Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Recount This

Posted by auroracitizen on November 3, 2010

The recount was approved last night — as only Morris and MacEachern could manage a meeting.

To start — the meeting took 1 hour and 45 minutes to discuss and vote for a foregone conclusion. All the members played their appointed roles.

First Granger was required to declare a conflict of interest because if he were to win, he would financially benefit. Of course, Phyllis felt obligated to ask Mr Cooper if this was appropriate — to which he replied that each member of Council was required to make this determination and he was not in a position to advise. After the years of experience that Mayor Morris has — one would expect that she would know this by now.

Then Councillor MacEachern — ever interested in her image as the defender of openness and transparency — asked why the special meeting did not have a section for Open Forum so residents could provide input.  She insisted that the procedural bylaw be waived so the public would have their opportunity for input. Once the bylaw was waived to allow the public to speak — guess what?

Rebecca Beaton (friend of Cllr MacEachern) just happened to have prepared notes to comment from (which apparently she offered to share with the press after the meeting).

Walter Mastranerio (yet another friend of Cllr MacEachern) was also prepared with a question.

Both questions were in relation to the accuracy of the tabulation machines.

Then the Mayor and Councillors Gaertner, MacEachern and Wilson proceeded to grill Mr Leach with their concerns about the accuracy of the tabulation machines.

Anyone else see where this is going?

Mind you this was all done — contrary to the Procedural By-law — without any motion on the floor. But then we have come to expect 2 things under the leadership of outgoing Mayor Morris;

  1. procedure/rules are a convenience only to be used when to their advantage, and
  2. why ask questions of staff in advance when you have the opportunity to grill them in front of your colleagues to show just how smart you are. Of course, remember, staff are governed by professional conduct that does not allow them to respond as you or I might want to respond.

Cllr Buck finally having seen enough of Mr Leach browbeat and answer the same questions repeated in different ways, stated the questions “appeared to her” to be orchestrated. Which immediately led to a Point of Order from Cllr MacEachern with a demand for an apology. When Councillor Buck refused on the grounds that she was entitled to make an observation of what it “appeared” to her, Mayor Morris demanded she leave the table. Cllr Buck graciously declined.

This lead to Mayor Morris calling a recess and demanding that the entire audience clear the chambers.

The result of this demand from Mayor Morris was actual laughter from the audience — who all seemed to know she had absolutely no authority to order such a thing. It was another comical highlight in the tragedy unfolding before us.

Once the meeting got back underway, with Cllr Buck in her chair — and no apology — the Council finally made a motion.  Cllr Collins-Mrakas pointed out that the motion was illegal since Council was trying to direct the manner in which the recount was conducted which is contrary to the Municipal Act. Upon question by Mayor Morris — Mr Cooper confirmed that Cllr Collins-Mrakas was correct and the motion had to be replaced.

Then Cllr MacEachern tried her best to get a motion on the floor that allowed the candidate to review each and every ballot “before” it was placed in the voting machine — effectively turning the machine recount into a hand count — since only an approved ballot would be counted by the machines.

Now everyone saw where things were going 🙂

Again the issue of Council directing the manner of the recount was questioned. Plus, the Municipal Act states that a new manner of recounting from the original count requires a judicial review and that is why Council is forbidden from meddling. But that didn’t stop them from trying.

In the end, MacEachern finally backed off — since it was clear that Mr Leach and Cooper were prepared to stick to their guns on this issue — and if the vote was not conducted in accordance with the rules as specified by the Municipal Act, then there would have been basis for a judicial review by any candidate.

Once the vote was called the final tally was;

  • Yea: Morris, MacEachern, Gaertner, Gallo and Wilson
  • No: Buck, Collins-Mrakas

Of note, through the entire meeting Cllr Gallo did not utter 1 word other than to vote in the recorded vote. Hopefully this was reflection of his aversion to the behaviour of his colleagues. We have high expectations for Mr Gallo this term since his place at the table is due to election — not selection.

Finally, 1 hour and 45 minutes later, we have Council direction for a recount — which must be completed within 15 days according to the Municipal Act. This means it should be completed before the inauguration.

BH

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73 Responses to “Recount This”

  1. evelyn.buck said

    I recall the ACI Santa Clause Parade Float being booed by those who were mad about missing a racing event.
    The children of ACI families were on that Float.
    It was Christmas. A time of Peace,Joy and Good Will.
    Booing children in a Santa Clause Parade was not one of our finest moments.
    Sports minded patrons of ACI did that.
    What were they thinking about?

    • Anonymous said

      What were they thinking about? ACI had charged the customers for a particular channel (TSN in this case). Because of a stalemate in negotiations, TSN and ACI could not reach a deal so TSN pulled their signal from ACI. ACI did not rebate their customers. The “racing event” was the clinching of the World Driving Championship by a Canadian (Jacques Villenuve) who fulfilled the hopes and dreams of his father who was killed in a racing accident years before. It was not just the race, but other sporting events on TSN. The F1 final certainly became the focal point.

      The children on the float were not booed, ACI was booed. The money they took from customers in good faith was not used to provide the service they contracted for, it was used to put a float in a parade honouring a fictional character.

