Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Role of the Moderator

Posted by auroracitizen on July 29, 2010

We received a comment from Anonymous for a Reason in the post When Is It Campaigning — and When Isn’t It? on 7/28/10 that commented “I’d welcome some guest moderation from Elizabeth Bishendon again, but I guess now that she has thrown her hat in Geoffrey Dawe’s camp she is off-limits for the duration of the election campaign. Who else would be a good guest moderator?”

It might be beneficial to remind readers that the role of the moderator is simply to review comments to ensure they are not spam and don’t contain foul language or unproven allegations.

Since the blog was started we have received over 4200 comments and probably less than 20 comments have been rejected in that time. Those either because of language or allegations that were unproven. We even publish those that start “While I’ll be surprised if this even gets posted, here’s my two cents…..” 🙂

We have never censored comments based on opinions. If you review some of the comments you should see that to be true. We have even specifically invited Phyllis to respond directly to the comments verses have the town lawyer send threatening letters.

The real direction of the blog is driven by the posts and the resulting comments.

We would encourage anyone to submit a post for publication — something a number of folks have done by sending an email to the moderator email address or even as a comment with instructions that it should be as a post. We then simply copy and paste the email unchanged as a post and you can determine whether to have it under your name or a pseudonym.

An example was the recent post about the ban on tanning which was originally suggested by Robert The Bruce as a comment 7/26/10 on the post More of the Same From Mayor Morris and Sher St. Kitts or Why No Evening or Weekends Trains for GO Transit. You can also see the number of community posts by clicking on the categories “Guest Post” or Community Input” in the right hand column.

So, for example, Fred if you would send along a post about the industrial plants with a little bit of information — we would be pleased to publish. Or any other topic for that matter.

Also if you have any additional ideas for questions for the candidates — send those along and we will prepare a list and pass them along.

This is intended to be community driven. Please take advantage of the opportunity.

31 Responses to “Role of the Moderator”

  1. Guy Poppe said

    To Is there a doctor in the house

    You must be proud of your retort.

    Once your I.Q. reaches your age, comment again.

    • Tired of the Tiresome said

      Guy Poppe said earlier:

      ” I don’t like insult regardless of it’s source.”

      Apparently, he just can’t help himself…while trying to help his friend, Phyllis Morris.

    • Huh? said

      Is Guy the only one who can’t figure out how to use “reply” for his ramblings to a specific comment? No wonder people can’t figure out what the heck he is on about half the time. And the other half can’t be bothered.

    • Anonymous said

      There you go again Mr. Poppe with your caustic comments despite claiming not to like insult. What hypocrisy.

  2. Guy Poppe said

    To What a funny guy;

    Geez; and I thought this was an unbiased blog.

    It may surprise you but the laugh’s on you for everyone to see.

    • What a Funny 'Guy'! said

      Remind me again, who here is shilling for Phyllis? (say that fast five times)

      Okay, so to the surprise of no one, the laugh is on who?

      Yeah, I thought so…

  3. Guy Poppe said

    To the Auroracitizen

    Can I become a moderator, and if so how is this done?

    • What a Funny 'Guy'! said

      To be democratic, it may require a vote.

      Can we get back to you on this? Say, after October 25th?

  4. Tim the Enchanter said

    Wards would work Ward. (say that fast three times!)
    Wellington east – west , Yonge north-south – divides Aurora into four easy pieces.
    Should be more than enough work to keep each one busy with the mundane but necessary.
    Should also help put the brakes on local special interest groups who like to fish for support for in our currently overstocked councillor “pool”.
    At the end of the day it still boils down to the quality of the candidates but who knows, it might make the electorate care more, knowing they are only voting for one councillor and mayor rather than eight and mayor.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      I think wards would work too.

      Perhaps 5 wards with Yonge/Wellington being the center of the windrose to give us four quadrants. The fifth would be for the honourary ward of Snowball.

      Seriously, I think a council of 5 is too small. I would be happy with 2 councillors from 4 wards or even 1 councillor from 4 wards and 2 councillors “at large”. I don’t know how that would be done. I would hope that a councillor can only run in the ward in which they live, that would make a big dent in the group we have in office now.

      I don’t think that anything would reduce the SiGs though. A sympathetic ear is all they look for.


