Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Integrity Commissioner needed… but who should decide?

Posted by elizabethbishenden on November 18, 2009

 The article “Search Continues for Integrity Czar”  by Sean Pearce in the November 17 Banner states that the Town of Aurora is continuing its search for a new Integrity Commissioner (IC). 

A search of the Town website and re-reading of the Code of Conduct by-law and Town postings reveal no reference as to  who actually decides who the IC should be, what their credentials are to be, and how the person will be chosen.

Neil Garbe, the town’s CAO is quoted in the article as saying that the town is looking for “a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, who has practiced in some sort of a judicial capacity”.  The candidate could have experience as a lawyer or a justice of the peace, the article states.  So, are we in the situation where only legal eagles need apply?

The article later has information from Mayor Morris.  It’s up to staff to determine candidates, Mrs. Morris said, adding she’s not aware who is under consideration.  Council will not be involved in the process until a report is brought forward, she said.

Statements in the article about Mr. Garbe’s comments also indicate that the hiring will be done without a job competition.

Since the first and only complaint to the first IC involved the interaction between a councillor and staff, it seems incongruous that the new IC will be hired by council from a list of staff-recommended candidates.  Both council and staff are now implicitly involved in the failure of the first Integrity Commissioner.  Can we citizens entrust them with hiring the next Integrity Commissioner?

Perhaps when the Code of Conduct was formulated a better system of choosing the IC should have been decided and adhered to at the same time as the key to all of this would appear to be who “rules” as IC and who can hire and fire that same person. There are predictions that a bigger mess of this whole situation is still to come.

The whole program seems to lack, let us say, integrity.

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58 Responses to “Integrity Commissioner needed… but who should decide?”

  1. fed up said

    The Gaertner apology

    The fact that Gaertner did not know what time the Remebrance day service took place is a HUGE insult to our war dead, our veterans and our young men and women now serving in our forces. Buck owes Gaertner an apology? Give me a break. My goodness, it is about time Gaertner apologized for her blunder.

  2. Anonymous for a reason said

    http://www.rogerstv.com/get.asp?lid=237&rid=70&mid=52&gid=60853#38_120_3103

    My “favourite” part of Tuesday’s council meeting is at 14:30 onwards. Classic Morris bluster and revisionist history.

    Anyone else have any favourite moments?

    • Council Cop said

      THANK YOU to “Anonymous for a reason” for posting the link to the Roger’s Cable recording of Aurora Council. This feature should be used more often on this website. Council tapes can not be twisted in the same way that the minutes and Mayor’s correspondence can.

      The first twenty minutes of this week’s Council meeting are quite telling. In a nut shell: the Mayor attached her own damage control / revisionary e-mail onto the agenda and then she had to state for the public record once more how she has not done any wrong. When council actually figured out what it was voting on after some debate, the recorded vote went down according to the predictable party lines. The Mayor and her block have so little integrity it is astounding. The facts never seem to matter. This is just another example of how broken this council is.

      After twenty minutes of twisting and wasting everyone’s time to satisfy the Mayor’s ego the Mayor has the gall to say the “now it is time to get on with the town’s business.” The Mayor has set the standard and in the process she has completely poisoned the atmosphere at the Town Hall. She has only herself to blame.

      We can only hope and pray for constructive change in the next election because four more years of this is hard to contemplate.

    • She's A Bully said

      “the Mayor attached her own damage control / revisionary e-mail onto the agenda ”

      Don’t forget the threats contained in that memo, Council Cop. She twice cited a clause that allows her to expel or exclude members at her discretion. The inferred threat was an attempt at intimidation, to ‘bring to heel’ Councillors Buck and Collins-Mrakas.

      It appeared that she tried to engineer Buck’s expulsion with that trumped-up apology scenario with Cllr Gaertner. Evelyn denied her that victory by deciding – after a breath-holding pause – that ‘discretion is the better part of valour’.

