Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Town Solicitor Demands Removal of Blog Comments

Posted by auroracitizen on April 25, 2010

Under the post A Monument to the Leadership of Mayor Phyllis Morris, we posted that one of the positions that had departed was the Communications Officer — based on a comment by Richard Johnston.

Subsequently we received notice of a Private and Confidential Registered letter (via Bill Hogg, who kindly shared this with the Aurora Citizen team) from Christopher Cooper, Director of Legal Services/Town Solicitor.

In that letter Mr Cooper states;

“Pleased be advised that the Town considers the comments in respect of the Town’s “Communications Officer” in the aforementioned postings to be false, misleading, unsubstantiated, without any factual foundation whatsoever, potentially defamatory and potentially damaging to the personal and professional reputation of the individual, currently in the Town’s employ, about whom the comments are made, despite the fact that the individual is not referred by name.”

This was followed by the demand to remove all comments from the blog  because they are potentially libellous and damaging — with the instruction to “govern yourself accordingly”.

So here are the facts we have uncovered.

  • The Communications Officer has not left. In fact there never was a Communications Officer at the town. This was an erro on our part.
  • There was a “Communications and Marketing Manager” who has the primary media contact for all town media for the past 8 years — as noted on any Press Release available on the Town website until March 2010
  • The town has created a new position — Manager of Communications — based on a newly created job description that includes requirements that the long serving employee did not have. We are unable to confirm which of those requirements that the new employee has.
  • Both the old and new positions are Managers.
  • The long serving “Communications and Marketing Manager” was required to apply for the opportunity to continue to do the job they had been doing — successfully it would appear — for 8 years. Not surprising, they did not receive a job offer.
  • Significant responsibilities of the “Communications and Marketing Manager” were transferred  to the new position.
  • Since the media release of March 8, 2010, the old position is no longer is listed as the media contact for Aurora — that is now the new Manager of Communications.
  • We undersatnd that the 2 people who reported to the Communications and Marketing Manager are now reporting to the new Manager of Communications. The old position no longer reports directly to the CAO.
  • The Communications and Marketing Manager returned from a vacation to find their belongs and office materials dumped into the renovated councillors office space – their old office now occupied by the new “Manager of Communications”

So Mr Cooper, knowing that you are a reader, in response to your demand that we “respond in writing to the undersigned by no later than 5:00 pm on Monday April 26th, 2010′, please be assured that we have removed the offending reference.

And knowing that people at the town offices  do read the blog — at least Mr Cooper does (although we know that Mayor Morris claims not to read it personally :)) — we invite you to provide any additional facts to provide balance as Councillor MacEachern has asked for.

Per your request, we have governed ourselves accordingly and provided the full range of facts as they are known.

We apologize to our readers for the mis-information. Because we provided this mis-information, we have done some additional research and have provided the facts as we have read them in the public domain.

We will leave it to the citizens of Aurora to draw their own conclusions about the manner in which this staff member of the Town has been treated.

In summary, the Communications and Marketing Manager did not leave — but possibly the conduct and treatment by the town sheds some light on why so many have.

Advertisements

51 Responses to “Town Solicitor Demands Removal of Blog Comments”

  1. Interested Observer said

    It’s good to see that it’s still as entertaining as a George Norrie show here….a small group of people expousing their conspiracy theories, claims of shadow governments and providing proof of alien abductions.

    The posters on these boards, myself included, are trying to influence and sway opinion to their benefit but remember that “the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour.” Come election time, assess which candidate has contributed in the past and which hasn’t. For new candidates it’s more difficult but determine what are their values, where do they stand on the issues that are important to you and then decide who best represents your interests and desires.

    My feeling is that the average person does not buy into the negative campaigning and statements made here by individuals who have a stake in getting elected or re-elected. My suggestion, focus on what people have accomplished or claim they will accomplish, decide which on current council have contributed little, ask each of the candidates the tough questions and decide who best represents your values, then read the conspiracy theories for the entertainment value.

    Good luck to all.

    • Richard Johnson said

      Not long ago it was noted that the Mayor had put forward a single motion since becoming elected over three years ago. Councillor MacEachern on the other hand, had put forward approximately 50 motions, of which a vast majority had passed with the support of “the GOS”. so by your logic we should make Evelina Mayor.

