Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Aurora Town Hall Address Up For Debate

Posted by auroracitizen on January 25, 2011

Two terms ago, championed by Councillors Nigel Kean and Phyllis Morris, the long time honour bestowed on former Councillor John West was stripped.

These 2 Councillors led the charge that saw 5 Councillors (Kean, Morris, Gaertner, Wallace, Vrancic) create a street out of a parking lot so that the address for the Town Hall and seniors Centre would no longer be John West Way — and instead be Municipal Drive. Voting against were Mayor Jones, Councillors Hogg, Buck and West.

It was seen by many a petty politics at its worst.

Well, Councillor Buck is trying to right that wrong — and has tabled a motion  to change the address of Aurora’s administrative headquarters from 1 Municipal Dr. back to 100 John West Way.

The Era Banner reports;

The building opened in 1991 with the John West Way address, but was changed during the 2003-2006 term of council. Municipal Drive is little more than a parking lot and its existence is confusing for residents and visitors, Ms Buck said, adding it isn’t found in several well-known map books or by some global positioning system devices.
“I never agreed with (the change) in the first place,” she said. “It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now.”

What was possibly the worst part of the debate was the lack of debate. Most members voting for the change — in spite of 2 separate occasions  — chose not to voice their reasons for supporting the change. Hence the public and other members of Council had no real opportunity for debate. In the absence of any stated rational, the public filled the vacuum.

Previous comments by some Councillors concerned the fact that having his name on the town hall — and all associated correspondence — afforded then-councillor and former mayor John West free advertising during an election.

Many citizens saw the name change a malicious act to strip an honour bestowed on Councillor West by a previous Council to recognize his many years of dedicated effort on behalf of the town of Aurora.

When commenting about her reasons for wanting to change the name back, Councillor Buck was quoted in the Banner.

“I considered it a dishonour (and) I wanted to correct that,” Ms Buck said, adding the cost of making the change is negligible.

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45 Responses to “Aurora Town Hall Address Up For Debate”

  1. guy poppe said

    To Anon Anon

    I hope I don’t sound arrogant in thinking your comment is about me.

    If I am correct, I thank you for your thoughts.

    I have wanted to post many times, but have been banned.

    I hope this site begins to honour it’s own commitment to disallow personal attacks, and respects its invitation to all points of view.

    I know I was not alone in banishment.

    Time for a new start, sans agenda

    • Anon Anon said

      I knew you couldn’t resist, Guy. I’ve missed you so.
      Thank you AC for allowing my Guy to come out from the shadows.
      I was starting to think I’d have to pledge my troth to Chris Watts…

  2. Winter's comin' said

    Fellow citizens: is there anything more that can be said on this topic: Pro-con or the like! The motion is on the table, so Mayor Dawe and Councillors, do what you are paid to do, vote your poaition and let’s move on! … wc

    • Evelyn Buck said

      We did already and we have moved on.
      I always think when the last word has been spoken on a topic that’s the end of it.
      When somebody comes up with a new topic that’s the beginning of it.
      Some have little to contribute but name calling. Everybody thinks what they have to say is relevant.Taken altogether it is revealing
      Whatever we have here, we all benefit from the exchange and maybe even one way or another have an influence on each other.

  3. Evelyn Buck said

    Like I said, all the streets in my subdivision were named after sitting Councillors. Jones Court was too. Councillor Vic Jones.
    There will be no second street in town named for the former Mayor.His name has already been used.
    I did raise the question of cost six years ago. The answer was; nothing. When current stationary is used and a new order placed to the address on the new stationary will be changed.
    The motion to change took up hardly any Council time. To those of us who believe the issue mattered,the time was well spent.No valid opposing arguments were presented.
    It was not a battle. It was benevolent.

  4. Kelli said

    Oh I think we should name things after our recent councillors and mayor – how about “The Evalina MacEachren Fools Society”, the “Phyllis Morris “All About Me” School of Disrespect” – and of course the “Wendy Gaertner Insane Assylum” – gosh those all have great rings to them don’t they?????