      The mayor made a few pointed references that night to council as “this elected body”. (She also repeatedly referred to herself in the third person during her self-indulgent memo defence. God, I hate that – oops, a ‘time-out’ for me, I suppose) However, her blatant act of intimidation was meant to hinder the ability of duly-elected councillors to perform their duties and to represent residents as they best see fit. There’s something undemocratic about that, don’t you think?

  3. Anonymous for a reason said

    I sure wish we had chat on the AC. The start of tonight’s council meeting was interesting.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      That’s an interesting idea. I don’t think it will come soon… we’re still working on chronology.

      We are really not ready for “real time” analysis.

      But keep track of us… we have some interesting new things coming up!

      Elizabeth

    • fed up said

      tonight’s council meeting was just another example of the inability of the mayor to run a proper meeting–what dysfunction–as far as the Gaertner fiascos–what a fool–why does she sit there through a 15 minute presentation then ask for the entire presentation to be repeated?–she is incapable of grasping what is being said and the implications of what is presented to her without it being repeated in its entirety–I thought Buck’s response was brilliant

    • Horrified said

      I don’t know what was worse- that YouTube video, or the first half hour of tonight’s Council Meeting. In fact, you could put the Thriller soundtrack on tonight’s meeting, and the facial expressions would be perfectly fitted to the music. What a farce.

    • Anonymous said

      Firstly, I would like to say that I for one will vote for Mr Kean. I do not belive that he was a major factor in the dysfunctional council and I belive that Ms Morris proves that as she was the number 1 dysfunction on all councils that she has served on especially this one with her sidekick Evilina.
      I do not want someone as mayor who has no experience handling council business. To me, anyone who wants to be mayor shuld serve on council first to learn the ropes.
      You can see NEW councillors this term Grainger, Wilson and non elected Gallo struggle to make a good decision without looking at the mayor first to get her approval. That is not what I want or need as a mayor. New might work for council but not for mayor.
      I believe that Kean has paid his dues and would be a great candidate and a great change from this poor example of a mayor. I am really surprised that he would want to do the job with all the nay sayers in this town.

    • broderick Epps said

      Fed Up.

      You are absolutely correct on the Wendy Gaertner situation last night. Still not sure what Evelyn Buck apologized for. Ms Gaertner has sat through 7 budget presentations and still does not have any grasp. If this lack of understanding was isolated to this situation I might side with her. But lets get real. Ms. Gaertner leads this council in “I don’t understands” and “I am confuseds” not to mention being tied with Steven Jethro Bodine in asking the most nonsensical questions. Ms. Gaertner should apologize to staff and those attending for her constant lack of understanding which only tends to drag out what has become long tedious council meetings. Poor Wendy, Ms. Buck was mean to me… Wah Wah Wah! If the truth hurts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>(fill in the blanks).
      For those interested in the film, check out Al Wilson, during the debate on what was to be included on the agenda and the Gaertner apology debate. Sprawled out in his chair with that smarmy look on his face taking great pleasure that especially for the apology part Ms. Buck was being punished.Also in the agenda portion check out Ms. Morris quivering voice. She was again incensed that her way was being challenged.

    • Nigel Kean said

      Hi Fred,
      Thank you for your comments. On one hand you say that you want someone new and yet you suggest Damir Vrancic who served on the two councils that I served on. I think that Damir would be a good choice for mayor if he decided to run.
      I also believe that I am a good choice but what would expect me to say.

    • Anonymous said

      I disagree with Nigel Kean when he says that Damir Vrancic would be a good mayor. Damir did a good job on council be he never went out of his way to do more than was necessary. He did attend most council meetings and committee meetings but that was the extent of it.
      It seemed Kean was always at the seniors centre, Tigers games,Bowling for big brothers and I think he was on the big bike for heart and stroke a couple of times.I know that he also arranged a couple of golf tournaments that I attended including raising money for Heart and Stroke and the Heritage Fund.
      To me he did more than most councillors did and that is why I think he would be the best choice for mayor.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      To Anonymous -11/26/2009 @ 8:07pm….

