Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Issues versus Personalities

Posted by auroracitizen on January 28, 2011

In our ongoing effort to not filter comments, we have allowed virtually all comments to be posted. We feel that this privilege is being abused.

Recent comments are starting to sound like a Council meeting last term — where issues were rarely discussed based on merits and personalities have become the focus.

This makes it uncomfortable for readers and reduces the willingness for commentators to share opinions that others may not agree.

Soooooooooooooo, moderators will tighten up the criteria. Posts that are not discussing the issues will not be published. Disagree all you want — we actually hope that different POV’s get discussed. But let’s keep the focus on the issues and not the personalities.

We are a volunteer run group — so we welcome any additional suggestions on how to keep the blog a positive forum for discussion and debate.

Folks — let’s keep the debate vigorous and civil. Let’s help put the Aura back in Aurora 🙂

25 Responses to “Issues versus Personalities”

  1. Evelyn Buck said

    To Anonymous Jan 29th 10.59

    If you listened to the end of my comments, you heard me ask the Planning Director if there was a problem with timelines set for the O.M.B. if an extra two weeks were allowed for residents to meet with the developer and perhaps arrive at a “settlement” to use Ms. Walmer’s word and avoid an O.M.B. hearing.

    Mr. Ramuno responded he had no problem with two additional two weeks.

    The vote to refer the matter to the next council meeting was unanimous.

  2. Matt Maddocks said

    The AC wrote they welcomed suggestions, so I made one.

    I appreciate the replies regarding my anonymity comment. I wish I knew your names. Call me old fashioned, but I just like to know who I’m dealing with. That’s the point of my suggestion. I have no right to impose a rule like that on anyone, but if it were the rule here, I’d be alright with that. If it turned out to be a small room, so be it. I’d rather have engaging discussion and debate from a small group who’d just as easily meet for a coffee or beer, than try and have honest, open discussion with a room full of mystery figures.
    I don’t think the AC will adopt a “no anonymouses” policy, but that’s just the way I roll.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      TO MATT—I go for the beer . although some will say as much or more with couple beer in them as they do with no-name…Not against anonymous postings thou.if they not become personal attacks on others ,let it be on the comment, with or without been anonymous so a little more monitoring may help..Then will come some accusing A.C of picking their postings. Try not to feed the fire it should eventually burn out

    • What's good for the goose said

      The AC remains anonymous, so that’s works for me.

    • Anonymous said

      “I’d rather have engaging discussion and debate from a small group who’d just as easily meet for a coffee or beer, than try and have honest, open discussion with a room full of mystery figures.”

      Then perhaps that is exactly what you should do to find discussion and debate that satisfies your principles.
      I usually post anonymously. If I were to post under my given name how would that mean that you know who you are dealing with? We have never met and are not likely to. I fail to see the advantage in what you propose.

    • Anonymous said

      I also see that Guy Poppe has resurfaced with comments on a different post. Now if you want a reason for remaining an anonymous poster, Guy is it. He is the one who called Richard Johnson’s home and I certainly don’t want anyone to be calling my home because of comments on AC. As long as the Guy Poppes of the world are around, anonymous is the only way to go.

    • sharon said

      Rather than a total anonymous, why not create a name for this blog?
      If you don’t want to be identified, use something else.
      Sending a message as “Anonymous” is so confusing if there are many posters to the thread. It’s no big deal.

    • Anonymous said

      To Sharon
      I have tried using a pen name but was still labelled as being “anonymous” by those whohave difficulty with anonymous commenters. In the end I gave up.

  3. When a conclusion said

    Council or General Committee has had on its agendas the matter of the Morris defamation action on four occasions: December 14, December 21, January 18 and January 25.

    On December 21 a decision was made to cut the former mayor loose from the town.

    What about the legal bills that have been sent to the town for almost $43,000 by Aird & Berlis for September and October services? And what about possible additional billings for November and the first three weeks of December?

    Has the town sought outside legal counsel to determine how to deal with this matter?

    When are Aurora’s citizens going to be privy to a decision regarding this last unpalatable remnant?

