Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Council Inauguration

Posted by auroracitizen on December 10, 2010

I had the opportunity to attend both the Aurora Council and Regional Council Inauguration meetings.

Some observations;

I particularly enjoyed the length of the Aurora meeting — 1 hour. The Region could learn from this. We were over 2 hours — although in fairness they did have more members who had to speak. To his credit — Mayor Dawe was one of the shortest speeches 🙂

The Aurora Inauguration was the first meeting where we had a range of faiths offer prayer for guidance and encourage to Council. I thought this was a great step. I believe that religion has no place in politics — but religion has an important place in community. By honouring and recognizing a diversity of religious beliefs in Aurora, it showed no favouritism, but took a more inclusive approach — regardless of your religious beliefs. I enjoyed the diversity.

Phyllis Morris didn’t attend either event. I feel this showed a lack of respect for the office. As outgoing Mayor, what did you expect? For comparison, defeated incumbent Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson attended the Regional Inauguration — and as we know from last term, Vaughan is known for bitter election campaigns. Did Vaughan set a higher standard than Aurora?

A few Councillors were quite emotional.

  • Our youngest Councillor, Paul Pirri, was so positive and gracious. I am looking for very good things from this young man. He represents the future of Aurora politics and I am hopeful other young people see him as a role model and get involved.
  • Our eldest Councillor, Evelyn Buck, after almost 50 years (did I get that right Ev?) still gets emotional by the trust the residents place in her with their votes. It was nice to see her warmly received.
  • Councillor John Gallo acknowledged the conditions he was appointed under last term and was very gracious in communicating his gratitude for his “election”. He was clearly appreciative and it was a touching moment when he paid tribute to his wife.

Was anyone else puzzled why Wendy Gaertner walked out with only 10 minutes remaining at end of the Aurora meeting? Although she indicated that someone was sick in her family — out of respect to Councillors Ballard and Pirri who followed her comments and to the Queens York Rangers — I wondered if another few minutes delay would have changed anything?

Generally Councillors were positive about the future and were looking forward to working as a team and getting started on the work ahead.

However, why would Councillor Ballard, in the very first meeting end his speech with “let the games begin”? As someone who claims to be a communications expert, what was his intention in making this statement. Games have no place at the Council table. Was he putting Council and residents on notice that he is not prepared to work together as a team, but is clarifying the battle lines already. He states that he should be judged on his actions — not his past affiliation with Phyllis Morris. What are we to judge based on this action? In my opinion, his comment had no place at an Inauguration and showed lack of respect to fellow Councillors and residents.

Overall I have positive feelings about this term and I am hopeful that some of the ghosts of the past term will quickly be replaced by positive collaborative energy. Let’s hope Councillors that may harbour resentment are prepared to put aside their personal feelings and get the focus back to what is best for the community and away from the “if you aren’t for us, you are against us” philosophy we too often saw last term.

Respect was too often missing last term. A couple of current Councillors need to learn from the mistakes of the past.

Agree? Disagree? Any other observations?

Bill Hogg

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58 Responses to “Council Inauguration”

  1. Robert the Bruce said

    Clearly my rebuttal to Christopher Watts was deemed inappropriate to be on the blog. True enough, I was in a pissy mood. In reviewing his post, I would like to request that you re-consider some of slanderous comments made in his post and remove it as well. Truely if this is to be an open discussion, all should be allowed to discuss. Allowing his comments to remain is not proper.

    • RTB, you are correct, with our apologizes, we did feel your comments crossed the line in that particular comment. We try to be as liberal as possible — but we recognize it is a delicate balance and we often err.

      Upon second review, in our opinion we still feel that Mr Watts comments — while close to the line — did not cross it.

      Please feel free to respond to Mr Watts comments, but possibly toned back just a wee bit.

    • Anonymous said

      Aurora Citizen,

      How much futher over the line does someone need to go when they infer that a poster has an STD?

      Robert died on 7 June 1329, at the Manor of Cardross, near Dumbarton. He had suffered for some years from what some contemporary accounts describe as an “unclean ailment”. The traditional view is that this was leprosy, but this was not mentioned in contemporary accounts, and is now disputed with syphilis, psoriasis, motor neurone disease and a series of strokes all proposed as possible alternatives.

      Maybe that is why this poster is, and will always remain so fumius.

      I don’t know what RTB said in the response but the above quote is pretty damning.

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      We can safely assume that the poster is not actually Robert the Bruce given that his demise has been recorded some centuries ago, and that this is a persona.

      As for “damming” the excerpt you just selected was not one I authored but one found on a Wikipedia entry for Robert the Bruce.

      I was questioning the poster’s choice of persona given this material I found online.

