Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Is There An Alternate Motivation

Posted by auroracitizen on November 14, 2009

Apparently the Mayor has requested that members of Council provide their New Business to the clerk/secretary in writing in advance of meetings. It’s being positioned  “to provide assistance to staff”. This is a significant change in policy from previous Councils. Staff in the past have not found dealing with New Business to be a concern.

We are unaware of any motion or procedural by law amendment planned to effect this change.

The worrisome implication is that the Mayor and her “advisors” have not implemented this change to benefit staff,  but rather so that  they are able to prepare strategy and potentially augment the Morris spin if a contentious issue is being brought forward.

Remember, we are now in election mode.

How timely that this process is being proposed when we are celebrating the sacrifice of others to ensure freedom of speech.

38 Responses to “Is There An Alternate Motivation”

  1. said

    Our new town clerk comes to us with excellent references. He had many yeasr with the Town of Vaughan and said to be the best Clerk in the Province by some who know him. His experience with Vaughan turned out not to be to his advantage at the end.

    Under the circumstances of the last several yeasr I do not think that is a negative reflection.

    The Clerk we are replacing signed a five year contract with the town. She submitted three weels notice the day after she provided, in accordance with the rules, a copy of the Integrity Commission’s decisionto myself. There are still members of council who have not received it.And others who declare they had notreceived it at the time they voted to strip theCommissionerof his authority.

    We have been in highly critical circumstances for the last three months. Staff have done their best, But not having a clerk with full knowledge and experience has been a distinct disadvantage.

  2. White Knight said

    To Ms. Bishenden
    I am not sure that this problem is mine only but in the most popular subjects, the postings have been appearning in a mixed up order rather than chronologically. Just wondering if anyone else has this problem or whether it can be fixed.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      Thanks. We will try to fix it from our end…

      Sometimes the problem is that we don’t update our posts, comments, and replies as quickly as the people participating.

      Sorry to sound lame, but life gets in the way of politics. Hopefully it will stay that way. When it doesn’t, I, for one, should resign.

      On the other hand, there are a lot of great solutions to these problems. Check in with the Blog owner ( about the role you could play in making things more responsive!

      I volunteered to be the first “guest moderator”. I’ve learned alot and had fun and have actually made contacts with people in the town rather than lost contact. I’ve also had a good look around the AC and made some suggestions that will be implemented in the future. I’d recommend this volunteer job to anyone.

      In the meantime, thanks for your patience. Those of us who are involved with the moderation of the AC are having a blast!

  3. Anonymous said

    This relates to Aurora’s new Town Clerk:

    (He’s since been with former Aurora clerk, Larry Allison in Innisfil)

  4. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    Check out the agenda for tomorrow night. It has the Mayor’s email following the incident with ACM, along with a covering memo and for some unknown reason a memo Tim Jones wrote back in 2004 about some long forgotten incident with him and C. Buck.

    One has to wonder, in that mixed up mind of Phyllis’ what that memo has to do with today? Without the context of what actually transpired 5 years ago it has no place. Looks like just another cheap shot at C. Buck for something PM had nothing to do with. This will likely get more air time on Tuesday than any of the real business – what a disgrace.

    • She's a Bully said

      The memo also includes two (count ’em 2) less-than-veiled threats that the Chair can “expel or exclude” members for improper conduct and/or language. As deemed by her, of course.

      “Do as I say, don’t do as I do,” it would seem.

    • Anonymous for a reason said

      Does anyone have the guts to challenge the inclusion of the memo in the agenda during open forum?

    • Countdown to Nov 2010 said

      Who gets to expel or exclude the chair?

    • Anonymous for a reason said

      Yeah, Alison challenged the mayor on the inclusion of the memos in tonight’s agenda. Well done, Alison. And, of course, the vote was cast as always.

    • Walt said

      This probably comes as no surprise to anyone, but the mayor of Innisfil has a reputation for being “difficult”. Just one example of his charm:

      Here’s something for Aurora to be proud of: our mayor hasn’t been charged with anything.
      As far as I know, anyway.

  5. Junius said

    Is there an alternate motivation?

    Does a bear s… in the woods?

    Ms. Morris is nothing if not controlling, and this is nothing but an attempt to control the agenda.

