any meaning.
    2. The meaning that IS there is just plain… meaningless.

  16. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Robert the Bruce, Evelyn is not using the media. She's using a single medium. It's her blog. Blogs are written by one person. They contain that person's opinions. The rest of the world can comment or ignore or abuse or whatever. If they feel that there are lies posted, they can rebutt them in another form of the media, like this blog.

    I never said that I thought the use of the other media ny other people in the debate was wrong.

    My view is that what the rest of the world can't do is complain that something that is posted as an opinion is a lie.

    I also disagree with you that posting opinions is wrong. If everything had a logical outcome, we wouldn't have all this discussion.

    And you have to admit that discussion is great. Most towns the size of Aurora just putter along with no discussion at all.

    How dull is that?

  17. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    First off Granger comes across as a pee-on, there is little he or anyone can do to buy back credibility he has lost, when its gone it is gone.

    If he wanted to connect with the community he should drop the silly fake smile and actually get to know some of the vendors at the farmers market, they are the reason the market is a success, it has almost nothing to do with him.

    Secondly I agree with Anonymous August 19, 2009 4:15 PM

    How can anyone (with a straight face) say that councilors are not responsible for informing the citizens? The represent us, its a 2 way street.

    That aside regardless of an issue being settled by a vote in council it is very much still open for debate in the public forum and all the more reason for our elected officials to chime in.

    Some barn doors are closed, others are slammed shut but that doesn't mean that this is the point for discussion to end, quite the opposite. How else would we ever learn from our mistakes. Oh that's right some of us don't.

    In the future if you're going to quote town policies I see little merit in drudging in Georgina's (or any other townships) duties, this is Aurora…..or what is left of it

  18. Anonymous said

    Anonymous August 19, 2009 5:34 PM said:

    "Anybody read Granger's letter in the Auroran about how he's not a peon?

    Thoughts?"

    To quote the sage, Bugs Bunny:

    "What a maroon!"

  19. Anonymous said

    "They show an outright disrespect for a person who has been elected by the vast majority of this community". Phyllis got 5208 votes. You can only vote for one Mayor. The other candidates got 7162 votes in total.

    To me, that means more people voted for SOMEONE ELSE than voted for Phyllis. Granger, check your facts, man!"

    That jumped out at me, too. Even more damning is that only about a third of eligible voters exercised their franchise. So his "elected by the vast majority of this community" pronouncement is another fallacious statement. Is there any other kind coming out of the Town Hall these days?

  20. Googie Two Shoes said

    ANONYMOUS AUG.19 4:15 WELL PUT!! THAT IS WHAT POLITICS IS ALL ABOUT. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO COMPROMIZE SO THAT OTHERS CAN THINK THAT EVERYTHING IS JUST GREAT, WHAT AN ILLUSION THAT WOULD CREATE. YOU CAN BE SURE THAT WOULD GO TO A FEW HEADS ON THIS COUNCIL.

  21. Anonymous said

    Robert the Bruce, you've nailed it.

  22. Anonymous said

    Anybody read Granger's letter in the Auroran about how he's not a peon?

    Thoughts?

    "They show an outright disrespect for a person who has been elected by the vast majority of this community". Phyllis got 5208 votes. You can only vote for one Mayor. The other candidates got 7162 votes in total.

    To me, that means more people voted for SOMEONE ELSE than voted for Phyllis. Granger, check your facts, man!

  23. Anonymous said

    Robert the Bruce….

    i do agree with you on most things…

    But this issue i will disagree…

    Just because council has voted on a issue and it passes lets say 5-4. that means i now must say what a great idea and stand behind it 100% even thou i voted agaisnt it and didn't believe in it??

    wouldn't that make me a hypocrite???

    as far as councillors having blogs and all the media… If you just look 30 mins to the south of us you will see that councillors have thier own radio shows, websites, and blogs… They do interviews with the media to give thier point of view….thats politics..

    you don't fall in line and agree with everything after the vote

    so you want all levels of gov't to fall in line when a motion is passed and say that everything is great and saying how the motion is awsome and council has made the right decision but yet i voted agaisnt it….sounds silly to me
    anyways we are all entitled to our own opinion…. ISN'T THAT THE POINT????

  24. Robert the Bruce said

    To: someone who loves this town more than politics ….

    You said "Our councilors are elected to represent us and inform us."