      Do a little more research and you will find that the real Robert the Bruce was a very undemocratic leader, which adds to the hypocrisy and undermines this argument, and several other, the poster is trying to make.

      If a poster wishes to adopt a persona so be it. But like Mr. Spock and Annony-moose I fail to see why anyone else is not free to comment on it or question it.

      Perhaps if the poster used his own name it would be another matter. Alas this poster is not nearly as brave as the real Robert the Bruce, as history tells us he would hide behind nothing.

    • Wisely said

      Actually Chris’s post just states a historical fact.

    • Anonymous said

      Do a little more research and you will find that the real Robert the Bruce was a very undemocratic leader, which adds to the hypocrisy and undermines this argument, and several other, the poster is trying to make.

      Do a little more research and you will also find the Robert was fighting the oppression of the English in his homeland. In the era that he lived, there was not much democratic going on. Read some of Burns and you will see how Robert was thought of by the Scots. By the way, it is Robbie Burns – in case you thought I was talking about Mr Burns from “The Simpsons”. Perhaps you are reading too much into a persona versus the topics here.

      If a poster wishes to adopt a persona so be it. But like Mr. Spock and Annony-moose I fail to see why anyone else is not free to comment on it or question it.

      Maybe this person is not adopting a “persona” but likes the name.

      Perhaps if the poster used his own name it would be another matter. Alas this poster is not nearly as brave as the real Robert the Bruce, as history tells us he would hide behind nothing.

      You’re right. We should all use our own name. Mr. someone who loves this town more than politics.

  2. evelyn.buck said

    RTB’s comment at 1.18 Dec 15th is an excellent example why the document tabled by Councillor Ballard should not have been allowed to become part of the public record

    It is clear RTB gives the document credibility.

    No doubt his comments will influence others to believe the same.

    Yet the document is not accurate. It is scurrilous, abusive ,not at all accurate and written in the familiar style of its author;

    An individual who’s sole objective is to push other people out of the way to allow for her to grow her business in a public facility.

    By having it placed on a Council Agenda, Councillor Ballard enabled inaccurate, reprehensible comments and unfair criticism of staff to become part of the town’s public record.

    There it stands unrefuted.

    How can that be seen to be in the public interest?

    RTB is very confident of his authority of how things should be.

    He is not nearly as knowledgeable as he thinks.

    He is merely opinionated.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      I have some work to do so I will try to be quick.

      1. … Yet the document is not accurate. It is scurrilous, abusive ,not at all accurate and written in the familiar style of its author;

      Are you the judge of what is accurate now? Perhaps Mr. Ballard feels the author has a valid point. Why not let council decide on the accuracy instead of just you.

      2. RTB is very confident of his authority of how things should be.

      I am confident in my beliefs. I have no “authority” of how things should be, I can only state my opinions.

      3. He is not nearly as knowledgeable as he thinks.

      He is merely opinionated.

      If having an opinion is a crime, I guess you would have been in prison a long time ago! Since when is being opinionated a bad thing? Oh, I remember; when that opinion runs counter to the great Evelyn Buck and her minions on the blogs.

      I just love how when you are up against an opinion that is against yours, you turn it into a personal attack of a person’s intelligence. You are just as much a bully as you claim the author of the letter was.

      Nothing changes folks.

      Fuimus

    • Anonymoose said

      Oh I don’t know Buck. You are pretty good at both scurrilous comments and refuting that which you disagree with yourself.

      Sounds to me like what you are saying is that council should not be debating this issue. Who gets to use town facilities and how they get to use it is a perfectly valid subject of debate for council.

      ———–

      “An individual who’s sole objective is to push other people out of the way to allow for her to grow her business in a public facility.”

      Of course that is her objective, the same as the other users of the facility. It is councils job to make sure it is equitable, yet you think it should not be discussed.

      ————

      “By having it placed on a Council Agenda, Councillor Ballard enabled inaccurate, reprehensible comments and unfair criticism of staff to become part of the town’s public record.
      There it stands unrefuted.
      How can that be seen to be in the public interest? ”

      So refrute it!
      It is one persons opinion that is on the public record. A lot of your less than gracious opinions are on the public record as well. What of it? We are all entitled to express our opinions, and council has a duty to ensure that these concerns are addressed. Ether by dismissing the view, or acknowledging it and fixing it. Sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it as you you do is not a responsible option.