    I realize Wendy is still there – but in my mind she is very much gone ……!

  5. New to Town said

    Who is/was John West and what did he do that makes him worthy of this “hounour”?

    • Anonymous said

      I seem to recall much controversy when it was first proposed. Secret meetings and the like.
      I’ve always wanted to live on Evelyn Buck….Lane.

    • Luckywife said

      To New To Town:

      If you are interested in learning about the Town and all the characters that helped to shape it, I would suggest a visit to the Library. You and your family could probably spend a lovely afternoon learning about the proud history of Aurora if we still had a Museum.

      Here’s a tidbit of recent history for you, the Town spent a few million of our tax dollars to renovate the Church Street School, the purpose of which was to save and restore a lovely old historic building and to house Aurora’s precious artifacts and memorabilia lovingly collected and preserved by the Historical Society and town resident’s throughout its history. To date, we have no museum, despite repeated attempts by Councilor Evelyn Buck and others to ascertain why not and where the money is, no explanation has been given. I would like to hope that in the near future that we will receive the museum that we have already paid for or that the town will issue a refund and apology to the public. But, you know that old saying,—–You can wish with one hand and s— in the other to see which one gets filled first.

      Best regards,
      Luckywife

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Luckywife,

      What a way to not answer the person’s question but use the opportunity to continue the rants.

      John West – former councillor, Mayor. I cannot comment on his stint as Mayor because that was before my time in Town. My understanding is he was Mayor when the new Town Hall was built – correct? I also recall he was involved in the Christmas kettle drives. His election campaign materials usually included a pencil that said “Go West” on it.

      I recall one fun-packed council meeting when he stood up and yelled at a member of the public who was making a deligation and told them that this person had no right to say what he was saying – democracy at work I guess.

      Anyways – Mr West has a street named after him – it runs north/south from Wellington. No one took away his street, they renamed an address.

      Fuimus

    • Anonymous said

      ok i don’t like my address….. So i won’t be changing the street name, i just want to change my address. Should i make my driveway into a street so i can have a new address? Would this be the policy set forth that RTB thinks is okay.

      I think we should all make our own addresses from now on and make our driveways streets??

      what about those poor people that have no driveway??

      I guess they are stuck with the street name that the building or dwelling is located on…

    • KA-NON said

      RTB, I wonder why you post any more. You get completely owned every time you put your chain-mailed fingers to your keyboard. You are SOOOOOOO no match for Chris Watts, LuckyWife, Matt Maddocks and many others. Even the Anons see you as an easy target now.

      Fun to watch, but a little embarassing for you at the same time.

    • Luckywife said

      To RTB:

      “What a way to not answer the person’s question but use the opportunity to continue the rants.”

      When opportunity knocks…………….., I always answer.

      Regards,
      Luckywife

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Well Ka-Non, nice to see you like to watch – and contribute your wonderful little nuggets. Why do I bother to post? What else would keep you tools entertained?

      I think your problem is that I stick to the topic and you and your ilk like to twist every topic around into an anti-GOS thing – LuckyWife especially – poor UnLuckyHusband. Someone asked who John West was. She used the opportunity to talk about the Church Street School renovation. If you don’t know the answer, maybe you should not bother.

      As far as Watts is concerned. I think he is a fine example of a Narcissus. That’s probably a big word for you, you can look it up at Wikipedia. Chris can give you the address.

      About this street/address thing. Most of the pin-heads that you have listed in your response seem to get caught up in the fact that this is some sort of badge of honour and it’s to right a wrong.

      My take on the whole thing….

      1. I did not endorse the change in the first place when Nigel brought it to the table. It was a political gambit. I don’t care what people think, it cost tax payers for the change in time, signs, stationary, etc.