      What about those Councillors who have been ignored despite their best efforts ? Do we not vote for them because their efforts were largely shut down and or ignored by a very clear block of votes ?

      What about the fact that Mayor Morris has claimed to represent and offer one set of promises while delivering quite another ? There is no conspiracy theory there. All you have to do is compare what has been promised with what has been delivered.

      Here’s a good example: Firing an Integrity Commissioner who is highly regarded internationally for his expertise, the day after he delivers an opinion that clearly does not fit with the Mayor’s preferred outcome speaks for itself regardless of how many of the Mayor’s friends and causes have benefited from what she has accomplished. The Mayor’s methods used in what appears to me to be an attempt to discredit the professional integrity of the recently fired commissioner and the resulting cease and desist order, not to mention what struck me to be a flagrant manipulation of the town council’s procedures in order to ensure that the Mayor’s attack on Councilor Buck remained on the town’s webpage while at the same time she has claimed that there are no issues for the new IC to address, also serves to reinforce the point for those that choose to look more closely at the bigger picture.

      The Mayor needs to check her inauguration speak for delivery, as the saying goes.

    • Richard Johnson said

      Check out the following bio that is posted on-line for David Nitkin of EthicsScan; the gentleman that Mayor Morris felt was unfit to rule on Council’s very public attack on their fellow Councillor (Clr Buck), after another Councillor (Clr Marsh) felt compelled to resign as a result of what she felt was her gross mistreatment by the Mayor. This is the same man who the Mayor trashed as being unqualified to be an IC, at AMO, to other municipalities, in the media and in Council (now that’s a record !)

      David is a rare breed in Canada: a full-time corporate ethicist. He does original writing, teaching, consulting and research on corporate social accountability, ethics auditing, and enhancing ethical management.

      Mr Nitkin is…

      – President of EthicScan Canada, Canada’s oldest, fee-for-service, full-service ethics consultancy

      – President of the Canadian Clearing-house For Consumer and Corporate Ethics

      – co-author of three books, The Ethical Shoppers Guide [Broadview Press: 1992], Shopping With a Conscience [Wiley: 1996] and Ethical Wills of the Partriarchs [forthcoming: 2002]

      – an international speaker, writer and trainer in the area of Ethics in Business

      – Publisher of The Corporate Ethics Monitor

      – past president of the Ethics Practitioners’ Association of Canada

      – Business Ethics instructor at Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada

      David consults and trains widely with a variety of clients, including industry associations (on topics like the ethics of stakeholder management; external expectations of business); the public sector (values and conflict of interest training; strategic planning in government; and managing with integrity); corporations (ethics audits; updating corporate codes of responsible business practice; and benchmarking best practice sustainable business); social agencies (donor screening; ethical partnering; fundraising management in not-for-profits); and non-governmental organizations (ethical investment strategies; demographic and social futures).

      He graduated with a MA (Historical Geography, York University), and at the top of his class with an Honours BA (Geography, University of Toronto). David lectures widely on a number of ethics themes: notably, social futures; sustainable business; the changing nature of the workplace; and effective frameworks for enhancing ethical management in corporations. He writes a regular feature column in The Corporate Ethics Monitor.

      David’s community service includes executive positions with Beth Tikvah Synagogue, the Bathurst-
      Lawrence Four Quadrants Community Alliance, The Ethics Practitioners’ Association of Canada, and
      the Social Allocations and Budget Committee of the Toronto Jewish Federation.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Re: David Nitkin Resume May 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

      Quite the CV.

      Of course it hardly holds a candle to:

      “Phyllis holds a Law Enforcement Diploma (High Honours) from Seneca College, King City, and was Valedictorian in 1995, receiving the Tony Fuelling Memorial Award. She graduated in August 2003 from Seneca College as a Court and Tribunal Agent (Paralegal).

      Prior to moving to York Region, Phyllis worked in the United Kingdom for the Ministry of Defence, as a Clerical Officer in the Headquarters, and Communications Section.”

      A complete search of the Seneca College website and also Google came up empty on the ‘Tony Fueling Memorial Award”

      Fairly safe to say Tony isn’t available to give us any details either.

    • Richard Johnson said

      To: Thanks Will Be Given Come October, May 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Well you clearly got me there !!!

      LOL.

