Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Who Owes An Apology?

Posted by councilcop on December 5, 2009

Per page 3 story in December 1, 2009 issue of the Auroran entitled “Buck apologizes after recorded vote”.
If this isn’t a classic example of how our current council works I don’t know what is. This is absolutely hilarious.

As a side bar to the story below, you may also recall that the Mayor recently stated in the media that Councillor Collins-Mrakas swore and was disrespectful at a recent meeting because she said “Oh my God” as a result of the Mayor not following Council procedure and allowing Councillor Granger to ramble on without the Mayor ruling as was required and without the Councillor Granger justifying in any way his procedural actions.

The sole purpose of councilor Granger’s actions was apparently to discredit Councillor Buck, whose motion was eventually passed unanimously (but that is another story). The Mayor then ironically says she is “putting her foot down” when in fact it was the Mayor that broke numerous procedures and then turned around and tried to blame others for what transpired.

Check out the following quote from the above noted story that appears in this week’s Auroran. After Council voted to have Councillor Buck to apologize to Councillor Wendy Gaertner the following occurred:

“Councillor Buck, it would be an appropriate time to consider just apologizing,” said Mayor Phyllis Morris immediately following the vote. “That would put an end to this.”

Councillor Buck then issued her apology to Councillor Gaertner.

“If Councillor Gaertner’s feelings are hurt, I regret that,” said Councillor Buck.

“There are times, Madame Mayor, during lengthy discussions hour after hour after hour when one’s patience starts running a little thin,” she continued. “After listening to Mr. Elliott make a 15-minute presentation and having Councillor Gaertner ask for him to repeat that, and when he said, ‘What part would you like me to repeat?’ and she said ‘All of it,’ quite frankly, I lost it. I said, ‘Oh, my God!’ Now, is that offensive, insulting, disrespectful? I don’t think so. Nevertheless, for the purpose of staying here for the rest of the evening and participating in the Town’s business, I will tender an apology.”

36 Responses to “Who Owes An Apology?”

  1. noseeum said

    High road my foot, lieing in public is lieing, misleading the public record is admonishable. Nixon was impeached for the same. Go figure, the level of literacy here has to be raised. I dare say only a few of the commentators here have read what she wrote in her blog, the Auroran, and stated in council minutes. Tsubouchi was right. If you don’t like it, move to Cuba or China.

    • Anonymous said

      “the level of literacy here has to be raised”; How about you start by learning how to spell. “Lieing” should be “lying.” Literacy includes more than just the ability to read.

  2. Robert the Bruce said


    Being the technical savvy person that you are, I would have expected that you were aware of verifiable online dictionary websites that would be better than Wikipedia.

    As Fed Up says, Wikipedia is not a valid reference for most teachers that I know. Someone could go in to it and say that Aurora’s council is the most unified and friendly group ever and it would be true according to you.


  3. White Knight said

    To Hugo Kroon:
    For crying out loud are you for real?
    To Fed Up:
    Thank you for hitting the nail on the head. Councillor Gaertner is clueless.

    • Hugo T. Kroon said

      Yup, that I am. Pleased to meet you.
      And you are…?

    • Anonymous said

      Talk about recorded votes watch the council meeting from last night and see macevil call for staff to get a report ready for all recorded votes for the past three years. What a waste of time, money and staff time.
      To top it of when Buck asked why the discussion was similiar to talking to the ketstone cops. macevil and morris could not wait for each other to finish talking to add more garbage to the conversation.morris says that this is normal and will prove that there are different votes each time. She states that there will be 8-1,7-2,6-3.WOW that is refreshing to know. macevil said that she just wants to know how they voted for no reason but let’s do it anyway.
      Bob McRoberts said he could not support the motion and felt that it would be a waste of staff time. morris then glared at Bob as if to say “How Dare You vote against the almighty queen”. Buck and Alison also spoke against the motion.

      At the end GEE the vote was 5-3 to get the staff to do wasted work na dto top it of macevil asked for a recorded vote. What a joke these so called councillors are. Wilson ( the garbage man), Grainger ( Bobblehead) , Gallo (the unelected) and macevil( joined at the hips)all voted in favour of the motion, of course the mayor did as a well. I guess the good thing was that Gaertner wasn’t there. I guess she was checking on next years time for the Rememberance Day service.