    • Broderick epps said

      RTB Wrote “You show me in that document where it says that matters of council may be debated in social media.”
      Better yet RTB show me where it says you can’t!.
      You know as well as anyone if the rules are silent on a point there are no rules hence Ms. Buck is free to use the social media to pontificate.Since no one is forcing you to read these blogs I respectfully suggest you don’t.BTW whether Ms Buck announces what she is going to contest a issue may be a pickle up yours, I believe a vast majority are tired of a certain Councillor who after 7 years has a hard time understanding Town Business even when its explained in a Fisher Price fashion.

  3. Robert the Bruce said

    Not that this is an inauguration issue… but I read on Evelyn’s blog this morning…

    “To-day I’m going to write a post about an item I will have to oppose at the first meeting of the new Council to-night.”

    I won’t say “I told you so”….

    Fuimus

    • Kelli said

      what do you mean ? Evelyn was re-elected because she was doing a great job just as she is …. so what is the surprise here?????

    • Anonymoose said

      Teh heh.

      Kelli, I don’t think Robert was surprised at all. In fact, I think that was his point. As for doing a great job….. well that is a subjective statement, the truth of which I think will come out when her behaviour proves to contrast much more with this council than it did with the last.

    • Mr. Spock said

      Maybe you won’t now, but perhaps very soon, when many many others will…

      Fear not, oh Robert of Turnberry, join the chorus, for there your voice will be heard!

    • Winter's comin' said

      … IMO, EB is not above being accountable to the Taxpayers of Aurora. That includes, admonishment, if necessary for behaviour/performance unbecoming of an Aurora Town Councillor … wc

    • Luckywife said

      RTB, No need to say I told you so…….I’ve never had any illusions about what to expect from Evelyn Buck, that’s why I respect her so much. It is the responsibility of the Mayor, IMO, to apply the Rules of Order evenly and fairly to Evelyn and everyone else. Have a little faith, if the Mayor respects and allows each member to have their say within the rules, I doubt Evelyn will cause a fuss.

      I have to say, that I am in total agreement with her re: the memo from Cllr. Ballard. I’m not arguing the merits of the issue, but that letter is rude, makes disparaging comments and accusations against a staff member and IMO should not be on the public agenda. During the last term it was common practice for the Mayor to allow certain councilors and supporters to publicly chastise and humiliate staff. It wasn’t right then, and it’s not right now. I think if someone has a complaint about a staff member, they should be contacting the Mayor and CAO directly, not bringing it to open forum. That’s bullying. That’s not how you show respect for staff or for us either. I don’t want to see that crap happen ever again in Aurora.

      Luckywife

    • Anonymous said

      So RTB I guess you didn’t read the next post to see that Evelyn tells us why she is going to have to make that objection. It seems like a reasonable objection to me.

    • KA-NON said

      Yeah, sure WC. However, holding an opposing view on a matter, and voicing it, sounds to me like conduct entirely becoming a councillor. The fact that she blogged about her views prior to the meeting is simply communicating with her constituency on a matter that she was going to be very public about. Nothing at all wrong with that.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Here’s the scenario….

      The council meeting agenda is published.

      EB sees an item that she disagrees with. In advance of the council meeting and therefore in advance of the item even being tabled at the meeting, she is already posting a blog entry about how she disagrees with the item. Where is the accountability in that and where is the debate that 9 council members need to participate in?

      This is not proper. It was bad enough to debate items on her blog after the debate in council, but now she is doing it before the meeting. It is not fair to the process that is supposed to be used. And if anyone here disagrees with that, you need to take of your rose coloured glasses, the Aura is fading.

      Fuimus

    • Luckywife said

      RTB:

      I’m having a little trouble following your thought process. I don’t really understand why you feel EB is being improper by sharing her opinion before or after a debate takes place.

      If I ran into EB or another Cllr. at the grocery store or an event and asked them a question about an agenda item, would it be proper for them to give me an answer? Or should they be telling me they can’t discuss items before they’re tabled or after they’ve been debated? I don’t understand why you feel a councilors opinion should be held secret, what am I missing?

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • Wisely said

      Robert – I’m don’t follow your thinking (unless your thinking is just to criticize Councilor Buck). The Agenda is made public before the meeting so that people can discuss the issue.

      Ta-Da – we’re discussing

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Luckywife,

      If you ran into a councillor at the grocery store and asked a question, I am sure that they would give an opinion. However, EB does more than give an opinion when she writes in her blog. She feels the blog is a tool to inform the public – which it is – but her opinion is usually draped around other comments that lead the reader to think that the other parties are somehow doing something illegal, immoral or both. She uses the blog as a point to debate a topic without allowing debate to happen. Other councillors cannot respond and be sure that their side will be heard.

      If an issue has only been listed on an agenda but not tabled, would you allow councillors to debate it? When the item is tabled, it can be changed from the original agenda item as well. I think the cart is before the horse here.