      We should think about giving out a “Fog Fuelling” award during the heat of the next election, but only to the most deserving…

  2. Guy Poppe said

    First of all, please forgive me for struggling through this blog concept. I’m trying to get involved, but this old brain ain’t used to the new era of communication.

    In my humble opinion, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Heard raise very valid questions.

    As I perceive their concerns, they feel that there may be consequences if some writers identify themselves.

    That’s a very valid concern.

    Having said that, authors hide their identity sometimes more for concern of retribution, but also because they have an agenda. It is why I am troubled with the unknown with whom I am communicating. Little stars deleting expletives and comments like “minions” and “Phraud” distract from proper debate.

    I am thankful for not having that concern with you.

    • M'Lud said

      “Little stars deleting expletives and comments like “minions” and “Phraud” distract from proper debate.”

      You’re not in a wood-panelled office or courtroom here, Mr Poppe. You’ll find frank exchanges – not always couched in courtesies – but it is debate. I’ll let you define “proper.”

    • David Heard said

      Mr.Poppe

      May I call you Guy please.

      Excellent reply,yet there are those who do fear consequences.

      I am very proud of the citizens of Aurora who have stood up for one another in a time when there is in fact a bit of mean spirit flowing.

      By the way ……

      I want to thank many citizens of Aurora and York Region for their help over the past few years.

      You are the reasons I feel more part of a bigger picture and the volunteer efforts are to say thank you.

      I just received an award and it belongs to “Aurora”.

      Aurora and areas around us are very special.

      Maybe heaven can be a place on earth if we really try…together.

    • Anne Scott said

      Guy, if you are struggling with the whole concept of blogs, please follow the link below to a You Tube video “Social Media Revolution”. (I hope my link works, however if not, copy and paste -perhaps someone else here can help me) Whatever your opinion is, it’s the new way we communicate, and the Town of Aurora needs to get up to speed fast. Censorship is not accepted in the coffee shops, nor is it welcome here.

    • Social Medianaut said

      Thanks very much for sharing that, Anne Scott.

      (I think I heard heads explode at 1 Municipal Drive)

    • Guy Poppe said

      To M’Lud

      I think I am astute enough to realize I am not addressing a judge. Your comments clearly indicate that listening to another point of view is not your forte.

      On the other hand, I also realize that I’m not in a septic tank.

      You also seem to know a lot about me.

      Perhaps you can discard your mask and let me know who you are. You can do it privately if your more comfortable to have your identity remain secret.

    • Nigel Kean said

      I would like to comment on David Heard. I first met David when I started the Farmers Market and he was selling buttons to raise money for a charity at that time.He was eager to get into the market but his desire went further than that. He then wanted to start a pie eating contest with the money also going to charity. It was a great success and all of the credit should go to David the amazing way that he ran it. He always tried to help at the market and always helped me get food for the Pantry each Saturday.
      It was great to read that he received an award but I wish he had been more specific of the nature of the award.I am sure that it was for all of the great work that he does as a volunteer.
      He also continued to help at the market after I left and the market moved to the new location. He was normally the first person there and continued on his food drive and now the Ghost Walk in Aurora. He never got the credit that he deserved at the market, as he is not the political type.
      He only wanted to help without all of the hype at the market.

      Way to go David, and please never give up on your dreams of always helping those in need.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Nigel, if I”m not mistaken it was an award from the York Region Character Communitee organization.

      You remember, Aurora used to be a part.

      Based on the disappearance of this slogan from the town business cards, I fear that is no longer so.

      Based on the actions of some members of council, my fears are confirmed.

  3. Guy Poppe said

    To I’m Just Curious

    I am a Canadian born in Flanders, Belgium during the war. My parents where Flemish (like Dutch) I pronounce my last name just like the poppies from Flanders Field.

    To Richard Johnston

    You are obviously a man of class. I would love to meet you one day.

    Insofar as councilors writing anonymously, I am not aware of that, nor did I ever partake in such a practice. I would reject such requests and chide the councilor for such suggestion.

    The problem I have with anonymous comments is that it is impossible to ascertain whether the author has some bias, or direct interest in the subject at hand. Like you mentioned, how can I be comfortable that the author is not a friend of a councilor and writing on their behalf or otherwise.

    When I write to the newspapers, my name and address are required before any publication is considered.