      They are a disgrace to the chairs that they sit in.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      To Anonymous at 12-9-09 08:30…..

      The evil conspiracy theory part of me wonders if this “project” for staff will be used in some 2010 campaign literature to show that council is not a dysfunctional as people think? In order to prove that the GOS are a “unified” force in the town.


    • fed up said

      Aurora’s worst councillor award (also called the most slapable face award)

      My neihgbours and I are holding a vote as to who is the worst councillor in Aurora. Unfortunately we have a 5 way tie for the award. AW–with the worst I don’t give a dam body language: WG–postively clueless: SG–what do you mean you don’t have a vendors permit for the Farmer’s Market little girl: JG–who elected me? what, am I really on council now?: and EM–the mayor’s unofficial deputy.

      Someone help us break the tie or we will have to give them all “The most Slapable Face Award.”

    • White Knight said

      White Knight… tut tut can’t you read Mr. Kroon?

    • Anonymous also said

      Easy. WG and SG are clueless, like children really. They cannot be held responsible for their actions. JG is not such a bad guy it seems, a bit fresh-faced, not his fault he was not elected, should have turned down the appointment though. Jury out on him. Every now and then, you get the sense that AW wants to stand up to the MorMac faction, but just doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to do it, again, not a characteristic of his own choosing, so we can spare him some blame. Elimination leaves only one.

    • fed up said

      thank you anonymous also–will take your vote into consideration in our deliberations

    • Broderick Epps said

      To Fed Up.

      My vote for worst councillor goes to the Councillor whose classless boorish behaviour since becoming a Councillor has staff affectionately referring to her as Evilina. Her know it all
      sourpus demenour when she doesn’t hear what she wants certainly eclipses the vapid Ms. Gaertner or Jethro Bodine like Steven Granger.

    • White Knight said

      No wonder you have a five-way tie. Personally I find it impossible to draw distinctions among them. They all deserve the worst councillor award equally.

  4. fed up said

    The bottom line in all of this discussion is that WG is incapable of sitting through a 15 minute presentation and at the end of that presentation comprehending one word that was spoken. WG should be apologizing to the person making that original presentation. Not to mention she did not know the time of the remembrance day service after having just attending one on the Sunday 2 or 3 days prior to asking in a council meeting about the time of the service at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. She is a failure as a council member and should never be given the chance of fouling the council chambers after Nov 2010.

  5. Hugo T. Kroon said

    I suppose it depends one what exactly you consider an apology to be, folks.
    Councilor Buck, regardless of what she imagines, did not in fact aplogize for the offence that she was censured for.
    She apologized to Councilor Gaertner for any “hurt feelings” that her “unhappy situation” may have caused.
    Well, La-te-da.
    The chair called out Councilor Buck for a profanity that she uttered.
    For that, she did not apologize. Not at all.

    The term “Oh my God”, usually employed with relish by the terminally uneducated and disrespectfull amongst our society’s youth and their rather suspect “role models”, is, yes, a profanity, whether Coucilor Buck believes it to be “…offensive, insulting, or disrespectful…” or not.

    The point is whether the chair, and the public it serves believes it to be.
    And that decision is the priviledge of the chair, although Councilor Buck has a problem with that power (and all the others Evelyn wishes she has but doesn’t) it seems.

    Fortunately, the chair agres with most interpretations of what is profane and unparlimentary language, including these found at Wikipedia:

    “…unparliamentary language is words or phrases that are deemed to be inappropriate for use in the House whilst it is in session. This includes, but is not limited to the suggestion of dishonesty or profanity…”

    “…The original meaning of the term was restricted to blasphemy, sacrilege or saying God’s name (or an identifier such as “Lord” or “God”) in vain. In other words, “Oh my God” is often viewed as unaccepted or offensive amongst adherents of the Abrahamic religions. Profanity represented secular indifference to religion or religious figures, while blasphemy was a more offensive attack on religion and religious figures, and considered sinful…”

    Councilor Buck’s “…prayerful exhortation to my Creator…” is in my opinion, anything but prayerful, and may be one shared by most other Christians, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims who have more respect than her for the “Creator” and understand the command to not take the name of Jehovah in vain.