      It was not Christmas, it was mid-November and there was no Joy and ACI certainly did not show any Good Will.

      Try to pull that during the final of the World Cup of Football and see what happens.

  2. Something Fishy in Aurora..... said

    The Auroran is saying the recount will be starting Nov 16th at 9am in council chambers

    • Anonymous said

      It also says candidates are not entitled to review the ballots.

      “Section 61 (5a) declares that the clerk, candidates, one scrutineer and lawyer per certified candidate, are able to be present at the recount and are entitled to examine each ballot as they are counted, without touching the ballot itself.

      It was made clear Thursday, however, that section 42 (3) of the Municipal Elections Act supersedes the section mentioned above, which only pertains to manual recounts.

      As Aurora’s upcoming recount is slated to use the same electronic vote tabulating equipment used on election day, under section 42 while candidates, a lawyer for each, and scrutineers for each candidate are allowed in the room for each piece of voting equipment, they are not entitled to examine each ballot as they are counted.

      Town staff said they are of the view that Tuesday’s vote is still valid.”

      http://www.theauroran.com/2010/11/05/recount-set-for-november-16th

    • With the end now approaching said

      After Tuesday evening’s perfect, blissful display of ignorance by the mayor, it became obvious that in her many years of disservice to the town of Aurora as both councillor and mayor, she had not bothered to learn the procedural rules that govern council meetings.

      Was it because she was so disdainful of them, or simply because she felt that her own rules were by far superior?

      She appeared to plead with both the Town Clerk and the Town Solicitor, to be told repeatedly that these pleadings were in contravention of the Municipal Act and I almost started to feel a little bit sorry for her.

      A nautical picture came to mind. I saw a battered, broken rusting hulk lying tossed upon the rocks by some fearsome storm, the only sounds were of the waves continuing to beat upon it and the shore, and the strident shrieking of gulls as they sailed overhead.

    • The big question said

      What are we all going to be doing after December 7?

    • A New Era said

      We will be posting on the polar opposite approach to town business, something like this Town has not seen in years,

    • The sad truth said

      The big question said
      November 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm
      What are we all going to be doing after December 7?

      Unfortunitly I think there will be posting in the beginning about how good the new council is and that will soon degenerate. You will be posting about how Evelyn Buck is posting stuff on her blog about how the council does not listen to her and she is right. You will hear about how the Mayor has had to have a sitdown with the council and remind them that there is no talking “out of school” in the papers and on blogs. Gaertner will have a remedial lesson on the budget process – for the 8th time. Gallo will shave.

      That’s about it….

  3. Tim the Enchanter said

    Anon 436P

    Pretty much sums it up.
    Frankly, the voter support for Wendy is a mystery to me.
    Can’t see where she’s earned it.
    She never appears to be prepared for meetings and seems to require repeated explanations for everything.
    I swear the women would ask for repeats on the concept of LEGO.
    No matter.
    Like most of the low-rent vaudvillian theatrics we’ve witnessed at council this too can be eliminated by running a proper meeting – something that Dawe has pledged to do.

    1. Introduce agenda item.
    2. discuss – 5 minutes per councillor – max.
    3. shut up.
    4. vote.
    5. Next item!

    Not prepared for the meeting?
    Didn’t do your homework?
    Not ready to vote?
    Too bad.
    You can abstain ‘cuz we ain’t waitin’.

    • Why waste time? said

      Surely we all have better things to do with our time than dwell on one who appears to be brain-dead.

      Let’s speculate on what councillors are appointed to what committees under the Dawe administration, or some other constructive exercise.

    • David Heard said

      Good for Clr.Buck saying it was orchestrated.The only thing missing in the punch any judy show was Guy.

    • evelyn.buck said

      The Procedure Bylaw must be revised. Changes are required. Currently a Councillor is allowed thirty minutes to speak.That doesn’t necessarily mean a problem.It seldom happens.

      A Councillor is permitted to ask one question. Common sense would mitigate against a Councillor monopolizing time by taking thirty minutes to ask a succession of questions without apparent point.

      Yet Councillor Gaertner and Councillor MacEachern have both been in the habit of doing exactly that without being called to order. Councillor Gaertner argues it is her role.

      Allowing abuse of the rules from ignorance, was a consistent imperative in this Council. It kept the group onside.

      Councillor Granger’s aggressive demand to be heard regardless of his lack of intelligible input was acceded to for the same reason.

      Both were endlessly pandered for no other reason than to keep the group together and provide the Mayor with complete autonomy.

      First things first, we need a set of rules professionally prepared and not politically contrived.

    • evelyn.buck said

      Abstention from voting is not an option. Regulations require such to be counted either in support or opposition as may be stated in the Procedure Bylaw. I’ve seen Councillors use a Conflict of Interest where there is none, to escape the consequences of a vote. An aware audience should help to make that recognizable and called for the sly dodge it is.

      Councillors receive agendas in advance in order to prepare themselves for debate which is to present arguments in support or opposed to the question on the floor.

      A single question is permitted to be asked to emphasize a point in debate.

      It’s a long time since we have seen anything resembling competent debate in Aurora Council.

      Thirty minutes of tag team interrogation of staff to publicly challenge their competence comes nowhere close to it.

