Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Like a Bad Smell – Some Things Just Won’t Go Away

Posted by auroracitizen on October 30, 2010

Granger files request for recount

By Sean Pearce | Oct 29, 2010

Incumbent lost seat by 21 votes Monday

The ninth-place finisher in last week’s race for a council seat has requested a recount.

Incumbent Stephen Granger finished just 21 votes behind first-time candidate Paul Pirri Monday night.

In Aurora, voters elect eight councillors at-large, so the ninth-place showing leaves Mr. Granger without a seat at the table.

Mr. Granger couldn’t be reached for comment by deadline.

The request for a recount will be considered during a special council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.

When reached for comment Friday, Mr. Pirri said he isn’t particularly concerned about the prospect of a recount.

A candidate is entitled to ask for one, he said, adding he’ll accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

“It’s his democratic right,” he said. “I place full faith in the process, so whatever happens, happens. I’m not too stressed about it really.”

There is a 30-day time-frame from when official results are calculated for a recount request to be filed.

A council or school board can pass a resolution for a recount or the minister of municipal affairs can order one.

Unbelievable as it may sound — the same people who refused to “waste” tax payers money on a by-election 18 months into the term are now considering spending taxpayers money on a recount.

Seems it was 7 (corrected w/thanks to our readers)  years ago that MacEachern wasted our tax dollars on a recount to try to oust Councillor Buck. Now they want to try to keep Granger in. It will be interesting to hear their rational after the recount proves to have been a total boondoggle.

Maybe they would be willing to reimburse us for the wasted money.

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65 Responses to “Like a Bad Smell – Some Things Just Won’t Go Away”

  1. Inquiring Minds, & all that said

    So, did anyone go to the Special Meeting of Council re: recount? If so, a full report, please.

    • evelyn.buck said

      Clerk Panizza was asked what a recount would cost. I do not like to trust my recollection completely when citing numbers.
      I believe he gave a figure of $21,600. Voter turnout was about 500 votes higher Therefore the count will take longer. Salaries are higher

      It costs less to use staff for the job. No-one can argue man hours should not be part of the calculation. Employees are paid. Why is that so difficult for some people to acknowledge.

      Last night, the current clerk informed Council Mr. Pannizza did not leave a final tally for the re-count in the file.

      Two figures were verbally provided for the current request. One for machines. Another for technical staff. I think the two are approximately $9,000.But don’t hold me to that.

      We will still have man hours to calculate and we will not know what they are until the task is completed.

      I do not understand why there is an attempt to minimize costs for a re-count.

      The cost of the 2006 election was $160,000. This election will be higher. The numbers were higher.

      Remember how cost of a re-election was used to deny it. Even while we had John Mascarin, solicitor, parked in a chair at the Council table, probably costing us $5,000 for the evening, to assist the Mayor in handling the debate.

      I find it interesting how easily my figures are dismissed by some as “made up” by someone who doesn’t offer any.

      If you don’t know the figures and how they are compiled, how can you say what they are not?

      All I ask is a little objectivity in the discussion.A little less of the ad hominem please.

    • Anonymous said

      So Evelyn what was the result – will there be a recount? Or did you leave early?

    • Anonymoose said

      Ms. Buck. you pull numbers out of a hat

      “I do not like to trust my recollection completely when citing numbers. I believe he gave a figure of $21,600.”

      “I think the two are approximately $9,000.But don’t hold me to that.”

      Yet when we question those numbers you say we are attempting to minimize the cost. I am not minimizing anything, but I would suggest it is the cost of democracy, just like the other $160K you mention (though given your history with numbers, I’ll wait till that figure is independently verified before believing it)

      I would suggest that it is at most 2 days work for the clerk and one other person, which to my mind cannot be more that about 1K. Also the Auroran paper from 2003 said the cost of that recount was about $2500 in staff time.

      http://www.theauroran.com/pdf_download?id=2566

      This is about 1/10th of what you quote, and I would say a whole lot more reasonable. Inflation and growth could not possibly account for the discrepancy between these published numbers and your guesses.

      I have now offered some of my own figures and I would say it is quite easy to dismiss your figures as “made up”. Please make an effort to check your facts before posting.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      I read in the meeting agenda and supplimental documents that the Clerk indicates that the cost for the recount is “MINIMAL” because they are using existing staff.