    I have looked all over the place and no where have I seen a policy that says councils are elected to inform! For example, here is an excerpt from the Town of Georgina's "Deligation of Powers and Duties".

    "The Town Council, as a duly elected municipal government is directly
    accountable to its constituents for its legislative decision making, policies, and
    administrative functions. Council’s decisions are generally expressed by by-law
    or resolution of Council carried by a majority vote. The efficient management of
    the municipal corporation and the need to respond to issues in a timely fashion
    require Council to entrust certain powers and duties to committees and staff while
    concurrently maintaining accountability, which can be effectively accomplished
    through the delegation of legislative and administrative functions. Council
    authority will be delegated within the context set out in the Act and will respect
    the applicable restrictions outlined in the Act."

    The problem with councillors using blogs or letters to the editor is that eventually those avenues of "communication" become de facto debates of issues. Debates of issues should be limited to the council chambers. This is the problem with Evelyn's blogs and letters. She usually looses a debate and then tries to continue it in the media. First of all, it's too late – the barn door is closed. Secondly, there is no rebuttal to her points.

    Your "information" that you get from the blogs becomes tainted because it is a one-sided opinion.

    I am not looking to stiffle free-speech. If the media want to interview a member of council for an opinion and publish it, that's fine. But to use media as an extension of council procedures is not right and should not be allowed.

    Fuimus

  25. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    "The last thing I want to see is 7 other councillors writing letters to the editor or creating blogs. Those actions take away from the collective body that is town council."

    Actually this is the first thing I want to see.

    Our councilors are elected to represent us and inform us.
    A blog proves to be a good vehicle for this and I'm surprised that more aren't embracing it.

    How exactly does a blog, or individual voices or oppions being voiced/discussed take anything away from council?

    I see it doing exactly the opposite
    unless of course you support council strictly controlling free speech.

    Councilors are entitled to the same freedoms of speech and freedoms of expression as the rest of the citizens and I invite all to embrace the tools that new media offers to reach out to their community.

    I applaud Evelyn for being a true ground breaker in this endeavor, but sadly don't expect any of the GOS to be let off their leash to do the same.

  26. Anonymous said

    To Anonymous August 17, 2009 11:49 AM

    Ask Evelyn Buck if she refused to participate in the complaint process. She has already revealed much that others considered confidential, so I'm sure you'll get the information from her.
    As well ask her the question posted by Ursula Bennett
    MISSISSAUGAWATCH
    "Question. How did you vote when it came time for Aurora Council to deny its citizens access to an independent closed door meeting investigation by their Ontario Ombudsman?

    Do let us get at all the info possible.

  27. Anonymous said

    Anonymous August 17, 2009 11:54 PM appears to be reading with spin.
    Not creepy, but revealing.

  28. Robert the Bruce said

    Elizabeth,

    Your question is good.

    It's not Evelyn's opinion that I am looking for to make a judgement of events. In fact, her facts are distorted by the picture she wants to paint. By the same token The Auroran or Banner each have their own "slant" and are equally unable to provide 100% facts.

    Where does one get the facts? You have to watch the meetings, be it in person or via Rogers. From here you actually get the full picture – or as much as they will show you.

    Strange as this may seem to you, Evelyn's role is to represent the people that elected her to do a job in running this town. Part of the job (and part of common sense) says that you may not like the result of a vote, but you should accept the results of votes and decisions knowing that this is the democratic process that got you in the position in the first place.

    This is not a freedom of speech issue. This is an issue that says that councillors are elected to do a job. They may have disagreements in doing that job, but at the end of the day they make decisions and policies that are the best for the town as a whole. The last thing I want to see is 7 other councillors writing letters to the editor or creating blogs. Those actions take away from the collective body that is town council.

    I know this is quite a distant discussion from the IC and Code of Conduct. My comment a few posts ago was that all of the council is to blame for the situation we're in – Evelyn included.

    Fuimus

  29. Anonymous said

    There is information, and supposed future revelation of information, anonymously posted throughout this site.

    These posts hint at information that could only be known by GOS.

    Why don't they post with their names? It's so creepy!!!

  30. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Robert the Bruce, I have to ask you… if Evelyn didn't give her point of view on her blog, how would you know it?

    The Auroran is fine if you think "we print all letters to the editor" is an editorial policy that might work until you compare it to what you might hear from anyone who has actually attended a council meeting. The Era Banner has two reports a week at best.

