Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Clean Up Aurora Campaign – Isn’t That What The Election Is For?

Posted by auroracitizen on August 29, 2010

The Town is being papered – quite literally – with a “communications piece” about the “Clean up Aurora Campaign” which is proceeding in advance of the completion of the Aurora Promenade Study – a study still in draft form and nowhere near completion – though it is “expected” to be approved by the outgoing council on September 28th

Interesting side note – according to the “lame duck” provision of the Municipal Act, if less than 75% of the current Council file nomination papers, then the lame duck council can’t authorize new spending over $50,000 or sell land worth the same amount. They also cannot appoint or remove officers of the corporation (phew!  Town staff are in the clear!). For the mathematically challenged Morris – that means that 7 out of the 9 members must file their papers.  So far (thank god) only 3 have… So before this Council “approves” this study, let’s make sure we know just how much it’s all going to cost us.

This week approximately 2000 residents and businesses within the study catchments area were supposed to receive the newsletter extolling the importance and urgency of the “Clean up Aurora Campaign”.  And yes, before the Aurora Citizen receives any “complaints” about spin or misleading statements, the newsletter states, categorically, that this is a “campaign”.  What telling choice of words – bit Freudian don’t you think? One does not have to be a genius to understand what “campaign” this “programme” actually supports.

In tandem with the massive newsletter mail out – how much did that cost you might wonder – the town has actually created a website (seriously) about the “Clean up Aurora Campaign with breathless chatter about the completed projects and pending projects.  (www.e-aurora.ca/cleanup)

Have a close look at the website folks.  After you stop laughing at how ridiculous it is, you should get very very angry.  These are your hard-earned tax dollars being used to fund a “campaign” of questionable utility and suspect purpose.

Look at the “completed projects” noted in the glossy, multi page, newsletter:

  • Re-painted all downtown railings their original green colour
  • Planted/hung 90 baskets of flower arrangements
  • Repaired, repainted and reinstalled Heritage signs where needed
  • Installed a new playground at Machell Park
  • Periodically power washed sidewalks in the downtown business area
  • Re-painted the road lines on Yonge Street
  • Removed advertising boxes in key business areas

We’ve raised this point previously in the post Is Mayor Morris Putting Lipstick on a Pig, but in light of the increased expenditures on this “campaign”, they’re worth raising again.  To be clear – there is NOTHING innovative about this programme. In fact it is not a programme at all but everyday work that the relevant departments are required to do and already doing.  This is already covered in their operating budgets.  This has already been paid for by your hard-earned tax dollars.  Why are we spending untold THOUSANDS of dollars on a pile of promotional nonsense.

We have an answer for you – ELECTION DAY!!!

We urge you to make your anger known.  Take the newsletter and send it back to the Town Hall – do your part to “clean up aurora”.   Let the Town know that you are not fooled by this pathetic attempt at whitewashing over a failed term of council.

Please vote on October 25th and truly “clean-up aurora”.

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26 Responses to “Clean Up Aurora Campaign – Isn’t That What The Election Is For?”

  1. evelyn.buck said

    I have only seen the “newsletter” online. I am informed it cost less than eight hundred dollars to produce. It was done in house. As yet I do not know if that figure includes man hours.

    I understand it was distributed by mail. Regular mailing is 52 cents. That would be $1200. I think the town has a meter. I don’t know if that means we have a discount.

    I have followed up with the questions. When I know you will know too.

    The money came from the Whitwell fund. We took that from the developers. $150,000. Fifty thou each permit issue syage. The purpose stated by the town was to provide a benefit to the downtown commercial area to compensate for the competition from the Smart Centre.

    Council gave approval to use $30,000 of that money at the July 13th meeting between eleven pm and midnight.

    Two thousand “newsletters” are an intitial distribution. They were distributed on Larmont Street. Not sure what that had to do with the downtown commercial area. I’m waiting to hear what the entire radius is.

    Did everybody notice the full page picture of the new baseball diamond in The Banner. That was an advertisement paid for by the town.

    Remember the three year delay in approving the diamond ? All the argument about what it should cost? Controversy deliberately created by the Mormac Duo.

    We could have had that paid for with soccer facilities combined through federal grants. M.P. Lois Brown advised it was eligible.

    We did not apply.

    Alison would say ” Why would we not apply?”

    And my response… ” Ah well now…you keep looking for logic and I keep telling you…. there isn’t any that has anything to do with community benefit. It’s all calculated to benefit the terrible twins and their followers. They are counting on people not being smart enough to recognise what they’re doing.”

