Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Facts About Senior Staff Exodus

Posted by auroracitizen on September 20, 2010

Guy Poppe, faithful supporter of the Morris regime, has repeatedly challenged readers of this blog for a list of senior staff who have left this term “because of the current Council”. His premise is based on the fact that unless the departing employee writes a letter to the editor stating this, the wholesale departures shouldn’t be linked to the current Council.

We say, real leaders accept responsibility for what happens on their watch. Well, this is Phyllis’s watch.

Mayor Morris has steadfastly refused to even answer the direct question of Richard Johnson, in spite of a Freedom of Information request specifically asking this very question. Wonder why? If there is a more obvious answer, why not illuminate the great unwashed.

Perhaps Mr Poppe would repeatedly ask her for this answer.

So to try to answer the question without the spin, we have simply pulled the list together as best we can based on public information. Please let us know if we have missed something.

Following is a list of senior staff positions that make up the Management Committee. These are the town staff that interact directly with Council and are responsible for all operations of the corporation.

By position we have listed the original employee at the start of this term — followed by any changes where applicable. We have left out employee names to respect their privacy.

Chief Administrative Officer
Original employee – Contract “Terminated”
Replacement in place

Original employee – departed
1st Replacement – departed
2nd Replacement in place

Original employee – departed
Replacement in place

Director, Public Works
Original employee – departed
1st Replacement (acting) – departed
2nd Replacement in place

Director, Planning
Original employee – departed
Replacement in place

Director, Building Administration
Original employee in place

Director, Finance
Original employee – departed
Replacement in place

Director, Parks & Recreation
Original employee in place

Bonus Question: Integrity Commissioner
D. Nitkin – Contract “Terminated”
D. Tsubouchi

By our count, the town has lost 8 people from 6 senior management positions; we now have new faces in 6 of 8 positions with only 2 of 8 original employees still in place.

Each of the original employees had years of experience at their role providing the town with their expertise. This expertise and corporate  memory have been lost.

Now of course Mr Poppe will again demand to know which ones left “because of the actions of the current Council“.

It’s a surprising question coming from someone who claims to be a lawyer. If so, he should know that when leaving a place of employment it is not advisable to make claims like “I left because of the boss”. It reflects poorly on your character when seeking future employment and opens the door to possible legal action, something this Council has a reputation for.

Plus, departing staff had too much class to make such statements — something the current members of Council could learn from.

We simply offer the facts and invite you to draw your own conclusion.

28 Responses to “Facts About Senior Staff Exodus”

  1. evelyn.buck said

    It’s interesting to note how many candidates are prepared to dismiss problems in the last Council as due to “personality conflicts” There’s nothing like sharing the blame.

    They should hope not to become the constant target of heat-seeking missiles, especially while they are occupying the high ground they recommend.

    There’s a definite risk attached to that situation.

    On a more positive note however, with more years of experience under my belt than most candidates have years. I have known nothing but positive working relationnships in previous Councils and have shared the satisfaction of accomplishing many good things for the community.

    I wish all candidates the same experience I have enjoyed, with the exception of the last four years.

    • Ms. Buck.

      As I have stated quite plainly, I was in the room when Mr. Jackson told the members of the EAC he would be leaving Aurora. I can easily produce half a dozen other people to substantiate that FACT.

      In this light, I think it is important for you to indicate how you come to know what you present here as fact.

      You speak as a councillor with both real and assumed knowledge that the rest of us do not have. Your words therefore carry significant weight with the community, so when those facts come in conflict with other known facts it is necessary for you to explain their origin better.

      As someone who regularly claims the moral high ground, I assume you would agree with this statement.

      Thank You.

    • Anonymous said

      Mr. Moore seems aggressive? Yikes.

    • Anonymous, I’m not sure how you think I could make my point any less aggressively than I did here. If by aggressive you mean I shouldn’t be challenging Councillor Bucks account of events when they appear to contradict the facts as I know them, then I make no apology.

      Decisions in Council need to be based on facts, I promise that if elected I will challenge ANY councillor’s or staff’s account of the facts (as politely as possible) if it appears they are not consistent with other known facts. This is an important function of council as a whole, and no one should really be taking offence at it.

      In this case I made clear how I came to know the what I know. I think it is entirely reasonable to insist that Councillor Buck do the same.

      Oh and BTW, I was not the one accusing other people of drinking poison Kool Aid. Though I realize this is simply political posturing on Councillor Bucks part and I take no offence, I would still say that is somewhat more “aggressive” than my comment.

  2. evelyn.buck said

    No such thing.
    Wayne Jackson gave notice within days of public criticism by the Mayor of his handling of a critical situation of an adhesive odour from relining pipes which escaped into a couple of homes and caused a panic because of a chronically ill child.
    Mr.Jackson did exactly what he needed to do, and immediately.
    It didn’t stop the Mayor from dumping on him
    Just as quickly he removed himself forthwith from this place.
    No municipal professional needs to take those kinds of risks with his career.
    For the same reason, it is not circumspect to dump it back on the politician.