    Similarly if we want to make a comment to Council, we must state our name and address.

    Like Hugo Kroon, I have positive and negative things to say. I hope I’m not inviting my cruxifiction.

    • David Heard said

      Mr.Poppe

      I have respect for what you have pointed out but I wish to ask you a question using your skills involving law,or personal perspective.

      If a citizen or many of them,have had experience with levels of bullying by persons in positions of power or influence?

      How does one SAFELY receive support.

      I feel you cannot fight city hall and this may be abuse of power if these events are truely happening.

      “When it comes down to bullying there are no innocent bystanders so tell someone”

      There are citizens who have friends etc. who carry pain from verbal assaults and harrassment.

      They reach out to others for support and sometimes write to release frustration and inform others.

      Bullying is like big fish eats little fish and government and corporations can be like that sometimes.

      Not all the time,however we see this in schools,community,biz,and government.

      So what is a citizen to do?

      I say FREEDOM OF SPEECH is a great thing unless it crosses to hate and mean spirit.

      Blogs are a great release and we are better with them than without.

      What say you Mr.Poppe

    • Richard Johnson said

      I highly suspect that councilors are not infrequent participants on this site, and I agree with you that there should be no fear in signing one’s name to one’s beliefs, especially if you’re elected ! I have to admit that I have posted anonymously in the past but after some reflection I stopped that practice because quite frankly I am not afraid to speak my mind openly.

      We’re all entitled to our views and the whole purpose of this site is to hear them, even if the town’s lawyer, the mayor and other’s may not agree.

      You’ve got no problem with me, even if we may disagree in the future on any given point or the interpretation of our local politics, so long as your honest with both me and yourself.

    • Guy Poppe said

      Thank you Mr. Heard. You may certainly call me Guy. You comments are refreshing.

      As you will note I am already being chastised by some reader
      for advocating civility. They don’t deter me however. I have always found that the more personal the attacks-the less credibility the author has.

      To Anne Scott- Rest assured that I am totally against censorship. What I have a problem with is the uncivil language, and imputing impropriety and doing so behind a wall of anonimity.

      If that where we are in Aurora, I will reserve my opinions to a much more personal venue.

    • David Heard said

      The award was

      Change our World ,Social Justice award .

      I will bring it to the Market as it does belong to all of us.

      Thanks again.

  4. Guy Poppe said

    To Anon Anon, whoever you are.

    You’ve peaked my interest about your assertions implying partiality.

    Please provide me and this audience with one example where I allegedly ran “interference” for the mayor.

    Just ONE will do. If you have more, feel free.

    Now, I will suggest something to our audience. Anon Anon (whoever he or she is, is interested in getting elected next election.
    Perhaps we can hear a response from the horse’s mouth.

    • I'm Just Curious said

      Now, you’ve piqued my interest, Mr “Guy L. Poppe (that’s my real name)”

      Is it the English Guy or the French (as in Lafleur)?

      Also, do you pronounce it ‘Poppy’? Or is it ‘Pop’? Perhaps ‘Poppa’? Some other variant?

  5. Guy Poppe said

    To Anon Anon, whoever you are.

    Your facts are all wrong. I did not work on the Mayor’s election, nor do I “run interference”.

    I have respect for the mayor and all councilors(admittedly in various degrees). For any elected official to be subjected to some of the false and vicious comments by somelacking the courage to say who they are, and maintaining silence, evokes my respect.

    Too bad Anon Anon didn’t ask me before making these allegations, which have nothing to do with the subject I was writing about-i.e. the town solicitor. As Councilor Buck rightly stated, that office should not become politicized.

    • Richard Johnson said

      Dear Guy: I ask this respectfully… do you honestly think that at least one or two Councillors that are mentioned on this website do not post anonymously or have their friends write letters to the editor ? I am inclined to think they just don’t have the guts to add their names to their comments.

      I’ve seen from first-hand experience how Council operates and with all due respect (and I mean that), I think that you are giving too much credit to those that claim to be setting a new and higher standard at the town hall. The root of my frustration lies with the fact that I have witnessed firsthand what appears to me to be some serious duplicity. All is not what it first appears to be and I have more than a little firsthand experience to back that claim up.

    • Anonymous said

      How can anyone have respect for Morris? And majority of council, even in varying degrees? This is ludicrous!