      I certainly agree with you on Mr. Vrancic’s political pedegree. However, because someone was at the Seniors’ Centre, or Tigers games or bowling or even the Farmers’ Market, it doesn’t qualify you to be a good mayor either. I asked Mr. Kean to fill us in on HIS accomplishments. There was a lot of “we” or “that council” but very little “I”. Yes, council is supposed to be a cooperative group to get things done, but to take credit for doing something when there were eight other people around the table I think is somewhat misleading.

      To me, the mayor should not have to be seen at every event in the town all of the time. There are certain events when their presence is required but if they are working hard for the town most of the time, I would rather that the mayor be taking a rest – be it at home with family or playing a round of golf with their golf buddies or taking a walk. Let’s be realistic, in a town this size, the mayor’s job is not full time. Appearing in the papers cutting ribbons for a new restaurant or new store is not productive time.

      If someone has time to go to all of the events Nigel went to, when did he have time to do the Town’s work?

      Fuimus

    • Nigel Kean said

      To Robert the Bruce

      I do not believe that things happen in any town by only one person. I felt that I was part of a team not an individual.
      I did not write the response about Damir and I did not say where I had been. When I was on council I did have the free time at nights and on weekends to go to the Tigers games or the big bike or the Big Sisters Thrill on the hill runs or the Big Brothers Bowlathon. I believe in many charities and like to take part in events that will benefit them but normally on weekends. The golf tournaments that I ran were on my time, normally holidays.
      As a Councillor, I attended most meetings and sat on two or three committees each year for the Town. I also got invovled in the designation of the Northeast quadrant and the 2-C lands. I also chaired the hydro committee for two years.
      I am also trying to say that I do believe that most things that happen when you are on council happen as a result of a team not an individual.
      Hope that answers your questions.

    • broderick Epps said

      Anonymous Nov 25 8:32 appears to imply Ms. Morris was solely to blame for the prior council’s dysfunction. Stephen Sommerville wrote in the Auroran Nov 7, 2006

      “The mayor ( Tim Jones)spoke of his campaign themes of commitment,
      respect and caring.
      He then went on to note his two challengers have continually
      tried to embarrass him and that although they
      would not go to the two-day offsite (an orientation retreat
      held at the beginning of each council term) they would
      spend $10,000 on the naming rights fiasco.”

      Sounds to me Ms Morris wasn’t the only causing council dysfunction.

  4. White Knight said

    To Anonymous 5:45 pm Nov 24th:
    I agree with you that we need new blood and new ideas. I am a great believer in not going back as we journey through life but move forward. I think that applies to places we live and work… and I speak from experience in both. Never a good idea to go back, Mr. Kean. You’ve had your day; move on.

  5. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    Well, Nigel, we’re not surprised by the announcement in the Auroran, are we?

    • Nigel Kean said

      I did not think that this would be a surprise. I have always used my name on this blog and will continue to do so.
      I believe that a change must be made and I believe that I can make that change with the help of the residents of Aurora.

    • Anonymous said

      Not surprised Nigel but a little disappointed. I still believe that you were a major contributor to the dysfunciton in the previous council and by running against Jones and Morris, a direct contributor to the situation we are in now. You state in The Auroran that you would bow out if Jones or Klees ran – I hope neither of them run either. Jones is more of the Old Guard, he lost his Federal bid to Black and should not come back to municipal politics. Frank I think can do a lot more good where he is now. What this town needs is someone who is not looking to stroke their ego and actually make a difference. We need NEW ideas and people, not recycled ones.

    • Fred said

      I agree with Anonymous 5:45. I think it is time for a new mayoral candidate. We need a big picture candidate, and it is time for someone with a new vision with real leadership abilities.

    • fed up said

      We are indeed doomed

    • Nigel Kean said

      I would like to thank anyone who writes to the blog or the Auroran on every topic.
      I find it hard to discuss the fact that I have chosen to run for mayor with any person who uses names like White Knight, Fred or anonymous but here goes.
      I will gladly meet with any of you, who would like to know what I think I can do to improve this current situation caused by this council.
      I use my real name on the blog as I am not afraid to say what I mean and be known for that and then stick by it.I do not hide behind other names to criticize without having a solution to the problem. I do hide who I am by using fake names to generate a love or dislike for anyone’s opinion. There are no hidden agendas when using my real name like, trying to get someone else elected. So please step up to the plate and use your right name or give me a call and we can discuss my thoughts and yours.
      Lastly, my comments about Tim Jones and Frank Klees was simply a statement that I made using their names to say that if I felt that I was going to split the vote then I might consider to step aside. Their names were mentioned. I do however feel that I will be the best candidate, but if I didn’t feel that way why would I run.

