Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Has Mayor Morris Fulfiled Her Election Promises?

Posted by auroracitizen on September 6, 2010

Council Watch #14 – by Richard Johnson

I think that it is about time for Aurora to check this speech against delivery…”
Selections from the Inaugural Speech of Mayor Phyllis Morris, Town of Aurora, December 5, 2006
Full text is available from the Town website.

How exciting it is for me to stand here tonight addressing this inaugural gathering as your Mayor. It’s a privilege to lead this Council and our community for the next four
years. I will respect the trust you have placed in me and will always hold sacred your confidence.

Perhaps you’ve heard the joke about the little girl who asks: “Mother? Do all Fairy Tales begin with ‘Once Upon A Time’?”

Her mother replies. “No darling, there’s another series of Fairy Tales that begin: ‘IF ELECTED I promise’.”

Well this promise is not a fairy tale – I will work with Council and Town Staff to make our municipal government more open, more transparent, more accountable and more

I’ll strive to ensure that your interaction with us is enjoyable, productive – and, yes, sometimes maybe even fun!

We will not forget that you – the people of Aurora – are the reason our town is such a vibrant and wonderful place to live.

So let’s not forget one thing. Aurora voters – sent a strong message that they expect us – Council, Staff and Mayor to do a better job – a better job of working together to move the business of this town forward in a positive and productive atmosphere.

The word most often used during the recent election was “teamwork.” Some say there’s a difference between being on a team and serving on Council. The only difference is the lack of uniforms – not the spirit, perspective, or ethics.

I believe an effective team requires players with a diversity of strengths and points of view.

So, yes, as Mayor, I will stress teamwork.

As Mayor, I promise to be fair and supportive – and I believe the public expects the same of all members of Council.

You’ll find that I’m a “hands on” Mayor, interested in the day-to-day operation of our town. While I will not, micro-manage The Town’s administration, council members, including
myself, must be kept fully informed, so that little problems don’t become big ones.

By now I hope you know I’m an energetic and optimistic person.

And, I want to know what you think. After all, this is your town. My door is open. You have my phone number – please feel free to stop me in the street, call me, or e-mail me.

I’m here to listen.

So was it a Fairy Tale?

Closed meetings have increased, legal action seems to be on the rise, over 20 senior and mid level management have left the town’s employment (some willingly, some not willingly), an integrity commissioner was fired resulting in widespread coverage in the Toronto Star, National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun and CBC news and the local media, one Councillor quit, two Councillors have stated they will not run given their experience on council, one Councillor is suing the mayor and a number of fellow councillors.

The media and residents have had to resort to numerous Freedom of Information requests in order to get answers to even the most simple and straight forward questions. While the Mayor supports legal action, trails, trees, a cultural center, a Jazz Festival and parades she has not made it a priority to support the food bank or the region’s affordable housing program with the apparent reasoning that “those kind of people don’t live in Aurora”.

I could go on with further examples but I think the picture is rather clear.

18 Responses to “Has Mayor Morris Fulfiled Her Election Promises?”

  1. Matt Maddocks said

    I attended last night’s council meeting. I’m still shaking my head about it this morning. Starting late again, Morris announced they were still dealing with an issue that had been just deliberated in closed session, the issue of a proposal by the Department of Defense to purchase the old Aurora Hydro building and lands. Before starting the general council meeting, they had to finish with the vote on acceptance of the proposal. After waiting a few minutes for some paperwork to make it back to the desk of Mr. John Leach, Morris then asked that the vote be called. At this point, Councilor Buck had entered council chamber, and was making her way to her seat at the council table. Morris, in her “typical” style, sternly requested Mr. Leach take the vote, NOW. Mr. Leach did not respond. Councilor Buck, as many know, has some molbility issues, so she was in the process of carefully making her way down the steps to her seat. Morris started barking “Mr. Leach! Mr. Leach! Call the vote!!” Again, no response from Mr. Leach. Morris, her eyes now darting back and forth from Councilor Buck to Mr. Leach, again hissed, “Mr. Leach! Please call the vote!” By this time, Councilor Buck was at her seat, and requested the vote be recorded. Morris was visibly infuriated, and again yelled “Mr. Leach, Mr. Leach!!”. Mr. Leach then responded, “Madame Mayor, my concern is that the councilor may not have heard the motion”. Morris then, in her most condecending manner, admonished Councilor Buck, and using that tone she has, you know the one that sounds like someone explaining something to a 2-year old. After some clarification back and forth, the vote was called.
    Once the vote was over, the general committee meeting was to be called to order. Morris then announced that Granger would be chairing the meeting. Not sure why? Granger than hastily scooped up his papers, his lunch box, his pencil case, whatever, and practically ran over to the Mayor’s chair. Problem was, the Morris was still in it. She took a few minutes to gather up her things, while Granger stood right behind the chair, practically rocking on his feet, hastily waiting to get his butt in the big chair.
    Once the meeting started, there was no “open forum”, they went straight to delegations. Not sure why about this either?
    The meeting continued. Throughout the evening I was an unfortunate witness to the blatent eye-rolling, whispering, and general poor behavioural issues that our current Mayor shows whenever Councilor Buck speaks. And when Morris speaks, she goes on, and on, and on, and on…

    Whether or not Councilor Buck was a few minutes late to get to her seat, the issue here was the total lack of common decency Morris showed. Morris was obvious in her attempt to call the vote before Councilor Buck could get to her seat. Councilor McRoberts at one point stepped in with a point of order, but he too was shut down by Morris’ screeching. It was all I could could do from the gallery to hold my tongue. Next time, I won’t.