    This blog picks and chooses, and so does it respondents.

    Yep, Evelyn has a role. It might seem unpleasant to those who disagree with her point of view, but I don't see any other blogs by Aurora Councillors out there.

    Freedom of speech is about putting your voice out. The other councillors could easily do the same.

  31. Robert the Bruce said

    To anonymous at 4:56 8/17…

    No, I am not a "fan" of Evelyn Buck, nor am I a fan of any one else on the council. I have over time agreed with Evelyn on some issues. Most times, I have not.

    You say that Evelyn should stay because she keeps you informed. Perhaps you are not as informed then, because most times the information she relays has been edited by her to "fit" her particular side of an issue. If you want to be informed, you need to see the entire picture. There are three sides to every story. Her's; their's and the truth.

    Do I think this issue would have been in the public eye with anyone else? I recall an issue with a councillor that resigned. It was pretty much in the public eye – Grace just decided to not publish it in a blog – she wrote a letter to the editor and that did it.

    Sorry I hit you between the eyes. Have a read through the pages of this blog and I think you will see a bit of a pattern in my comments.

    Fuimus

  32. Anonymous said

    My senior friends think Mrs. Buck gives seniors a bad name. Don't think its good.

  33. Anonymous said

    Ask Councillor Buck if she was asked to participate in the complaint process.

  34. Anonymous said

    Funny how some are anxious to pigeonhole the posters.

    Does it add to or detract from the edginess?

  35. Heather said

    Someone above asked whether Fuimus has ever been a fan of Cllr Buck. That made me stop and think. I can't say that I've ever been a full 'fan' of someone 100% of the time. Why do people expect what they do? Nobody's perfect. I love the way Evelyn thinks, but that doesn't mean I always agree with her 100% of the time.

    That being said… why do people feel the need to even STATE things like this? "I support Mrs. Whomever, 100%"? You don't have to support anyone 100% of the time. Isn't it human nature to disagree with people from time to time? Anybody got kids? Whom you love unconditionally? Except when they're driving you batty? Different scenario, same premise.

  36. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Anonymous 4:56 pm, I have to say it… I often agree with Evelyn Buck. Admittedly I sometimes agree with some of the other councillors. I've even agreed with Mayor Morris on the odd occasion. That's what real politics are about: people listen to the arguments and choose what side they want to support. Then they let their elected officials know.

    With our current Town of Aurora Council, not much has happened lately except a political argument about the Code of Conduct and the hiring and dismissal of the Ethics Commissioner. Well, heck, I could let the Councillors know about what I think about traffic calming in the NE quadrant, but the construction is done and the bill is paid. I'm thinking I'll post here about what is going on now.

    I also know that Evelyn Buck, Alison Collins-Mrakas, and Bob McRoberts will listen, evaluate, analyze, and research a problem. Some of the other Councillors will send me insulting emails.

  37. Anonymous said

    How long will it take before the Mayor finds another minion to post on here and demand that some of these comments be removed? 🙂

  38. Anonymous said

    So Fuimus, have you ever been a fan of Councillor Buck? You certainly have lead me to believe that you agreed with her on issues. Then every once in a while, boom, you hit me between the eyes with a reality check on YOUR opinions. However having said that I will agree with you on the Evelina statement. The Buck one she should stay. Do you really think that had this episode of the GOS would have been in the public eye if they had gone after any of the other councillor. With that I rest my case. BUCK SHOULD STAY she keeps us informed!!!

  39. Robert the Bruce said

    It's interesting to see the various factions here. The pro-Buck/con-GOS vs pro-GOS/con-Buck love to have at it here.

    Personally they are just as bad as the others. I can honestly say, there are only two members of council that have any common sense – Collins-Mrakis and McRoberts.

    How did we get here in the first place? Evelyn Buck seems to think that it is her duty to write endless letters to the Editor and post on her blog about how the council doesn't agree with her and they are wrong. Mayor Morris has been on the ethics and code of conduct band-wagon forever (ironic really when you think about her actions of the last couple of weeks). She has a group of people that are unable or not allowed to make an independent thought and they took it upon themselves to try and ride council of the "cancers" that exist there.