      Nigel Kean

    • Fred said

      Nige,
      I agree with Robert the Bruce. Anonymous by choice with good reasons, and we’re not seeking public office.
      You’ve been running for council since you lost. Your name recognition will hold you in some regard.
      I thank you for your contributions in the past, but I think it is new experience that we need. There are former councillors that have experience that may throw their hat in the ring.
      How about Damir Vrancic?

    • broderick Epps said

      I too agree with anonymous 5:45. As for Mr. Kean I too believe that he was the source of a lot of the dysfunction in the previous council. Interesting that Mr. Kean like his counterpart in dysfunction Ms. Morris are quick to point out only the good they have achieved. In Mr. Kean’s case lets look at the other side of the coin.
      1)Partnered with Ms. Morris and the obtuse one Ms. Gaertner to fight the off-site orientation meeting. Mr. Kean even incorrectly questioned its legitimacy which was later found to be not a problem. Furthemore Like Ms. Morris Mr. Kean if he had been elected Mayor would have found a way to hypocritically go to the Regional orientation retreat.
      2)Mr. Kean in concert with Ms. Morris fought the development of the c2 (??) lands which were needed to bring Allstate to Aurora not to mention all the new housing developments and TAX REVENUE.
      3) Partnered with Ms. Morris to always take the contrarian position. It got to the point Nigel would have voted partly cloudy if Tim Jones voted Partly sunny!

      Sorry Nigel, but I’m not convinced you would be an improvement.

    • Nigel Kean said

      To Mr Epps,
      I am glad that you have your view point on what I did on council.I have never said that I did anything by myself but rather with the help of everyone on council.When I said that I did not think an offsite meeting was needed I clarified it by saying that it could be held at the Town Hall and if we were going for dinner we could support local restaurants. I did not believe that we should waste taxpayers money to put ourselves and staff at a hotel when we could accomplish the same at Town Hall. I still believe the same thing.
      I never fought the 2-c lands being opened up, in fact I chaired the 2-C committee lands committee for a year and we did open the lands up with protection of the woodlands in the area.Please get your facts straight. As I have said I will meet with anyone to discuss my past on council and what folks expect in the future.We also passed the bylaw that allowed Allstate to build.
      I did disagree with Mayor Jones at times but I was not elected to only vote with him. I voted the way that I felt was the best for the residents that I represented. Right or wrong I will stand by my record and as I said I will always meet with people to discuss my voting.I was also the only councillor at times who voted in favour with Mayor Jones. I voted with him many times but I also had my own opinion which I wish that certain councillors on this council had.The mayor, councillors Wallace and Vravcic could always go for a beer at the end of the meetings.

    • broderick Epps said

      Well Mr. Kean.I distinctly remember being at the all candidates meeting where you took /Mr. Jones to task for being Pro C2 development.Interesting that Mr. Jones responded that if the infrastructure to Allstate was not done no development would open open in between Allstate and the rest of town.I guess in the spirit of goodwill please accept my apologies for getting my facts wrong.As for the offsite question you seemed to have avoided the legality question.It cost over 10K to prove you and Morris were wrong.

    • Nigel Kean said

      Mr Epps,
      When I presented my case to council as to why I felt that the offsite meeting should be held onsite for the reasons of saving money I never felt that a legal opinion would be required. To me, at that time, and still today, I do not believe that offsite meetings create any more bonding that cannot be done at our Town Hall. I also believe that the local businesses would benifit from the meeting being held here. Also with the meetings here, it would be great that the public could also attend, if they choose to do so.
      I hope that your questions are answered. If not please let me know.