      2. The stupid street was named John West Way a long time before I came here.

      3. “PERSONALLLY” I do not agree with the naming of streets, parks, squares, buildings or whatever after living people. However, there is a strong will among the weak minded to somehow honour someone who devoted time to Public Service. I am clearly not alone in this, I have already provided an example from the City of Brampton. Also, Canada Post will not “honour” anyone on a stamp unless they too have passed on, HRH excepted.

      4. Council has enough real work on it’s plate. To bring up this “righting a wrong” thing now is not responsible. I read on Buck’s blog that they are working well past midnight, still not getting it all done. I read on Ballard’s blog they are working late. The street is not going anywhere. The building is not going anywhere.

      Why do this now? I personally see it’s the same reason as it was changed in the first place. It’s politically motivated. It’s a cheap “look at us” move to validate to everyone that turfing the GOS was a good thing. Why don’t we start dealing with the real business of Town and leave this sort of thing to a time when more urgent matters have been taken care of?

      So Ka-Non, you may think that you “own” me. I really don’t care. If the intent of this web site is to keep the memory alive of all the bad things that the past council did, you are all pretty shallow and I relish the opportunity to stir up the crap that you will no-doubtly stir up.

      Fuimus

    • Luckywife said

      Geez, RTB, what the heck? I’ve never been rude and disrespectful to you during our little back and forth debates and I’ve certainly never insulted your spouse. So what if I occasionally stray off topic? It’s not like I stuck my hand up your kilt!

    • Anonymous said

      I’m glad RtB continues to offer his opinion. While I might not agree with his opinion, he presents it well and without the hyperbole and crassness that seems to be developing with some regular posters.
      This blog is starting to become a boring one-sided rehash of rants, and I’m becoming less inclined to read some of the comments from particular posters.
      I’ve been a very regular and active poster, but for this comment I’m choosing to be any old anonymous because I don’t want to become a target of the Chris Watts wannabees. I used to have great fun reading Chris, and thought his posts quite clever, but there seems to me to be a nastiness that now makes me uncomfortable. I give his blog a miss, and skip reading many of his posts here. Life’s just too damn short to feel the ickiness.
      And I’ll bet a pound to a penny he’ll have a shot at this post and cast me as some Morris spy or RtB’s evil twin. Anything to get the last word…

    • Anonymous said

      To Anonymous 6:32
      I tend to agree with some of what you say. I had always enjoyed Mr. Watts’ blog and clever humour. However, I have recently been detecting a particularly nasty tone in his comments and find it very uncomfortable.

    • Anonymous said

      RTB – you’re the new Guy Pope

    • Anonymoose said

      Anonymous 9:15 am

      Indeed. Some of the actors change but the play stays the same. Guy Poppe, who also made fair comments, was vilified by the anonymous hordes+Watts. RtB now suffers the same fate.

      The decent into ad-hominem attacks witnessed here, though amusing, devalues both this site and the people who make these comments. Or I suppose it would devalue them, if this behaviour wasn’t already the norm. Pity.

      (Queue childish post on Watt’s site showing RtB wearing moose antlers)

    • Robert the Bruce said

      To Anonymous @ 9:15

      That’s really hitting below the belt! Like me or not – I don’t care. I am not the narcissus here. As long as I am allowed to air my views, I will.

      I see that someone has posted a wonderful rant on his blog about me. Like always, my comments have been taken out of context and isolated to validate his rants. However, he has also indicated that he is taking his bat and ball and playing in his own back yard now. Apprarently, some anonymous comments here have hurt his feelings. But that is just another sign of narcissism.

      Fuimus

    • Mr. Spock said

      RTB, Jan 28, 11:09; “… he has also indicated that he is taking his bat and ball and playing in his own back yard now…”

      Don’t count on it Bobby.

      I give him three days.

      Max.

      Sooner or later, he’ll be back.

      And he knows it.

    • Anon Anon said

      I miss my Guy. He brought a spark to this blog, and a sparkle to my eye.
      His take on issues were always a wonder. Bless him.

    • Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel said

      You just enjoyed winding him up, Anon Anon.