    • Tim the Enchanter said

      I know RtB – it sounds drastic to cut to four plus mayor but just look at this very blog.
      We are not posting about council’s failure to ensure sufficient police presence.
      There is no vigorous debate about the need for an addition to the high school.
      No, the hottest topic right now is the Aurora Jazz Festival (and presumably, Artisan Fair).
      To be sure, it’s fair to debate the apparent favouritism shown Ms. St. Kitts by the Town but it’s hardly a concern to the vast majority of Aurorans.
      Surely a council of five can decide whether or not to use public space for such an event.
      How many people does it take to decide if we should have a parade?
      Lets face it, less than 12,000 mayoralty votes were cast last time around.
      Wouldn’t four councillors and mayor with a clerk/referee who knows how to run a meeting would suffice?
      Potholes, dog poop, port-a-potties and parades will keep them busy.
      I would also expect one bonus benefit.
      Most serious glory hounds and Canadian Political Idol wannabes won’t be interested in serving on such a small council with such a mundane agenda.
      Just concerned citizens willing to do a job that needs doing.

      We’d still be a little town but perhaps a little less funny.

  5. Guy Poppe said

    to the moderator

    Further comment: I did my homework, but perhaps not as complete as yours.

    Tell me what you know-third request.

  6. Guy Poppe said

    To the Moderator

    I see you censorsed some more of my questions. I understand they may be delicate to your agenda.

    Do you not want to hear from all the community?

    Why can’t you answer some basic questions?

  7. Guy Poppe said

    To Moderator

    Come on there, Moderator. Don’t I get a prize for keeping your blog alive?

    Surely you would agree that without dingbats like me, your sponsorship would dwindle.

    • Guy, we would probably survive — but we are still glad you are here 🙂

    • Anon Ymous said

      We have to give credit to the Mayor and Councillors McEachern, Wilson, Gaertner & Granger in particular for supplying blog topics as well 🙂

    • really popped off said

      This fellow is a few bolts short of complete.

      Into the trash?

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Note to the moderator.

      Mr. Poppe seems to have difficulty grasping the concept of “blog”.
      Might I suggest that the Citizen simply create a Poppe Page where those who so desire can peruse the gentleman’s musings at their leisure, thus freeing up topic pages for genuine debate and argument.
      I am in now way suggesting that Mr. Poppe be censored or barred from posting but I don’t see any useful purpose in repeating his I-think-the-mayor-and-most-of-council-are-doing-a-great-job and/or what-are-you-people-plotting “opinions” on every topic thread.

  8. Anonymous said

    “The role of Moderator is simply to vet comments for language and allegations.”

    This is simply not true.

    Consider the following headline:

    “Phyllis Morris — Hypocrite or Opportunist?”

    It shows a clear bias, as if there were only two pejorative choices to describe the mayor.

    So, again, please spare us your false claims to be an objective moderator.

    • Anonymous — you seem to be confusing the role of moderator versus the author of a post. A moderator does not write posts — they simply review comments. In fact, they are not necessarily the same person.

      You are welcome to submit a post, but not be a moderator.

      You might want to consider reading the original response again — more carefully this time 🙂

  9. Guy Poppe said

    To the Aurora Citizen:

    Thank you for your response.

    You answered my question: you see your role as an advocate, not as a moderator. In fact your comment confirms it.

    Have a nice day

  10. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Oh, I’m flattered that people remember me.

    I’m also surprised that someone thinks I can’t do two things… both support Geoff Dawe’s candidacy for mayor and follow the guidelines for moderating this on-line discussion. I have both a private opinion about electoral candidates and a belief that, as a public space, the Aurora Citizen needs to be moderated with a fair set of principles and a clear eye for applying those principles.

    I think most of the people who know me well think I’m capable of both.

  11. Guy Poppe said

    to the Moderator:

    I erred in my first paragraph.

    The point I was trying to make is whether you see your role as an advocate or an invitor of comment, without encouraging a particular point of view?


  12. Guy Poppe said

    To the Administrator:

    Do you see your role as an advocate of a particular issue or position, or one that takes a position and invites the readers to agree?

    You are in a position wherein you know or can figure out the identities of those writing to the blog. Do you think this can cause a reluctance of anyone, who has a different view than yours, to write to you?