      Constant interruption of a member who has the floor because you don’t care for what’s being said, isn’t part of it either.

      I expect that to change.

      There is no requirement for a councillor to participate in debate. If a point has already been made, there is no need for it to be repeated.

      The only extra authority residing with the presiding member is the power to make the decision in the event of a tie vote.

      Another point needs to be clarified in Rules of Order is the chair’s vote when it creates a tie.

      It’s in conflict with the principle of the chair’s required role in breaking a tie in order for a decision to be made.

      We have work to do…together.

    • Anonymous said

      Okay Evelyn… enough is enough. We all know that you feel that the procedural bylaw is not fit in your mind. We all know that you feel the GOS do not know how to handle themselves in council. We all know that you sleep with the Robert’s Rules under your pillow but please….. please… stop posting about stuff you can’t change now – it’s too late. I think you may not agree with any new procedural bylaw either because it will be written in 2010 not 1970. You need to become a little more flexable.

    • Anonymous said

      abstention from voting is allowed – however, it is recorded as a negative vote.

    • Anonymous said

      To Why Waste Time:
      I am hoping that Gaertner reads the comments here and the lightbulb goes on in her head so she somehow realizes that she needs to get her act together, be prepared at council meetings and quit voting when she has no idea what it is she is voting for. Otherwise she will be a liability or a totally lame duck again! That goes for Gallo too because he also voted yes without having a clue what it would or could lead to.
      WAKE UP both of you!

    • Anonymous said

      “Councillor Gaertner argues it is her role.”

      Like how you argue it’s your role to publicly write about in-camera items just because YOU feel they shouldn’t be discussed in private?

      Oh, and Granger was entitled to speak. Just because YOU don’t feel his contributions were intelligible, doesn’t mean he didn’t have the right to speak.

      I’ve seen you fail to form a coherent sentence many times councillor. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to speak in council.

    • Flogging a Dead One-Trick Pony said

      Anonymous said

      November 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      “Okay Evelyn… enough is enough. We all know that you feel that the procedural bylaw is not fit in your mind…(ad nauseum)”

      You’re right, enough is enough, anti-Buck – we all know how you feel about Evelyn Buck. We get it, you don’t like her. Next!

      “…but please….. please… stop posting about stuff you can’t change now – it’s too late.”

      You mean stuff like the election results? You can’t change them now – it is, as you say, “too late.”

      “You need to become a little more flexable(sic).”

      Anti-Buck, you need to become a little more accepting – accepting of the new reality in the wake of the election, i.e. who’s in and, thankfully, who’s out.

  4. fed up said

    face facts Evilina–YOU LOST–the public did not accept your brand of politics or your methods–you’re done–you’re history–you no longer have a voice at the council table–you have been rejected by the voters–face facts–we don’t like you or your tactics–you are a loser–too bad–you are not stupid–you just aligned yourself with morris which brought you down–you did not have the fortitude to be your own person and had to ride to coat tails of another loser–let the newly elected council do what we elected them to do–REPRESENT THE CITIZENS

  5. fed up said

    in tonight’s banner–the great Evilina is “sick and tired of the accusations of wrong-doing and orchestrations”–well then stop doing it–OH–don’t worry not long now and that part of your life will be history and we won’t have to listen to you or put up with your BS–bye bye–so long and good riddance to one of the worst councillors this town has ever seen

  6. David Heard said

    Why is it December 7.

    Is it not supposed to be December 1 or did some leader change the date?

  7. Luckywife said

    I am curious about something BH wrote in his post:

    “Then Cllr MacEachern tried her best to get a motion on the floor that allowed the candidate to review each and every ballot “before” it was placed in the voting machine — effectively turning the machine recount into a hand count — since only an approved ballot would be counted by the machines.”

    This is a broad question, not just for this election but all elections in general. Municipal, Provincial, Federal. Has there been an instance, or is there some legislation that actually does allow for a candidate to review a ballot before it’s counted? It shouldn’t matter whether the ballots are counted by hand or machine.

    Cllr. MacEachern’s motion seems so bizarre and off the wall to me and no matter how much I dislike her behavior and her methods, I in no way consider her to be stupid. I find it even more bizarre that there might actually be people out there that think allowing a candidate(s) anywhere near the ballots is appropriate. Even if an entire council was populated with idiots who would pass a motion like this, am I right in assuming that legally, this would never be allowed to happen, anywhere in this Country?

    Regards,
    Luckywife

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      More Municipal Elections Act 1996

      regarding recounts – lengthy but relevant

      Short answer is Yes – the candidates can be present

      Note to moderator – perhaps you can highlight/bold the interesting bits.

      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. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 22 (1).

      Time for application

      (2) The application shall be commenced within 30 days after the clerk’s declaration of the results of the election. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (2).

      Order, notice

      (3) If satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for it, the court shall make an order requiring the clerk to hold a recount of the votes cast for all or specified candidates, on a by-law, or for all or specified answers to a question, and shall give the clerk a copy of the order as soon as possible. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (3).

      Time for recount

      (4) The recount shall be held within 15 days after the day the clerk receives a copy of the order. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (4); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 22 (2).