    • Evelyn Buck said

      The deliberation continues. When a decision is made,it will be reported out to open council.
      We are trying to be careful not cagey and at the same time make very sure your interest is the priority
      Bear with us a little bit longer

  4. Anonymous said

    My comments are in response to Anonymous at 9:16 and to Matt Maddocks:
    Re Neighbourhood Network, in my opinion I think we should consider ourselves very lucky to have such a service in our town. Making any decisions about partnering with them based on personal grudges and dislikes is counterproductive and definitely not in the interest of all residents. Obstructional attitudes SHOULD be a thing of the past and remain there.
    To Matt Maddocks: As far as banning anonymous posters/commenters is concerned I consider that to be pretty much equal to censorship, a principle that many on here have been fighting against for the last year and a half so what do you think that would achieve? People have all kinds of reasons and methods for protecting their identity and I hardly think it is your place, Mr. Maddocks, to dictate whether they can post/comment anonymously or not. Neither does anonymity mean that they have nothing productive or constructive to say. In fact there are many identified commenters who stir up the pot more and make less than civil comments to others. Personally, I have always preferred to have an unlisted telephone number for several reasons and that is my prerogative. It doesn’t mean that I should not be allowed to take or make calls. It is not your place to judge or dictate others’ positions and opinions. If Aurora Citizen chooses to adopt your suggestion, I have a feeling you will be having a conversation with yourself and just a handful of others. How would that satisfy the goal of casting a wide net in order to harvest a great diversity of opinion?

  5. Enough already said

    I’m so done with any reference to the last council. Can we please look forward and quit harping on about the past term? The election was about making this council something different from the last, so please make it so.
    What does make me feel uncomfortable is that it seems some members at the council table are on a mission to right every perceived wrong of the last term. It’s done. Over. Let’s move on. We don’t want a time-and energy sucking rehash. There is too much work to be done. Get on with it.
    Or maybe its just our Evelyn stirring it up with a renewed sense of vigour! EB, please choose your battles. Hammering on and on about old issues just knocks any interest out of them and feels like we’re being dragged backwards. There are plenty of fresh challenges to get your teeth into. Go get ’em and leave the debris of yesteryears to blow in the wind.
    This council was elected to represent ALL citizens, so don’t lapse into the squeaky wheel syndrome. If its the same few people telling you the same thing, then its just the same few people. Seek other opinions, don’t just sit back and hear from the ones that share the same opinion as your own. Its easy to hear the the things you want to hear. Wisdom is to give due consideration to an opinion quite opposite to your own. There is merit in both, and truth in the middle.
    And can we please stop using the ubiquitous word aura?! It’s getting to sound like “hip and upscale”. Yeeeesh.

    • Anonymous said

      Well put.

      Buck’s always been focused on the past and now it seems she’s just out to settle old political scores.

      She can dress it up all she wants but the motions for changing the address back and partnering with Neighborhood Network were nothing more than thumbing her nose at Phyllis and Evelina and tipping her hat to Tim Jones and the old boys network.

      And she was the only one to vote against granting a two-week extension to let the Elderberry developer and residents work things out. The reason? Because it was Sue Walmer who asked for it. Walmer’s great sin? She’s a Phyllis supporter.

      With Evelyn it always has — and always be — about personalities, not issues.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      D’you know as a candidate and councillor I think I might be forgiven for feeling I have a sense of what is expected of me.

      First thing that happens in any makeover is, the room gets emptied and remade in a different style.

      Pieces that no longer fit are thrown out and new pieces brought in to replace them or not.

      Don’t be so quick to judge.I have not used the word “aura”.I tend towards the antique in language.

    • Yes Father said

      Wow ,Thanks for that bit of wisdom and encouragement, Not sure I agree though that “some” members of Council are trying to right all the wrongs ,its virtually impossible as it would take the next 3 terms to do it , as far as to much work to be done your absolutely correct ,but then again you need to have meetings in order to get any work done , by my count there have only been 5 meetings since October 2 of which were ceremonial non productive events followed by another that was choked and clogged with folks wanting their say on this and that , Oh and your quite right about “Our Evelyn” dragging us backwards, who in their right mind would want to go back to the days of fiscal responsibility , accountability , showing value for $ spent and of course common sense. In keeping with your definition of Wisdom ,I too agree lets drop the AURA ,its well over done

    • Evelyn Buck said

      There was no recorded vote on the issue.
      However, when the Director of Planning indicated no difficulty with allowing Elderberry Hill residents two weeks to meet the developer with a views to a “settlement” to avoid surrendereing our authority to the O.M.B. I did not vote against it.

      If the poster was watching, he/she had to have seen that.

      What’s the purpose of deliberately falsifying facts if not to keep the discussion on a personal level.

      It was Susan Walmer who came to a public meeting and shaking with emotion, lambasted town staff and council for failing to live up to all the good work and commitment of the previous council.

      When a person granted the privilege of addressing council on any town issue uses the opportunity to castigate staff and elected members, I think it is only reasonable to expect a response.

      It may be personal. It is also political.

      I will certainly not apologize for that.