    Did Ms. Buck violate the code of conduct? According to the code, "Members shall show respect for the decision making process of Council". In my opinion, her blog and letters violate this clause of the code. Interestingly, this is not the violation that the GOS tried to use. So, she gave them the opportunity. She seems to think that because she has been a councillor forever, she knows all of the answers. Things change and I don't feel that she has the ability to recognize change and adjust accordingly.

    The GOS of course have not been innocent. They have violated the confidentiality of the code and filed a complaint that was clearly politically motivated. In addition, Councillor MacEachren is one of the most vile people to converse with (in person or over email). I wonder what trailer park she lives in. She has maligned staff many times during meetings, clearly violations of the code as well.

    They all need to go. November 2010 won't come soon enough.

    Fuimus

  40. Anonymous said

    Who says Councillor Buck refused to participate in the complaint process. If this were true, it is supposed to be a confidential process. So who is telling what should not be told? If the Integrity Commissioner was not FIRED we might accually know the truth to that statement. But now we will never know will we. Councillor Buck is not the evil one her. She has not done anything wrong. She said she would keep you informed in her campaign literature and that is excactly what she has done. Can the others claim the same?

  41. Anonymous said

    I quit caring about politics in this town when all the letter-writers asking for a by-election were dismissed as "form-letter" writers and "lobbyists." That was so discouraging.

    August 16, 2009 8:49 PM:

    Define "educated."

    August 16, 2009 11:32 PM:

    You're the only one posting this stuff on here, you need to change your writing style to hide your identity. Use fewer personal pronouns.

  42. Anonymous said

    "The facts are there.
    The question is did Councillor Buck breach that code?

    Question: Did Councillor Buck breach the code legally adopted by this council?"

    Can you breach a code you did not sign? If you believe so…then sure, Buck breached the code. But, so did some of the others. The Mayor argues that minutes cannot be doctored…which is just what happened. Watch the meetings on video… (Links are above). What went on in one of the May meetings was NOT what was recorded in the minutes. The video gives the accurate representation. The minutes were NOT A TRUE record of what transpired. Cllr Buck pointed that out…and for that gets accused of breaching the code of conduct?

    What about when she allegedly 'leaked' info from a closed session about the police headquarters not coming to Aurora. Every cop in town new it was a possibility, and then it didn't happen. But Buck was assumed to be the leak? Give me a break.

  43. Anonymous said

    Moved by Councillor Collins-Mrakas Seconded by Councillor MacEachern

    THAT the following listed by-laws be given 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings, and enacted:

    4964-07.D BEING A BY-LAW to amend By-law No. 2213-78, as amended,
    being the Zoning By-law of the Town of Aurora.
    (Part Lot 16, Concession 2 EYS, File: D14-04-01 – Stefano and Rose Polsinelli)

    4982-07.L BEING A BY-LAW to appoint an investigator who has the function
    to investigate closed sessions.
    (Local Authority Services Limited (LAS))

    4985-07.T BEING A BY-LAW to designate Murray Drive from Wellington Street West
    to Kennedy Street West as a Community Safety Zone.

    4983-07.C BEING A BY-LAW to confirm actions by Council resulting from
    the meeting of December 11, 2007.

    CARRIED

  44. Anonymous said

    Yes some of us chumps have read the Code of Conduct and Procedural By-Law on the town's website.

    The facts are there.
    The question is did Councillor Buck breach that code?

    Question: Did Councillor Buck breach the code legally adopted by this council?

    I support the code.
    I will wait for facts to be revealed as to what happened with Mr. Nitkin.

    I believe enforcing a code of conduct is essential if any thoughtful person is to participate in a meaningful way in municipal politics.

  45. Hugh Chumps said

    "Can anyone direct me to a forum where citizens actually research and know what's going on?"

    I don't know…has Hugo T. Kroon started one for Bethesda?

  46. Anonymous said

    Reading some more for research purposes and have to marvel at the "Anonymous" who spews from "And what degree is it that Councillor Buck has? She certainly has no post-secondary education, no real business experience…She has always played the easy role of critic.
    Easy to tear down. Hard to build in these changing times."

    KKKKKKKRRRRRIPES! And impossible to find a single FACT in that entire diatribe.

    Any of you chumps bother to even read Aurora's Codes of Conduct, Procedural By-Law? Or ponder what good an Integrity Commissioner is when a Mayor/Council can fire him if they don't like his decision?

    Like the absurdity in all this?

