Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Community Corner: Do the Friends of Councillors Get Special Treatment?

Posted by auroracitizen on November 25, 2009

To the Aurora Citizen

What seems to be missing in the debate (debacle?) around the November 10th meeting, is the fact that Walter Mestrinaro was making his second appearance before Council to get a decision on the bleachers overturned, because his company did not get the award.

Despite the fact that Mr. Mestrinaro was disqualified for the most of basic of reasons – he didn’t respond on time, he did not provide the proper certifications and his bid was more expensive – he appeared at multiple Council meetings to protest that he did not get the work, culminating in the Nov 10th meeting, where he impugned the town staff for not following procedure.

Mr. Elliot & Mr. Christopher both advised Council (at a previous meeting) that the matter was administrative, strictly within the purview of Staff. They advised Council again on the 10th. Yet, Mr. Mestrinaro was allowed to carry on, impugn town staff, with no input from Mayor Morris nor the sidekicks. Interesting, considering that Councilor Wilson had just recently professed his undying support/respect, etc., for town staff.

The other interesting point is that Councilor MacEachern was “sick” that evening – perhaps the “my friend is appearing a Council to whine about something, and I don’t really want to be a part of it” flu.

And, the kicker? Walter Mestrinaro is a member of the Committee of Adjustments: “The committee considers the merits of applications for land severance and minor variances to land, buildings or structure, in accordance with the Planning Act.” A PAID position.

Yes, good citizens of Aurora. You are paying for Mr. Mestrinaro to sit in judgment of merits of an application as it pertains to the Planning Act (a fairly extensive document) – and he can’t even follow the basic rules of tendering.

I would be concerned, but then I am not Mayor – at least not yet!

From Junius — belatedly and with apologizes added by Aurora Citizen 😉

15 Responses to “Community Corner: Do the Friends of Councillors Get Special Treatment?”

  1. said

    Sad but true. A Town handling its business wth quiet,orderly efficiency is not the stuff of headlines. A reputation is built not detonated. And not stuck together with Crazy Glue..

  2. White Knight said

    To the question posed in the post “Do the friends of councillors get special treatment?”
    My first response to that question is,”Is the Pope Catholic?”
    I would also qualify the original question thus, “Do the friends of SOME councillors AND THE MAYOR get special treatment?”
    DUH, of course!!

    • broderick Epps said

      Do friends of council get special treatment…of course they do. What is troubling is that they are allowed in Mestrinaro’s case to belittle the competance of staff. Mayor Morris most recently has taken to praising staff and trying to get everyone to believe she actually stands behind them against such attacks. Well Mr. Mestrinaro did expose another myth.
      Curious on candidate for Mayor Nigel Kean’s take on this situation and what he would have done different.Especially given that last election Mr. Mestrinaro appeared prominently on Kean’s campaign literature endorsing him for Mayor.

    • Nigel Kean said

      Mr Epps.
      Walter did back me during the last election but I disagree with the mayor allowing Walter to attack the staff the way he did. This should have been an issue that should not have been discussed at council like it was. It reminded me of when the mayor allowed St Kitts to abuse Councillor Buck. There should not be 2 sets of rules. I am disappointed that the mayor allowed this to happen and that Walter would take these steps to get his point across. Friends should not be given special treatment.

  3. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    I’m surprised so many of the comments are about who wrote the article rather than the content.

    What Mr. Mestrinaro was permitted to do, was once again “ABUSE at the podium – PERMITTED AND ENCOURAGED by the Mayor”.

    I suspect if Mr. Elliott was considering taking the Treasurer’s job on a permanent basis, he is rethinking that now.

    The entire incident was so similar to the Buck/St. Kitts incident its scary. In both cases the Mayor was advised not once but twice that it was improper, but she so enjoys seeing some people squirm that she allows it to go on. No doubt she was also concerned about offending MacEachern’s sidekick. Another example of how self centered and out of her element Phyllis is.

  4. Junius said

    Well, some seem to be in a huff because the post is not signed. I suspect this is just an oversight, as I did indeed sign my original submission, and it is published as submitted, including the typo that I found after the fact, and the fact that referred to the Town Solicitor as “Mr Christopher”, – his name is Christopher Cooper. So my apologies there.

    So who am I?

    I am not the Moderator of this blog. I am not the author of the adds in the Auroran. I am not Elizabeth Bishenden, the guest moderator of this blog – she is much better looking than I am 🙂

    I am a resident of Aurora who is concerned / upset with the (non) governance that is occuring. I am a resident of Aurora who is saddened by the fact that the only national press we seem to get is negative. I am a resident of Aurora who expects both competence and integrity from ALL our elected officials. I am a resident of Aurora who wants them to actually get on with the business of the Town, as opposed to just spitting out that phrase in platitude after platitude.

    I use the psuedonym of Junius for a very good reason. Take the time to look it up!

    Signed “Junius”

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      I have commented in the past that I think people should not comment under the monicker of “Anonymous”.

      I think that identifiable characters,like “Junius”, are able to post opinions without confusing people. On a blog one need not reveal one’s identity. But I think one does need to have a pseudonym to fully participate in the discussion.

      For this particular comment, I’m flattered … and thankful for the info that clears up the mystery about the source of the post.

  5. As the title indicates, this post was received from a community member through our Community Corner email ( — hence the intro “To the Aurora Citizen”.

    As always these letters are published without change or additions by any Moderator.

  6. Countdown to Nov 2010 said

    Shall we do a roll-call of Phyllis supporters who have had the pick of appointments?

    Ken Whitehurst being very much front and centre. Not only is he on the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, he is on the steerting committee for the Promenade (Yonge/Wellington Corridor Revitalization project).

    What a reward for being Phyllis’ campaign manager. Where will he find the time to mount Phyllis’ next campaign?

    • Anonymous said

      Don’t forget the citizens of the year Thomlinson and Walmer. Also non elected Gallo as her majesty needed more support.

    • It's Who You Know said

      Which begs the question: will Sher St Kitts be ‘rewarded’ with the Citizen of the Year now that she’s reportedly purchased property in town?
      (She does list Aurora as her ‘hometown’ on her Facebook page)

  7. Anonymous for a reason said

    The post says “To the Aurora Citizen” so I can see the confusion. Why address yourself?

    And, everyone knows the blog-owner, so chill on that. The last line being very telling…

  8. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    The author is auroracitizen as noted in the post. I authorized the comment by Fred.

    Yep, I know who wrote it. That person chooses to use a pseudonym. Nope, I won’t tell you who it is.

    • Anonymous for a reason said

      I don’t see anyone in a huff, just seeking clarification as to the author of the post. Simple as that. It said “To the Aurora Citizen” but then Elizabeth said it WAS the Aurora Citizen. If it had said Junius in the first place I think we all would have been cool with that.
      It’s great that there are more posters to spur discussion.
      Keep it comin’.

  9. Fred said

    Who is the author of this?

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