      And possibly the town solicitor, 3rd round draft pick, should be traded.

    • Anne Scott said

      Guy, I should have been clearer – I was suggesting that the town solicitor was trying to censor this blog, by demanding removal of certain content.

      Given the social media revolution, and the fact that the Mayor and councilors have not openly participated in this blog, one of the main outlets for people to voice their concerns about what is happening at Town Hall (and believe me I’ve tried email, and have never received a response from the Gang of Six) tells me that they are irrelevant in today’s world.

      Perhaps the new communications person, aside from writing speeches, will set up a new Aurora blog, just in time for the election, with only Mayor-approved content, much like you will find on the Town website “Letters to the Mayor” section.

    • Guy Poppe said

      To Anne Scott

      I can certainly understand your frustration in the lack of communication from council. My experience has been otherwise.

      Back to the Town Solicitor’s letter, you may want to have a look at an article in http://www.canada.com which talks about the rise of libel suits from blog comments.

      I wouldn’t want any citizen to fall into that trap on the belief that free speech is umlimited in a blog.

    • Anonymous said

      Is this the article you meant Guy? http://www.canada.com/life/Court+decide+posters+ability+remain+anonymous/2875088/story.html

      Here’s some more history: http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/story.html?id=44633f5a-6d26-422c-be8b-53a785a6d6dd&k=37041

      There was also a recent ruling in Nova Scotia on the same issue. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:M2Tw0Ll8H1IJ:thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1177233.html+You%27re+not+anonymous+on+the+Net&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      And the Toronto Star’s community editor is no fan of anonymous posts. http://www.thestar.com/opinion/publiceditor/article/796154–english-online-anonymity-and-the-law

      I don’t have a problem with anonymous posts, this one being a case in point. But that doesn’t mean public officials and civil servants shouldn’t be able to protect themselves against libel. I think a lot of people who post here are confused about the difference between fair comment and libel.

    • Anonymous But Unbowed said

      Did someone turn down the thermostat in here, or is it just me? There’s a definite – and deliberate – chill in the air of this blog.

      A lawyer (who else?) raises the spectre of libel versus free speech and attempts, unsuccessfully, to provide a link. Lo and behold, an able assistant jumps in to provide multiple links regarding anonymous online comments and litigation. A friend of a friend, perhaps?

      There wouldn’t be a campaign to quell discourse on this active blog, now would there? Surely, there can’t be a concerted effort to intimidate posters from expressing their dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs at the Town Hall, can there? Who would want to send a chill through the assembled Aurora Citizen contributors? Who would possibly benefit from a dormant discussion board? After all, it is less than six months to the election, so all’s fair and all that…

      Perhaps there is something to what Anon Anon said – some mention of “running interference.” Hmm, seems openly evident to me.

    • Luckywife said

      To: Unbowed

      Excellent post! I agree with you completely, the AC has been in existance for over two years and by some strange coincidence the Town Solicitor and a MorMac supportor suddenly take notice of the blog just a few months before an election? I take no issue with Mr. Cooper contacting the moderator with a REQUEST to change incorrect information, but I have a huge problem with the message being delivered with an or else attached to it. I take no issue with Mr. Poppe expressing his opinion and offering opposing view points, it only adds more to the debate. He is polite and well mannered and to my mind his participation only re-enforces the need for people to have a forum to share their opinions anonymously. However, I don’t like being threatened either blatantly or condescendingly with gentle admonitions and encouragemnt to go back to being sheeple, that just doesn’t work for me and only convinces me more that those who oppose the current make-up of government in Aurora are making headway.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Let’s see, since October of last year there have been over 95,000 ‘visits’ to this blog. An impressive number even allowing for the fact that there are obviously multiple visits by most participants.

      Now those of us that participate are being asked to consider things like anonymity, libel etc.

      I may be wrong, but I don’t remember blogging activity like this here or on other sites prior to the current term of this Mayor and Council.

      Which begs the question, does this activity now take place just because internet technology now exists to make it possible?

      Or are the actions of this Mayor and Council such that an obviously large number of Aurorans need to voice their feelings?

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      I fail to see the need for Anonymous posts in a “community” blog. It does nothing to foster community, but does a lot to give a soap box to conspiracy theorists and let’s not forget the benefit for those in office to comment without having to reveal themselves.