      I am not asking for councillors to keep their opinions “secret”. Where did I say that?

      I have talked to councillors about an issue and their response was that they could not at the time. They have a respect of the process.

      Furthermore, I read the agenda item and the attached memo/letter. I do not see any harm in it. The staff member in question is very much in the public domain from his input at council meetings. The letter’s authour seems to have a legitimate complaint and has not been given satisfaction. Where should the authour go now? As a tax payer, I trust that equal and fair distribution of Town resources is being done. If the letter is accurate, I don’t think that is happening.

      Fuimus

    • KA-NON said

      RTB,

      What do you mean other councillors cannot respond? That’s absurd. They can create their own blog any time they want, or, they can post on this blog, which I assume would not censor their posts.

      Also, if and when Evelyn’s posts are “…draped around other comments that lead the reader to think that the other parties are somehow doing something illegal, immoral or both” it is probably because she honestly believes that “…the other parties are somehow doing something illegal, immoral or both”. If that is the case, I appreciate hearing her tell it just as she sees it.

      Your argument is weak, and it demonstrates a lack of understanding of today’s (social) media.

      KA-NON

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Robert – you wanna talk fair process? I was at the meeting last night. Councilor Buck raised her objection, and after debate, Councilor Ballard quite civily agreed to re-word the motion to mutual satisfaction. That’s fair process. In blazing contrast, Councilor Geartner came to the meeting prepared only to try and achieve a pre-determined agenda, to disrupt and embarrass the new Mayor and Council. Bitterness and vindictiveness have no place at our Council table, but Councilor Geartner seems to feel it’s her place to bring it. Once she finished her tirade, she had a letter already prepared and immediately fired a copy of it into the hands of Brock Weir from The Auroran. She would’ve had no idea what the outcome of her objections would be, but had her letter already written regardless. Let me know how fair to the process you feel was this premeditated stunt.

      What don’t you understand about a blog? Evelyn Buck has been sharing her thoughts via her blog for years. We all have access to the agenda prior to the meetings, we can all comment on it. So can Evelyn. It doesn’t break any rules, it doesn’t commit any unfair act. There’s nothing improper about it. In fact if anything, sharing her thoughts prior to council meetings may serve to provide the rest of council, as well as the citizens who read them, further insight as to how she intends to debate various issues.

      So yes, I disagree with your comment. You can stick the rose-coloured glasses up yer kilt. I think the only place where the Aura has faded is in your outlook.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      KA-NON et al,

      I understand the today’s social media quite fine thankyou. What you fail to understand is that there are rules that governments must adhere to. EB holds up the Procedural Bylaws as the bible of municipal government in Aurora. You show me in that document where it says that matters of council may be debated in social media.

      The last thing we need is 9 different blogs to read in order to debate an item of Town business. There is a time and place for it and that is in council chambers at the appointed times.

      Honestly, it’s time you all get your collective heads out of your collective arses and understand that Town business should not be carried on this way.

      I’ve given up aruging with you guys as you are blinded by the “Aura” and fail to see the reality.

      Fuimus

    • Anonymous said

      I do not understand how giving an opinion on a blog is “carrying out town business” Councilor Buck clearly stated her opinion and the fact that she would oppose the motion. In the end when the wording of the motion was changed, all were happy. What is the problem with all of this. The process worked. If there were 9 blogs with everyone’s opinions clearly stated on them then you can read 9 of them or not the choice is yours, but in the end you simply have 9 opinions to read and understand better. Council still has to have meetings and agendas. It all has to happen in the Town hall or else it is just opinions.

    • Luckywife said

      RTB,

      Thank you for your response, I think I get your point now, however, there are a couple of things that we will have to agree to disagree on. Firstly, I don’t rely on EB to tell me what to think, I read her blog because I want to know what she thinks. We are all of us, capable of distinguishing fact from fiction, opinion, and gossip. For myself, every comment I have ever written on her blog has been published and there have been instances that I have disagreed with her. Secondly, I don’t accept that the other councilors cannot respond or give voice to their opinions. Each of them have the same tools of communication at their disposal that EB does and they are free to use them, or not, as they see fit. I’m not suggesting that they should each start their own blogs so they can hurl insults back and forth with their collegues, but there is nothing wrong with them having one to share their own ideas and opinions about the issues.