      At what point is minimal no longer minimal?

      Fuimus

    • No account Recount said

      Hey folks who cares about the cost , its well worth every nickle just to see Bobble Head lose not once, but twice within two weeks , what more could you ask for????

    • Interested Observer said

      Interestingly Ms. Babbling Buck must continue to make herself relevant by striking at shadows and then explaining to everyone how big the shadows are, some will believe. It will be interesting to see how many 8-1 votes there are this term, opposing just to stand out is an interesting political strategy and approach. Getting something done is a more beneficial strategy.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      And ‘opposing just to stand out’ was never used as tactic by then Councillor Morris years ago?

      I would also like to use this opportunity to modify my identity on this blog. With an outward expression of happiness that I would be pleased to display at the Town Hall I will now be known as ‘October Came and Thanks Were Given’

    • She Who Laughs Last said

      “…opposing just to stand out is an interesting political strategy and approach”

      By “interesting,” I assume you mean “successful” – as in Evelyn Buck was re-elected while most of your friends weren’t.

      “Getting something done is a more beneficial strategy.”

      What your friends managed to ‘get done’ was dig their own political graves while getting emphatically booted out of office.

    • Anonymous said

      If Buck can’t get something as simple as the cost of the recount right, it makes me wonder how many other mistakes are in her writings….

      It will be interesting to see how the new mayor handles her the first time she causes headaches for council by misstating something or disclosing in-camera items just because she feels they don’t belong there.

      I’ve got a feeling his, “We can police ourselves” attitude won’t last long.

      P.S. — ‘Thanks’ — Are you suggesting it’s okay because Morris did it? What is this, grade school? “Well she did it first!”

    • Frank said

      I’m inclined to agree with Anonymous 10:37.
      I’m as pleased as punch that Mor and Mac, and Frick and Frack are gone, but don’t expect EB to play nicely with the new kids on the block either.

    • Interested Observer said

      To “She Who Laughs Last”. Some people were newly elected, some re-elected and some de-elected, that’s our political system at work. Aurora has the council that the public elected. Congratulations to Ms. Buck on getting re-elected for another term, unfortunately it may be premature to be laughing for the community as with Ms. Buck involved it may be another term with more conflict and little to show for her contribution other than more muckraking.

      I suspect that her concern with a recount is not the cost to the taxpayer, that her creative accounting skills pegged at over $20,000 and appears to be more like $2,000, it is fear that the new voting block she’s looking to be part of if they’ll have her, might be weakened.

    • October Came, Thanks were Given said

      Evelyn is and always will be Evelyn. She definitely has opinions. But she does show respect to those who still respect her right to voice them.

      The stripes on the Morris cat however only became apparent to most Aurorans after she gained the Mayor’s chair.

      Aurora’s opinion of those stripes was voiced on October 25th.

  2. Tim the Enchanter said

    You can read about the 2003 recount in the Dec 2 and 9 issues of the Auroran.
    The 2003 recount took two days and cost about $2500 according to Town Clerk Bob Panizza
    Unsuccessful mayoral candidate Homer Farsad requested the re-count claiming the machines weren’t tested properly.
    The recount came up with negligible changes.

    According to Town Clerk Leach (Oct 14/10 YorkRegion.com) we’re using the same machine method now as in 2003.

    We know they work because we’ve already had a 2003 recount.

    A 2010 recount just means feeding the ballots back through the machines – the same machines that apparently can’t be trusted.
    Huh?
    Assume for the sake of argument that a recount alters the results.
    Does that mean the machines were wrong on Oct 25 or on the recount?

    Is Councillor Granger or another eligible citizen prepared to apply for a court-ordered manual recount which is the only way to settle the issue once and for all?

    If not then I’m not too sure what a machine recount does for us.

    • Frank said

      So where the heck does Councillor Buck come up with $25K for a recount?

    • Anonymous said

      Frank….. Evelyn likes to make up numbers to scare people. There is no way it will cost $25,000.

    • george said

      Granger is within his right to ask for a recount. He was only 22 votes from being the 8th councillor.Even if it costs money to do the recount, it is his right.