  6. Anonymous said

    Aurora Thriller on You Tube? Is that our mayor at the back? Words escape me.

    • PArkview 7 said

      Sher’s troupe of the undead had so much fun they reprised their performance at the Factory Theatre:

      (They say practise makes perfect. They lie.)

      Yes, that was our mayor, she’s such a ‘person of the people’, isn’t she? (Well, certain people, anyway). You can also occasionally see Cllr Granger on the left (he’s wearing a tan jacket). Stephen Granger as a mindless zombie – sheesh, talk about typecasting…

  7. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    I look at the letters to the editor in The Auroran first. If the letters are too long, I’ll “get back to them”, and frankly, sometimes I don’t.
    I’m a keen follower of municipal politics, but even I have my limits. I think brevity and clarity is what is required in any letter to the editor. (Ev, that means you too!)
    No-one is going to win friends or influence people if they go on and on and on and on…..

    • evelyn.buck@rogers.com said

      Thank you Countdown for the advice. I learned from the best about the value of brevity. I reported for a couple of yeasr and I wrote a weekly column for eleven.I know it’s easy to lose the reader’s attention. But I do get a different message from people I meet on the street.
      I know there are others who would rather I didn’t write. I started doing it when it became clear I would not be permitted to do what I was elected to do. Sending copies of my Blogs to the Editor is my alternate role.
      I expect if the Editor finds my letters are not well received he will find something better.Believe it or not,I’m not trying to win friends and influence people.If I haven’t done that by now,I am probably past best sell-by Ask Robert The Bruce about that.I’m just trying to make a contribution.Everyone is free to take it or leave it.

  8. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Hi Anne,

    The blog you’re looking for is “Temporary Sanity”. It’s one of a number of interesting blogs and websites you can connect to via the Aurora Citizen’s home page.

    Look at the right hand side fo the page under the black title “Blogroll”.

    Happy web-exploring!

  9. Anne said

    To Someone loves this town more than politics – dumb question, but what is your blog? I would love to follow it.

  10. Anonymous said

    To stop the Phylis we have seen thus far we need a Candidate. We also need the the Evilina, Granger, Wilson, Wendy and Gallo to go away. Without them MORRIS is nothing. She will not have the gang behind her to back her up. The problem does not souly live within Phylis. We need the others to go away. She can never have this kind of power again!!!! We also need ALL council and Staff to participate in an off site orientation meeting at the beginning of each term so that people are EDUCATED into the towns affairs before they are spoon fed only what one person or two thinks Council needs to know. Isn`t that the problem they have with Councillor Buck, she knows to much. The GOS have done everything to make that information stop flowing.

  11. Richard Johnson said

    To Fed Up:

    I agree. We don’t want to see the vote split !

  12. fed up said

    Richard Johnson said: “If someone creditable runs against Phyllis and declares their candidacy early enough then an election for change should be just a matter of delivering the message and getting people out to vote. Most of the people I know can hardly wait !”

    Therein lie the problems. Someone credible–delivering the message–voters. If 2 credible candidates appear,PM will slide up the middle like last time. We must have only 1 very good and credible candidate to beat the pants off her. The other 2 problems will solve themselves during the campaign.

  13. Richard Johnson said

    To: Robert the Bruce

    Demanding professionalism that includes accountability, civility and transparency is the solution. We get there by exposing the truth for what it is.

    The person that wrote the “Zzzzzzzzzzzz” letter to the editor in this week’s Auroran didn’t even go as far as to present a single idea other than the fact that they are asleep at the switch. Which is totally fine and somewhat amusing, but it is hardly a better solution than speaking up. To each their own.

  14. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    In response to Fed up’s question in regards to “how to get the message out?” I believe this blog, along with others are already proving that we are already getting the message out. The question may be better asked how much? To this I say there are no limits.

    If you want to get your message out, then get busy Aurora, there is nothing stopping you. The tools of transparency (blogs, wikis, etc.) are readily available to all of us.

    The mayor’s coallition has claimed that they were voted for and are favored by a silent majority. I don’t believe this is true, do you?