    *I* KNOW! Let's allow each municipality to hire its own investigator! That's just the ticket to address public concerns about corruption and impropriety.

    Can anyone direct me to a forum where citizens actually research and know what's going on?

    Thanks,
    The Mississauga Muse
    MISSISSAUGAWATCH

  47. Anonymous said

    Anonymous August 16, 2009 2:12 PM,

    Perhaps what scares you is that someone disagrees with your views.

    That doesn't make that person a "GOS", a term created to discount all who do not agree with you.

    I'm educated, have a profession that is respected in the community, have lived here for four decades, pay taxes and have views that are not promoted but are strenuously discounted in this blog.

    That interests me tremendously.

    You might be interested that some residents in town understand the "politics" behind this blog and that of Councillor Buck, who seemingly did not want to work with Mr. Nitkin and those complaining about her.
    It didn't serve her "political" agenda.

    I am interested in seeing what becomes of efforts to clean up "dirty politics" not just in Aurora but throughout Canada and United States.
    I do not believe polarizing issues in self-righteous ways serves democracy.

    But your views neither scare nor offend me.

  48. Anonymous said

    "nastiness spewing forth in this town"

    You mean like your latest screed against Cllr Buck, Resident Morris Apologist? How many is that today?

    Your quota was down a bit while the media firestorm was raging. You were conspicuous by your absence, shrinking from the glare of journalistic scrutiny, as was your precious, prevaricating mayor.

    But, both you and she have since regrouped after the disorientating spotlight was shone on her ignominious machinations. Harsh, naked light can expose many flaws, can't it?

    Once we got her out from behind closed doors, Madam Mayor resumed full spin cycle and started pointing fingers (not within sight of a mirror, of course). Unfortunately for her, she was fooling no one (unlike the 2006 election).

    As for yourself, RMA, rather than attempting to defend the indefensible (how hollow would those efforts ring, right about now?) you've fallen back on old habits. The old axiom about a good defence being a good offence are words to post by, right? So, step up the attack on Buck and try to draw attention away from the true malefactors (MorMac & the Morris Minors).

    So, carry on with the finger-pointing and personal attacks on Mrs Buck. Feign outrage and offence over her postings. Claim high dudgeon when you try to spin her latest offerings. Try, oh try, to turn everything back on that obstinate octogenarian.

    But, please, don't think for a moment that it's doing your maligned mayor any good. Neither of you are fooling anyone – not anymore.

    p.s. BTW, unlike some here, I don't believe that you, Resident Morris Apologist, are in fact Cllr MacEachern.

  49. Anonymous said

    Thanks anonymous August 16, 2009 1:25 PM
    You said what I was thinking but couldn't write.

  50. Anonymous said

    Heather I think the person posting the comment meant that Councillor Buck had a lot of free time on her hands without husband or children to volunteer to do good in the community.

    It wasn't her priority. She didn't.

    Not like some of us with a husband, children and job who still find time for a good cause.

    I guess for me it helps me to think about what people do/don't do and what I judge to be their values.
    I'm all about community, I've learned from this situation.

    Rules of decency are important to me.

  51. Heather said

    Anon. above said:

    "Her children have grown and left home for more than half her political time in Aurora."

    What has that got to do with anything at all? I have to agree with whoever posted asking for facts. There are lots of facts out there… but I fail to see what Evelyn's children might have to do with your argument.

    I have to agree with the Anon who posted that they could see Evelyn's point about a massage parlour with 'bedrooms'. The business in question (Sormeh) is a spa and inn – but I don't think you can book to stay overnight… it made perfect sense to me to ask what the 'bedrooms' were for. I would have.

  52. Anonymous said

    August 16, 2009 1:25 PM

    The language that you and the rest of the GOS use scares the *^%# out of me.

    From the Dear Leader down you're just plain scary.

  53. Anonymous said

    August 16, 2009 12:59 PM

    I agree someone's North Korea comment is silly.

    But their fear is not totally out to lunch. However, I'd tell them to take encouragement from the involvement of mainstream media. People are paying attention because some frightening events in history have started with exactly what Aurora's mayor plus a few councillors have tried to do there.

    "With the first link the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably."
    -"The Drumhead"

  54. Anonymous said

    And what degree is it that Councillor Buck has?

    She certainly has no post-secondary education, no real business experience.

    She has garnered all her positions at taxpayers expense over the years.