      On the other hand, and bearing in mind readers are dealing second hand in commenting on the issues before council, it seems to be a waste of money to have voted for integrity commissioners and engaged in legal action to settle personality disputes. And the money wasted is that of Aurorans.

      So even if Granger wins on the recount, there is still a problem. In such circumstances, I would simply move on.

      Aurorans want to go forward with Geoff Dawe and a new council.

  3. Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

    Is that the same staff that has been told by the CAO to no longer show expressions of glee of happiness at Town Hall until the new Council is sworn in?

    • A "police" state? said

      To Luckywife at 10:50 am

      You said “there is a member of staff, as part of their job description, who “polices” blogs, newspapers and other forums and reports what is being written or said. To whom I don’t know. That’s fact.”

      On behalf of of all the residents of Aurora I trust that our new mayor will nip this little bud before it gets even more institutionalized.

      And what is this “recording secretary” costing the taxpayers per year.

    • What!?!?!?!?!

      Where did this come from?

      This is completely out of line.

      If it is true back it up please.

    • Luckywife said

      No surprise there.

      Luckywife

    • Luckywife said

      To “A “Police” State:

      The position is : Manager of Corporate Communications. When the Mayor announced the candidate she made is clear that was part of the job function. I’m pretty sure I read about it in the Auroran. Cllr. Buck and Chris Watts have both written about it on their blogs.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      To ‘someone who loves this town more than politics’

      Let’s just say that the source is someone that can’t express happiness for a while.

  4. The majority of Aurorans said

    Dear Melanie:

    You say that some of the people “still hold a position of authority until December 7.

    They do: with regard to my garbage collection, snow ploughing my street, providing my home with water and taking away the waste-water.

    What other authority should we be fearing?

    • Anonymous said

      You know very well that the new Mayor and Council will not be sworn in until December 7. It remains to be seen if the outgoing Mayor and Council will continue to conduct business in the same manner as they have for the last four years.

      Just finished reading this weeks Auroran. Unless I am having difficulty with my english comprehension, Cllr. Wendy Gaertner has put the blame on staff for filing the lawsuit against the AC. IMO she made it quite clear that she supports it and would do so again. That would indicate that she still has no understanding of the weight and limit of a council’s authority. Not to mention overwhelming public opinion. Status quo in wendyland.

      Luckywife

  5. evelyn.buck said

    There were six Councillors present at the in-camera meeting. Councillor Collins Mrakas and myself did not attend.

    Councillor McRoberts subsequently repudiated the resolution .

    The resolution apparently gave carte blanche to the Mayor to do whatever she decided.

    I’m not sure why any Councillor would assume, under the circumstances, that meant launching a suit for damages against three residents of Aurora at taxpayers expense.

    Litigation is one of the few issues allowed to be discussed behind closed doors “to save the town harmless”

    • Anonymous said

      I thought the meeting is Tuesday?

    • evelyn.buck said

      Just another little snippet to corret en arronneous impression.
      A candidate does not have a right to a re-count. He only has the right to request a re-count.
      The decision whether or not to hold a re-count rests with Council.
      The way it looked to me last night is that this Council is of a mind to challenge the entire election.
      Since four of them were defeated their wounds are still fresh and knowing them as we have come to know them, I am not surprised.
      Which is why, in my opinion, they should not be the ones making the decision.

  6. Anonymous said

    I admit I do not like Granger. The stories from the market I hear about him and the fact I wanted to spit on him every morning I saw his obtuse and smug smile on the GO Train platform make it hard for me to agree with him. 21 is a reasonable margin to validate the true intent of the people despite the cost. I pray that Pirri prevails. Like Dawe, Pirri is another class act as he states he is not going to stress about this too much. Someone who is obviously interested in helping the community rather than personal gain. The fact that ballots were tabulated the way they were makes me confident the results will remain the same

    • Fickle voter said

      Would we be seeing this request for a recount if Granger had come in 9th behind Wilson by the same 21 votes, or is this just a last desperate attempt by the old to deny the new – Granger vs. Pirri?

      Does anyone know to what final destination Granger rides the GO and what worthwhile work he actually performs to supplement his councillor’s pay. What do Wilson, Gaertner, Gallo and MacEchearn do? Is it in any way relevant to how they act as councillors?