      Lastly, the letter. I tried to make clear that I was not arguing the merits of the writer’s complaint. What I take issue with is the personal and nasty commentary made about a staff member’s job performance. Could Cllr. Ballard not have written his own memorandum to bring the issue forward or at least redacted the staff member’s name? Also, Staff are not free to rebut, refute, debate or challenge what is said or written about them and presented at open forum. They are not allowed to speak at all unless they are recognized by the Chair. As Chief Bureaucrat, it is the responsibility of the CAO to hold staff accountable for their job performance. We don’t know if the CAO or even the Mayor had been previously made aware the author had a staff complaint. We don’t know if the other parties mentioned were pleased with the outcome of the meetings with staff and the agreements made or if they have a complaint as well. I don’t see that there is a need to embarass staff or hold them up to public ridicule, especially when we don’t have the whole story.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      Mr. The Bruce,

      The “first” thing we need is 9 different blogs to read in order to debate an item of the town’s business as this is the number of people participating in the debate at council.

      What is it that upsets you greatly about 1, or even 9 members of council sharing their opinion?

      What do you believe is there to gain about silencing members of councilors and constituents that wish to debate the town’s business prior, during and after it has been conducted?

      By all means please show us where in the procedural bylaw matters of council may “not” be debated in social media.

      You clearly do not understand today’s social media, so thank you for giving up arguing, as it is the only logical course given the ineptitude you seem to have for understanding democracy in the 21st century. It seems to me that maybe you have been dipping into the former mayor’s “golden standard” to arrive at your most recent conclusions, and although it may have been the standard in the times of Robert the Bruce much has changed, even if you haven’t.

      As for someone who has their head up their ass it already has been pointed out by Mr. Maddocks that your wardrobe provides the easiest access, and one that you have chosen to pursue as evidenced through several of your postings on this site.

      I went looking for an image of the great “Robert The Bruce” and this was what I found:

      I have to question the sanity of someone who, out of all of Scotland’s rich heritage, would chose someone like Robert the Bruce ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_I_of_Scotland ) as an online alias.

      Especially after reading of an unclean ailment that led to his fate:

      Robert died on 7 June 1329, at the Manor of Cardross, near Dumbarton. He had suffered for some years from what some contemporary accounts describe as an “unclean ailment”. The traditional view is that this was leprosy, but this was not mentioned in contemporary accounts, and is now disputed with syphilis, psoriasis, motor neurone disease and a series of strokes all proposed as possible alternatives.

      Maybe that is why this poster is, and will always remain so fumius.

    • Wisely said

      RTB,

      What escapes you is that meeting on-line, in places like the Aurora Citizen or blogs, is like dropping by for tea was years ago or running into somebody at the grocery store. It’s a place for a little chat, if you don’t like the chat then don’t participate, but when you say it shouldn’t be allowed you’re clearly not interested in democracy.

  4. evelyn.buck said

    Thank You for the comment Bill…Just to keep the record straight…I have lived in Aurora fifty years. I was a candidate first forty-seven years ago.I was a Councillor first forty-three years ago. I have been elected eleven times. I don’t care to remember how often I was defeated. It’s enough to know I’m ahead at this point.
    Have a great day everybody!

  5. Winter's comin' said

    So, folks, there is a danger here of being more tainted than the persons that are being singled out. Personally, who cares why a previous rep. showed or no showed at the inauguration. If you really want to know, ask them directly. Cut through your feelings and make this a great electoral period.

    Now that’s off my chest ..Counsellor Chris Ballard, where’s your reply to my question? “What did you mean in your inaugural speech: let the games begin?” … wc

  6. Jenny Cockram said

    In response to Bill Hoggs post. Glad to hear that things are starting off on a positive note. Hopefully we can keep it that way. As to the negative idea of Chris Ballard’s “let the games begin”. Give it a break. This is such a common phrase used everywhere these days. It might have meant battle in the 80s but doesn’t seem to have that meaning these days. So let’s move on positively and productively of course.

    Welcome to the new team, old and new members. The citizens of Aurora have given you their vote. Use it wisely.

    • Winter's comin' said

      Jenny … IMO our Councillors are responsible for their words. Accountability to the Aurora Taxpayers begins with the Inauguration. … wc

    • Stephanie Allen said

      I agree with Jenny, I think this is a non-issue – – a tempest in a teapot. If we get dragged down at the first hint of a potential nonconstructive attitude, how are we to have any chance of a constructive outcome. Let’s stop trying to pigeonhole people out of the gate and wait for his deeds to define him.

    • Anonymous said

      I love optimism but we need to be pragmatic. Ballard is suppose to be a communication expert. His phase was not simply from a simple grass roots politician speaking from the hip. He has drank the Morriskaid. WG has already made it clear she will not let go of the past. Gallo and her either need to do a 180 (which they will not do as neither has courage to say they did wrong) or continue to steer the course of mindless and petty games. I see a block forming and like the US Supreme Court a lot of 5-4 decisions in our futures

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      In regards to a block forming I’m not sure about a block as much as a couple block-heads.