    Luckily for Councilor Buck, it is not up to either us or the Mayor to forgive her. I believe our loving God may be more understanding of her insolence than we.

    For her sake, I hope the people of Aurora are too…

    • This Side of Bloomington said

      Oh great, the backbencher from Bethesda is back.

    • fed up said

      You quote Wikipedia? All educators from high school to university tell students never to use wikipedia in any submitted papers–can’t be trusted as useful information.

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      OH MY GOD!

      Bethesda must be a cold and lonely puritanical wasteland, where Mr Kroon only comes down from his pedestal to ride into Aurora to crap all over anyone who in is eyes is less than him.

      Respect is an unfamiliar term for Mr. Kroon, Wendy Gaertner and Mayor Morris and asking for an apology should be beneath them but of course this is more important then getting on with the work of the town.

      As a citizen I have said “oh my god” several times when attending a council meeting or watching one from home. I have also used profanities which this most certainly is not.

      However to Mr. Kroon and anyone else that claims to be offended, on behalf of Aurora I apologize if you find such words an inconvenience to your continued ignorance.

      Perhaps if you keep praying hard enough your god will finally give you brains to work those mouths.

      What babies!

    • Anonymous said

      Again another NON-RESIDENT passing HIS judgement and questioning others.

    • Council Cop said

      Mr. Kroon, you should put your name forward as Aurora’s new Integrity Commissioner ! I’m sure the Mayor would love you (which is a key requirement)and I hear the job pays well.

      You could spinkle all sorts of “La-te-da” through your decisions in order to further the high moral tone set by the Mayor.

      It sounds like we could all benefit from your higher education and your example of civil discourse. Who needs Mr. Nitkin ?

    • Horrified said

      I think the Monty Python gang got it just about right many years ago with this clip…

    • Hugo T. Kroon said

      When one is told things that one feels to be distastefull, unacceptable or disagreeable, the best course of action is to shoot the messenger.
      Or at least that seems to be an acceptable course of action in what passes for political discourse on the Aurora Citizen.

      Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my latest, I love it when my pet theories are substantiated.

      However, I will note that none of you took the time to respond to any of my assertions regarding this (yet another) sordid turn of affairs…fair enough, it is evident none of you neither appreciate nor understand the gravity of Councilor Buck’s action (or lack therof).

      But at least I will have the decency to respond to each of you in turn.

      A voice from “This side of Bloomington” takes umbridge with the return of a “backbencher”. Or maybe he/she simply enjoys the alliteration.
      As it is, you are able to have an opinion about me, but I am not afforded the same courtesy for you, as I do not know who or what you are. At least you know my name, I know not yours.
      Perhaps you have something to hide? Or are you hiding from something. Something embarrassing perhaps?
      Perhaps if I had nothing to say, I would be embarrassed too…

      Next up is “Fed Up”. Who takes me to task for seemingly limiting my research to Wikipedia.
      Touche. Mea culpa.
      But I have an excuse. One that you may find to be acceptable as I did. I was going to use the definitions found in either the Oxford dictionary, Websters, the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, the Thorndike-Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology, the Encyclopedia Britannica Dictionary of the English Language, or any one of the dozen or so other dictionaries that clutter my office.
      But I thought, dealing with the sorts of people who populate this site I had better use a source that you could easily corroberate.
      Silly me.
      Really now, most people accept what Wikipedia says, it is peer-reviewed isn’t it? Besides, it’s on the internet,… so it must be true…right?
      And, what did I say about shooting the messenger?

      Which brings me to “Someone who loves this town more than politics”…
      Talk about “crapping on people…”
      This issue is all about respect, including respect for people you don’t agree with, a concept you my good man are utterly unaquainted with, I surmise.
      Some words, when used in certain situations with certain meanings and tones can be offensive to some people. And people with proper upbringing and manners, do not use them for the express purpose to insult and offend people. And if they are used inadvertantly, or accidentally, a person of good intent will aplogize, usually before they are asked.
      And if a proper (legal) authority demands an apology, one is given, forthwith. And not one that is so obfuscated and misdirected that it ends up not being an apology at all. Taking responsibilty for the offence, and being sincerly sorry is what law-abiding, upstanding citizens and gentle persons do.
      It is the respectful thing to do.
      A course of action I might heartily suggest for you.
      Always nice to try something new, don’t you think?