    There is no way in hell Morris should ever be allowed to darken the doors of Aurora council ever again. She’s a shameful, nasty, sorry individual. She speaks to Aurorans with that “I’m oh so concerned” tone, so phony it reeks. This is someone who I would never want to represent Aurora, in any capacity. I’ll make that point clear with my vote in a few weeks.

    • KA-NON said

      It is nice to see that at least Mr. Leach seems to be fair-minded about these sorts of things.

      Perhaps I am being hopeful, but I take this as a sign that Mr. Leach is at least one not to be bullied, and may be someone in a critical position who has seen through the Mayor’s thin veneer.

    • fed up said

      What a 3 ring circus–you choose the correct animal to fit. What a shambles–who does she think she is treating collegues with such disdain?–she should never be able to grace our council chamber again–and Granger to run the meeting?–that’s laghable–I, too, will make my point with my vote–but before that there are at least 2 debates where she will no doubt open mouth and insert foot–and hopefully the citizens will not let her get away with such drivel at these debates–can’t wait

    • Anonymous said

      Over the last 4 years, but particularly in the last year or so, I have noticed that both councillor Buck and councillor Collins-Mrakas have been cut off at the knees whenever they have opened their mouths to express an opinion. However, I have also noticed that when Wendy Wobblehead speaks and takes digs at councillor Buck, our “esteemed” mayor allows her to speak long enough to make her point before ruling that she is not speaking to the motion on the table. Classic case in point was at the infamous council meeting that the IC attended. Wendy Wobblehead launched into her attack on councillor Buck and how she “has repeatedly tried to undermine the good works of council.” It was not relevant to the motion, but Morris made sure she had enough time to spit it out before intervening.
      Our mayor is a very nasty piece of work and has no scruples about how she conducts council meetings. She uses and manipulates her puppets but always ensures that it is not she who is the source of the comments. However, she is as responsible for the comments as if she had spoken them herself. What a frightful, scary control freak she is!
      It is a little heartening to hope that Mr. Leach does have scruples after all.

    • Anonymous said

      Q: How would one describe Morris’ behaviour?

      A: TYPICAL

      Bravo, to the fair-handed Mr Leach!

    • Anonymous said

      Dear Matt;
      For the benefit of Aurorans who may not read this blog, I hope you will be submitting a letter to The Auroran detailing what you witnessed. What the Mayor did may be “typical” for her but she still needs to be called out on her behavior. If the Mayor was making a blatant and immoral attempt to circumvent Cllr. Buck from exercising her legal right to participate in the vote, then you were witnessing something far more signifigant and disturbing then just the Mayor’s ignorance toward her physical limitations. I wonder how many members would have pushed back their chairs and refused to vote until Evelyn had taken her seat? I am guessing only two but I hope I am very wrong about that. Mr. Leach showed courage and integrity by not proceeding and I am thankful for that. Our society allows both morally and legally, that citizens not be discriminated against because of their physical limitations. Cllr. Buck, (I think) is fortunate that her mobility issues have come to her as a natural part of aging but that is not the case for many, many people. In a civilized society it is imperative that we demand that our politicians and public figures respect and adhere to our beliefs and laws that govern how we treat people with disabilities. The Mayor’s personal animus toward Cllr. Buck is no excuse for what is clearly inexcusable and she needs to be called to account for it. Every member of our society with physical impairments are entitled to our compassion and respect no matter how much we may dislike or disagree with their personal beliefs.


    • fed up said


      submit your comments to the Auroran as well–this is the best comment that I have read on this blog in a year–well said

    • Matt Maddocks said

      I may submit this is a letter to The Auroran as you suggest, thanks. It really was an incredible display of basic disrespect and meanness from Morris. And this person wants us to vote for her again??????

      I encourage everyone who reads this to attend the last few remaining council meetings on Tuesday evenings at 7pm. Now that the TV cameras are gone, I guess Morris feels she can drop the act, and show her true self. If we make sure to be there, at least there will be witnesses.

    • fed up said

      This week’s council meeting–she just allowed a vote to go through without even asking for a show of hands–something about amending the minutes to show that Evilina declared a conflict of interest and the minutes did not show this–hope this week’s minutes show that the vote was called but her lordship never even asked for a show of hands for or against the amendment–people in the gallery looked at each other in disbelief–what a joke she is

  2. evelyn.buck said

    I just remembered the missing line. I think it’s worth sharing.

    Ya gotta accent the positive

    E-lim-i-nate the negative

    Latch on to the affirmative

    Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.

    The election is our chance to change things. The right decision is ours to make.

    Ya gotta believe.

  3. evelyn.buck said

    If Geoff Dawe is to be encouraged to order car pennants.the name must be his.

    A flag or pennant under any other name can easily be mis-read.

    Name recognition is the reason candidates use signs.

    There is no place on a ballot for a negative.

    Accent the positive.

    Eliminate the negative.

    Don’t mess with Mr. In-between.

  4. Anonymous said

    Let’s also not forget that she’s signed a petition to ban tanning salons so she doesn’t really support local business either. It would be interesting to know if she’s cancelled her membership at the local tanning salon.

  5. fed up said

    where can I get my flag–I’ll fly mine proudly

  6. Grace Marsh said

    There is nothing in that speech that reflects my experience.

  7. fed up said

    It’s not a Fairy Tale–it is an out and out lie

  8. fed up said

    “two Councillors have stated they will not run given their experience on council”

    I know that McRoberts is not running–who is the other one?–has Allison stated this as well?

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