Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Reader Suggests Councillor Gaertner Resign Based on Behaviour

Posted by auroracitizen on December 21, 2010

An Open Letter to Councillor Wendy Gaertner.

Councillor Gaertner,

After witnessing first hand your display at the Aurora Council meeting on Tuesday Dec 14 2010, I had to write. You have demonstrated to me a lack of respect to Aurorans, to Aurora Council, and to the oath you swore. You’re alone in this behaviour, and you present yourself in a less than professional manner.

At this meeting I saw that you handed a letter, prepared in advance, to a representative of The Auroran.  I can only conclude from this action that it was your pre-meditated intent to be disruptive and drive a wedge. This type of behaviour serves no good to the town, nor to the people you swore to professionally and respectfully represent. In my opinion, you weren’t being truthful to Aurorans when you campaigned on the promise of serving the people of the community.

Our new council is going to make some process and procedural mistakes as they find their way. Growing pains are understandable and are bound to occur with a new council, however these will quickly fade as council develops their political acumen and we all move forward. I’m certain every reasonable person in town can accept this. What I believe is important to most Aurorans, is that our new council is making every effort to restore good, civil, accountable government to Aurora. Why you remain stuck in the past and focused on the negative, frankly escapes me.

You are opposed to, and showed no interest in taking part in the off-site meeting. What could possibly be your objection to taking part in learning sessions and a key team-building exercise? Teamwork was something sorrowfully lacking on Aurora Council for the last 4 years. Surely you cannot believe that;

  1. You already know all there is to know about municipal politics?
  2. Teamwork adds no value to a functioning council?
  3. You have nothing to learn about your new teammates?

An off-site meeting gives all those who attend the chance to get to know each other better, share ideas, share best practices, grow a deeper understanding and appreciation of your co-councillors, and to learn what issues are important to them. Like a sports team on a road trip, getting away as a group creates a bond that just doesn’t occur when everyone stays in town, and heads for the door as soon as the structured meeting ends. It was encouraging to see that most of the other councillors saw the obvious benefit in attending.

The recent election results showed that the majority of Aurorans want true change. We’re tired of the infighting. We don’t want a fractured council anymore. Why aren’t you listening? Have you no interest in being part of something better?

In my opinion, I believe you may be getting bad advice.

Who stands to benefit by having you act this way? I can tell you that it’s not the taxpayers of Aurora, so who then, are you truly representing? I can’t imagine that anyone could maintain this level of bitterness and vindictiveness without having it create a lasting negative affect on their outlook, their judgment, or their health, for that matter.

Councillor Gaertner, I believe you have no intention of honouring your oath or commitment to the taxpayers of Aurora. And as such, I respectfully ask you to resign your post as councillor. It appears to me that you no longer have the attitude, energy, direction, and focus required to carry out your sworn duties in a positive, fair, and respectful manner.

Matt Maddocks

Aurora

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34 Responses to “Reader Suggests Councillor Gaertner Resign Based on Behaviour”

  1. …sometimes in the corporate world the management would keep the ‘outcasts’ or those who cause the trouble on purpose, to create a tension. Tension is sometimes good because the ‘good team’ may get into relaxation state. I could be wrong, this may be good – because in the real world we will work with different types of people, some cause trouble and some don’t … these are my thoughts … initially I thought she should be fired …. Evelyn said: – unfortunately not. Well lets wait, it may be premature, and she just have a big eagle on her shoulder that need to take a flight soon or later. Anna 🙂

  2. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    There is a third option available when a Councillor does not complete their term for any reason.

    A Councillor elected in any prior election can be appointed to fill the spot. This has been done in other municipalites. You can reach back to someone elected in 2006 or 2003 or even prior and ask if they would be willing to serve again.

    Some municipalities have put a condition on the appointment, that the person does not intend to run in the the next election, but that is more relative when you are close to the end of a term not at the start.

    Food for thought….just in case!

  3. Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

    I still believe that Councillor Gaertner should resign, and I further believe that Stephen Granger should also pre-emptively resign before assuming a seat on council to replace Councillor Gaertner as a result of an appointment.

    I’d prefer to see a by-election instead of a “Crowning” appointment.

  4. Luckywife said

    My friends, I am with you in regards to a by-election, I just don’t know how practical it is. When Grace Marsh resigned we were half way through the term, it should have been a no brainer. In this case we aren’t even through the first month! Voter turnout on October 25 wasn’t really much more than the previous election, engaging interest and motivating people out to the polls is a big enough challenge in a full election, let alone a scant couple of months past the last one. My reservations aren’t because of the cost, I just wonder how much sense it makes to have a party when most people don’t bother to RSVP.