      Procedures

      (5) The Minister may by regulation establish procedures for applications under this section. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (5).

      Problems re voting and vote-counting equipment

      (6) A request for a recount due to problems related to voting and vote-counting equipment may be made only under this section. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (6).

      Inclusion of related recount

      59.The clerk may conduct, as part of a recount under section 56, 57 or 58 that relates to an office, a recount of the votes cast for another candidate for that office. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 59.

      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). 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 60 (1).

      Prescribed rules

      (2)A recount shall be conducted in accordance with the prescribed rules, subject to subsection (3). 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 60 (2).

      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. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 60 (3).

      Who may be present at recount, election to office

      61.(1)The following persons may be present at a recount under section 56, 57 or 58 that relates to an office:

      1. The clerk and any other election official appointed for the recount.

      2. Every certified candidate for the office.

      3. The applicant, in the case of a recount ordered under section 58.

      4. For each person referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3,

      i. a lawyer, and

      ii. one scrutineer for each recount station established by the clerk. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 61 (1).

      Examination of ballot

      (5)A person referred to in paragraph 2, 3 or 4 of subsection (1) or (2) is entitled,

      (a) to examine each ballot as the votes are being counted by the clerk (but not to touch the ballot); and

      (b) to dispute the validity of a ballot or the counting of votes in a ballot. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 61 (5).

      Determination of disputes

      (6)The clerk shall determine a dispute referred to in clause (5) (b). 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 61 (6).

      Other persons

      (7)Any other person may also be present at the recount with the clerk’s permission. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 61 (7).

      Duty of clerk

      62.(1)When the recount is complete, the clerk shall,

      (a) announce the result of the recount; and

      (b) if there are disputed ballots,

      (i) announce the number of them,

      (ii) announce the result that would be obtained if the disputed ballots were excluded, and

      (iii) write the number of the voting place on the back of and initial each disputed ballot, place them in a separate envelope clearly marked so as to indicate its contents, and seal the envelope. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 62 (1).

      Who may be present

      (2)Any persons described in subsections 61 (1), (2) and (7) who are at the recount are entitled to be present while the clerk acts under subsection (1). 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 62 (2).

      Tied vote

      (3)If the recount indicates that two or more candidates who cannot both or all be declared elected to an office have received the same number of votes, the clerk shall choose the successful candidate or candidates by lot. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 62 (3).

      Declaration by clerk

      (4)If no application has been made for a judicial recount under section 63 the clerk shall, on the 16th day after the recount is completed, declare the successful candidate or candidates elected or declare the result of the vote with respect to a by-law or question, as the case may be. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 62 (4).

      Application for judicial recount

      63. (1) A person described in subsection (2) who disputes the validity of a ballot or of the counting of votes in a ballot may, within 15 days after the clerk announces the result under section 62, apply to the Superior Court of Justice for a recount limited to the disputed ballots. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 63 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 23 (1).

    • Luckywife said

      Tim, thank you for your reply, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Now I have more, I hope you will indulge me.

      My concern was that I didn’t understand what “review” meant in the context of the post. It didn’t seem right to me that a candidate could be allowed to touch any of the ballots.

      That being said, I am still confused about what the intent was of Cllr. MacEachern’s motion. BH wrote:

      “Then Cllr MacEachern tried her best to get a motion on the floor that allowed the candidate to review each and every ballot “before” it was placed in the voting machine — effectively turning the machine recount into a hand count — since only an approved ballot would be counted by the machines.”

      The way I am understanding 61.5.b and 62.1.b, if a candidate disputes a ballot(s) it is still counted but marked by the clerk and placed in a sealed envelope. When the the recount is complete the candidate can request a judicial review, 62.1,2, but only of the disputed ballots. Have I got that right?

      So what was Cllr. MacEachern looking to achieve with her motion? Did she want any ballots that might be disputed to not be counted at all?

      Since all of the ballots are going to be recounted, does that mean any or all the candidates can examine the ballots and dispute them even if they themselves didn’t make a formal request for recount?

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • The process is that the machine counts the ballot. Only if the machine rejects or cannot count a ballot — then humans evaluate the ballot and make a judgment on whether to approve the ballot.

      Cllr MacEachern wanted the decision on whether a ballot was approved to take place “before” the machine count. Then only allowing the machine to count “approved by humans” ballots.

      This would effectively make the recount “by hand” vs. in the original manner in which it was done — which would require a judicial order.

      Does that help clarify?

    • Paul Pirri said

      When reading that text as is outside of the context which it exists it is possible to get confused and assume that one should be looking at all of the ballots before they are counted.

      As Mr. Leach had pointed out in the meeting, this text refers to a hand count. It would make sense to allow scrutineers to take a peak at the ballots while they are being counted. The town clerk could then justify why he is counting a ballot and not another, it would ensure transparency and the integrity of the process.

      This is not the case with electronic ballots. By allowing someone to look at the ballot beforehand (which would contravene the act because the election official never looks at the ballot before it is placed into the machine), they could scrutinize a good ballot even before it has the chance to be counted, taking the election out of the hands of the people and placing it into the hands of scrutineers and lawyers.