      That being said this blog has chosen to allow anonymous posts and although I can’t speak on behalf of the moderator(s) I see no intent to change the structure to remove anonymous postings.

      Yes it is true that we find ourselves in an ever increasingly litigious society, even more so here in Aurora but it seems highly unlikely that:

      a) legal changes will happen at a high level to prohibit anonymous blog postings at a federal, provincial or municipal level

      or

      b) that a lawsuit be brought against the blog to ascertain the identities of anonymous posters.

      Now I have no idea what kind of law Mr. Poppe practices, or used to, but from his recent visit to council with a bulging paper file folder in tow (no doubt for dramatic effect), coupled with his postings here I fail to see a technology focus.

      After failing to provide a link to back up his argument another anonymous poster provided a handful regarding libel and anonymous posts, which if you took the time to read through them like I did you may find it interesting to read that the courts are “considering” changes (read not adopted) and that few suits have moved forward with most disputes settled out of court.

      This hardly reinforces any point Mr. Poppe may be trying to make re: limitations on free speech that should change the overall climate, or anonymity in posting on this blog or others.

      The comment was made : “I think a lot of people who post here are confused about the difference between fair comment and libel.”

      I haven’t seen anything to support this.

      I believe that the confusion lies less about the balance between defamation and libel, and more so with the differences between Traditional and Social Media and believe Anne’s video post is a fantastic contribution to the discussion.

      I will endeavor to compile my findings on Internet Defamation and Online Libel in Canada, as well as prepare some posts over on my blog regarding Social Media, blogging and the Web 2.0 in general.

      I think we can all appreciate that looking at this new world through the lenses of some dusty taped together glasses held aloft some extremely out dated law books is the wrong approach. As is trying to inhibit fear and/or quell discourse.

      If Evelyn Beatrice Hall was alive today I think she would still say “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” and she wouldn’t add any exception that read “except on the internet”.

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      Ontario Court Sets Standard For Disclosing Anonymous Posters
      http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5005/125/

    • Richard Johnson said

      To Anonymous, May 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks for the LINKS. You might want to read this one as well.

      LINK: http://www.rutmanlaw.com/images/Update%20on%20the%20Law%20of%20Defamation.doc

      “It is the very essence of a democracy to engage many voices in the process, not just those who are positive and supportive.” – Pedlar, J. Superior Court of Justice for Ontario.

      >>>>>>>>>>

      “The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the Township’s lawsuit, deciding that the criticism of governments is protected by an Absolute Privilege. Justice Pedlar states it eloquently, that “in a free and democratic system, every citizen must be guaranteed the right to freedom of expression about issues relating to government as an absolute privilege, without threat of a civil action for defamation being initiate against them by that government.” So, while the right of individual government officials to pursue claims of defamation personally remains, the ability of a governmental authority maintaining an action in defamation in its own name has been denied. It is unknown whether the Township will pursue an appeal of this decision.”

  6. Anonymous said

    I don’t suppose anyone here thought for one minute what kind of effect your postings about the “communications officer” might have on her, personally and professionally? Do you think she would be happy that everyone — including potential future employers — can now read she`s been “demoted?”

    And posting the reason you think she took a leave from work is a shameful invasion of her privacy. Her situation should not be played out in a public forum to further a personal agenda against the mayor.

    • Not clear on your comment about “posting the reason you think she took a leave”. We have not made any such reference.

    • Richard Johnson said

      I see your point: Namely that it is far better to be screwed over quietly while the Mayor claims to be creating a great new working environment at the town.

    • And now you have brought it to the forefront again by referencing the comment almost an entire month later. And your point??

    • Richard Johnson said

      I can see the anonymous poster’s point to a certain extent but no harm was ever intended to the employee. In fact, quite the opposite. I for one don’t think that being on stress leave says as much about the employee as it does the employer in this case. Who can blame anyone for being stressed as a result of having their job yanked from under them ?

      How dare these people for trying to appear that they are coming to the defence of someone they have completely mistreated ! This is absurd, but what else is new ? With friends like these, who needs enemies ?