  6. Evelyn Buck said

    A scan of the town’s street names reveals dozens named for people who were alive and well.
    We have for a number of years and continue to honor the names on the Cenotaph.We name streets for veterans as well.
    Developers have the right to name the streets they create.
    The developer of this property named Isaacson Drive, Peterson Drive and Earl Stewart Drive.
    And john West Way.

    What Council did was number the Town Hall 100 John West Way.
    In a growing community many new streets are named. Every street in my subdivision was named for sitting councllors and other officials.
    We have a street named for Harry Squib, the long time janitor man in the Old Town Hall

    Like I say streets need names.
    What I can’t wrap my head around is why some people consider it a question of principle.
    It’s not. It’s a matter of judgment. And my judgment is as good as anybody else’s thank you very much.
    Few people who live in my neighbourhood have any idea who their streets were named after.
    So what price in a name.It’s not as if there’s some kind of a pay-off.

    The significant thing is John West’s name was on the Town Hall address and the small-minded. mean spirited individuals who took it off either never understood how cruel that was or they knew full well and did it anyway.

    It was a low point in our community’s history. Now its been corrected.I’m good with that.

    • Anonymous said

      If it’s a done deal then, may I be the first to suggest that we need a street named after Mayor Phyllis Morris? I think we should rename Evelyn’s street.

      Love her or hate her, she has served this Town as councillor, deputy Mayor and Mayor. My judgement must be as good as Buck’s. I think only mean-spirited individuals would block this sort of idea, after all, it is only principle.

    • Christopher Watts said

      I say we remove all but one of the chicanes from the failed experiment referred to as “traffic calming” and place a commemorative plaque to Phyllis Morris on it. It speaks more to her “legacy” than anything else.

    • Anonymous said

      There of lots of streets that carry the last name of someone. But I love the ones that have first and last names…

      Crawford Rose Drive
      Evelyn Buck Lane
      James Henry Drive
      John West Way
      Joseph Tuck Court
      Lewis Honey Drive
      Loring Doolittle Court
      Northern Dancer Lane
      Earl Stewart Drive
      Preston Thompson Place
      Ross Linton Drive

      Didn’t see a Squib listed, but I used a Town document – probably old because they are busy renaming streets.

      Here are some recent council members…..

      Hartwell Way
      Jones Court
      McRoberts Place
      Pedersen Drive
      Timpson Drive

    • Anonymous said

      Jones Ct was named over 50 years ago, long before Tim Jones’ time on council.

  7. Sophie said

    Why stop here? Lets name ALL the parking lots. My suggestion for the train station is “Come here GO there place.”

  8. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    I would prefer a non-partisan name like “Municipal Drive” for the Town Hall address.

    This is no disrespect to John West. I worked with him on the library board and I know his passion for the Town.

    However, I think that the main address in the Town of Aurora should be named for the entire citizenry.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      To E.B The street is called John West Way the town hall just happens to sit on that street So it would be 100 John West. How more non -partisan, yet fitting could it get,as there are many homes ,senior buildings etc on John West Way that have nothing to do with Mr John West . TO R,T.B As for the cost, when it was changed to Municipal Drive ,they just used up old stationary and when they ordered new ones they put on new address, no added cost..which was pointed out at to-nights meeting and for having to be Dead first all i see is MAGDA this and MAGDA that, as far i i know they all alive and well and still doing good for the community as a whole.. This chat is for not ..as name change to its original street name of 100 John West Way was it seems was approved at C meeting to -night,,Will the lane leading to the parking lot still be called Municipal Drive ??

    • Christopher Watts said

      I’m confused.

      I don’t believe that naming the street after an individual runs contrary to its entire citizenry. John West’s service as a mayor and councilor were to the entire town. They are part of Aurora’s heritage which is for all citizens to learn and understand.

      And how is John West Way considered partisan? Is the man affiliated to a particular party?
      Has he made any intention of running over the past 8 years?

      This last election was all about forming a functional government. To restore the Aura to our town.