    • A for Anonymous said

      Hmmm and let me guess how many ballots might be pulled aside to be evaluated….21-28 or so? Maybe 40 on the side of caution?

    • Luckywife said

      Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it and I understand now what is taking place.

      I suppose the next step is to just wait and see if there is a request for judicial review. I have to say, without having been there to witness, that I feel very sorry for the Clerk. I get the sense that the Code of Conduct was not adhered to last Tuesday evening or that some people don’t think it should apply when dealing with staff.

      I do occasionally watch Question Period in the HOC, and while I by no means do it regularly, I am confident when I say the bad behavior of some of our MP’s doesn’t even come close to what I have witnessed of this Aurora council.

      Best regards,
      Luckywife

    • fed up said

      i hope you will be present, Paul, when this recount is done\

  8. fed up said

    This unprofessional disgusting tirade by the outgoing mayor only goes to prove that the voters of this fine town got it right on Oct 25–the only error the voters made was to return WG and JG to the council table–the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour and WG sure seems to want to continue with the “please explain it to me again and again and again” syndrome

  9. Anon Anon said

    Oh, BH, tell us more about Evelina losing it.
    Ya know ya wanna.

    • The majority of Aurorans said

      The mayor can now point with great pride to her wondrous accomplishment in what should be the last special council meeting of this term and her misadministration.

      Seldom has such a spectacle appeared live and before an audience and a camera. Yesterday evening’s affair should be compulsory viewing for all young people contemplating the study of political science or a career in politics.

      It is difficult to believe that a woman with many years of “service” as a councillor and mayor still does not know the basic procedural rules or the fundamentals of the Municipal Act that govern her.

      It is not surprising to see her “Mac” twin continue to screw up in full-blown fury. I almost felt sympathy for Mr. Leach.

      What was very disappointing and, even more so, very disturbing, is the performance by Ms. “Whendy.” This woman is a walking, talking disaster. Possibly she needs a new hair-do to relieve some of the pressure on the top of her scalp; this might be affecting her thought process. And to think, we have another four years of this dumbo.

      Surely there must be some sort of qualifying test for future aspirants to elected positions.

  10. Chris said

    Looks like Captain Kook is busy rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic….Bon Voyage!!!

    • Anonymous said

      ROFLMAO!!!

    • Chris said

      One day Political Acedemics will add these events to the lexicon of the study of western democracy, Psyhcological Thesis’ will be written for acedemic review, Municipal and Government officials will tell these stories to their children as a cautionary tale.

      Seriously, this council meeting about recount was a version of Kakfa-esque and Kabki theatre combined.

      One more image: Quotes from Norma Desmond of Sunset Blvd.

      Joe Gillis: “You’re Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.

      Norma Desmond: I *am* big. It’s the *pictures* that got small.

      Norma Desmond: “You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!… All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

      If this is too obscure: Shut up and go and take your klingons with you!!

    • Anonymous said

      I really don’t think our group of six councillors get it at all. Where have they been over the last couple of weeks. Don’t they realize that citizens everywhere are calling and voting for change? Have they not heard of Toronto, Calgary, Vaughan, London, the USA? Are they not aware that many, many citizens are really angry with the politicians that have been around for the last few years, and baiting them even more with the kind of nonsense that went on on Tuesday night may well push people over the edge? Revolutions have been triggered by far more insignificant events. While this crew still battles, they fail to see that they have lost the war. They are too arrogant, or stupid,to walk away quietly with what small semblance of dignity they may still have. I guess the saying that “people are promoted (read “elevated” in this case) to the level of their incompetence is absolutely true.
      The thought of having to suffer Wendy Gaertner, who never seems to understand anything, for 4 more years depresses me. Interesting though that last Tuesday she asked several times to have things explained to her, yet at the notorious council meeting in September she failed to ask for any explanation at all of what the ramifications of her “yes” vote might be and now chooses to pass the blame for her ignorance or lack of insight. Why have we been paying these dodos just to show up and sit at a table and raise their hands without knowing why? Shame on them.
      Another thing that is really sticking in my craw is that the whole so-called rationale for the infamous code of conduct and integrity commissioner was to protect staff’s reputation from bloggers. Where was that concern last Tuesday when they were all falling over themselves trying to point the finger at staff and imply all kinds of things?

  11. Anonymous said

    Having read Christopher Watt’s account of what happened at the meeting last night I am absolutely DISGUSTED and outraged by the behaviour of this group of sore losers who will do anything they can to bend the rules (or ignore them because they don’t feel that rules apply to them)in order to try to achieve their desired outcome.I wish to heaven they would all grow up.
    They remind me of kindergarten children having hissy fits and tantrums until somebody gives in, totally exhausted from the vocal onslaught, and drops them the candy they have been screaming for.
    What a disgraceful, childish display! How arrogant they are to try to undermine a professional with years of experience in municipal management. Poor Mr. Leach! I would bet that the end of the day on November 23rd cannot come fast enough for him. This group of six will most certainly go down in history as Aurora’s most manipulative, notorious and hated council majority.
    I can barely describe the contempt I am feeling today.

    • Chris Watts Rocks said

      But Chris didn’t need to include the last line in his missive. While I agree with his sentiment, vulgarity ain’t necessary.