    • Brickbat returns said

      You are on the right track.
      No pun intended but oh so funny.
      Keep digging and you will put the puzzle pieces together.
      There may be a very interesting connection.

    • Anon-y-mous said

      Granger is in transport.

      Who is Dymin steel?

      I saw it on the Farmers Market bags.

      Is there a connection?

  7. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    I have a question.

    On my ballot, there was a square for the initials of the person who gave me the ballot. (I think it was the Poll Clerk, but I am not sure of her official title.)

    When I got my ballot the initials weren’t there. When I submitted my ballot, it was zipped into the machine and when I asked about the initials, I was assured that my ballot was valid and that I needn’t worry.

    But I have to ask… would my ballot be rejected in a recount?

    Theoretically the machines don’t make a mistake, but in practice three people (the one who was supposed to initial, me, and the one who was supposed to check for the initials) all failed to ensure the initials were in place.

    Human error is still part of the process.

    • I have no idea about your questions regarding initials.

      I want to speak to your assertion, and others, that machines do not make mistakes. In fact they do. There are many documented instances of machine counting errors. From the “hanging chads” controversy of the 2000 US presidential elections, to issues of bugs, and software tampering which have been alleged in Diebold election machines, to people simply not marking the ballots sufficiently for a machine to recognize it.

      How accurate a machine may be depends on many factors, but they are indeed fallible.

      On a related note I blogged on the idea of having fully electronic voting which would allow people to vote over the Internet. It is in my opinion a very bad idea. Paper ballots which can be manually counted by humans are indispensable to democracy. IMHO

      Regards,
      Darryl Moore

    • evelyn.buck said

      Initials on a ballot are not read by the voting machine.They are a hangover from a previous time.
      Not to worry Elizabeth.

  8. Tim the Enchanter said

    1. Here are some relevant sections of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996

    Recount for municipality
    57. (1) Within 30 days after the clerk’s declaration of the results,
    (a) the council of a municipality may pass a resolution requiring a recount of the votes cast,
    (i) for all or specified candidates for an office on the council,
    Recount
    (2) The clerk shall hold a recount in accordance with the resolution or order, within 15 days after it is passed or made

    Application for order for recount
    58. (1) A person who is entitled to vote in an election and has reasonable grounds for believing the election results to be in doubt may apply to the Superior Court of Justice for an order that the clerk hold a recount

    Manner of doing recount
    60.(1)A recount under section 56, 57 or 58 shall be conducted in the same manner as the original count, whether manually or by vote-counting equipment, subject to subsection (3).

    Order specifying different manner of doing recount
    (3)If the judge who orders a recount under section 58 is of the opinion that the manner in which the original count was conducted caused or contributed to the doubtful result, he or she may, in the order, provide that the recount shall be held in a different manner and specify the manner.

    2. I agree that tossing cost figures around like $25K is bit misleading as we don’t really know that.

    3. I also agree that it would be very interesting to see how Gaertner and Gallo handle this.

    4. Personally, I don’t want to see taxpayer money and staff time wasted on a recount yet part of me says let’s do it ‘cuz I can’t believe Granger got that many votes. 🙂

    • "Our Future Together" said

      The above quotation is the heading for the Morris re-election literature. It reads as follows:

      “Mayor Phyllis Morris and Aurora Town Council have focused on smart economic development, improved quality of life and increased participation of residents and business owners in our public life.

      The Mayor’s ‘can-do’ spirit, commitment to consultation and good planning are what Aurora needs for the future. Mayor Morris listens for great ideas and reaches out to those who make them happen.”

      With respect to the first it must feel ironic to three of this town’s residents that their participation in public life was enhanced by being named in a legal action initiated by Morris.

      With respect to the second the wording might be slightly changed from “reaches out to those” to “reach out for those” and doing so in the most hostile manner by an Aurora politician in living memory.

      Morris was the beneficiary of 21.3% of the votes cast for mayor.

      Well done. I didn’t think you would get past 15%.

  9. evelyn.buck said

    It was 2003 when out-going Councillor McEachern asked for a re-count.She had not been a candidate herself but she had failed to persuade the Councillor who was the runner-up to ask for a re-count. The difference in numbers between us was considerably higher. This is just another piece of business affected by moving the election date forward by weeks.

    The time to ask for a re-count is thirty days after election results are certified.