    She has kept her name and ego in the public spotlight all these years doing whatever it takes.

    Her need is to seize the spotlight, take tax money,
    slay anyone in her path.

    As she has said many times she has nothing to lose.
    Some of us have lost a lot, but that matters not a bit to her.
    In fact she celebrates with her own version of a victory dance.
    If she were playing a legitimate game she'd be penalized for showing poor sportsmanship.

    No one can possibly look at what is going on in Aurora without realizing the destructive nature of Councillor Buck.

    Can anyone point out a positive role Councillor Buck has ever played in Aurora?
    Has she spearheaded any community building ventures?
    Has she volunteered?

    Her children have grown and left home for more than half her political time in Aurora.
    What positive has she contributed with her time?
    She has always played the easy role of critic.
    Easy to tear down.
    Hard to build in these changing times.

  55. Anonymous said

    Anonymous,August 16, 2009 9:39 AM.
    You are just plain silly.

    If this were North Korea, no one would be telling the tall tales told here, and be free and alive.

    Time for a reality check.

  56. Anonymous said

    This Code of Conduct nonsense makes me think of North Korea.

    So does the Mayor's media spin.

  57. Anonymous said

    Well, I read all the way down to the bottom of these comments.

    People might want to read the wise words of the Aurora Citizen.

    This part:

    "Facts are essential. Opinions drawn from facts are worth listening to. Opinions without facts to support them are just yelling. We love your informed opinions — thanks for joining the conversation.?

    So MANY words here. Where are the FACTS? Where are the DOCUMENTS to support your allegations and noises?

    I see reference to committres with someone wrting, "Having committees made up of the town people is an excellent way to get people involved in understanding the community."

    What do you know about how committee members are selected? In Mississauga each member has to be a Party Line player. That is, happily to play incestuously along with the goals of The Corporation.

    Any of you read the Aurora Code of Conduct for Committee members which I did?

    Just like Mississauga –selected for their yes-men-ism and required to not say anything in opposition (even if they disagree) with what their committee had decided on.

    Now I know I won't stop most people on here from (quoting Godin's Blog) "yelling out{ with no facts, because you "don't have the time to understand this issue" or "too busy being upset" but perhaps there are one or two true citizens who really want to peer behind the Public Face of the Corporation of the Town of Aurora.

    I do as well. I've added Aurora as one of my research municipalities because of its uncanny and unfortunate resemblance to how Mississauga is run.

    If anyone else is interested, please contact me at mississauga_watch@yahoo.com

    Signed,
    The Mississauga Muse

  58. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    "Councilors Buck, Collins-Marackis and McRoberts, the only three sitting councilors who have the degrees"

    I think this speaks volumes as to the dysfunction on council.

    Ignorance rules, and it is no surprise the tactics that they adhere to.

    I'm sure voter turnout will be up in 2010, I just hope the caliber of candidates is too.

    In addition to the suggestions offered here regarding educating voters perhaps a voter scorecard of the incumbents closer to the election would be helpful.

    It could include sections on "integrity" and "higher education"

  59. Anonymous said

    Evelyn Buck does not have the right to pretend to know what motivates anyone else without having the decency to ask that person.
    When she does so she speaks not from knowledge, but from ignorance.

    Do I think Councillor Buck breached the code of behavior?
    You bet I do.

    Is Aurora worse off with Councillor Buck in office?
    You bet it is.
    Always felt that way, still do.

  60. Anonymous said

    I TOTALLY DISAGREE with anonymous 5:32 !

    How could they possibly say in good conscience that Granger has a Bachelor in ignorance? It's at least a Masters !

    And as for Evelina MacEachern, it has to be a DW… Doctorate in Withcraft.

    It may be very funny, but it is also sadly true.

  61. Anonymous said

    spin spin spin…….aren't you dizzy yet???

  62. Anonymous said

    Anonymous said "…the nastiness spewing forth…Councillor Buck and those who support her venomous approach….The nastier it is, the more Councillor Buck speaks….I find it arrogant of Councillor Buck…I'm offended! What gives her that right?"

    What gives her the right to say what she thinks? The same thing that gives you and I the right to say what we think. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  63. Anonymous said

    Anon August 15, 2009 8:01 PM

    Do you intend to contradict yourself?

  64. Anonymous said

    Hey Coucillor Al,taxman for all to sse, the last anonymous, said is you all around why not just publish your name.