      I don’t think we’ll see 5-4 decisions. Maybe some 7-2s but more likely 6-3 with the 3 opposed being: John Gallo, Windy Gartner & Chris “Aurora Guy” Ballard.

      Gallo’s greeting reinforced how he felt councilors need to be held to a “higher standard”. I voted for him so I’m eager to see him put his money where his mouth is.

      Gaertner is visibly agitated, and there seems to be little relief in sight. I expect this to spill over into her decision making as it has in the past.

      And, well Ballard is as much a communications expert as Don Cherry.

      I did not see Councillors Gartner & Gallo in attendance at last night’s tree lighting, I expect maybe they were staying warm somewhere enjoying a coffee.

      AuroraGuy was there though. It should be fun to see who he lets join in any of his reindeer games tonight at council.

      I disagree with Stephanie. For me it’s less about pigeonholing anyone, and more about making some predictions and seeing how they hold up. If this isn’t a forum for doing this than I don’t know what one is.

      The constructive outcome is that councilors have the opportunity to hear and appreciate the feedback of the community, should they so desire, before making their decisions which of course would be more helpful than after.

      They all have the opportunity to prove us wrong.

      I just expect that they won’t have the jingle-balls to do so.

  7. Robert the Bruce said

    Regarding Morris not being there…..

    Let me play devil’s advocate. Were ex-councillors Wilson, MacEachren, Grainger, Collins-Mrakas or McRoberts there?

    If I recall, the official takeover of power occured on December 1. I personally would not have expected her to attend. The fact that Jackson showed up at Regional council is not a barometer for me, I do not consider her and Morris as equals. I think for her to stay away shows respect for the new people and let them have the spotlight.

    Fuimus

    • fed up said

      Collins Marakas and McRoberts were there–but then again they have some class–the others have none

    • someone who loves this town more than politics said

      Collins-Mrakas & McRoberts were there.

      I did not see Wilson or Grainger and MacEachren couldn’t even make it out to the last meeting of council so their absence was not a surprise. Grace was not their strong suit.

      As for not expecting the past mayor to attend out of respect….really?

      I don’t care what day the “official takeover of power” was. 2 other past mayors were in attendance, a handful of past councilors.

      If anything Morris’ absence showed a lack of respect to the incoming council.

      Her absence at regional council even more so.

      Linda Jackson & Margaret Black were Morris’ equals, they were all defeated but at least these two had a smidgen of respect to be in attendance.

    • Anonymous said

      Collins-Mrakas was at the Aurora Inauguration to show support for the incoming council,

      and if i recall correctly, Tim Jones showed up for Inauguration 2006 to show his support..

      so please Morris not showing up is not out of respect, its not showing up out of spite and disrespect!!

    • Mr. Spock said

      The larger question is not whether any former members of council attended, it is of course, were they invited?

      Mayor Dawe and the other newly elected would have shown much class if they had taken the effort to make a personal invitation to each of the defeated incumbants, and also each of the defeated candidates.

      If the invitations were made, my apologies.

      If not, well…

      And if none then showed up, that would of been a reflection on their level of dedication to the process. After all the election is not about the candidates, winners or losers, but about the people they represent.
      Being involed in your community is not contingent only on winning an election. If a candidates involvement stops when the polls close, he/she probably deserved to lose anyway.

      The town certainly won’t miss them.

      Dawe will need Morris, at least in the interm. This is no time to be burning bridges.
      And so far I think he is smart enough to realize that.

      Morris knows where the bodies are buried (so to speak), and can help to smooth a difficult transition. At least she had better, this will show some level of concern for the town, as she claims to have.

      She has a role to play now, whether her detractors agree or not, and time will tell what she makes of it.

      Be it positive, and go out with her head held high, or be it negative, sniping and complaining her way to certain political oblivian, the choice is up to her.

      …but it may be unwise for any of us to hold our breath…

    • One who Knows said

      “Dawe will need Morris, at least in the interm. This is no time to be burning bridges.
      And so far I think he is smart enough to realize that”.

      This has to be a joke, Obviously this person has absolutely no idea who or what he is talking about Dawe needing Morris is akin to farmer needing a drought followed by a locust plague , OMG , some folks just don’t get it,

  8. fed up said

    Gaertner shows respect for nobody–evidence her behaviour at the Remembrance Day Service when she talked to friends all through the wreath laying ceremony while the rest of the crowd stood in silence, heads lowered. She surely doesn’t respect the Queens York Rangers. Her speech at last week’s council meeting was less than inspiring and made some political jabs–not what one would call working co-operatively with colleagues–but then again that’s not her strong suit. Dawe had better be careful of her and her friend Ballard–they are not there for the right reasons.