    A re-count request could be dealt with by the in-coming Council.

    IN 2003, When the request was made, the incoming Council was a majority of the outgoing Council.

    In this instance, the request is being dealt with by an outgoing Council. Only three are returning.

    In the last re-count,the clerk was asked what the cost would be. He responded “in excess of $20Ks.” Former Councillor Keane dismissed that. He said it would cost nothing since we would be using staff for the task. I never heard anyone argue before that staff came without cost.

    Now I read in a report, the cost will be minimal because we will be using staff.

    At the time of the last re-count, regulations required a re-count if the difference in numbers was within a certain range.

    Since municipalities have been using voting machines,it has been determined the level of accuracy leaves little chance for error.

    Councillor MacEachern’s argument for a re-count was she had no confidence in the machines recommended by the municipal clerk.

    The re-count however established his advice had been sound. There were no errors.

    The province has not gone so far as to rule out re-counts. Nor do I think they should.

    At the same time, I have a concern about the involuntary exit of a majority of this Council.

    Being rejected at the polls when one does not hold office is nothing more than a disappointment and a lesson in life.

    Being tossed from office has a profound impact.

    I think the length of time between the election and the new Council taking over, is fraught with potential problems.

    Under these circumstances,I do not believe the outgoing Council should be making decisions. let alone one of substance.

    • Anonymous said

      it is disappointing to see EB continue to stir up trouble by spreading gossip insted of fact. First the assertion that a recount will cost 25k, then an inaccurate statement regarding what the mayor was overheard saying in a private conversation in a bar. If she would only take a little bit of time to verify her fact instead of waiting until someone challenges her gossip, there would be far fewer people in this town who are upset with her.

      she is showing to us how this council will be the same as the last, and the one before that.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      If existing staff were to be used and no overtime incurred, there should be minimal cost. The staff are working and being paid anyways. The only time there would be a cost is if they had to do it on overtime or some temp help was brought in.

      Of course the real cost is that they will have to do the recount and not their normal work.

      Fuimus

    • evelyn.buck said

      Robert The Bruce makes the obvious point, staff are not doing their own work while they are doing a recount.

      I would take the argument one step further; if we have sufficient staff to squeeze in a recount immediately following an election when I would expect many other tasks were placed on hold; Is it possible we have too many staff? How else does one argue a recount is no big thing.

      I was on hand for the last one. It took place after the Inaugural.

      It was tedious and exhausting. Staff were on their feet throughout.The days were long going past six some evenings. It seemed like it was never going to end. Anyone who ever worked in an election knows the tension of needing to get it right and that’s without having several people hanging over one’s shoulders.

      I certainly do hope they were compensated for their effort because I’m damned sure they didn’t get as much as a thank you for coming up with exactly the same answer a second time.

      There was hostility aplenty then. I had not been a member of council for fourteen years. The anger was coming from people who knew nothing about me nor I about them.

      But now they are gone. Councillors will discover how much more satisfaction there is in working together and getting things done, than working in factions and doing people in.

    • evelyn.buck said

      I should have said the time limit to seek a recount is within thirty days of election results being certified.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Evelyn,

      I’m sure you and Councillors Collins-Mrakas and McRoberts will be keeping an eye on things for the next few weeks. Councillors Gallo and Gaertner as part of the new ‘regime’ would be well advised to recognise which side of the bread their butter is on going forward before siding with ‘those who were defeated’.

      That being the case any vote on issues contrary to the success of the new council should see a five against four result.

      Of course Morris Math might not see that as a majority, so be careful!

    • seeking information said

      If the council agrees to a recount I have a number of questions concerning the logistics of this procedure.

      a. Does the town own or contract the voting machines?
      b. Where are they and how long would it take to get them set up?
      c. There were 23 polling stations during the election. Would 23 voting machines be involved in the recount?
      d. Presumably each machine would require an operator and one or more Scrutineers. Where would all this equipment and these people be located?
      e. There were 13,168 ballots for the position of mayor. If all 23 machines were used this would work out to just over 570 ballots per machine. Could these machines overheat if being fed continually?
      f. If fewer machines were used each would have to work harder. Would this affect their operation?
      g. It is assumed that there is a single machine that receives the information from the voting machines used. Can it malfunction under a deluge of information?
      h. How is this all going to be supervised and under whose responsibility?
      i. Is this process open to the public?
      j. What is the approximate cost of this exercise?
      k. When will the results be made available and will these now constitute a final and official tally?