    Another one of those anonymous posts will certainly say "It is NOT AL WILSON", but so what it is what it is and so the story goes……………………………

  65. Anonymous said

    It's interesting reading this blog.

    In the nastiness spewing forth in this town I see the faces of Councillor Buck and those who support her venomous approach to "working" with others.

    A lot of comments have been made with no evidence.

    The nastier it is, the more Councillor Buck speaks for the motivation of those who have chosen to leave, the more we are all diminished.

    I find it arrogant of Councillor Buck to assume she has the right to publish what she considers to be the motives for those leaving/retiring.

    I'm offended!

    What gives her that right?
    Did she speak TO the staff she presumes to speak
    for?

  66. Anonymous said

    Granger does have a degree. Bachelor of Stupidity. Wilson has one as well, Bachelor of Ignorance, Gaertner has a Bachelor of Hair Dressing, McEachren has a bachelor of Witchcraft.

  67. Anonymous said

    Having committees made up of the town people is an excellent way to get people involved in understanding the community.

    This sort of committee, for instance, hiring of senior staff, would have to include people from the Human Resource and Legal professions,the people with the experience and knowledge to complete the task correctly, the people who have a vested interest in the town. It would be a great way for individuals who are considering careers in these professions to participate first hand in the process. What a great learning and teaching experience we could offer our citizens. I would like to sit on such a committee with people of this calibre and with Councillors Buck, Collins-Marackis and McRoberts, the only three sitting councillors who have the degrees, knowledge and life long experience to make a beneficial contribution. Sorry Alison if I spelled your name incorrectly.

  68. Anonymous said

    To anonymous of August 14 at 9:46 – Evelina continues to spew her venom and not sign her name although I am certain there will be a post following this one that will claim it isn't her. What else is new?

  69. Anonymous said

    "We need to find, recruit and endorse a slate of candidates that truly have Aurora's interests are heart and vow to provide the change that is required. "

    Oh my it is such a campaign that got Evie all up in everyone's face.

    They can go but I sure would like to see Councillor Buck and her confrontational style that brings out the worst in everyone GONE.

  70. John said

    Even if we were to believe the mayor's story that Mr. Nitkin's firing had nothing to do with his decision on Councillor Buck, (and I don't believe it for a minute), the mayor and her council lapdogs have shown an incredible lack of good judgment in firing him a day after his decision. How could they not have forseen that Aurora citizens would immediately think it is retribution for a decision Mayor Morris & her henchmen do not agree with?? Or perhaps it is just plain arrogance on their part – they don't care what the people think? Either way it is a pathetic lack of good judgment. Is this the quality of people we want running the town's affairs?? I personally don't want them even making pothole fixing and speed bump decisions.

  71. Anonymous said

    I would just like to note that the complaint is still on the Town Website. This again must be some kind of wrong doing Councillor Buck is up to! Haha. This is a perfect example of what kind of power the Mayor has over the administration. Why did the Mayor and GOS not feel this was worth a closed door emergency session. This(in my opinion) should have been removed when the ruling came out, but then again the ruling wasn't a real ruling now was it!

  72. Anonymous said

    To Knowledgable in Aurora
    There was a council meeting for August 11th on the calendar… but it disappeared from the calendar just about the time the IC's report and firing happened. What a surprise! I know this because I called the town hall to ask if it was still on as I intended to go to it. Whoever I spoke to said, "Oh it was…" and then quickly said, "It wasn't very definite." I then verified through another source that the meeting was mysteriously cancelled. More manipulations?

  73. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    Something else I just noticed – there is no Coucnil meeting in August. I think normally there is at least one meeting in August. Not only are they emabarassing us they are all on vacation. The last meeting was July 21st and the next one is is September 8th. 7 full weeks – must be nice to get 7 weeks vacation on the taxpayers dime.

  74. Something Fishy in Aurora said

    Maybe we should all go out to the Aurora Farmer's Market Aug 29th. It is the Mayor's Corn roast & Charity BBQ.

    Might be a good time to give the Mayor a roast of her own and let her know what you think of this whole mess.