      And to “Anonymous”, who are you?… And why should anyone care what someone who hides behind the skirts of anonymity says? I know I can’t…

      And finally, The “Council Cop”.
      No, I think I will not campaign for that position. Neither should you. Or anyone else. Your town does not need an Integrity Commissioner. What it does need however, is elected officials with integrity. A feature that most (all?) of your current bunch is sadly lacking.
      And I feel all of your pain, not only because I am an invlolved and interested observer, but because when democracy is diminished anywhere, it is diminished everywhere, and that is why we should all be invloved when ever we can in an effort to improve it.
      Only by ignoring the foibles and failures of others, do they become our own. We are all interconected somehow, and as they say, what goes around, comes around.
      And, also I would like to thank you for your appreciation of my higher education (if you only knew…) and example of civil discource that I can share with you.
      My pleasure.
      To be sure.

      And by the way, your mayor already likes me, but not enough to pay me.

    • Anne said

      OMG! I have it from a very good source, that the language used in closed session meetings by a certain councilor, would make a sailor blush. Knowing this and watching the hypocrisy demonstrated by the mayor infuriates me.

    • Samuel Johnson said

      “I was going to use the definitions found in either the Oxford dictionary, Websters, the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, the Thorndike-Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology, the Encyclopedia Britannica Dictionary of the English Language, or any one of the dozen or so other dictionaries that clutter my office.”

      So, just too lazy to look up ‘umbrage’ then, Hugo?

    • Broderick Epps said

      Bethesda’s own HK wrote “However, I will note that none of you took the time to respond to any of my assertions regarding this (yet another) sordid turn of affairs…fair enough, it is evident none of you neither appreciate nor understand the gravity of Councilor Buck’s action (or lack therof).”
      I must be one of the “terminally uneducated” you wrote about. I like almost everyone on this forumn have continually commented on Ms Gaertner’s seeming lack of understanding (and sometinmes coheherence) on most matters before council. Ms. Buck’s exclaimation of ” Oh my God” after Ms Gaertner sat through a 15 minute presentation and asked for the whole thing to be repeated (amazingly she has heard derivations of the same explanation 6 previous times) is not hard to fathom. As a matter of fact most CITIZENS OF AURORA would probably agree with Ms. Buck. It appears things must be quite boring in Bethesda that you have to wade into Aurora’s affairs with your mostly condescending manner. If you find the negative responses offensive, perhaps you return to the Bethesda (Whitchurch-Stouffville) Forumn.The politics there must be pristine what with a Mayor (Wayne Emmerson) noted for his buffoonery at the Regional level.

    • Fred said

      Leave poor Hugo alone. He doesn’t have a real town of his own, and Phyllis likes him. If you ignore him he might go away.

    • Wowsers! said

      Mr. Kroon, were you my English teacher?? Holy smokes!!

    • a timid observer said

      Mr. Kroon,

      You make what i think are some fair points regarding councillor Bucks apology.

      I am curious about your thoughts on the following;

      I believe you implied that most or all of the current elected officials lack integrity. Councillor Bucks blog is filled with entries that might suggest that is true. Are there situations where you feel councillor Buck has lacked integrity? Examples?

      Also, would you mind giving some details or examples of what you consider to be diminishing of democracy in Aurora?

      Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous indeed said

      To Timid Observer – do you REALLY care what Hugo from Bethesda thinks about our town?

    • a timid observer said

      Anonymous Indeed,

      Im interested in thoughtful opinons on democracy and how to improve it. Im not sure where Bethesda is but if its Stouffville, then his mayor would be on York Regional council along with mayor Morris.

    • Hugo T. Kroon said

      Samuel Johnson: Sorry, my spell check has packed it in due to extreme cold, which reduces tension of the elastic band powering my PC. On the other hand, if I had written a dictionary like you, I wouldn’t have to look up anything right? BTW, aren’t you supposed to be dead, like for about the past 200 years?