    • A for Anonymous said

      Vulgar perhaps but from what I hear, that word was often used by a certain female councillor at many of these closed door sessions. Now that’s class. By the way, can someone explain to me why “in camera” seems to mean just the opposite?

    • KA-NON said

      It is a legal term, derived from Latin, that means “in a chamber”.

    • To follow KA-NON’s post regarding etymology, which I was unaware of but find quite fitting, here is an entire post regarding the same:

      http://www.billcasselman.com/unpublished_works/cunt_wordorigin_use.htm

      I guess I should put a disclaimer on this for those fuddyduddies amongst us that find the word to be vulgar.

      As for what is or isn’t necessary when voicing my opinion, I think I will have the final say on that.

      Anyway, thanks all for reading.

    • Anonymous said

      Mr Watts, KA-NON was referring to ‘in camera’ not to…well,..um,…you know what…

    • A for Anonymous said

      And I was thinking “in camera” had something to do with being televised. That’s why I was confused. Hey, I never claimed to be a brainiac.

    • Chris Watts Rocks said

      Chris, I’ve got no problem with the word. Quite like it in fact. Known to utter it on occasion…
      Perhaps it just took on a vulgar connotation for me because of the subject of your rant. Waste of a word.
      Look forward to your posts.

    • veritas said

      My recollection from studying Latin for many years is that ‘camera’ is a vault or hidden room and ‘in’ meaning into. Therefore when they go ‘in camera’, they go into the hidden room. Personally I just wish they had gone into a vault and stayed there.

  12. Ba-Bye said

    So the cost of the recount will be $6,500. Good grief. It gets expensive to tell Granger (again) he lost.
    BTW – just a slight variation from Ev’s information of $25,000. Ev, you need to work on your information presentation! I’m starting to disbelieve your information the way people keep correcting you. Double and triple-check for heaven’s sake. You don’t want to lose credibility.

    • evelyn.buck said

      My statement on the cost of a recount came from the response given by the former Clerk and Elections Officer for the town. The question was asked and answered in a Council Meeting in 2003. It was disputed by former Councillor Nigel Keane who dismissed costs for staff doing the recount.

      I suppose it depends on whether the intent is to minimize the cost, how one calculates it.

      The difference in votes was thirty-five between myself and the runner-up recount. Cost was dismissed as a reason not to do it. When it was completed, the numbers in question remained the same. Whatever the recount cost, it accomplished nothing.

      Except from the perspective of the Elections Officer whose judgment was challenged by the same person now contriving a challenge to the competence of the current Elections Officer. That aspect of the story at least remains exactly the same.

      Despite offering a verbal calculation of the cost of the recount to Council, the former Elections officer did not leave a price tag in the file. The current Elections Officer provided that update on Tuesday.

      I suppose, if I wanted to remove all opportunity for my figures to be challenged, I could refrain from giving any at all. The same argument could be made for any and all input I make to this forum. Say nothing at all then people can’t say I am an idiot, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I make things up, I lie, my only one motive was to destroy the Mayor.

      In general, by some, I am a thoroughly nasty and reprehensible person. Apparently it has been overheard that the hair on my head is not even real. My morals are suspect. My sexual orientation is in question. I fall asleep during Council meetings. Maybe I should be making a list of all the dismissive things people say about me rather than a contribution to the general conversation.

      I certainly think it would be more entertaining.

  13. Horrified said

    You know what could make the Town of Aurora a ton of money?

    Take the video tapes of the meetings, put them to the theme of Yakety Sax (The theme to the Benny Hill Show), and hilarity would ensue.

    Chris Watts, you’re a proven media-mixing wizard. Are you up to the task? 😉

    • Thank you for thinking of me.

      Although I have considerable experience video editing and doing post production for broadcast TV and feature films my reservations in doing any video work with council footage is over rights ownership.

      Video is either filmed through the town or by Rogers cable and they reserve rights on their footage.

      That being said, my preoccupation this week has been the launch of Microsoft’s peripheral for their XBox360 game console that tracks and enables game play off users body motion.

      Someone found some humor in watching the movements of the users and posted a video matched to the theme of the same:

  14. Paul Sesto said

    I find it interesting about the Open Forum aspect. I did a quick look at the Town website for the Agendas and Minutes of the 2010 Council Meetings. All of the regularly scheduled council meetings have an Open Forum as item III. From what I can see, none of the meetings marked “Special” have an Open Forum in the Agenda or later in the Minutes. If they were to have an Open Forum at a Special Meeting should it not have been announced in the Agenda so that all citizens would know that there would be an opportunity to speak and therefore attend the meeting for that purpose. In declaring an Open Forum right at the meeting it appears as such from “BH”‘s report of the meeting that certain people were prepared (with notes) for such an occurence with some inside information. Is this democracy in action?

  15. Something Fishy in Aurora..... said

    Would be nice to be able to see this via Rogerstv online…

    Didn’t expect any less from the outgoing….

    Next council meeting should be a gong show.

    • I sat beside the rookie Rogers camera man, wow what a night to have as your first. He said he was already cautioned as to what to expect. He laughed when he informed me that he exhausted his battery and had to switch over to another.