  3. Doesn't Make Sense said

    With due respect to broderick epps and darryl moore – are they tarnishing the reputation of Mr Jackson by stating that he told an advisory committee that he was leaving the municipality — before informing council as a whole or the CAO?

    Possibly they simply have their dates mixed up. Would they not agree Mr Jackson is a consummate professional and would never demonstrate such a lack of discretion.

    • Broderick epps said

      I didn’t say he told the advisory committee first. Just said he gave notice about the time of the last election. also defined his destination.
      Don’t lump me with the Morris apologists. Thats offensive!

  4. evelyn.buck said

    We have another name to add to the list.
    David Tzubouchi signed a contract on April 1st.
    He dealt, somewhat, with two complaints.
    On August 31st, 1 month after a moratorium was placed on complaints pending the election, he forwarded a complaint to a different Integrity Commissioner .
    He “recused” himself from the complaint.
    It means in fourteen months, we have had three Integrity Commissioners.

    • Brian Duff said

      Is there not a freeze on new senior level hires in an election year, at least a month or so prior to the election?

  5. Anonymous said

    Darryl – get your facts straight…

    • Indeed.

      Here are some pictures from Sue’s retirement party.

      As for Wayne Jackson. It was the last (possibly second last) EAC meeting in which he announced his departure to the committee members personally. I have no idea how much notice he gave, but being a senior position he may well have still been in Aurora’s employ when the new council started, so there may not be any documentation to validate my statement, but I’m sure if you don’t believe me you could ask any EAC member from that term and they will support my statement.

      I pride myself on being truthful, rational, and base all my arguments on facts. Always! I assume others are being truthful unless there is evidence otherwise and I try hard to see and understand the rational for their arguments. These are qualities some other people could benefit from adopting themselves.

    • If you only knew said

      “if you don’t believe me you could ask any EAC member from that term and they will support my statement”

      Darryl, Try asking a remaining staff member from that term they too might be truthful

    • KA-NON said

      Darryl, Until you acknowledge the utter mess that this council is in, and the obvious reasons for it, your “rationale” “fact-based” arguments are going to ring very hollow. I am not sure yet whether you are for real, or whether you are a thinly-veiled apologist for the MORMAC regime. I want to believe you, or better put, I want to believe that at least SOME of the people running for council are what you purport to be, but your refusal to acknowledge just how bad things are, and why, are belying your true self I suspect.

    • fed up said

      he will not acknowledge the utter mess–he is a Morris supporter, as stated in an email to myself, and probably thinks the Mormac regime has done an outstanding job–reality hasn’t sunk in yet

    • KA-NON, I quite readily acknowledge the mess that council is in, and the code of conduct served only to fan the flames, (I’m not sure what you think I am not admitting too) but I do ask you to keep in mind that I am currently a candidate for office, and as such I cannot get into the personality disputes involving individuals on the current council. I see such issues with many current members, but I do not want to discuss any of them. If I am lucky enough to get onto council, and then must forge a working relationship with someone I have been overly critical of, it will be very difficult. I hope you can appreciate that.

      I replied to Richard Johnson, who wrote fair comments on my answers to the questions put forward on this site and I encourage you to read them and give them fair comment yourself.

      I honestly am not on any ones side. Being critical of some of the positions which are taken on this site is no different from being critical of how council handled the code of conduct, or other council decisions. It is what makes me an independent thinker. What I like about municipal politics is that there are no sides, only individual points of view which hopefully all councillors will consider fairly. It is the only level of government where true rational debate, without interfering party lines, is even possible. I truly hope we can have such a council next term and if given the chance I will work to make it so.

      And please. Ask me my position on any issue. Ask me about anything COUNCIL did that was good or bad, or anything COUNCIL should do in the next term. I will give you as frank an answer as is possible. Base your judgement on that. All I ask is that you don’t ask me to give opinions about individuals on or running for council. Giving honest answers to those questions when I may have to work with those very same people, could be difficult, as doing so could jeopardize any future working relationship setting the stage for more personality conflicts into next term. I don’t think anybody wants that.

    • Fed up, If you are who I believe you to be, I did admit to liking Morris (gasp) in an email (which I’m sure is heresy in this neighbourhood) and even voting for her last time. We worked together on the EAC and got along fine. I had no reason to dislike her. I also acknowledged mistakes I think she made and indicated that I was unsure who I would vote for this time. You made it clear that you did not believe me.

      This confirms for me that expressing opinions on individuals is a mistake. A mistake that I have made in this case and have now learned from.