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      OK – I’ll bite.

      Councillor Buck – don’t be shy – spell it out.

      We could have gotten a grant for the baseball diamond.
      We didn’t apply.
      Instead, after years of waffling the diamond gets built with Town money instead.

      What’s the MorMac evil plan here?
      Obviously, if it was to kill the baseball diamond it didn’t work out very well.
      So, who benefits by Aurora NOT getting grant money?

    • evelyn.buck said

      The baseball diamond was built with developmment charge money and funds from the cash in lieu fund.

      Cost to grade the entire site and remove the mountain of earth stored from construction of the Recreation Centre was removed from the budget.I believe the figure was $400,000.

      An equipmnet storage bunker, $17.000,was also removed to bring the budget down. No contingency fund was allowed for the project,

      Subsequently federal grant money became available for municipal projects which were “shovel ready” An enquiry was made at the M.P’s. office and the answer was positive.

      The diamond, the site completely graded and new soccer facilities wouild have qualified for the grant.

      In fact, the funds available from the federal government were not being taken up because few municipal projects qualified. They were not “shovel ready”

      We did not apply for the project.We did not get federal money which was available to us.

      I am the last person you should ask about why we did not do the sensible thing.

      Ask the Mayor. Ask MacEachern, the expert on all things. Ask the Town Treasurer.

      Ask the kids who had to go out on bottle drives to raise the funds for the bunker which is an essential component of a baseball diamond.

      Practice cages are also a normal component if tournaments are planned. I believe we are short on that score as well.

      But the price had to come down to less than staff estimated. Just to prove the Mormac duo were smarter and Leisure Services staff had no credibility. Have you not been paying attention?

      Did I say there was any logic here?

      By my standards, politicians get credit when things are done properly and the best results are achieved for resources expended.

      Smoke and mirrors don’t cut it. .

    • Anonymous said

      I find it interesting that a Municipality should have the pulse of Federal and Provincial grants and did not get on the band-wagon. The Newmarket Soccer Club certainly has. They received RinC funds, then applied and received Trillium funds and are now on the receiving end of funds from the Magna Hoedown. Combine this with getting relief from the Town of Newmarket on development fees and other charges, they have done a pretty good job for a bunch of volunteers. And they don’t have a shovel in the ground!! Someone missed the boat here.

    • evelyn.buck said

      I didn’t go back far enough in my response to Tim The Enchanter’s question.He takes the position since the baseball diamond is built,there was no “evil plot” (his words)

      In the first budget of tis term, staff recommended a purchase of suitable land available at the right price because as yet, it had no development designation.

      Baseball facilities had been put off in previous years, although they were identified in the Master Recreation Plan as a Priority Need. The limited facilities we had were being over-used. Over-used facilities are abused facilities.

      Councillor Mac Eachern argued funds raised from development charges and cash in lieu should be kept in reserve to earn interest.In future years, when the town is built out, no such funds will be available.The arguments were made behind closed doors.

      The Treasurer tried every which way to explain to the new Council,funds raised on the basis of need must be used for the purpose.

      If they are not, standards which justify their requisition are reduced and their justification cannot be established.

      The new baseball field is located on land, which at that time, could not be developed for several years.Also, Because of it’s topical nature it was not suitable for a diamond. The cost of levelling would be as much as the cost of a baseball facility.

      No matter. Land was not purchased. A priority need was not met.

      An estimate in the ten-year capital forecast to build a diamond was $600,000.
      It was made without consideration of the nature of a site.

      When the price came in at $1.6 million,that’s when all hell broke loose and staff were held up as complete incompetents if not worse.

      They tag-teamed around the table in their attacks on the Leisure Services Director.

      MacEachern called another municipality to prove how far out of line the estimate was.

      When the dust settled and they had wrestled the price down, only part of the site was levelled, the mountain of stock-piled soil is still in place to be moved at some future time, no contingency were allowed but contingencies are yet to come, other normally essential functions of a baseball facility were eliminated.

      A suitable letter of abject gratitude from the President of the Baseball Association President has been received and no doubt will appear on someone’s campaign literature. And, magically, community concerns will hopefully have been assuaged.

      If Tim the Enchanter’s reaction is typical, no doubt they are right.

      My contention would be…you can fool some of the people some of the time…you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

      And four years is too long a time.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      I believe you have misunderstood my meaning Ms. Buck.

      I took your original post to mean that MorMac’s failure to apply for available funding was due to some nefarious scheming on their part to torpedo the ball diamond.
      Obviously, I over-estimated the abilities of the principals involved.
      No such scheme existed – just the usual stupidity.

