Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Sure Hope it’s Not Our Money!

Posted by auroracitizen on November 5, 2009

Hmmm, spotted an interesting testimonial from Mayor Phyllis Morris (Scroll down to second picture in left column).

Let’s just hope that this is a contra deal in exchange for the testimonial  — and the town isn’t being dinged for Limo rentals so she can attend functions.

Nice idea to use a “green” car — but really — renting a limo to attend functions seems a bit ostentatious?

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17 Responses to “Sure Hope it’s Not Our Money!”

  1. Following Events said

    I don’t think we need an Integrity Commissioner, full stop. So few Ontario municipalities have engaged one since legislation allowed it. And let’s face it, Aurora only had one because MorMac saw it as another weapon to use against political and personal nemeses. Did anyone hear the public clamouring for this mechanism?

    It was an addition to their ‘bully boy’ arsenal, meant for those that crossed them, those that couldn’t be brought to heel. Cllr Buck was always going to be a target, but their hubris helped to have the process blow up in their faces at the first hurdle. The resulting media $#itsstorm exposed their machinations to a public well beyond our municipal boundaries. But they think they can install some patsy with a pre-existing pecuniary relationship and have another kick at the can. Their stupidity and lack of self-awareness beggars belief, it really does.

    So, no Integrity Commissioner (mind you, a few complaints against the mayor & the Morris Minors, and I may change my mind ).

    • evelyn.buck@rogers.com said

      When Mr.Nitkin held his one and only workshop for Councillors, he indicated the Code of Conduct was a failure in a municipality close to us.

      It was too expensive and it was being used for political purpose. Councillors against Councillors.

      It started with an allowance of $5ks for Defence Counsel for a Councillor being complained about. After a year,the allowance was increased to $20ks.

      The first Integrity Commissioner did not renew his contract. It was lucrative.The current commissioner is still temporary,I understand..

      It was corruption in that municipality and the Bellamy Inquiry which prompted the legislation. The penalty for being found at fault is to give back the money.

      The legislation rules out charges being laid against a Councillor.

      The mayor discovered it when she was at a conference, from the solicitor who was soon retained by Her Worship.

      The Code can easily be used to play tit-for-tat at taxpayers’ expense. Though no provisiion is made for the Councillor complained about to have a defence similarly provided at taxpayer expense.

  2. Grace Marsh said

    I absolutely agree with Nigel that an independant citizen committee should hire the next Integrity Commissioner, but as I have read elsewhere on this blog, do you not think that it should be left to the next Council to decide first of all if they even want one and then let them empower a committee to make the selection. I would be highly suspect of any committee this Council would put together and it’s ability to make a decision independant of political interference.

  3. Fred said

    The number of times anyone bid was an aside, not the gist of the post. The question I put for discussion was that the three people were the three mayoral candidates from last time, and is there a possibility that it would be the same three running for mayor next time?

    Everyone knows Nigel has a strong sense of community and was out and about in the community long before he sought public office. Tim was a politician for so long, but I believe he actually likes people and enjoys the social aspect of community events. Perhaps he is considering a “comeback” given the ridiculous events of this council.
    Phyllis is purely political. It’s not about what she can do for the community, but what the community can do for her. She’ll run again because she has the brass neck and her few remaining supporters are boosting her ego further.

    The common belief of the last election was that Phyllis didn’t win, but that Tim lost and that Nigel split the vote. So I put forth for discussion the possibility of another split vote should we have the same three running for mayor.

  4. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    I have to say that I think that fussing about how many times someone bids at a silent auction is a bit silly.

    A silent auction is not a raffle or a lottery. It’s a chance to support the community and buy something that one sees as useful. I don’t care if someone bids four times or seventy four times.

    It’s my understanding that when one is actively involved in local politics, one buys raffle tickets but then declines to enter them into the actual raffle.

    A raffle is different. It is a game of chance. A silent auction is actually an auction. The results depend on acumen, rather than chance.

    Acumen… who wouldn’t want that quality in a politician?

  5. Nigel Kean said

    I am surprised that Fred counted how times that I bid on items at Our Lady of Grace Christmas Bazaar. My wife and I actually went to six bazaars today as we always do each year. I try to bid on items that my wife or I can use either at home or for gifts. I also know that each bazaar has a reason as to why they need to raise money and if I can, I will help. It also helps me to see items that I might not buy without seeing them.There are always great deals which makes my Scottish background perk up.
    This has nothing to do with elections but rather what my wife and I like to do. I admire all of the folks who put together these events.
    Nothing more nothing less.

  6. Fred said

    With less than a year until the next election, Mrs. Morris will be in high gear putting her name and face out in public at every opportunity. Attending every community and cultural event supposedly in her capacity as Mayor. I encourage everyone to take those opportunities to engage her in conversation on any of the multitude of issues that concern our town. I’ve found it to be very enlightening, in a frightening kind of way.
    She is quick to spread her money about too. I don’t expect the mayor to put a $25 bid down on a set of steak knives, but that is what she did today at the Our Lady of Grace Christmas bazaar. Does that constitute buying votes?
    And other names on the auction bids included Tim Jones (once) and Nigel Kean (five times).
    Shades of elections past and future?