      I will continue to blog frequently about what I see as the issues. I will use the best reason and facts I can to support my positions. I will be critical of current council, as well as positions put forward by other candidates. I will continue to assure you that it is my desire to work effectively and respectably with whoever is on council. I will not sling mud at individuals, and I will ask that you try your best to base your judgement of me on that.

      I do not carry the hostility toward the current council that others here appear to, though I see many mistakes and desire change as much as anyone. I make no apology for that.

      I find it interesting posters here are critical of the current council’s group-think where they appear to give short shrift to dissenting views, but practice the same things themselves. I wonder how many this irony is lost on. It is a siege mentality, which interferes with rational thought. Current council is guilty of it, and so are several of the posters here. Pity. I hope we can get beyond this next term.

    • Robert the Bruce said


      I don’t know you from Adam but a bit of advice if I may. While this blog is a good opportunity to allow candiadates to present their platforms, if you engage in back-and-forths with other blog participants, you will eventually say something that you regret and will harm your campaign. It may already be too late for you based on some of the posts that I have read here.

      Social media is great – if you know how and when to use it.


    • Robert, agreed and thank you. It is difficult to stand and allow your position to be misrepresented. Perhaps that also explains some of the hostility I think people here feel. I live and learn, and thank you again for your input.

    • KA-NON said

      Fuimus’ words are probably wise.

      I need to comment on the “group-think” comment.

      I would characterize the seeming unanimity of opinion on this blog as “like-mindedness” rather than “group-think”. There is a difference. Also, I am not sure that I would even characterize the council’s behaviour as group-think. I don’t see good consistent rhetoric from the GOS that is inspiring followership, but rather manipulative bullying, which the weaker-thans can’t seem to stand up to. Therefore, I think your charcterization of irony is entirely mis-placed.

      I don’t think you should respond to this, as per Fuimus’ advice. Keep your high-ground, we’ll decide if it is disingenuous or not, and then lets count the votes. I am still leaning toward voting for you however, as YOUR rhetoric will mandate (if you are honest) to remain, if elected, firmly perched at altitude.

    • Not for the Faint of Heart said

      “If I am lucky enough to get onto council, and then must forge a working relationship with someone I have been overly critical of, it will be very difficult”

      Darryl, running for council is a big step and you should be congratulated for making the decision , however You will need to grow a set if you plan on surviving for more than a month and actually making a difference , for far too long there have been too many come and go without leaving a mark ,As a politician there’s nothing wrong with being critical of others, it’s part of the gig and to be expected , just back it up with the facts and arguments and move on, You could be part of something great next term . Tell it like it is .what’s to loose

    • Fred said

      RtB, you took the words right out of my mouth….
      The “Moore” I read, the more I feel discomfort on his approach to issues. I feel confrontation, and we’ve had way too much of that this term.

    • Stephanie said

      I can see how some of the postings on this blog may appear to be a sort of groupthink. The fact is, however, I don’t know ANY of the other posters here. Not one.

      My opinions may jibe with those of some others, but I suspect that is either a gathering of like-minded people, or perhaps a matter of how the current situation actually looks to outsiders in general — but certainly not groupthink.

      My opinions are just that: MINE. And I think there are a genuine — and outrageous — problems with the current mayor and council.


    • Richard Johnson said

      Well said Stephanie !

      I couldn’t agree more. No one is telling me what to think, that’s for sure. I’ve had too much first hand experience and I’m willing to bet that a vast majority of the new people running for council have not had as many dealings with this council as I have over the past six years.

      Just because most of us agree that the sky is often blue doesn’t mean we’re involved in some kind of conspiracy.

      I’m inclined to think that people that don’t like the message find all sorts of reasons to dismiss the conclusions on this website.

      The sheer weight of fact and logic that supports many of the underlying assertions expressed here should speak for itself but I know full well from my experience in the power supply issue that all too often the facts don’t always sway opinions like you would think they should.

  6. I knew Wayne Jackson (former director of Public works) as he was staff to the EAC on which I served. He announced his departure at the end of the previous council’s term. He left to another and better job in a different municipality (I do not recall which one) We were all very sorry to see him leave, as he was a wonderful person, and resource to the committee. He cannot be included in any count of disgruntled employees.

    Also Sue Seibert (Director of Planning) retired in 2007. I cannot speak to the other positions, but this explains 1/4 of all the departures you are critical of the current council for.

    Without knowing why a particular staff member left all you can do is speculate and talk of probabilities. How many of the other staff had reasonable reasons for leaving unrelated to council? No one knows. I prefer to stick to facts which can be quantified where ever possible. This is especially true where I am arguing any amount of blame for an event rests on other people.

    • Both staff noted above were listed in town documents as employees when the current term started. Hence neither announced their departure prior to the beginning of the term.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Hmmm, “Moore’, what branch of the Morris family is that from?

    • Broderick epps said

      Mr. Moore is correct. Mr. Jackson gave notice around the time of the last election.
      got an opportunity near his cottage with the City of Peterborough.

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