  9. Winter's comin said

    Dear Chris Ballard: In your 2010 inaugural speech, what did you mean: Let the games begin?

    A straight forward reply would be appreciated. Thank you. … wc.

  10. Luckywife said

    I watched the meeting on Rogers. I was really impressed, everyone involved in the planning did an awesome job. Most of the speeches were terrific and positive. I received Cllr. Ballard’s closing remark as being quite adversarial IMO. I was not impressed, but I admit that my negative impression of him was formed long before Tuesday. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, and over the next four years he proves it.

    I expect little from Cllr. Gaertner, so I was not disappointed by her speech or her monotone delivery.

    I had fully intended to vote for Gallo right up until he voted to allow Phyllis Morris to use taxpayers funds to finance her personal lawsuit. After 2 1/2 years of hanging on to PM’s coatails, and on the eve of the election, he had an opportunity to take a stand and prove that he was more than just another sycophant. He blew it. Claiming later that he didn’t understand the implications of what he was voting for does not hold any water with me. I was more angry with him than with any of them, as I credit him with having far more intellect than Gaertner, Granger & Wilson put together. Trust him? Never. Respect him? He has a long way to go, and I am not sure it’s even possible.

    I read the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. I am delighted to see Mayor Dawe has kept his campaign promises and gave notice of motion to review the IC, Code of Conduct and the complaint against EB on the website. Should be an interesting first meeting and I will be watching very closely the upcoming debates and how each councilor votes on these matters.

    The Lawsuit is on the closed session agenda. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to debate, I want this over, done, finished! If Phyllis Morris wants to sue people she can do it with her own money, not ours. I don’t want to see anymore money wasted on this but frankly, I am still so cheesed off about the whole thing, that I would like to see the Town of Aurora AND the defandants sue PM personally to recover both taxpayer and personal legal expenses.

    Question? Will it be a conflict for Gallo and Gaertner to participate in the debate and vote?

    Luckywife

    • Anonymous said

      to answer your question there is no conflict. conflicts are to be of a pecuniary nature where a councillor has a direct bennefit. and there simply is none.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      While I doubt that either Cllr Gallo or Cllr Gaertner could declare a conflict in the discussion about the lawsuit concerning the former mayor and three residents who are defendants, I would note that a councillor does not have to have personal financial interests to declare a conflict of interest.

      In some cases, relatives are employees of companies that could benefit from a particular decision. In some cases, the councillor might be on the board of a charity that stands to benefit.

      The idea is to avoid financial influence.

    • Anonymous said

      If you think Gallo and Gaertner have a conflict, surely Dawe does too — even more so.

      The vote could have a very positive outcome for his campaign strategist and an official endorser. Overturning the previous council’s decision could be perceived as a pretty nice gift to them for their support, wouldn’t it?

      I can imagine the rage here if Morris had voted on something that could have had a positive impact on one of her campaign workers.

    • October Came, Thanks were Given said

      TO;Anonymous said December 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      You’re right. We should let the lawsuit proceed at taxpayers expense, regardless of cost.

      The $5,0000,000.00 would make a nice parting gift to Morris.

      Of course the lawsuit against Mayor Dawe’s ‘official endorser’ had no political intentions whatsoever.

      Your side lost, get over it!

    • Luckywife said

      To Anonymous 10:16 pm

      “If you think Gallo and Gaertner have a conflict, surely Dawe does too — even more so. ”

      Is that what I think? Where exactly did I say that? I asked a simple question. I did not infer that they could or should declare a conflict.

      “The vote could have a very positive outcome for his campaign strategist and an official endorser. Overturning the previous council’s decision could be perceived as a pretty nice gift to them for their support, wouldn’t it?”

      A gift? If that is what you’d like to call it, then by all means, we’ll call it that. But why take such a linear view? This is a gift that will benefit every single taxpayer in Aurora including the asshats that gave the big gift to Phyllis in the first place. You know, MacEachern, Granger, Gallo, Wilson, Gaertner? I doubt any of them supported or voted for Geoff Dawe but they’ll still be recipients of the gift, just like you and me.

      “I can imagine the rage here if Morris had voted on something that could have had a positive impact on one of her campaign workers.”

      Where were you the last four years? Morris did do that many, many, times. And, yes, people were outraged and we finally did something about it last October 25. If Mayor Dawe and the new council cause as much outrage then we will do something about them too in 2014.

      Just for the record, I don’t have a flipping clue if this council will do better than the last, but I have a hard time to imagine them doing worse.