      My understanding is that the segment will be edited and shown at 5PM today on “FirstLocal”. It will be interesting to see what they assembled from the insanity.

    • Get Over It... said

      First Local will be on again at 10, and it is the first item. Interesting to see the residents polled outside of Longo’s thinks it is a waste of money.
      $6,500 vs the $25K that Councillor Buck stated? Just a smidgen of a difference. Grain of salt on Ev’s info from now on.
      Somehow the “real” cost seems well worth sending Granger on his way – AGAIN! Once and for all. Get the message already. Move on. Get over it…

    • Something Fishy in Aurora..... said

      Not much good to those of us who chose not to go with Robbers when they pushed out ACI.

      Hopefully Rogerstv online will start carrying these online for the rest of us…although their new website is horrible and finding anything is crazy. 😦

    • Stop the nonsense said

      How did Rogers push out ACI again? Of yes, they flashed a bunch of money in front of them and said that we will give you this if you let us take over…. hmmmmm

      That’s so bad. These nasty capitlist.

    • October Came, Thanks were Given said

      To Stop The Nonsense 2:48 pm

      They didn’t push them, they made an offer to buy ACI, a privately held company, that was accepted.

      You have other choices, Bell Expressvu for instance.

      Or you could move to China where I’m sure the rates are lower but you may not get to watch everything you want to.

    • Stop the nonsense said

      To: October Came, Thanks were Given

      That’s my whole point! Somthing Fishy wrote above: “Not much good to those of us who chose not to go with Robbers when they pushed out ACI”.

      The family that owned ACI made off like bandits. They had an inferior product and held off Rogers to get maximum returns. Kudos to them!

      I have no problem with Rogers – no wehre near the headaches I had with ACI.

    • Something Fishy in Aurora..... said

      “They had an inferior product”

      Sure, if you want less for more.

      Take a quick look at Rogers fastest internet package. “up to 2mbs” Wow.

      Not even close to what ACI offered.

    • I also cannot agree with “Stop the Nonsense”‘s statement regarding inferior product.

      I commented on it back in an old blog post here: http://christopherwatts.posterous.com/rogers-your-canadian-source-for-evil

      In fact Rogers still has a way inferior product line than ACI offered.

      Internet: Rogers cost for bandwidth is higher, and they have implemented caps

      VOIP/Home Phone: Rogers cost is higher, and the features that ACI included for free are now additional charges

      Cable TV: I had the basic package with ACI and received a great bundled rate. Rogers cost is much higher, and their line-up is lack-lustre. Needless to say there is no value in their TV product for me and I dropped it when Rogers took over. I’m not surprised to find that several other people did the same.

      ACI was an outstanding company, with fantastic products at unbeatable prices, unmatchable customer service and a great asset to the town.

      Yes they were a private company, and yes they were bought out, but it is a noticeable change in the town, and not one for the better.

    • Stop the Nonsense said

      Mr. Something Fishy……

      I think you need to review the Rogers Internet offering. The slowest is 500kbps down & up to 256kbps up. The fastest offering is 50mbps down and up to 2mbps up. Having said that, I recall ACI offered 9mpbs down and I don’t recall their upload bandwidth but I would hazzard a guess it was under 2mbps. Now, depending on the infrastructure, you may not be able to get that speed in your area but htat is the same with all services.

      I don’t use Rogers for internet – I tend to use companies that know what they are doing and a cable company is not a good internet provider.
      But I can tell you that the service I get for TV is superior to what ACI had. People complain about Rogers customer service, but for those that remember what about the ACI and TSN issue a few years ago that causes Aurorans to miss the Grand Prix race that Jacques Villenueve won the driver’s championship? I remember being at the Aurora Santa Claus parade and the ACI float was booed!

    • Something Fishy in Aurora..... said

      “Mr. Something Fishy……
      I think you need to review the Rogers Internet offering”

      Sure, if you want to compare what Rogers offers now to what ACI offered then. When I was offered the new data plans during the switch over Rogers did not have a plan that compared with ACI. It was slower speeds for more money. Sure they have come up with higher speeds since then. Everyone has.

      I chose not to go with Rogers and found a provider that at least came close to what I had with ACI.

    • Stop the Nonsense said

      Something Fishy in Aurora said:
      “Sure, if you want to compare what Rogers offers now to what ACI offered then.”

      What else can I say??? You were the one that suggested: “Take a quick look at Rogers fastest internet package. “up to 2mbs” Wow.”
      Make up your mind.

      We have had Rogers in town for less than 18 months. Speeds have not changed that much. ACI offered 9mbps upto the end of their lives, Rogers were already in excess of that before they took over.

      Unless you have an illegal movie/music download and pirating service going on in your basement, I cannot fathom needing more than 3-5 mpbs download anyways. If you tell me that you need it for your business, I will also tell you to look at the fine print on your ISP contract that the service is provided for personal, non-business use too.