  7. Anonymous said

    I thought that the November 10th council meeting was another disgusting example of Morris trying to BULLY those who disagree with her. It is disturbing that she can continue to be the bully and get away with it. She practices totally different than she preaches. Her campaign was full of ” I am going to treat everyone equally and have a workable council” yet she verbally bullied Councillor Collins Marakus on Tuesday night. It should the mayor as the person she really is A bully if you do not agree with her.
    Allison is a bright and intelligent person who does not deserve that kind of crap from this mayor. Mayor morris should resign now, before she can do any more damage.

  8. Nigel Kean said

    I believe that the only way an Integrity Commissioner should be hired is by a committee with no ties to the council, especially after the David Nitken hiring and firing. The mayor or council should have nothing to do with the hiring or firing of a person who will come down with a ruling that might have an adverse effect on them.The mayor and followers have just wasted another $28,000.00 of our money.
    Please madame mayor, stop now and get an independent group to do the hiring. You should neither hire or fire this person.

  9. Anonymous for a reason said

    Kudos to The Banner for their FOI. I hope they keep at it. Sean Pearce has had too many lightweight pieces, so it was good to see a bit more balance in this article. And yes, I know he has editors, but I hope he can be a bit more resilient in his reporting of Aurora council in this final year of their term. And I do hope it is final!

    What did people think of last night’s council meeting? Phyllis was in her best passive/aggressive form.

  10. "People can see right through you, you know" said

    But 28 Grand of “our money” was spent on an aborted attempt to make an Integrity Commissioner the ‘hammer’ to Cllr Buck’s ‘nail’! Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding MorMac’s personal/political vendettas, never mind the consequent legal actions which were inevitable once it all blew up in their faces (and in the Toronto media).

    And part of The Banner’s FOI request was denied – so how are they so quick to repeatedly declare that they are “open and transparent”?! They are so far out of their depth, Jacques Cousteau couldn’t help them.

  11. Anonymous said

    I think that this is just another ploy to get residents to forget all of the negative stuff that this mayor and council have created.It is another Right to dry propaganda story from our struggling mayor.
    I hope that any other limo companies in Aurora look at this as a slap in the face.How can she support a company that does have competitors? Oh well, another day in ” As Your Stomach Turns” in Aurora

  12. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Here’s my take… no one needs to lose money on being an employee. I work for a registered charity but I still get to claim expenses if I drive more than 25 km to a job. However, I drive my own vehicle, and the requirement of having a “reliable vehicle” was part of the employment contract.

    It’s my impression that most folks can claim travel expenses in a similar manner unless they are full-time employees who choose to continue with a long commute after they have been with their employer for a period of 6+ months.

    As for saving enery, I have a few opinions. While hybrids are all the rage, I think it is also wise to recall that the manufacture of all personal vehicles takes more energy than the use of that vehicle will ever actually consume. That means that getting rid of a perfectly serviceable vehicle (and British-made cars may not qualify in this instance… sorry to all the Jag fans in the audience) in favour of a new hybrid may mean you are actually using more energy than if you’d run the older vehicle to the ground.

  13. White Knight said

    I sure hope it’s not our money too! I know that there is travel reimbursement for councillors and committee members if they choose to claim it (I never did) but a limo is ridiculous. As for “ostentatious”… well what would you expect from “her worship the queen”?

  14. Anonymous said

    What happened to the mayor’s Jag.

  15. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    I wouldn’t worry, I saw this too and it looks like nothing more than P.R.

    “Aurora Mayor, Phylis Morris will often use Eco-Limo’s hybrids to attend business & personal functions.”

    I have never seen the Mayor use an eco limo, nor would I expect anyone else has.

    She always is seen around town in her hefty prestige Lincoln, or her husband’s late model jaguar.

    Both vehicles show an utter lack of taste in automobiles, and disrespect to the environment. The only greater offense would be getting a ride with her pal Susan Walmer in her Hummer.

    For sake of contrast last year Mayor Hazel MaCallion rode 7km to work on a bike, she was 87 at the time.
    http://www.mississaugacycling.ca/mayor-mccallion-bikes-to-work-630.htm

    And our Mayor’s contribution it having her picture taken next to a Prius while she drives a Lincoln?

    For the Mayor to pride herself as an environmentalist and endorse this service, any less use than 100% makes her a hypocrite.
    If she want’s to tout transparency she should disclose her business usage, especially if she bills it back to the town.

  16. Anonymous said

    Ah, well, I guess that’s better than the honkin’ big jaguar I saw her piloting? Or maybe not. Yeesh, she makes my head spin. What the heck message is she trying to send?
    Even as a contra deal I don’t think it is appropriate for the Mayor to give a testimonial to any business. Cut the ribbons if you must, but cut the crap.

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