    Do you not think that the opinions you are receiving may be skewed because of your urging to agree?

    You have a valuable role to play in political discourse. Sadly your own view of your role distorts the reality.

    • Great question Guy, thanks for asking.

      The role of Moderator is simply to vet comments for language and allegations. We try our best to allow all comments although sometimes we have been criticized for allowing some and for not allowing others. We have had over 4,200 comments so far and tend to allow most — but we can’t please everyone.

      Anyone who reads this blog and more importantly contributes an opposing POV (like yourself) can attest to the fact that we try to allow as many as possible.

      However, the posts have a definite perspective. We believe that the current Mayor and Council are doing a bad job and do not deserve the trust that has been place with them. They have broken our trust and behave in a manner that is unacceptable. That is our right.

      This is a blog. It communicates our beliefs. Our role doesn’t distort reality — it simply shares our view of it.

      It is your right to disagree and we provide every opportunity for you to exercise that right. We appreciate that you have exercised that right and stimulate response. Our hope is that others will follow your lead and continue the conversation.

      Our belief is that the best way to address what we believe is broken trust is to shine a light on the behaviour.

      As always we encourage anyone to write posts. We have a definite perspective — please feel free to share yours.

      We welcome your view of reality.

  13. Guy Poppe said

    To Anonymous and Tim

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  14. Anonymous for a Reason said

    I’d like to put aside the “conduct” of Mayor Morris et al for a bit. (OK, not for long, but stay with me here people.)

    I’d like to get some discussions rolling about issues to be raised during the election. We all know how widely this blog is read, so use this forum wisely to push issues forward that candidates will HAVE to be ready to answer.

    While the continual harping and sniping can be tremendously therapeutic, it doesn’t necessarily put forth issues and ideas for the betterment of our town.

    I’m interested in the annoyingly named Promenade Study. PM is REALLY going to push this vision in her campaign (little birds are pre-chirping.)

    What are others interested in?

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Good points!

      I’d like to see more discussion on council reform.
      So far the only candidate (that I know of at least) who has mentioned this is Nigel Kean.
      He proposes cutting council down to six but adding a second Regional councillor (although the Region may have something to say about that).
      I’m not a Kean supporter (no pun intended) but this is the only definitive proposal of any kind I’ve heard from anyone.
      As far as I’m concerned the proposal has merit because there’s simply not enough work for eight councillors.
      Four is actually enough but six is a good start.

      Just think of some of the issues that have burned up so much council time during this current term.
      – Petch House (whatever happened to that anyway?)
      – senior baseball diamond which, depending on who you listen to, kicked around council for two or four years before getting final approval.
      – farmer’s market
      – Canada Day Parade
      – Promenade Study
      – Westhill development
      – Integrity commissioner version 1 and 2
      – ethics complaint(s)

      Do we really need EIGHT councillors for this stuff?

      Council meetings that shouldn’t last more than two hours often drag on for four or five and many of these items STILL haven’t been dealt with.

      In the meantime we have ONE person represent Aurora at the Region table where they deal with, among other things:
      – police
      – hydro
      – education
      – transit
      – major road construction

      You know, important things.

    • ward said

      It is too late for this election, but the ward system has worked wonders for Newmarket. Have 4 or 5 wards, mayor, deputy or regional councillor. smaller group, residents know their ward councillor, it makes staff live easier. The residents have a champion, etc…

      Push that one onto this election for the next.

    • Anonymous said

      I am interested in affordable housing especially for seniors. Aurora seems to have fancy, dancy retirement residences which I am sure are wonderful places to live but cater to those seniours with money. What about those who live on low, fixed incomes who can’t afford such choices? I would like to see Aurora’s share of subsidezed units such as Thompson Court in Markham.
      I would also support revamping council. While I agree it is too late for the ward option at the forthcoming election, I do think that for a town this size the council is top heavy. I see no need for for 8 councillors plus a mayor and think it could be downsized considerably. One would think that Aurora is hunking big metropolis or something. I think 4 councillors and a mayor would be adequate. In addition, although the town has recently undergone a “re-org”, if one poster’s facts are correct when he says that consequently town staff has increased by 20%, I am sure that that fat could be trimmed again, especially if council is downsized. I fail to understand the need for such growth.

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