    Oh ya there is going to be entertainment as well for

    "Raising funds and awareness for:
    The Welcoming Arms Ministry
    Trinity Anglican
    Our Lady of Grace Catholic
    Aurora United Church
    Aurora Presbyterian
    Aurora Cornerstone Church"

    Any guesses who will be perfoming…….again…

  75. Anonymous said

    Hi there. While I'm not traditional media, I too am an interested citizen Blogger observing (and researching) Ontario municipal governance.

    This email was sent to Evelyn Buck and cc'd to the Editor and City Desk of the Toronto Star.

    From: MISSISSAUGA WATCH mississauga_watch@yahoo.comSubject: The Aurora Kerfuffle…. it's now got me wondering….
    To: evelyn.buck@rogers.com
    Cc: lettertoed@thestar.ca, city@thestar.ca, .mississauga_watch@yahoo.com
    Date: Thursday, August 13, 2009, 10:44 AM

    Just letting you know that I sympathize with what you're going through. (I'm covering MIssissauga Council governance in my Blog at mississaugawatch.ca and I know what goes on in municipalities.)

    I've been filing Freedom of Information since February 2007 and dredged up a plethora of municipal staff emails and documents that reveal in no uncertain terms how local government operates.

    Regarding the accusation leveled against you by Mayor Phyllis Morris about your “completely unmerited public criticism of staff in a manner that unjustifiably maligned their professional competence and credibility' as you must surely know, those allegations are easily proved or disproved.

    File Freedom of Information on STAFF competence and credibility (as I have in Mississauga)!

    As for that Integrity Commissioner report, in your Blog you wrote, “The Integrity Commissioner's Report was provided to me through the Office of the Director of Corporate Services as required by Provincial Statute and the Town's Code of Conduct and witnessed by the CBC reporter”.

    Question. Why all the circumnavigation? You surely know that all you needed to do was file Freedom of Information (something like) “All records (emails, documents, letters, Post It notes, paper napkin scribblings, audio recordings etc) pertaining to the Integrity Commissioner investigation requested by Mayor Phyllis Morris from (date) to (date).”

    And also to gauge what nefarious activities skulk around about you, you only needed to file Freedom of Information for “all personal records pertaining to me (emails, documents, letters, Post It notes, paper napkin scribblings, audio recordings etc) held by the Town of Aurora’s Corporate Services Department pertaining to me from (date) to (date)"

    Frankly I’m surprised that you didn’t take that route. Sure you have to pay search fees, severance and photocopying but MY (as you know) what you can flush from the Corporate Bowels!

    In addition, your Blog made reference to the secrecy of closed door meetings… That’s got me curious.

    As you know, Aurora Council voted to deny its citizens “closed door” investigations conducted through the Ontario Ombudsman’s Office in favour of hiring Local Authority Services –which as you also know is a "branch" (subsidiary corporation) of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

    Question. How did you vote when it came time for Aurora Council to deny its citizens access to an independent closed door meeting investigation by their Ontario Ombudsman?

    Ursula Bennett
    MISSISSAUGAWATCH

  76. Robert the Bruce said

    Now that the problems in Vaughan are nearing resolution, perhaps the The Star can do an equal job at rooting out the crap that exists on John West Way… sorry Municipal Drive.

    The unfortunate part is that most of the media have jumped on board now as though the problems here are new. We have had the same issues here for almost three years.

    Ironically, had Daulton McGunity not change the term length of municipal councils, we would be in the midst of an election right now and to be sure, there would be a different attitude over there.

    As mentioned before, we are over a year away from the next election. No matter how much we kick and scream right now, I seriously doubt that anyone of these people are going to step down. For sure, if they intend on running for re-election (or election in the case of Gallo) they are going to ride this out and hope for the best. I am sure that all of them read this blog (and Evelyn's) and they know the feeling of at least we residents. What needs to happen is to make sure that all of the other residents of this town know the truth of what this bunch really are.

    How can we do this sort of campaign? There should be at least one letter to the Editor of the Auroran every week until election day reminding readers of what they have done. We need to find, recruit and endorse a slate of candidates that truly have Aurora's interests are heart and vow to provide the change that is required. We must make their political lives miserable so that they will never forget how they have let down this town.

    Fuimus

  77. Anonymous said

    This is like quick sand ! The more that MacMor and the crew try to squirm their way out of the muck that they themselves have created, the more they sink.

    The fact that they could not see this all coming a hundred miles away suggests that they are in over their heads… along with the quick sand very shortly.

  78. Anonymous said

    real media has seen the light!!!!!

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