      So now we have an over-priced baseball facility – apparently built without benefit of available grant money.

      Typical.

  2. Oh no said

    I noticed today both Granger and Gallo have registered again as candidates for council. Guess they are just following orders as usual. Along with someone named Helen Power.

    • Anonymously said

      Well, Gallo can’t put “re-election” on his signs because he wasn’t elected, he was appointed. Or annointed, by her serene Phyllisness.

    • fed up said

      why is Gallo wasting his money?–he didn’t get elected last time and he won’t get elected this time

    • Anonymous said

      Maybe the Wells Street school folks will support him…. or not.

    • Anonymous said

      Granger is just a school yard bully.

      I understand he threw his weight around the Farmers Market and gave warning to David Heard as to who he should not speak to.

      These names included Nigel Kean,Tim Jones,and Steve Hinder.

      He also wanted to see a list of any volunteers that might be used by Mr.Heard in community events at the Market so as to not use Magna for Community people.

      Sad but true.

    • Anonymous said

      I sure hope not. You can debate if Council should have been involved at all, but as they were, Bob McRoberts was the obvious choice as council representative. But, of course, Phyllis nixed that and put up her appointed one, in an effort to garner him some local issue support (a la Aurora Grove power lines).

      The good thing is that organizing committee members knew what was going on and figured they’d just use Phyllis in their campaign. They weren’t fooled, having seen how she latches on and panders to special interest groups.

    • Anonymous said

      Interestingly, the Wells Street brigade that I’ve spoken with are not supporting Phyllis. They used her to further their cause, but of course she had no power or influence. She will be rewarded with no power or influence during the campaign.
      Gallo was an obvious lap-dog, so he won’t get their support either.
      You reap what you sow.

  3. noseeum said

    Get over it allready.

    • Richard Johnson said

      Noseeum:

      You sound a whole lot like Evelina. Is that just a coincidence ?

      No-see-um, no-hear-um, no-say-um… unless of course it fits with the agenda.

    • Get Over It... said

      I think you’re on to something RJ. Noseeum’s spelling errors and sentence construction are quite similar to Evelina’s.

  4. Anonymous said

    Now, here’s an idea:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontomayoralrace/article/854301–let-voters-fire-mayor-mid-term-rossi-says?bn=1

  5. evelyn.buck said

    I have asked the question .When was this direction provided by Council? As yet I have received no answer.

    On the other hand , other odd things have happened..

    We have had a meeting of Council in Committee to discuss the draft plan of the 2C Secndary Plan. I believe the meeting is a regulation requirement of the process.

    Last Monday I discovered the “Steering Committee” is still having meetings ..

    Obviously the Draft Plan is not complete..

    In the CinC meeting,Councillor MacEachern objected to reference to allocation of water.An explanation was provided

    Water Allocation is a regional policy. It had already been endorsed by Council.

    Still, like a dog with a bone, it was being chewed again at the “Steering Committee’ meeting last Monday.

    The “Steering Committee” is Mormac and the loyal four..

    George Rust D’Eye, lawyer, advised early in the term. one way to deal with recalcitrant Councillors, was to appoint an executive committee of all members except the unwelcome ones. Those were not his exact words. That was the meaning I took from them.

    By the By, the 2c Secondary plan has already been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board by several land-owners.

    • evelyn.buck said

      I forgot to mention, the Steering Committee is steering the consultants every step of the way.

  6. Anon said

    “2. Maintain lawn areas to no higher than 8 inches or 20mm”

    8 inches is just over 200mm. It’s a shame there’s no proofreader in Aurora. 20 mm is about 3/4 of an inch.

  7. Matt Maddocks said

    This latest “stunt” doesn’t surprise me. What is a little surprising though, is that Ms. Morris chose to use this tired old campaign tactic for an election taking place in 2010. If she could, she should have just bottled the “Clean Up Aurora” campaign, and labeled it “Snake Oil”.
    A glossy paper release accompanied by a separate website, just to pat themselves on the back for having Town staff do the very things they’re already paid to do? Maybe this is what Ms. Morris meant when she campaigned on her “transparency” platform – I can see right through this…

    • Anonymous said

      Just imagine if road lines were only repainted in election years. Of course they are painted regularly as a matter of public safety. This is a bogus list of “accomplishments”; all of them are covered in the town budget. What bloody nonsense this group of idiots dreams up!

  8. Anonymous said

    I hope this joke of a newsletter was printed in the Comic Sans font.

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