    Ms. Morris consistently demonstrates that she is incapable of running a meeting. The November 10th meeting being a prime example. She couldn’t answer the Point of Order raised by Councilor Colling-Mrakas about the Point of Order raised by Councilor Granger. So she called a (debatable?) recess. When she came back she managed to explain what Councilor Granger was obviously incapable of. Perhaps it was one of her external advisors she was calling when she left the Council Chambers, to get an explanation.

    This attempt to change procedure (a fluid word in her vocabulary), is a very bald-faced attempt to control the process. So much for “open and transparent government”.

  6. White Knight said

    To Broderick Epps
    It was the first time I have heard Mr. Garbe stand up for anything against Morris. Let’s hope it’s not the last. If he values his career I would suggest he not join himself at the hip with her.
    This also raises a question for me regarding the posting for an IC. Does he determine how the recruitment process should be, i.e. a competition vs. an appointment or (God forbid) the GOS?
    Anyone know please?

  7. Broderick Epps said

    I finally watched the spectacle known as Aurora Council (Nov 10).It was quite revealing.
    The Collins-Mrakas/Mayor Morris spat probably had its roots during the Mestrinaro debate.
    After Bob McRoberts voiced his concern about Mestrinaro’s innuendos about staff, Allison MC echoed her concern too.Ms Morris mumbled something about repetition and dismissively moved on to the next speaker.The look and body language of Allison MC spoke volumes. She was pissed!That could go a long way in explaining her demeanour shortly thereafter.
    Wendy Gaertner was in rare form.In two of the first three debates she waded into, she prefaced her comments with “I don’t understand” and “I am confused”. Surprised anyone?
    How wannabe lawyer was allowed almost 20 minutes to grill staff is beyond comprehension. I’m sure if Joe/Jane Average Citizen tried this, their stay at the podium would be less than 5 minutes if at all. But Mr. Mestrinaro, is Evilina’s ex running mate for council and Team Morris insider hence the special treatment.It was good to see CAO Garbe voice his displeasure in no uncertain terms. Just prior to Morris “losing it” did anyone catch Ms. Buck’s comment about her and staff being confused by anything coming from Team Morris member Granger? Great Shot!Finally if this is the example of the leadership skills Ms. Morris talked about in her advertisement I previously posted …..the residents of Aurora really got fooled.Like parts of her resume posted on the Town Website they are grossly overstated.

  8. As Bonnie Tyler Sang said

    Thanks, Broderick. If we can find such a person, we’ll all be much better off. Phyllis Morris is not – and will never be – that person. No amount of spin, grandstanding and cheerleading can alter that fact. The woman just isn’t capable of being (or becoming) that kind of political paragon.

    Meanwhile, I’m “Holding Out For A Hero”…

  9. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    To Broderick – priceless indeed! Every word then Councillor Morris wrote is the exact opposite of what she has “achieved” this term as Mayor. Does she truly believe she has done any of this?

  10. Broderick Epps said

    I thought I’d add some levity to this thread.This is part of Phyllis Morris’ election ad which appeared in the Auroran Nov 7, 2006.

    “Dear Residents & Business Owners,
    This election is an opportunity for residents to get involved and to make a
    difference in shaping the future of the Aurora you want.
    Like many of you I’m concerned about Aurora’s future. The message I’m
    hearing from you: It’s time for change.
    You want a more functional Town Council, a stronger voice in York Region, and
    you want it to be easier to participate in the choices your government makes for
    you with your money.
    You want a more vibrant and expanded business community, support for the arts
    and recreation, and you want a safer, healthier environment. But to do this it is
    necessary to restore decorum and to instill a real sense of team spirit at council.
    I believe the mark of a good leader is someone who, first and foremost, knows
    how to listen.
    A good leader is someone who builds a strong team, and can recognize and
    develop people’s ability. Someone who isn’t challenged by dissent. A good
    leader is someone who thinks people with new ideas ought to be heard rather
    than directed, supported rather than controlled, and inspired by example. A good
    leader celebrates the achievements of others.
    I have a proven record of seeking open and accountable government. As
    councillor I introduced a Code of Ethics, and as your Deputy Mayor I supported
    the Transparency in Public Matters Act.
    Many of you have told me you don’t like the way our town seems headed and
    if you wanted to live in a big city like Toronto you wouldn’t have moved here.
    To keep our taxes manageable we need to balance residential growth with
    business development.
    This election is a wonderful chance to embrace change, and my record shows
    I offer an entirely experienced choice.
    I’d like to continue being there when it matters most, when decisions are being
    made that will affect Aurora families and businesses”

    The point “Someone who isn’t challenged by dissent” is especially priceless.

  11. David Heard said

    One resident taking flight is too many because this is what some rely on and that is is flight (A form of Bullying )
    When I hear the caring from some students I took on a tour of the Southeast and Downtown core area ,well that is what we need to focus on .
    Our youth are our future and they do learn from our success and can carry our failures much longer .
    Our young people are more in touch these days and we need to pass a torch that is bright and leads many .

  12. I Call B.S. said

    “It’s up to staff to determine candidates, Mrs. Morris said, adding she’s not aware who is under consideration.”

    That nose of hers keeps growing, Pinocchio-like. It must stretch, like a tightrope, all the way to Snowball by now.

  13. fed up said

    What’s this? I read in The Auroran today that the mayor only gave certain members of council the right to lay a wreath at the Nov 11 ceremony while EB, ACM and BMcR were excluded from the wreath laying. This woman’s actions become more and more offensive with each passing day.

  14. Anonymous said

    Search Continues for Integrity Czar – Era Banner

    What a set up for Mascarin’s appointment. Phyllis and Garbe are a real tag team.

  15. Council Cop said

    I sympathise with “Ashamed of Aurora” but I’m with “Countdown”, November 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm.

    This is a great town however if we sit back and let the Council do as it may without any level of accountability then the end result will be as much our fault as theirs.

    I guess the “fight or flight” mentality kicks in and some chose flight. I chose fight.

  16. fed up said

    I agree with countdown to Nov 2010. I am ashamed of the governing tactics of the mayor and the GOS, but the town is its honest hard working citizens, not the bullying mayor. The mayor does not own this town, no matter how much she believes that she does. It is up to us, the average Aurora citizen, to drive this blight on our town from its boundaries. Get out of town Phyllis, we don’t want your kind living here anymore.

  17. Nigel Kean said

    I do not think that anyone should be ashamed to live here. There is more good than bad. The residents of Aurora are really amazing, when you see how much volunteering goes on. The residents help in so many places, and without them, many other Aurora citizens would suffer.Most residents do care.
    We have great parks and facilities that are well used by the people who live here.
    Aurora residents can also celebrate the great history that Aurora has, from people to buildings to historic events.
    There are great restuarants and stores.
    I hope that no one will give up on this great town due to a situation that many towns go through.
    Think of the good part of Aurora, as that easily outweighs the bad

  18. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    Ashamed of Aurora – that’s a tad extreme, don’t you think? I’m ashamed of those politicians, but still proud of my town and am hopeful that they will not be returned to council next November.
    The town is what WE make it. This Mayor is NOT the town, no matter how much self-serving photo-opping she does.

  19. Ashamed of Aurora said

    I have been a long time Aurora resident and now am ashamed to be part of this community .
    If you are corrupt , dishonest .or out for yourself ,well this is your town .
    You only have to look at “The Dream Team ” still not answering questions asked and our bullying Mayor and her hench people .
    This is an embarrasment and I am taking myself out of this community ,if you can call it that as soon as possible .

  20. Fred said

    Just who are Mrs. Morris’ advisors? They can’t be doing a very good job if she keeps making a pigs ear out of things. And that she is so addicted to her crackberry during council meetings is an indicator that she is so out of her depth.
    I see the same few people circling about her. No-one of any consequence that I can see. Sue Walmer – everyone knows she talks out of both sides of her SUV. Ken Whitehurst – he likes to back winners, and PM’s shine is becoming more dull for him with each blunder she makes.