      I welcome any additional questions and answers from anyone who knows.

    • Anonymous said

      To: Seeking Information…

      a. rented from Stephenson’s Rental
      b. warehouse – 10 minutes
      c. no – we will need 50 to get it done sooner
      d. we will take the ice out of the leisure complex arena and set up there
      e. yes – this is why we will use the arena – otherwise we will need to hose them down with water
      f. for sure, this is why we need 50 of them
      g. of course, the wire is only so big – all of those 1s and 0s in the wire clog it up. The real problem is with 1s; the little hook at the top gets stuck in the wires and causes a clog
      h. The integrity commisioner will be supervising
      i. no way – the doors will be locked
      j. if Evelyn says $25K it must really be twice that
      k. no – after the recount and I win, Pirri can ask for another recount – it could go back and forth just like the federal election about 20 years ago when Bevalacqua had the recount

  10. Luckywife said

    Actually, it was seven years ago when MacEachern demanded the recount and she hadn’t even been an incumbent in the election! If Granger or any of them want a recount that is their right. Of course, it will be granted, this council has never given a rat’s a** about staff time and public money. Why would they start now?

    If Granger needs to be humiliated twice in one month…….who are we to deny him the opportunity.

    • Anonymous said

      LOL! Like Duncan Hines,they’ll always come back for more…

    • Just curious said

      Is Tuesday’s council meeting going to be public, with NO IN CAMERA bits?

      Is Rogers going to be taping it?

      And if not, WHY NOT?

    • Knowledgeable in Aurora said

      In response to Just Curious Oct 30, 9:12 PM

      The agenda is posted on the Town’s website and it DOES NOT indicate any In Camera Session, however, someone could make a motion to go in camera and if seconded and passed they will take it behind closed doors.

      You can see the agenda here:
      http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=57872

      A check of the Rogers online TV Guide shows that Tuesday staring at 7:00pm is a variety of local shows, not Council, so I suspect it will not be televised.

      My opinion – I think it will a unanimous vote to proceed with the recount and I wouldn’t really expect anything different.

      It is a legal right and I don’t think anyone will or should vote to not allow it. What may be interesting though is the comments that will be made around the table before the vote is called. I think we may see some true colours and sour grapes coming through from the outgoing GO6 members.

      I believe I will try to be in the audience. Will others??

    • Brian Duff said

      I will be there.

  11. Anonymous said

    Paul won by 21 votes. I highly doubt there was an error.
    Also, on Evelyns blog, Morris is quoted as saying there will be a by-election soon…which one of the two of the former council members will be stepping down?

    • Luckywife said

      The Mayor was not quoted. She was overheard. There is a difference. Evelyn wasn’t there, what she wrote in her blog was second or third hand information. I have no doubt the subject was probably a topic and a few might of even raised their glasses in a toast. Still, it’s only a quote to the person it was directed to. Otherwise it’s just gossip.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • I am the one who organized this little get together which Ms. Buck blogged about. I organized it before the election because regardless of who won or lost I wanted an opportunity to congratulate the winners and share my experiences with others who had similar experiences. All candidates were invited.

      I understand she was sick, and I am disappointed she could not come as well.

      I am disappointed also, to see so much gossip, both here and on Ms. Buck’s site regarding what anyone may have said. (The Mayor came because I invited her. Just like everyone else.) Mostly we talked about the candidate meetings, shared stories going door to door, and talked about all our good and bad experiences running for council. For some of us this was our very first political experience, and this was absolutely the best way to conclude it. We all had a very good time.

      Regards,
      Darryl Moore

    • Anonymous said

      thats nice that it was a enjoyable time, but you never told us if the outgoing mayor indeed did say not to worry, that there will be a by-election soon…
      since you were there, you would be able to tell everyone the truth and not gossip right??

      thanks

    • A great many things were discussed, including future and past elections, by-elections, and appointments too, but I certainly do not recall anyone saying that we would be having a by-election. I don’t recall recounts being discussed either for what that is worth. As well, no one “promptly left the table” either. As I said, we all enjoyed it as near as I could tell. I don’t want to go into great detail about the conversations we had. It was an enjoyable event, we all had much to drink, and anything I do recall would be just that. My recollections. AKA gossip. This was a social event, and I think it would be inappropriate to add to the gossip that all ready surrounds it. If you do wish to believe the gossip, then go ahead and to so, but I urge you to keep forefront in your mind that that is exactly what it is. Gossip.