      As citizens we need to put these notions of partisanship behind us if we want our government to be even remotely effective in this area.

      Please explain how something so drone like “Municipal Way” offers anything to the town, or the two dynamic buildings that are currently served by that address?

      And then explain how the town would be worse off for restoring the honor to one of its own.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Chrstopher,
      I agree with one of your statements. Mark this date on the calendar.

      “This last election was all about forming a functional government.”
      You are correct. However, a functional government should not be spending time on renaming an address that was changed all those years ago – let’s be fair, the street is still there and is still named after him. Council has better things to do…. like making a budget that makes sense.

      Fuimus

  9. Robert the Bruce said

    When the John West Way address was changed to it’s current address, those that were against the change cited the costs involved in changing stationary, signage, etc. All of that was a valid reason to not change the address. Those are still valid reasons to not change the address. I am sure Mr. West was a wonderful person and all – I saw him in action as a councillor. Having said that, I am deeply against the naming of streets, parks, buildings, whatever after a former mayor, councillor, MPP, MP or dog catcher for that matter as long as they are among the living. The naming of something is supposed to be a honour to the person after they haev passed. I feel that there are plenty of people who are gone that are worthy of such an honour.

    I say we leave it the way it is. John West Way still exists. There is no need to make this change now. This does nothing to advance the Town – it’s a waste of tax dollars.

    Fuimus – Happy Rabbie Burns Day!!

    • One who Knows said

      “The naming of something is supposed to be a honour to the person after they have passed. I feel that there are plenty of people who are gone that are worthy of such an honour”

      And how pray tell do you come up with that not so brilliant conclusion, Oh that’s right you’re the ultimate authority on all that is righteous and good in your small world, did you ever think for just one moment about the sense of pride and joy a most deserving individual might take from actually living to experience the gratitude of those in the community who honored him.
      So which is it Robby , too much money or not dead enough, seems you have a hard time picking , that’s not much of a surprise coming from the likes of the great un washed Master Bruce

    • Mr. Spock said

      Here’s the problem with bestowing an honour on a person before he’s dead…or at least before he’s done living,

      Steve Fonyo.

      Nuff said.

      And to Bobby Bruce…

      “Some hae meat and canna eat,
      And some wad eat that want it;
      But we hae meat, and we can eat,
      And sae let the Lord be thankit.”

      Now pass the haggis and the Atholl Brose…

    • Robert the Bruce said

      I don’t know Christopher. I could write here that the sky is blue (on a sunny day) and just to spite me you would argue that it is purple. But that seems to be your style.

      I guess I forgot to put IMHO or some other internet-speak thing in front of my statement – but then again a blog is nothing but IMHO anyways so that is sort of redundant.

      I bring up the comment about cost Chris because Councillor Buck was one of those that brought up that subject back when they were debating the original rename. If the cost was an issue for her before, it surely must be an issue now. After all, she is there to make sure my tax dollars are not wasted – isn’t she?

      I sort of like the policy that the City of Brampton uses http://www.brampton.ca/en/Business/planning-development/Documents/PLD/DevSer/st-A-Crp-Oct12ver.pdf

      The first sentence of section 6 sums it up to me.

      As far as naming them after previous members of council….. everyone that has served this Town I am sure has not had 100% from the residents but they all had supporters. Given your statement Chris, I would think that you have no problem then with Steven Granger Gate or Evelina MacEachren Drive or Phyllis Morris Place? Surely these people will want to feel “the sense of pride and joy a most deserving individual might take from actually living to experience the gratitude of those in the community who honored him.”

      Fuimus

    • Christopher Watts said

      A couple of things come to mind

      1.) When Mr. Unclean says “It’ a waste of tax dollars” I wholeheartedly disagree.

      I don’t see it being a waste of tax dollars to restore the honor, and to restore a level of respect to our town that was severely diminished by some ass-hats over the past couple terms of council.

      It was a waste of tax dollars to remove the name from the street, not to mention a callous and childish act.