    Aurora needs more blogs, more newsgroups, and more social networking connectivity

    I can’t say with any certainty, but I expect that the mayor and her coalition don’t like my blog, but I know they read it. And you know what I don’t care one bit. I’m not writing it for them, I’m writing it for myself.

    I know several people that live in Aurora and throughout York Region read my blog that otherwise would not pay attention to municipal politics. They enjoy it to. Discussion and debate is formed. They have all come to their own conclusions not to believe anything that comes out of the mayor’s mouth, nor should they.

    Propeganda, spin and exclusive agendas all come to us from one-way media. It is no surprise these are the vehicles of choice by our mayor. The Aurorans I have met are much smarther then that.

    If that coalition relies on the lackadaisical attitude, and the belief that the majority of citizens don’t care and won’t vote they are making a critical mistake in their chances of being re-elected.

    The landscape has changed, forever.

    Where traditional media fails Social Media is effective, it is immediate and it connects people, it is community.

    Alan Halberstadt is a councillor from Windsor, he has an active blog and posted concearns

    recently regarding the hiring of an integrity commissioner being used to censor him, sound familiar? You can read his blog post here:

    http://www.alanhalberstadt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3493&Itemid=87&bsb_midx=7

    What I found most interesting were the comments, amongst them was this one:

    “Your blog is a compete fresh air of democracy. It is a modern way to have discussion and it is needed far more, not less. Why don’t other councilors have blogs that make for greater discussion? I call the proposed actions censorship and any attempt by Council to stifle
    discussion of free and democratic ideas in any blog or anywhere else reeks of dictatorship.”

    Where silence may be golden it is always trumped by speech, which is free.

    Just like everyone has a vote, everyone has a voice. Use it. Let Aurora hear what you have to say.

  15. Robert the Bruce said

    For Heather, Fed Up and Countdown…. I’ve got news for you. I know people who live in Aurora, read the papers and still don’t believe what is going on is that serious. I spoke to one lady who told me that she wished that people would stop writing letters to the editor because she does not like the negative comments. Even this week in the Auroran, I read a couple of letters referring to the boring letters from Buck, Johnston, et al.

    I think the problem is, while there is plenty to complain about and lot’s of evidence of problems… short of “get them out of office next time”, there are no solutions being put forth and people want solutions – not bitching. How can we make this last year of the mandate productive? Personally I don’t see it happening. Everyone has dug in and is in it for the long run. Even some of the fringe GOS have attempted to “put things behind them” and it has not been met with much enthusiasm.

    The Coalition has not made the process any easier. Their mission statement to “turf them” is quite in your face and again short on solutions.

    I have not replied to many posts in the last while because I’ve said all there is I have to say (Evenlyn is probably quite happy about that!). Nothing new is going on, round and round bitching is not solving it. There is no recall mechanism and we are stuck with these guys until next November.

    We are going to see lawsuits and that is just going to waste more money. I’m fed up with it. I am tired of screaming about it to no one that can do anything about it.

    Fuimus

  16. Richard Johnson said

    Have no fear “Fed Up” and “Countdown” ! The message will be delivered before and during the next election.

    In the last few elections approximately 37% of eligible voters took the time to do their civic duty and you can bet that a good number of those people made up their minds during the election. We are only talking about reaching approximately 13,000 people that vote and they are the same people that will likely make some kind of an effort to learn about who the candidates are.

    While the media has to be careful during elections with regards to being perceived as being balanced in their reporting they are sure to inform the public of the history of this council, including the “code of conduct” / Integrity Commisisoner fiasco and a few other notable characteristics of the preceding four years. There is only so much spin that the Mayor will be able to get away with given that I have no doubt that most people have her number and will be able to separate fact from pure fiction.

    All we have to do is remind everyone of all the press that Phyllis has garnered our town and expose her past claims and accomplishments for what they are. I (for one) plan to remind people what Phyllis promised in the last election and what she delivered !