      Also note, that I specifically did not invite Sean Pierce or other reporters, because I wanted people to be more relaxed and be themselves. Something which it was quite obvious during the campaign they were not able to do. So again, I do not feel it is appropriate for me to spread gossip, and discuss all my recollections publicly.

      I think it is unfortunate that certain people in positions of respect and authority participate in such gossip, but I temper my criticism. Doing so is entirely their choice, and any meaningful criticism needs to come from those who put them in that position. Not me.

      When I do attend a meeting which I intend to report the results of, you can be sure I will take notes so that my recollection will be accurate.

      Regards,
      Darryl Moore

  12. Sandra said

    What an obnoxious bi-line. How about “Candidate asks for recount”. A candididate is entitled to ask for a recount when the margin is small. It’s part of the process.

    • Anonymous said

      So is freedom of speech..

    • the waste continues said

      Your Right Oct 11:21 Obnoxious !!! is a far better description , perhaps AC will revise their by-line for you

    • More manipulated said

      If the council agrees to Granger’s request for a recount, presumably ALL of the ballots cast in last Monday’s election will have to be counted again. Will this be done in the same manner, i.e. using the voting machines, as in the election itself? This surely is the only fair way to deal with the situation. An electronically computerized machine is totally impartial and should be error proof. To deviate from its use and hand count the ballots will only lead to human error and further muddy the situation, which is already muddy enough.

      So long as the ballots are properly fed into the voting machine, which should be the only acceptable procedure, no person or persons should be able to tamper with the ballots or with the vote recount results.

      This process is performed under the supervision of the clerk, and the Municipal Elections Act makes provision for other persons who may or must be in attendance, Section 61.(1).

      Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, the clerk is somewhat tainted through his exposure to Mormac and the delaying tactics he has employed in dealing with FOI requests. He seems to take the attitude that he is not a civil servant, rather a civil master. I hope I am wrong in feeling that this taint will somehow invade the process. The machines should be impervious to human intervention.

    • Luckywife said

      To More Manipulated:

      My friend, I fear you are wading into territory you should not visit. I am one million percent certain that the clerk of this town never could and never would manipulate an election count. That is a criminal offence punishable with incarceration. Nobody would be crazy enough to put their own a** on the line for a politician. You are certainly entitled to your opionion, but you know, we all need to exercise good judgement about the ones we share and the ones we keep to ourselves. Especially if you are living in Libeltown, Ontario. Please don’t take that as threat because it is nothing to do with me, I don’t want to see anyone else get caught up in this mess. If I view your comments as an accusation or assumption of wrong doing, other people likely will as well.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • Anonymous said

      Something smells awfully fishy to me in all of this.

    • The majority of Aurorans said

      After having survived what surely has been the most bizarre, uncivil, smelly and obnoxious 10 month period in Aurora’s political life, how about a contest to be administered by AuroraCitizen to be called “POLITICAL BLUNDER OF THE YEAR AWARD?”

      This could apply to individuals or groups.

      For those wanting a greater challenge, a second contest could cover the four years of the present administration, which thanks be given to all the deities is finally in sight of its own long overdue end. “POLITICAL BLUNDER OF THE ADMINISTRATION AWARD.”

      There would be no limit to the number of times contestants could enter either.

    • The majority of Aurorans said

      Dear Melanie:

      We appear to be getting somewhat paranoid about what can and can’t be said, observed or opined.

      It is factual to say that the now infamous Council meeting of September 14, 2010, according to the Minutes, beginning at 7:00 p.m., adjourned into Closed Session at 11:33 p.m. to discuss a potential defamation. The Council meeting adjourned at 1:14 a.m. having arrived at a decision by way of direction to the Town Solicitor to retain external legal counsel and to take any and all actions to bring resolution to this matter. This was more than six hours after the meeting began and peoples’ minds might have been getting a bit weary.