    • Anonymous said

      I don’t think you get it….

      she is using taxpayers money to fund a private lawsuit…….!!!!!!!!!!!!

      does that mean that the town is gonna start bankrolling citizens to pay for lawyers???

      where can i sign up and get free money???

      i would sue everyone for anything to and see if it sticks if i dont have to use my own money….

    • Augustinius said

      There really isn’t an appropriate spot for this, but I do want to say a few things.

      I attended the last council meeting of the old guard and it was much appreciated to see the polite civility with which it was conducted. My questions are: was this a hollow mockery of the norm, and if not, why were council meetings not conducted in this manner over the past four years?

      Then we come to the presentations to those departing and the very gracious words spoken by Mr. Garbe. My question is: were these words not the height of hypocrisy when used in conjunction with those members defeated in the election, especially the former mayor? I know there is a certain form in all of this, but this was ludicrous.

      There are two councillors held over from the last administration whom we must watch with vigilance, one far more than the other. And the “games people play” person will bear close scrutiny as well.

      Enough of the past.

      Geoff Dawe can not and will never be able to walk on water. But he is a decent, honest, experienced and well-intentioned person. And I predict that four years from now, notwithstanding the occasional stumble, most of us will be quite satisfied with our municipal government’s performance.

      The Agenda for the council meeting of December 14 contains several controversial items: 1) Morris defamation action. This is a no brainer. cut off funding and seek to recover what has already been paid. Action: immediate. 2) Code of Conduct complaint against clr. Buck. Why is this deferred to January 18? Is there a legitimate reason for this? 3) Likewise Notice of Motion regarding termination of the contract for the Integrity Commissioner and review codes of ethics and conduct. Why is this deferred to January 18?

      All three of these matters are festering sores in the body of Aurora and need to be lanced quickly and completely.

    • Luckywife said

      Augustinius:

      Excellent post. I have no idea why the IC and the EB matter have to be referred to General Committee. I guess that is the proper procedure?

      I will be watching closely to see how Council deals with all of these issues. I would like to see all of it come to an end. We voted for a fresh start, Council needs to focus on the budget, fixing the Promenade study and the Master Rec plan. Putting these other issues to rest will go along way to restoring confidence, and will indicate to me that all of our Council understand what the voters expect from them and the change we asked for on Oct 25. If they don’t get these items out of the way, then there is a strong possibility, IMO, that we will again be stuck with a fractious and dysfunctional council, despite the Mayor’s best efforts.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • Anonymous said

      Luckywife you rock… I wish I could be your lucky husband

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Hi Melanie – good to see you back! It’s my understanding, after speaking with some folks last night at the Christmas tree lighting, that the reason the integrity commissioner contract and the website code of conduct complaint issues are to be discussed at the Jan 18th meeting (the next regular council meeting following the holiday break), is that council procedure dictates that you normally cannot table a motion and then debate/vote on it at the same meeting. Therefore, these 2 motions will be tabled at tonight’s meeting, then be voted on for consideration/debate at the next (Jan 18) meeting.

      I have complete faith that this council will act swiftly to deal with all these lingering issues, and put them behind us once and for all.

    • Luckywife said

      To Anonymous 1:07 am

      I thank you for the compliment, it is very much appreciated. If Luckyhusband ever decides to trade me in for a muscle car and a girlfriend half my age, I’ll let you know.

      To Matt Maddocks:

      Thank you for the info. I wish they would televise the GC meetings, if they are even half as interesting as a council meeting, they are still leaps and bounds ahead of anything else on tv Tuesday nights. BTW, your Night Before Council poem was terrific, I have read it several times and had a great laugh. I know that I’ve asked you before if you moonlight as a comedian and you’ve said not, but I am having a hard time believing it.

      Best regards,
      Luckywife

    • Grace Marsh said

      Matt – you are correct about the procedures.

      New motions, must come forward as a Notice of Motion first, which they were last night. Also, the Chair (whether it’s the Mayor or a Councillor) is not permitted to make motions from the Chair, therefore either John A will Chair the General Committee meeting next week, or Geoff will relinquish the Chair to put his motions forward.

  11. JOHN H SARGENT said

    VERY GOOD ARTICLE MR HOGG..I to had disbelieve with the comment (let the games begin ??) from C CHRIS BALLARD.. From the moment Wendy Gardener walked down the ramp she did not look well,yet she did show up, if Phylis Morris had the chair she might have hung on another 10 min as she did have a bit of energy to clap for a certain people..Did anyone notice the new seating arrangements.. In closing a little more philosophy (better to write for self and have no public, than write for public and have no self) again good article Bill…….JOHN SARGENT

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