    At the risk of getting everyone upset with me, I think it is a bit premature for us to be wishing and dreaming of an empty council seat. Nothing that has happened so far convinces me that the situation is beyond salvage. I would like to hope that WG will make use of the Xmas break to reboot and recharge, let go of the past and move forward. I make no secret of the fact that I did not vote for her and that I don’t think she is suited to the job, but I do believe that A person can grow into a job IF they have the will, the drive, and the right attitude. Once this lawsuit nonsense with PM is out of the way, the IC and website issue dealt with, this council can look to the future and WG with it if she chooses to focus her mind on the important work that needs to be done and to let go of the past.

    Best regards,
    Luckywife

    • Anonymous said

      She has been “growing into the job” for 7 years and still doesn’t get it. Enough is enough.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      To LUCKYWIFE I agree with you a person can grow into a job and it is to early to be wishing and dreaming of a empty council seat, 4000 people in Aurora voted for this councilor, even thou her seat empty tonight at meeting( not know of reason )..The best for WG would be as you said,reboot,let go of past and move forward on her own, that’s who she needs to be..Can the rest of us move on if a new adieu is shown in near future (just a thought)

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Hi Melanie – not upset, but I disagree. Everything that has happened so far tells me the situation is unsalvageable. Cllr Gaertner has shown complete disrespect to her oath, her role on council, and the voters of Aurora from the very onset. The Christmas break won’t change 7 years of entrenched and learned behaviour. There’s no growth, no willingness to move on from the past. It’s an attitude that I will not tolerate on my Aurora Council. As a taxpayer, I am willing to accept that the cost of a potential by-election pales in comparison to the cost of what 4 more years of carrying a dysfunctional element on our council will weigh on the town. Whether it’s 2 days, 2 months or 2 years into the term doesn’t matter. A councillor who shows little intent to honour their commitment must be called to task. Cllr Gaertner, in my opinion, currently occupies a seat at the council table that would be better filled by an Aurora citizen who truly wants to serve the town – and we have several of them who would line up at the chance to serve at such a privileged and honourable position. I will not accept being “stuck” with Cllr. Gaertner.

    • fed up said

      Well said Matt–she is a dinosaur and like the others should be extinct on council–the very fact that she did not show up last night says it all–she was elected and is paid by US–to vote OUR wishes not HERS–she just doesn’t get it–but then if you witnessed her obnoxious behaviour at the remembrance day service at the cenotaph then you would understand–she has no respect for our war dead–wht makes you think she has any respect for the living?

    • Luckywife said

      Matt, I share your frustration and anger. If it had been up to me, WG would never have been elected for a second term, let alone a third. Here’s the problem: She won that seat at the table fair and square and as much I believe she is not suited for it, we’re stuck with her for the full four years unless she decides herself to vacate it. She got off to a bad start, made a fool of herself, then compounded her predicament by talking to a reporter and admitting she didn’t do her own research and prepare her own notes. Matt, all she did was confirm what we all knew anyway! We can ask, even demand that she resign but unless she decides on her own to quit, nothing will come of it. I doubt that you will get any support from the other 8 people at the table, publically anyway, and I don’t think that there is anything in the Municipal Act that allows for impeachment. Head, meet brick wall.

      You are right about her 7 years of entrenched and learned behavior. She appears to me to be a loyal follower, taking her cues from others and modelling her actions after them. She has no idea how a functional and respectful council is supposed to work because she has never experienced one. Given time, if Mayor Dawe and his council lead by example, set a “gold standard” for functionality, debate, and mutual respect, I like to think that she will eventually follow. That’s what I am pinning my hopes on because I don’t see any other alternative, not for another 4 years anyway.

      Best regards and Happy Holidays,
      Luckywife

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Fed up…

      “she was elected and is paid by US–to vote OUR wishes not HERS”

      At the risk of creating a deluge of anti-RtB posts (I can hardly wait). I think that your statement here is the root of the discontent with all elected officials and the statement is not correct.

      People think that we elect someone to vote our wishes. That cannot be further from the truth. They are elected to represent us. There is no mandate that they have to vote our wishes. And how would they know what our wishes are? Should an elected official have a conference with the voters every week to gauge how they should vote? What if half of the voters wanted one thing and the other half something else – what do they do then?

      An elected official can (and should) listen to “us” to see how we feel on an issue, but ultimately it is the person in the seat at council that votes and their decision is wholely their own.

      If you (or anyone else) think that they elected someone to vote based on your wishes, you’re dreaming in Techno-colour.