      Broderick Epps: What a great handle… gee, I really hope you didn’t make that one up. Good point though, Ms. Gaertner is truly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and even given my limited observation of the workings (?) of your council, I do sympathize with your collective level of exasperation. However it does not excuse the action/reaction of Councilor Buck. Not surprising actually, but equally not excusable. Of course it’s not like she got up and whacked anybody…lately.
      And yes, in comparison to the goings on in Aurora, it is quite boring over here in Bethesda. But then a smooth running government and the sane folks who run it could easily be characterized as boring. Too bad it’s a foreign concept to you folks. And know, I am not easily offended, at least not by those who are not my peers…
      “Condescending manner”? I like to call it being correct…
      And finally, what have you got against “the Wayner”…?
      Just because a well connected “good ol’Boy” has made good and manages to run the only scandal free municipal government in the GTA, you call him a buffoon?
      Just who do think is doing a good job at the region? The mayors and representatives who are pushing for a zero tax increase this year? Those “visionaries”? Wayne’s pretty much the only one who is capable to look to the future and understand how short sighted a zero increase is. …Speaking of which, I see by the latest post, the usual suspects are about to start the complaining about Aurora’s proposed 2.82% tax increase. I guess you people feel it’s acceptable to incur debt now, and just expect your kids (or likely somebody else’s) to pay for it later. Sounds like a good plan, …who does your taxes, Obama?
      And you call Wayne a Buffoon? Yeah right…sounds like jealousy to me

      Fred: Yeah, your mayor likes me. And I tell you why. When we talk, and we do, I speak my mind, tell her what I think she is doing right, and what I think she is doing wrong, and I suggest to her what I believe to be possible imporvements/solutions.
      Am I one of her unknown “advisors” many of you loath and fear? No. Hardly. Most of the time I don’t agree with what she does. As a matter of fact, I have told her, to her face, that she is quite possibly the worst mayor Aurora has had in recent memory. And that’s the truth.
      But still she likes me. Why? because I am honest with her. She knows who I am, and why I am talking to her. I am trying to help. She doesn’t have to take my advice… mostly she doesn’t, (her loss) but heaven knows where you all would be if she did… but at least she knows I am doing it because I am trying to help.
      Yeah, it would be a whole lot easier to sit on the sidelines, cowardly hiding behind the cloak of anonymity, and complain about everything with out giving any solutions beyond “throw the bums out!”
      Remember the last time that strategy was successful in Ontario? Two words… Bob Rae… damn we’re still paying for that fiasco.
      That’s why I have such a problem with most of the people who contribute to this site, and thier “intentions”.
      They could really help if they wanted to, but they don’t. All they do is complain, but don’t offer up any solutions.
      Most a bunch of self-important hypocrites really. Its easy to see by the names by which they hide behind. For instance, take “Council Cop”, like this person has some kind of legal mandated power over the council…sure. Or is this “White Knight” supposed to come galloping over the hill on a white charger and rescue the fair damsel in distress (Buck?) from the fire breathing dragon (Morris)?
      (I’ll leave to you folks the visual of Buck as a “fair damsel”…)
      Or “Someone who loves this town more than politics”, boy with a handle like that you’d figure this person would actually do something for the town other that complaining a blue streak whilst never leaving his basement…
      As I said before, this blog has the possibility to be a positive force…but it ain’t happening yet.

      Wowsers!: Apparently not. 200 lines for you…

      A Timid Observer: You have every right to be timid if you find yourself on the opposite side of the prevailing opinion on this blog… well, you’ve come to the right guy.