      Since none of us were present at the meeting, it might be safe to assume that apart from the Mayor and seven councillors, others in attendance would likely have included the CAO, the Town Solicitor and the Town Clerk.

      It is interesting to note that at the September 28, 2010, Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Bob McRoberts disavowed his approval of the motion passed on September 14. He is quoted as saying on Rogers TV First Local News on October 14, 2010, “The arguments presented by town staff and council members didn’t match my understanding of the Municipal Act. I do not agree with the rationale provided. I do not agree that the matter is a matter for Council.”

      The presumed expert on the Municipal Act is usually the Town Clerk, who is an experienced professional and knowledgeable in this regard.

      Obviously a difference exists between the disavowal of Mr. McRoberts and the presumed opinion that might have been provided by the Town Clerk, possibly in combination with that of the Town Solicitor.

      This difference is crucial. The lawsuit should never have been agreed by the Town in support of the Mayor in her capacity as such. It should always have been a personal matter for her. The Town should never have undertaken to retain external legal counsel nor should it have been in any way involved with the cost of bringing this action. This should always have been the sole responsibility and cost of Phyllis Morris. A part of this objection has now been dealt with by an amended pleading on the part of Aird Berlis, removing the words “in her capacity as mayor” from the place or places where it appeared.

      The point of all of this is that senior town staff seems to be in a conflict with a highly regarded councillor and so far there has been no comment from staff. May we expect one, and if so when?

      Now we have a request on the part of a councillor for a recount of the vote held October 25. What is the basis for this? Just the number or is there something else? What is this going to cost? Under whose responsibility does this process fall and what is the scenario for conducting this recount? Someone has already asked a bunch of questions (see “Seeking Information”) about this and so far no answers have been forthcoming.

      All of us are entitled to ask legitimate questions and wonder about the competence of the people who are charged with the administration and representation of our municipal affairs.

      We have just seen the destruction by ballot of the Mayor.

      What is next?

    • The majority of Aurorans said

      A correction to the post of 11:39 p.m. yesterday

      In the third para. second line, “seven” should read “six.”

      Must have been getting a bit weary.

    • Luckywife said

      To The Majority of Aurorans:

      Thank you for your response. I don’t think I am paranoid. This blog has received two letters from the Town’s lawyer, the alleged moderators are being sued and there is a member of staff, as part of their job description, who “polices” blogs, newspapers and other forums and reports what is being written or said. To whom I don’t know. That’s fact. It is also fact that some of the people that motivated some of these decisions and approved these actions still hold a position of authority until December 7. I would like to think that these people would gracefully accept the will of the electorate and conduct themselves accordingly. However, I think recent history demonstrates that we can never underestimate the will and the desire of some to use their authority to commit public funds in an effort to exact politcal revenge either against their peers or the public.

      What was decided during the September 14 in-camera session is outrageous IMO, and should never have been on any agenda whether public or in-camera. This is a perfect example of why our brain trust at Queen’s Park should allow the Provincial Ombudsman to investigate Municipalities.

      Since this matter was discussed under the cloak of secrecy we cannot know who was present, whose advice was sought and who’s was disregarded or accepted.

      We cannot assume that the professional advice or knowledge of staff was solicited or would have been respected by those in attendance. There is ample proof to support my opinion. Refer back to May of 2009 when Ms. St. Kitts came before council in open forum to launch a tirade about Cllr. Buck. This council was admonished not once, but twice, by Mr. Cooper, their legal counsel, that they were not to hear the matter. The Mayor and five councillors willfully and deliberately disregarded his advice, waived the procedural by-law, and heard it anyway. That happened in public, filmed for everyone to see. I shutter when contemplating what has gone on behind closed doors and in the day-to-day business at Town Hall.

      I don’t dispute that the lines between staff and council have been crisscrossed so many times that it is difficult to know what they are anymore. I am concerned, I do think changes may need to made at the senior level. I hope that they will be. But, that is a matter for our new Mayor and council to address.

      I think it is prudent to be cautious when discussing matters regarding staff. They are not politicians, they do not have the same freedom to rebut and debate with the public as politicians do. I think their only options are to ignore or pick up the phone and call the lawyer.

      Best regards,
      Luckywife

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