      Considering the enormous waste of tax dollars last term this argument has no weight.

      2.) Using “Steve Fonyo” in comparison with John West seems both without merit and grossly insulting.

      What Mr. Spock seems to be saying is that because Steve Fonyo screwed up after making some huge accomplishments that a) it takes away from those accomplishments and b) that the potential is there for anyone to go down this path, that the honor of bestowing a street name should only be given when viewing someone’s entire life.

      Maybe that’s the way it’s done on Vulcan, but that’s probably because that planet lacks empathy.

      Is it Mr. Spocks imperative to erase from history all the things he doesn’t like? Maybe all the streets named Mark Twain should be replaced with something more pleasing to all the outraged hipsters?

      Regardless, the fact that he is trying to make this argument when speaking about John West and the street that was named after him is disgusting.

      3.) Since when was Mr. Spock Scottish?

      The person hiding behind this pseudonym seems to be the only on one this board that finds what Mr. Unclean has to say fascinating.

      This is how I envision one of Mr. Spock’s evening of reading Mr. Unclean’s posts would play out:

      What is fascinating is the amount of indignation that is shown regarding this issue from those unwilling to recognize the service of one of our own.

      I don’t think there’s any Aura in a town that requires you to be dead before it can appreciate your efforts, but at the rate of all the bickering by some petty people in this town they might have their way. Mr. West may be long dead before all the read tape can be unraveled from this unholy mess.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Sorry One Who Knows – RtB is pretty much on the money here.
      The John West Way/Municipal Drive squabble is precisely why you don’t name streets after the living.
      Not because JW isn’t deserving – by all accounts he is – but because there’s no way to guarantee that some small-minded petty twits will blow taxpayer’s money by trying to manipulate the situation to their political advantage which is, oh geez – exactly what happened.
      Not to mention the council time that has been wasted.

      Developers propose street names as I’m sure the public does as well.
      Fine.
      How about a school essay-writing contest for “name that street”?
      Good way for kids to get a clue about the town’s history.
      Are all of the names on the cenotaph covered?
      There are lots of options – just make sure the honorees are deceased and worthy.

      No doubt there are citizens like Mr. West who deserve to enjoy some limelight – what’s wrong with a special dinner/award?
      Wouldn’t that suffice until the passage of time renders such names eligible for a more permanent memorial such as a street name?

      As for the current situation, as discussed at council last night, all we have to do is wait until new stationary is needed, de-list the town hall parking lot as an address and revert back to JWW.
      Won’t affect any business or home on JWW and shouldn’t cost anything.

    • One who Knows said

      I think some folks are missing the point here ,Forget the person, The Street is John West Way , The building fronts onto The street , The building was stripped of its address over some petty Nigel Kean political insecurities, who in their right mind would even consider renaming a building address over such nonsense, Oh that’s right the last 3 dysfunctional councils. The only other thing they should have done on Tuesday night is to swear never to play this mindless game again. Congratulations Evelyn Buck , John Abel, Mayor Dawe Mike Thompson and Sandra Humphries for righting this wrong , it was long over do

    • KA-NON said

      Don’t forget Paul Pirri!

    • One who Knows said

      Your absolutely correct, my apologies Paul just an oversight

  10. Dave Robinson said

    It has always struck me that naming a public place (school, street, park etc.) after a politician while he/she is still in office is premature. But I also believe that, once it is done, removing it without some overwhelming reason such as a criminal conviction for a heinous crime, is an even greater mistake. I would hope that Councillor Buck’s proposal passes unanimously but if that is not likely to occur, I would prefer that it not be made, in order to spare a further indignity to a man who deserves much better.

  11. Peter Healy said

    I had left office and moved from Aurora when this decision was made. However ,from a distance, I thought it petty and malicious at the time and still do.
    Aurora has a long tradition of naming streets after former mayors and councillors so this is not out of line with precident.
    Correcting this slight on someone who gave so much to the town is overdue.
    All the best to everyone.

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