      To Mr. Watts…

      How is the basic package with Rogers any lacklustre than what ACI had? They have the same channels. Your statements about ACI are so full of it, I can’t count how many times I had ACI to my house to fix digital signal problems. I told them over and over what I felt the problem was, but only after they replaced every foot of cable in my house, replaced the cable box, replaced the cable under my yard and driveway did they finally change the equipment in the box at the street – and lo’and behold, the problem went away. Their products were inferior compared to every other cable TV and sat. TV operation in the GTA.

  16. Sharon said

    Mr. Grange is within his rights to a recount. Let’s just get this done and get on with it. Enough of the “What ifs” or ‘Maybe thats”. Ms Morris is almost done. Could we not leave her with some semblance of pride as she exits? I did not vote for the lady,
    or Ms. Maceachern, but I do not wish to continue a personal vendetta against them on this site. Let’s stop whining and get to work!

    • Kelli said

      Sharon – while I do agree with the “enough already” sentiment, quite frankly you are speaking to the wrong poeple. Ms. Morris continues to make the Town Council a gong show whether she is leaving shortly or not, therefore, she and her other members bring upon themselves the comments and opinions of the town residents that pay their salaries, and are directly affected by their actions, comments, disrespect and incompetence. If she wants to leave with some semblence of pride she should begin acting in a manner that enables her to have that happen.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      As soon as you indicate which of her recent actions she should take pride in…

  17. fed up said

    They just never give up, do they? They will never see the light that the voters of this fine town shone upon them. I guess when you are perfect there is no room for improvement or self reflection on your actions.

  18. Matt Maddocks said

    Orchestrated? It sure as hell appeared that way to me too. Cllr Buck was bang on in her observation. Folks sitting near me in the chamber seats were also in agreement, several of us nodding our heads supporting Evelyn’s comment. However, outgoing-mayor (I love that) Morris, saw the reaction, and said something to the effect of “I can see people in the audience shaking their heads with disgust over what you just said Cllr Buck”. WTF?? That’s when all hell broke loose, the comments started flying, prompting Morris to call the recess and ordered Mr. Copper to clear the castle of all the peasants. It was better (or worse?) than Jerry Springer.

    Kudos to Cllr Collins-Mrakas for stating a beautiful defence of Mr. Leach’s 30-plus years of electioneering experience, in dealing professionally with polls, ballots, and recounts. The sheer audacity of Morris, MacEachern, and Wilson calling the process into question was amazing. Where these folks think they have the best interests of the town in mind when launching such a perverted attack on a respected member of staff completely escapes me. I have to mention as well, you could practically feel the air being sucked out of the room when Cllr Gaertner asked Mr. Leach to repeat (again), the entire re-count process. Honestly Cllr. Gaertner, is it going to be 4 more years of this?

    Bill, can we start officially referring to you as “Mr Aurora Citizen”, as MacEachern screeched and finger-pointed at you last night? I think it has a nice ring to it!

    Dec 7th can’t come soon enough.

    • Luckywife said

      Matt, I just have to ask, did anyone actually get up and leave when PM ordered the chamber cleared? What did Mr. Cooper do?

      I so wish we had video footage of Phyllis and Evelina having a meltdown. I know we already have plently, but maybe we could package them all into a DVD Collectors Edition and sell them to help raise money for the moderators defence fund.

      Now that would be funny.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • Confounded again said

      I sat through a good part of last night’s “Special” and unfortunately I am either in the late stages of going deaf or the sound system in the chamber is not working properly. From my other experiences in talking to people, talking on the phone, listening to my stereo, I seem to hear well enough.

      Possibly the new mayor can have the system examined. Also it would be helpful if the microphones were capable of reaching about another 12″ so that people didn’t have to stoop over when using them. I mentioned this years ago and nothing has been done.

      The real purpose of this message is that I heard Councillor Wilson ramble on for what seemed like an eternity, making an apology to someone about something. Can you provide any information as to what this related and what the speech was all about?

      Thanks.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Luckywife – no, in fact we all laughed when she said it. She stormed past us though “like a frumpy old queen” (thanks Chris Watts), up the stairs and out to the lobby. I don’t think Mr. Cooper said a word.
      A Rogers camera guy was onsite last night for the whole time. I saw the coverage on First Local earlier tonight, but it didn’t show any of the fireworks. I wonder if Rogers offers “unedited” copies? Maybe we could get the DVD set out in time for Christmas!

      Confounded – I was listening, and the best I got is just what you got; he was apologizing to someone, for something. I have no idea either. It took a long time though.

    • Anonymous said

      MM wrote “I have to mention as well, you could practically feel the air being sucked out of the room when Cllr Gaertner asked Mr. Leach to repeat (again), the entire re-count process. Honestly Cllr. Gaertner, is it going to be 4 more years of this?”

      I’ll go you one better. How the hell did she get re-elected?Couldn’t be her contribution to council or her insights. Couldn;t be her ability to come unprepared and ask the most obtuse/vacuous (pick one) questions.What is this facination the voters have with Ms. Gaertner?

    • fed up said

      someone email wendy and tell her when the remberance day service is–she probably can’t read teh signs posted on Yonge street announcing its closing during the ceremony–I too cannot believe such a stupid person got re-elected–I guess the saying “you get the government deserve” works for her

  19. Luckywife said

    What you have described here was not a meeting of Council.

    It was a Royal Canadian Air Farce skit.

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