    • For those of you that want to put the above comments into context said

      Under the heading of “Is Mayor Morris preparing for the next election” the following comments were posted:

      Ann-nonny-mouse said, March 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm

      <<<>>>

      Also, do you know for a fact that the lady who was previously manager of communications has “effectively been squeezed out of her job?” Are you aware whether (a) she applied for the position or (b) she may have been offered it, but chose not to accept?

      Please, enlighten us….

      Richard Johnson said, March 30, 2010 at 8:06 am

      She applied and was granted one interview when she came back from stress leave. She was not invited back to the second round of interviews. This does not explain the glowing job reviews (when they were held) over the previous eight years, other than the fact that she did not have the university degree that was only recently added to the list of job requirements eight years into the job. The town apparently changed the position in order to include speech writing for the mayor and presumably other requirements. You may not feel that this move is intended to meet the Mayor’s personal needs but I’m not so sure, knowing her as well as I do. People tend to act in character.

  7. Luckywife said

    Well bravo Aurora Citizen! You must really be ruffling some feathers at the Town Hall. The last you time you got their ire up they sent the CAO after you with veiled threats about what actions they might take if you didn’t tow the party line. Nothing veiled about this threat and from a lawyer no less! Isn’t there a council meeting tomorrow night? Maybe the Mayor or Evelina should make a motion to ammend the Code of Conduct to include town residents too. Then they can file a complaint with the Integrity Commisioner against Mr. Johnson, and any citizen found guilty of sedition can be forced to repent or risk spending 30 days in the Petch house! I know this is no laughing matter but, honestly, these people make themselves such easy targets. What a terrible shame, Aurora is still a great little town but it won’t be for much longer if the voters don’t get rid of the rot.

  8. Guy Poppe said

    I’ve always wondered who is behind this site.

    The fact that the Town’s solicitor wrote the letter to Bill Hogg seems to answer the question.

    I don’t have a problem with free speech, but I like to hear or know from whose mouth it is coming. Those who don’t identify themselves lose any credibility in my mind. I assume Bill Hogg is the driver of this site.

    Bill, is this part of a campaign at promoting your next election?

    If so, it’s not impressing me.

    Sad, because I was such a big supporter.

    Guy L. Poppe

    • Guy, don’t be so quick to assume that Bill is behind this site. Months ago at a Council meeting Bill freely admitted to Councillor MacEachern that he is a contributor — possibly that is why the town sent him the letter. We appreciate his and others from making a contribution. In fact you are now also a contributor for making your comments. Thanks for joining the conversation.

      As for running for election, you will have to ask Bill about his plans yourself.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      The Citizen Blog is what it is.We are all getting used to a new outlet for political expression.

      I suspect many opinions freely expressed in anonymity would previously have been quietly exchanged in the assurance of privacy.

      Is that a bad thing. We can not know for sure .

      My own intuition suggests it’s not the place for a town official to engage.

      The town’s Chief Administrative Officer made a statement about the new office of Communications Manager.He stated one of his tasks would be to correct misinformation that might be abroad.

      That seems reasonable. I do it myself if I have been the one to misinform and someone draws my attention to my error.

      I think misinformation can be and should be corrected without. There should not however be any suggestions of consequences.

      Respectfully, I suggest, that’s like waving a red rag at a raging bull.Not a wise thing to do.

      Blog is becoming everyman and woman’s sounding board. There is time for it to evolve. In our current environment,it is definitely volatile.

      I think any attempt to mess with this new-found outlet of expression that is Blog may understandably have regrettable consequences.

    • evelyn.buck said

      Apeil 26th 7.23p.m. was me. Seems clicking to install updates on Java may have interfered with my name and address appearing automatically when I submit a comment.
      I didn’t notice. It was dis-satifaction that got it started and it became an outlet for people to express themselves.
      I repeat my contention it is not the place for Town Officials to mix in.
      In case something else hasn’t been noticed, this Blog has been politcal from the start. It was born of outrage with with the current political regime. Smooth, pedantic political operations produce nothing but a gigantic yawn.So we are politically engaged. What’s wrong with that.
      The Office of the Town Solicitor should not become part of the hurly-burly of politics.
      There is good and professional reasons for the administrtaion to maintain a separation from the political
      It is an area wh should be assured that advice we are receiving is free from political bias.
      In the Mormac regime we have no such separation.
      Staff and consultants are regularly and unconscionably used to promote the regime’s agenda.
      If they do not submit, their fates are pre-determined.
      The town’s business is our business.People do not have to have secret motivation to become actively involved.And they do not have to apologise
      Being ruled by a majority doesn’t mean the majority is always right. That’s the maxim for a customer in the world of commerce.
      Neither does it mean the minority must be silent.