      And as to your questions… I’m not sure we have the time or the space to cover that.
      But some general observations.
      On Councilor Buck: She has said she respects the office of mayor, but not the current holder of that office. The truth is Ms. Buck has not respected any mayor of Aurora other than the short period when that office was held by her favorite person…herself.
      Respecting the office, but not respecting the office holder is somewhat similar to respecting a highway, but not respecting the cars and trucks that drive on it. And then wondering why you got run over when you lay down on the asphalt…
      Buck needs to understand a council is about team work, and she’s not always the captain. And threatening to take “your” ball and go home if you can’t make the rules is, well…let’s just say most of us ended that sort of behavior when we stopped wearing short pants. It’s time she did.
      On Mayor Morris: Many have complained about the antics/activities of the mayor and her “supporters” on council, the so named “gang of six”. A good leader should always know how a vote will go before it comes to the floor, he/she has to know how the supporters and opposition will vote, so that the outcome is ensured/controlled. That is the reality of politics, it isn’t pretty, and it isn’t always right, but that’s the way it works. But doing it properly so it doesn’t look so heavy handed, awkward and yes, undemocratic, is a skill. Morris doesn’t have it yet, maybe not ever either. I think she may be at times too idealistic and naive, but also not comfortable with the office she holds and therefore becomes too overbearing and controlling in an effort to get done what she feels to right. She needs support from her council, she doesn’t get it, and so she over reacts…the result is almost nothing gets done, what does, never happens easily. The process gets bogged down, decisions are not made, or made poorly, staff is demoralized… and so on and so on. Well I don’t have to give any more examples of can happen, just look at what’s going on over there.
      And Morris is not entirely to blame, the previous administrations were no better.
      Does that excuse her? Definitely not, she should learn from the mistakes of others, as should we all, but that’s not happening. Democracy should be a growing, evolving thing, but that’s not happening either, and so it is being diminished.
      Concrete examples? Go to council meetings. Be informed. Get involved. You will see them for yourself.
      But hopefully, unlike most of the others who infect this site, you may be compelled to help, to build up instead of tear down, to be positive, instead of negative.
      Be usefull.
      There is hope for your town.
      Don’t you be part of the hopeless, there are enough of those already…


  6. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    Evelyn’s comments below clearly illustrate that Wendy was out of order on process to call the point of privelage when she did, but she is not bright enough to know that. Phyllis however does know the process but is a master at manipulating it for her own benefit.

    That is what you saw on TV – one not so bright lady being completely maniupulated by another. It was clear it was planned, and then the illnes may have been a monkey wrench, but no,Phyllis would not be denied.

    I can just imagine the conversation, “Please Wendy, come to the meeting and then you can leave early, its our chance to really embarass Evelyn, but don’t worry about staying for the real business of the Town. In fact maybe Evelyn will get so upset I can get enough people to walk out and lose quorum, and then I’ll reschedule the meeting when you feel better”!

    Evelyn took the high road, while still making two very important points – Wendy is way beyond her means, and Phillis’ smug look made it pretty clear she didn’t even realize how brilliant Evelyn was. Thank you Evelyn.

  7. fed up said

    The mayor wants Buck to apologize for Gaertner’s stupidity? I watched this on rogers tv live. Poor Gaertner who rose from her sick bed to come to council to insist on this apology. This is not only hilarious it is so laughable that it is sad. Just one more example why things have to change drastically in Nov 2010.

  8. said

    Just for the record. Rules of order provides redress for a member who has been offended by another in a statement or language in debate. .

    It requires a Question of Privilege to be raised immediately.

    If it is not done then,it must be done before start of business business at the next meeting of council.

    My prayerful exhortation to my Creator was made during a budget meeting on the Saturday.There was a meeting on Monday. It was Tuesdaye when the question was raised.

    Business was already underway before Councillor’s Gaertner raised the Question of Privilege.

    The Presiding Member is required to reciognise the Question.

    The ruling may of the Chair can be challenged

    In a challenge,the ruling must be put to a vote of Council. Council holds over-riding authority.

    For one reason or another, there was a substantial audience in the chamber.Staff are always a captive audience.

    I considered the merits of citing process. Would I engage once more while the Mayor struggles to establish dominance or would I, for the sake of a semblance of order,and consideration for all present, proffer regrets to Councillor Gaertner for her unhappy situation. .

    The decision was mine to make.

  9. Positive 2010 said

    Many in the Town are sayng “Oh my God ” thinking about another year of her Majesty and her crap .

  10. Anonymous for a reason said

    Well done, Councillor Buck. You pipped them at the post, and you took the high road.

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