  21. LIved in Aurora longer than dirt said

    I have lived in Aurora for so many years that I knew an Aurora that was small and friendly. I have seen good, bad and now awful Councils.
    I would support Nigel Kean if he would run for Mayor. I know that he did much more than most other Councillor when he was on Council. I used to see him at many events at various locations at different times of day. The fact that he had the foresight to start the Farmers Market with little or no support from the council of the day shows that he was driven to improve Aurora. My wife and I would always see him every Saturday morning at the market. He also used to help put up the Senior’s tent most mornings.I would see him at the Tigers games most Friday nights.
    When I saw him at Council meetings he carried himself well and, I believe, that he was always prepared to discuss ant issue and support residents and staff.
    I was disappointed when he ran for Mayor last time as I knew that he would split the vote between Jones and Morris.
    Now I know that I miss his many contributions on Council.At times he was too honest for his own good.
    I have spoken to him many times and think that he has an amazing background not only on Council but in his many years of business. The next Mayor must be willing to tackle many issues that have been created by this Council, starting with respect for each other.
    I am nor sure if Mr Kean would run again but I would hope that he would and I for one will do anything I can do to help him get elected.

  22. George Gonsalves said

    How can this be happening in our democracy. Surely there is some mechanism whereby we can oust these vandals from office. What use is the OMB or the senior levels of government?

  23. Not Surprised said

    The last time I was in the Council Chambers for a meeting an announcement was made at the beginning of the meeting that all cell phones be turned off, why does the Mayor think that is okay for her and not us? Her blackberry should be turned off so that we can see, judge and appreciate for ourselves how totally incompetent she is.

    Who is on the other end pray tell? Ken Whitehurst or possibly John Mascarin!

    It’s anyone’s guess.

  24. Anonymous Just Because said

    Morris has been in election mode since the votes have been counted over three years ago. You see the first day of a new term is the first day of her election campaign. I’ve witnessed it for years. It’s been really interesting to hear from people in this town who frankly didn’t know the true her when then supported her in the last election but have now found out the truth. Twists, lies and deceit…clearly not what she ran on but all we are seeing.

  25. Anonymous said

    Fed Up has taken the words right out of my mouth. Phyllis Morris’ condescending tone and body language is apparent to everyone who attends or watches council meetings. People see right through her. Storming out of this past council meeting calling a recess without a vote? Her behaviour is too bizarre to believe.
    She believes she is in the right in everything she does. Her arrogance and delusion are becoming more legendary. I think we’re going to see some famous blunders on her part as the electioneering gets under way.
    We’re on the radar of big media, so hold tight for more scrutiny and the subsequent ridicule. The ridicule will be solely at Phyllis’ feet and the citizens will be able to hold her accountable at the voting booth.

  26. Anonymous indeed said

    Fed Up has taken the words right out of my mouth. Phyllis Morris’ condescending tone and body language is apparent to everyone who attends or watches council meetings. People see right through her. Storming out of this past council meeting calling a recess without a vote? Her behaviour is too bizarre to believe.
    She believes she is in the right in everything she does. Her arrogance and delusion are becoming more legendary. I think we’re going to see some famous blunders on her part as the electioneering gets under way.
    We’re on the radar of big media, so hold tight for more scrutiny and the subsequent ridicule. The ridicule will be solely at Phyllis’ feet and the citizens will be able to hold her accountable at the voting booth.

  27. Suggest an Alternative to this Mayor said

    I agree with Fed Up. We need a strong candidate to run for mayor. There are rumour of candidates, with Nigel being one of them. I have great respect for Nigel and hope that he runs for the position of councillor.
    Who are potential mayoral candidates?

  28. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    Again, this is classic Phyllis. Micro-managing control and manipulation. I shook my head in disbelief at this past council meeting as she spun the reasons. She is a serious piece of work. Yes, we can all see right through her.

  29. fed up said

    I have had it with this woman. It is time to mount a concentrated campaign to oust her from office. We need a strong candidate to run against her and win. Not a Nigel Kean. Nothing against Nigel, but we don’t need a repeat of the last election campaign. It is all I can do to attend or watch a meeting on cable TV. It is not WHAT the mayor says, but HOW she says it. It is the condescending tone in her voice, her raised eyebrows and her total body language that speaks volumes. If looks could kill, there would be at least 3 dead bodies at the council table and many more in the audience. It is her constantly turning to her pal on her left for advice, her inability to run a proper meeting, her appearance of being totally disorganized, her unprofessional treatment of fellow councillors that has me ready to cast my ballot right now. We have less than a year lef to put up with her. Can the town survive until we elect someone to replace her?

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