    • Anon Anon said

      Very interesting to see Mr. Guy L. Poppe participate in this blog. Guy is an ardent supporter of Phyllis Morris, worked on her campaign, and runs interference for her.
      Phyllis has confirmed in this week’s Auroran that she will be seeking re-election.
      Let the games begin.

    • Richard Johnson said

      To Councillor Buck,
      April 27, 2010 at 8:42 am

      “The Office of the Town Solicitor should not become part of the hurly-burly of politics.”

      We agree again ! How about that ?

    • Anonymous said

      Don’t tell me the long awaited announcement is at hand, Phyllis is going to run for re-election.

      Our mission, which of course we choose to accept, is to let her feel the agony of defeat caused by her actions and the harm she has rendered to Aurora’s reputation these last four years.

      I was sure the spin would be for her to move on to other endeavours claiming her prowess and requesting that Yonge Street be renamed in her honour.

  9. Junius said

    If I am not mistaken, I believe it took three batches of candidates before the Town could find a person somewhat acceptable to hire for the position of Town Solicitor.

    That could mean:
    1) the Town was being exceptionally careful, to ensure that they got the right person; or
    2) the Town’s reputation is so bad that they finally had to settle for someone who at least registered above the warm and breathing threshold, and, of course, would do what they are told.

    If you refer to Mr. Cooper’s communication to the Aurora Citizen I think that Number 2 is the more likely.

    My countdown clock is running! (182 days and waiting)

    • Guy Poppe said

      Obviously, you have never dealt with Mr. Cooper and are not familiar with libel and slander law.

      After spending nearly 30 years in court rooms, I think I have some grasp about solicitor competence.

      I have dealt with Mr. Cooper and he is beyond reproach.

      It is obvious you have no idea about the role and responsibilities of a Town solicitor.

      If you had nformed yourself, I am sure you would not have written your comment.

      But then again, you may have other motives.

      Guy L. Poppe (that’s my real name)

  10. Richard Johnson said

    We will have to leave it to the town, the employee(s) in question and their respective lawyers to figure out what constitutes effective or constructive dismissal but as far as I am aware, if someone replaces you by sitting at your previous desk and by assuming your former responsibilities which would include having those people that used to report to you report to them, then one might at least consider that effective or constructive dismissal has in fact occurred. What is equally disturbing in this case is that it now appears as though the town does not want the public to be able to even openly question how it is treating staff, regardless of the evidence that seems, at least on the surface, to suggest there may be some discontent in the ranks as evidenced by what appears to be an abnormally high staff turn-over rate.

    If I was working at the town I highly doubt if I would feel that the Mayor has delivered on her promise to create a better, more transparent, more responsive and happier work environment. I suspect that I would feel less secure, regardless of what previous job reviews may have said.

    Regardless of the concerns and questions raised, I also don’t think that any of this is the fault of the person recently hired to the “new” role in this instance and he may well do a great job, however I also suspect that may not consol the person that has been effectively replaced and / or relocated, as the case may be.

    • Richard Johnson said

      Also for the record, I do not think my initially posted comment was incorrect in any way. I never suggested that the individual in question left the town’s employment. I suggested that the treatment given to this employee may justify a constructive dismissal or effective dismissal case. The fact that I said this individual appears to have been “squeezed out of their job” may have been the cause of the confusion, but I stand by that claim.

      As far as I am concerned, the treatment of this employee says more about the town than it does about the employee and that was the whole point all along. I’m sorry for any confusion caused on my part.

  11. Anonymous said

    Potayto. Potahto. I call bull****!

    What a joke this mayor and her meek minions are. Like they give a **** about the person that they’ve replaced in such a humiliating fashion.

    No, let’s hire some flack to churn out bumpf and spin. Some new guy who owes his well-paid position to She Who Must Be Obeyed. It’s an election year, dammit, and we’ve got a voting bloc to get re-elected.

    But keep hiding behind spokespersons and lawyers, Phyllis the Phraud…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: