Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Posted by councilcop on October 7, 2009

The recent post (Comparison often Highlights Differences) regarding the Toronto Star story that covered the issue of “doctored” council minutes in Mississauga and the recent Toronto Star coverage about the great divide on Aurora’s council got me thinking. We know that one of the main issues that triggered the recent wrath of Mayor Morris and the G6 was the reaction to the delegation from a resident of Snowball by the name of Sher St. Kitts and all that has ensued subsequently. Councillor Buck dared to suggest that the minutes were “doctored”, so you be the judge of the following facts, as we know them.

A motion from Councillor MacEachern resulted in Council waiving procedure, despite the fact that they did not have enough votes to do so. The resulting motion clearly states that Council should “allow the comments (of Ms. St.Kitts) to be introduced as part of the record.” I also understand that the Roger’s Cable video of the meeting clearly shows Sher St. Kitts handing her comments to the Town Clerk. However the resulting council minutes accepted by Council as capturing the essence of the meeting (provided below) do not include the specific comments made by Sher St. Kitts for some very strange reason.  Instead we were told by the Mayor that the CAO, the Town’s Solicitor and the Town Clerk all agreed that the summary of the comments included in the minutes captured are sufficient. On that front I would like to clarify what “undirected harassment” in fact means.

I also understand that when you listen to the tape, the motion that was read by the clerk and voted upon was NOT what Councilor MacEachern originally moved and Councillor Wilson seconded, therefore I am somewhat confused how this could have been permitted to happen.

If procedure was waived in order to allow for Sher St. Kitts approximately twenty minute rant against Councilor Buck when five minutes is usually permitted for delegations, and if council did not technically have the two thirds (2/3) majority required to pass the MacEachern motion and if the motion that passes was not the one initially proposed, does that mean that the Council can arbitrarily decide when a motion passes and what the minutes will reflect irrespective of the procedural bylaws that govern council ?

The minutes do not in fact reflect what transpired or what was required by an order of council to reflect. Furthermore the rules of procedure were also apparently broken in a number of areas which also does not seem to be of concern to the Mayor. If the minutes do not capture what was said or what council insisted be captured, and if the council’s following of procedure is called into question, then I am wondering what recourse the citizens of Aurora have ? Apparently all we may have is the power of our vote in one year’s time.

To add a very strange twist to this tale, it is the very Councilor that was allowed to be verbally attacked in front of her granddaughter who was with her class in the audience, that is fighting for the truth to come out, while the Mayor who allowed offensive comments to be made in a forum that she was informed by the Town’s Solicitor was inappropriate for such comments, who has tried to justify the gross and flagrant manipulation of procedure. The Mayor presumably allowed her friend (otherwise now known as “The Lady at the Back”) to attack her advisory on council because the Mayor presumably appreciated the potential political consequences. That captures for me, the essence of our new and improved form of local government.

Despite all of the issues raised above, Council does not want to address any of the issues resulting from the above outlined debacle as  per their defeating of the motion noted below and all of this is from a Mayor who insists that she is restoring integrity, civility and transparency to our council’s dialog: 

May 26th discussion on “Council Meeting Minutes of Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Moved by Councillor Collins-Mrakas                    Seconded by Councillor Buck
THAT the Council minutes of Tuesday, May 12, 2009 be referred to staff so that they may review them in concordance with the tape of the meeting, and revise the minutes where appropriate.

On a recorded vote the motion was DEFEATED. YEAS:  3                    NAYS: 6

VOTING YEAS:         Councillors Buck, Collins-Mrakas and Gaertner
VOTING NAYS:         Councillors Gallo, Granger, MacEachern, McRoberts, Wilson and Mayor Morris
 
 Moved by Councillor Gallo                                 Seconded by Councillor Granger
THAT the Council minutes of Tuesday, May 12, 2009 be adopted as printed and circulated. On a recorded vote the motion was CARRIED. YEAS:  7                    NAYS: 2

VOTING YEAS:         Councillors Gaertner, Gallo, Granger, MacEachern, McRoberts, Wilson and Mayor Morris
VOTING NAYS:         Councillors Buck and Collins-Mrakas
 
III       OPEN FORUM May 12th — minutes accepted by Council Ms Sher St. Kitts, volunteer and Chair of the Canada Day Parade Sub-Committee addressed Council to advise of her intent to lodge a formal undirected harassment complaint on behalf of the Canada Day Parade Sub-Committee and the Aurora Dream Team pertaining to Councillor Evelyn Buck and advised that she would provide a written submission when it has been formally prepared.

Moved by Councillor MacEachern                      Seconded by Councillor Wilson
THAT the provisions within the Procedural By-law be waived to allow the comments to be introduced as part of the record.

CARRIED

To add insult to injury, the Mayor has attacked the professional credentials of our past Integrity Commissioner in order to justify her firing of him after he dared to deliver a less than favorable report and furthermore she has been copied on any number of e-mails sent by Councillor MacEachern at all hours of the night that have been far less than professional or civil. These e-mails are in the public realm and yet the Mayor and Councillor MacEachern seem to feel that they have the moral authority to hold Councillor Buck accountable while ignoring their own apparent indiscretions.

I think these issues should be the first order to business for our new Integrity Commissioner who with any luck will have a well crafted contract with the town in order to protect against wrongful or politically motivated dismissal.

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3 Responses to “Is There a Doctor in the House?”

  1. Council Cop said

    CORRECTION: “advisory” should have read “adversary”… sorry for the spelling error on my part.

    “The Mayor presumably allowed her friend (otherwise now known as “The Lady at the Back”) to attack her adversary on council because the Mayor presumably appreciated the potential political consequences.”

  2. Something Fishy in Aurora said

    And let us not forget what started all of this. A question. A valid question. Where is the accounting?

    We never did get an answer to that. Not unusual for this council to deflect and spin.

    http://evelynmbuck.blogspot.com/2009/05/sher-st-kitts-has-public-personna.html

  3. Anonymous indeed said

    That Wilson, Gallo, Gaertner and Granger follow MorMac so blindly is incredible. Are they scared of MorMac? I know Phyllis and Evelina think Granger is a twit, but he serves their purposes. Wilson flip-flops so wildly he gives himself whiplash. Gaertner lives in a bubble. Gallo is, well, un-elected.
    Those councillors need to be held accountable as well as her Mayorship.

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