    The all-candidates meetings are really critical communications opportunities as well. The key is to get a lot of people out in order to ask the right questions that will reveal the Mayor’s true colours and I’m sure that should not be too hard to do. Handing out informative flyers and past news stories at these meetings as well as on doorsteps is also not a bad idea.

    Letters to the editor from a wide range of people are also very effective in the lead up to the election so keep those letters coming ! You can bet that all of the Mayor’s friends will be encouraged to write but we generally know who they are and the facts can’t easily be twisted beyond recognition. In my experience, the truth has an incredible way of coming through.

    I have no doubt that those people that want to make an educated vote will hear both sides of the story.

    If someone creditable runs against Phyllis and declares their candidacy early enough then an election for change should be just a matter of delivering the message and getting people out to vote. Most of the people I know can hardly wait !

  17. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Over at the AC we’ve got some plans. They’ll involve both on-line and paper-based advertising.

    Look for us in the future.

    Encourage your friends and family to become involved. This blog is friendly to everyone.

  18. Heather Sisman said

    “Fed Up has a good point. How to rally troops to oust this lot?”

    How about a made-for-TV-movie?

    I’m joking there, but I’m not sure how to make a WHOLE bunch of people pay attention to something that’s never interested them before. For a long time I was one of those people… then I bought a house and wondered where all the taxes went that I was paying. If you’re a newcomer or jsut someone who is unaware of who the GOS are – and some friendly person knocked on your door and said they’d build a new ball diamond if you voted for them, what would you do?

    Other than media exposure; letters to the editor, discussions on the street, snippets in the news, etc…. those are the only ways, aren’t they?

  19. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    Fed Up has a good point. How to rally troops to oust this lot?

  20. fed up said

    Informing the uninformed:

    A friend of mine has a brother who lives in Aurora and when asked about the political BS happening in this town confessed that he knows nothing of what is going on with PM and the GOS. I don’t understand why, unless this person reads neither the Banner nor the Auroran. My question is: How do we get the message out to these uninformed citizens of this town that we need a major change at council for the next election? Unless we can reach these uninformed people there is a good chance that nothing will change in Nov 2010. A disasterous consequence.

  21. fed up said

    As I have said before PM is a blight on this town and needs to be eliminated.

  22. Anonymous said

    Agter reading the Banner tonight about mayor phyliss I really think that she is living in a dream world where only she is right and everyone else in the world is wrong. She actually thinks that she did nothing wrong at the council meeting last week. As mayor she was supposed to rule on Grainger’s point of order. She didn’t as ACM tried to get her to yet our mayor is right. The ruling had to be made whether it was against Allison or bobble head Granger.
    Now in the Banner she says that she is going to lay down the law so councillors ( she means Allison, Bob and Buck)know their place and the mayor is always right.
    She must be living a fairy tale where the mirror also tells her she is smart, right and beautiful and then the mirror ran away with the dish and the spoon.

  23. White Knight said

    I wonder once again whether our mayor suffers from borderline personality disorder given recent antics.

  24. Richard Johnson said

    The most ironic thing of all is that any Integrity Commissioner worth their salt would nail the Mayor and her crew to the wall ! Just look at today’s Banner and check out the latest news as to how procedural rules were once again broken by the Mayor but rather than acknowledge any level of responsibly she goes on the offensive and blames the one person who was trying to have the rules enforced in the first place !

    The Lone Granger incorrectly raised a point of order as well as a question of privilege in order to stop Councillor Buck in her tracks and the Mayor never ruled on either point. Instead of following procedural rules when challenged to follow them by Councillor Collins-Mrakas, the Mayor broke yet more rules by incorrectly calling a recess where she proceeded to berate Alison both on and off camera. The Mayor then has the gall to suggest to the media that she is “laying down the law” in order to restore credibility and order to Council !

    The craziest thing of all is that a resolution that addressed the very point that Councillor Buck was trying to flush out in the first place was eventually UNAMIOUSLY passed by council ! If the Mayor followed procedure there would have been no delay in having a civil discussion and addressing the legitimate points trying to be raised, but the Mayor botched the procedural rules once again and then she turns around and claims the moral high ground while passing the blame to others ! Amazing, but true. There is a pattern of behavior here, as much as some do not want to see it.