      Fuimus

    • Winter's comin' said

      … my dear Aurora vulchers, having met WG outside of council, I believe that she is a well intentioned, all round good person at heart!!! On the other hand, why do I have this untoward feeling that she is being managed by others. “The others”, save one or maybe two, are now gone from the council scene. Unless WG has a dark side, lately, her behaviour/performance would indicate to me that she is struggling with this type of steerage/management. The Letters to the Auroran and release of personal notes at council, give me the sense that she just can’t handle us being close to her without the insulation of past council associates. IMO, and very simply put, WG, by herself, is in over her head. That being said, I think GM was too and had the sense to bail out. Will WG do the same? Otherwise WG, alone, will have to face the town’s folk at every street corner OR just plain go into hiding – even on Council nights. If she decides to go, we’ll understand. So, fellow town’s folk, cut WG some slack so that she can make the right choice as part of her New Year’s resolution. AND I’ll be watching the news for her decision. … wc

    • Grace Marsh said

      Winter’s Comin 12/22 11:53 said: “That being said, I think GM was too and had the sense to bail out.”

      Not that it matters much as so much time has passed, but I can assure you that I was not in over my head in terms of the work load or complexity.

      My municipal finance background combined with the fact that I took four courses offered by AMO for new Councillers equipped me well for the task.

      My resignation was all about poor leadership, frustration at block voting, the “with us or against us” mentality, the disgusting treatment of staff, and the myriad of other issues that the voters of Aurora recognized in the last election and put an end to.

    • Winter's comin' said

      GM …I appologize if I misread you. … wc

    • Grace Marsh said

      Thank you for the apology WC. Very kind of you. Season’s greetings to you and yours. GM

  5. Brian Duff said

    Although I agree that it would be the noble thing to do I really do doubt that she would be willing to resign. If for some reason she did I think that a byelection would be the only real option.
    Brian

  6. Robert the Bruce said

    Replacing WG will be a tough issue. Precident dictates an appointment. While I endorsed a by-election to replace Grace, it is not a prudent thing to do less than 2 months after the election. I cannot endorse a by-election in that situation. SO, that means Granger would be given the nod. Perhaps this is all a pre-planned scenario.

    Fuimus

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here.
      I’m not convinced that WG, on her own accord, would ever twig to the fact that resignation was really her only option.
      In the unlikely event it comes to that council will have to decide on appointment or by-election – just like when Marsh resigned.
      I’m not eager for a by-election either but I would expect that this time around council would not ignore public opinion – one way or the other.
      I like the way Mayor Dawe and council are moving town business forward rather than stopping to exchange cheap shots. It’s early days yet but there appears to be a genuine atmosphere of optimism and teamwork at council. The somewhat strange and baffling events of the past few days have done much to fuel a popular notion that Gaertner is acting as the witless dupe of others. How much is fact or how much is fiction is anyones guess but I do know one thing.
      These opinions will not be dispelled by lawyer letters or withering stares, but by showing up at council meetings – with her own notes – and being prepared to engage in town business as she was elected to do.
      On the other hand, if Gaertner persists in limiting her contribution to useless and counter-productive ‘potato vs potatoe’ procedural nitpicking than so be it. I’m thinking it’ll be an awful lonely and thankless endeavour.

    • Anonymous said

      Precedent dictates an appointment????

      Only in Morrisville!!

      Of COURSE there would be a by election…

      You “cannot endorse a by election?” have you even READ the Municipal Act? For god’s sake people – first – a by election is the preferred method, second, IF one was to appoint then it can be ANYONE in the community – NOT the next runner up. READ the bloody Act before pontificating

      puhleeeze!

    • Mr. Spock said

      Anonymous said: “…a by election is the preferred method…”

      Maybe you should read the act, buddy. It certainly makes no mention of which method is preferable. Simply that there are two options.

      Brucie is correct, an appointment is the best option due to the proximity of the recent election.

      And that leaves Mr. Granger as the only choice, seeing as we had the next largest number of votes.

      Of course all of this is simply chasing shadows because Gaertner is not going to resign.

      Period.

      We’re stuck with her, better get used to it for now, besides it’s not that bad, heaven knows we’ve done worse…

    • October Came, Thanks were Given said

      MR. Spock said:

      “seeing as WE had the next largest number of votes”

      A freudian slip perchance? Who is on the starship Enterprise anyway?

      And what about our ‘only one vote less’ than Granger friend Al Wilson.

      Do I smell another recount?