    I’m aware that this is a far too extreme example, but in order to make the point 100% clear it’s like the Germans in the early 1940’s who blamed Churchill for causing the second world war ! The facts always suggested otherwise but who needs facts when the whole goal is to manipulate the truth in order to suit your distorted world view ? This kind of manipulation is always scary no matter what the degree and history has shown us that big problems can grow out of small ones.

  25. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    Reforms to the Municipal Act now allow Councils to hire an integrity commissioner, a lobbyist registrar, an ombudsman, and an auditor general.

    Hmmm, all this commotion over an integrity commissioner leads me to think that perhaps an Auditor general is more of immediate use given that Aurora council has had so much trouble of late releasing numbers and refuses to form an Accountability and Transparency Committee.

  26. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    I do not believe that we need an IC. And we especially shouldn’t be going through this farce of a selection at this point in the term. Should we be so unlucky if Phyllis is re-elected, THEN we’ll need an IC for her antics.

    I think we all know that this is a total set-up for Mascarin to be appointed. Legalities and ethics are not one in the same, but of course, Phyllis doesn’t have the intellect to understand this.

    FOIs are kicking up, and they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  27. This time next year said

    I wonder if Phyllis has made her thank you call to Dalton McGuinty yet? Maybe a three year term wasn’t such a bad system after all, by now she and her manipulations would all be history.

  28. White Knight said

    Ethical lawyer is generally an oxymoron. How would legal credentials be synonymous with expertise in ethics? We had someone with exemplary expertise in ethics and dumped him. Who in their right mind believes that this position is only suited to someone from the legal profession? How can recruitment for this position, (not that I think we need it and it is another waste of money), be done without a competition? I have never heard of such outrageous conduct and perhaps this should be the first issue that any new IC should look into under the Code of Conduct.

  29. Grace Marsh said

    I have put these comments elsewhere on these blogs, but they bear repeating:

    1. This Council is less than a year away from the end. Ethically they should not be subjecting a future Council to their decisions or choices in this matter. Leave it alone and let the next Council decide if they want an IC or not.

    2. Any future hiring should be done by an independant committee, not staff and certainly not Council, and not a committee chosen by this Council.

    3. The only reason the current Council wants to move on this hiring is so they can resubmit the Buck complaint, becuase it will be old news to a new Council. Give it up for goodness sakes!

  30. Nigel Kean said

    I really do not think that Aurora needs an Integrity Commissioner. We never needed one under the leadership of Tim Jones, John West,George Timpson and so on. Why do we need one now?
    This is an added and wasted expense.How many towns have this position? If they have them, why?
    At this point, if there is going to be the need for one then we should let the next council decide.

  31. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    I think that an estimation of only $20,000 is very conservative, and one that made it into the Banner to low-ball the total cost of this fiasco so that some numbers could be referenced during campaign mode.

    This doesn’t take into account the drain on staff members time which comes with a huge price. Nor does it take into account all of the requisite media space purchased for notices of the complaint.
    As there is a lawsuit in the works costs could be well above $20K.

    Whatever the price tag, in the end it will be one that will not be forgotten come the election. This misstep by our mayor is a huge one, and with it she has only distanced herself from her community and her inner circle.

  32. Anonymous indeed said

    This is such a set-up for another Phyllis appointment. At this point in the term, I don’t think we should be spending any time on a new IC.
    A lawyer sees things in legal terms only. Not the nuances of ethics.
    Her Phyllisness is really pushing the limits.

  33. No Thank you. said

    The Banner states:

    “David Nitkin was paid $28,250.33 between February and Sept. 30.

    The total for Mr. Nitkin’s services from Feb. 5 until July 17 is $8,190.55.

    The final payments to Mr. Nitkin were July 31, Aug. 20 and Sept. 30 in the amounts of $2,186.18, $8,423.60 and $9,450 respectively.”

    So the “Let’s Squelch Councillor Buck” fiasco cost upwards of $20,000???

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