    • Anonymous said

      Mr. Spock thanks for admitting I was right – no where in the Act does it say you have to appoint the runner up.

      Thus if there is a vacancy and if this council chooses not to have a by election, rest assured folks, there is absolutely no obligation to appoint Granger (or Wilson) – or anyone else that ran in the recent election.

      It’s just your OPINION Spockie-poo(and Mr. Bruce) that Granger should/would be appointed.

      Opinion isn’t fact. I would have thought you’d have learned that by now…

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Tim is correct. We are way ahead of ourselves. I seriously doubt she will resign, there is a better chance that she will get a new hair style.

      As far as Anonymous @ 12/22/10 – 08:16am. Yes, opinion is not fact. Tell that to 95% of the posters here that think their opinion is the only one and any opposite opinion is wrong!

      Fuimus

    • Matt Maddocks said

      RtB – do you consider yourself one of the 5% or one of the 95%?

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Matt,

      Would it matter if I am 5% or 95%? According to the more vocal here, my opinions are tainted because my online “persona” is based on a suspect character in history. How can you argue with that logic?

      My opinions are my own. I put them out there. I am not looking for any ego-stroking praise like others.

      I also don’t get as upset with the goings-on at Town Hall because I have a realistic perspective. There is no aura there. I’ve seen enough of the history to know that it repeats itself.

      Fuimus

    • evelyn.buck said

      Council has the authority to appoint.
      Council can decide on the appointee.
      RTB comments elected representatives make decisions which are wholly their own. Hopefully they do. The voters have delegated their authority to Councillors.
      One should bear in mind, elected representatives have the benefit of expert advice and the opportunity to ask questions of advisors.
      They also have the benefit of experience. Of seeing a situation repeated and maybe knowing advice recommended before didn’t work and there is no reason to expect it will again.
      Everyone brings experience to the table. The advantage is in the sharing. The decision may not always be right. What rule book says the majority is always right? It simply says the majority rules. That’s the golden rule. If the majority are wrong, we all suffer the consequences. All there is left to do is lament. But RTB doesn’t think we have a right to do that either.
      Chees how do you please everybody?

    • IMO said

      RtB is calm and logical in his discussions, which can’t always be said for others on this blog who easily get “hot under the collar”. Perspective is a good thing.
      Oh, I think I just ego-stroked you RtB. Hope you enjoyed it…

  7. vino tinto said

    A very well written letter Matt Maddocks and I completely agree with the points you have made.

  8. Luckywife said

    Well said Matt, as always. What’s scary about this scenario is if she quits, Stephen Granger will take the 8th chair. That wouldn’t be much of an improvement over what we’ve already got now. A by-election could end up having an even worse result. Geez, this is all such BS. I admit to feeling a little sorry for her, she is being used and made a fool of by others with their own selfish agenda.

    Regards,
    Luckywife

    • Anonymous said

      I don’t feel sorry for her at all. She is an adult and makes her own choices. She chooses to dance on her strings for her puppeteer. We all make choices and have to live with the fallout. Enough of this “poor little Wendy who doesn’t realise what she is doing.” She may be pretty witless but come on!!!

    • AWOL said

      There should be no way that the next in the voting list numbers should be appointed.

      Such an issue MUST be dealt with via a by-election, regardless of financial cost.

    • Christopher Watts said

      You can be sure that there would be no delusions of Granger acclaiming a seat at the table, after the debacle when Grace Marsh stepped down a by-election would surely be called.

      I do not concur that a by-election would end up with a worse result, in fact I think it would bring out some great candidates, and as a Tax payer it would be money well spent to fix the disruptive and childish behavior we are seeing from Windy and the cost of that continuing for the full term is way higher.

      I gave Windy 2 years, now I’m thinking she’ll be lucky to even make it to one.

      For the love of the town please don’t try and prove me wrong.

    • Winter's comin' said

      LHW … a by-election might produce someone we can trust – maybe AC-M &/or RMcR. I am for that. After all, I think we should wish for 2 resignations (WG/CB)! It would be taxpayer funds well spent, IMO. … wc

    • Anonymous said

      This council would not appoint anyone if Wendy quits. There would be an election and Granger would very likely be trounced.

      Duff or Wilson could well be elected.

      What would be really fun to watch would be to see Morris run. I am willing to bet she will never be elected for anything ever again.

    • Kelli said

      You both could not be more correct. (which is usually the case with the two of you ). 🙂

      The problem is that she knows that she is an annoyance and incompetent and I truly feel she likes the affect she has on people. IMO, she is now going to be puppeteered from the queen bee! – and sabotage will be their new game!

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