    • Anonymous said

      To Yes Father:
      “another that was choked and clogged with folks wanting their say on this and that”
      I have never delegated at a town meeting so I may be inaccurate in my thoughts. My understanding is that each delegate is supposed to have 5 minutes. However, there seem to be any number of delegates, each with 5 minutes, speaking to the same issue, resulting in a much longer diatribe and clearly “clogging” the meeting. Perhaps it would be a good idea not only to limit eache delegate’s time but also the length of time that can be used up for 1 issue, e.g. each issue has a limit of 10 or 15 minutes of delgation time.
      I would even go so far as to have a loud buzzer sound at the end of each 5 minute segment and cut of the microphone (as they have done for several years at the academy awards.) Otherwise every town meeting has the potential of being railroaded and actual business items on the agenda not being discussed until either a very late hour or deferred to the next meeting. Personally I would like major business decisions to be made when council members are awake and relatively fresh.
      Members of the public are aware that they have a 5 minute limit and, if they wish to preserve the right to be heard, should respect the rules. If they can’t do that simple thing, then don’t request to delegate.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      You’re preaching to a member of the choir here. Been saying this for weeks.


    • Enough already said

      Well, before 9:16 agrees with me too much, I’ll clarify a few things….
      I have no problem with council acknowledging Neighbourhood Network. That former mayor Tim Jones is part of it doesn’t enter into my opinion that it is a good thing for our community. By what I’ve seen the community has responded in droves and in a positive way for this volunteer organization. That should be all we care about – not that some council members of the previous term (allegedly) had some evil plot against NN and this council is giving them another metaphorical slap in their unelected faces. Council support of ANY organization should be on the merits and accomplishments of that organization, and the level of support the organization enjoys from the greater community.
      And Yes Father, I wholeheartedly support our Evelyn and all members of council for fiscal responsibility and all those basic tenets of good governance. That’s goes without saying, I should think. I want what I want for my taxes, but I also know that there are plenty of people who might want something different, and if that is what is good for the community as a whole (rather than a moan and a whine by a few) then that is fine by me.
      What I’m concerned about this term is that EB wants payback for last term. So did I – and that’s what we got with the election. So we’ve all done our victory laps (til we were dizzy) so it’s three months later and can we please get on with the business of the town as a whole – not righting perceived ancient wrongs. That just keeps us all stuck, while good things happening around us go unnoticed and potential opportunities are lost.
      Its ok to change your mind about an issue as you learn more about it and see and hear other people’s experience of it. Digging your heels in on an issue (real or imagined) while everyone around you skips on past towards the stuff that really matters does us all a disservice, and potentially diminishes what you bring to the table. Try looking for the good first, and the nepharious second, and you might just find good is good enough to be getting on with. That seems to be Geoff Dawe’s approach from what I’ve witnessed so far.
      And, Evelyn – I didn’t say you used the word aura. I was referencing this AC post using it. I enjoy your antique language, even when I might not agree with your take on a particular issue, a trip to the dictionary is always welcome. I do, however, have a sense that you’re becoming even more black vs. white, I- ain’t-gonna-budge, as an approach on some things, and it gives me the unneasy feeling of what we experienced last term from other’s at the table. That should be enough to make you stop and think about things differently!
      You talk of “makeovers” and emptying the room etc. Let’s hope you’re a productive part of the process, and not a contrarian for the attention and fun of it (no matter how highly entertaining it can be!). Leave the crud and bad feelings behind and use your knowledge and experience to take us forward. That’s why we put you back on council.
      “Don’t be too quick to judge”, says Evelyn. But that is what you do?! Do you not see that that is exactly my point? Step back. Contemplate. You don’t need to give your declaration of judgment so quickly so as to not have the ability to reconsider as more information comes to light. You can even change your mind in tiny increments if that makes it less painful!
      Well, that’s enough already…I don’t want to overstay the new welcome now that there is a refreshed approach on this blog.

    • Anonymous said

      Nice try Evelyn. I did watch it. You argued the Town should just get on with business and there was no good reason to delay the decision. You certainly didn’t support the request for more time — and you were alone. Just like old times, eh?

  6. anonymoose said

    I agree this is a change for the better, but I disagree with Matt reguarding anonymous posts. Some of the worst posts (IMO) come from people posting under their real name. If this standard is actually enforced I think there is at lest one poster who will either have to raise the quality of his posts or he will have to do his networking by hosting a lot more pub crawl.

  7. Sid said

    The less said about the last term, the better off we’ll all be.
    I don’t mind anonymous comments. If that is what makes people feel comfortable to participate, so be it. This blog needs more people to come out and have their say.
    If you look back you’ll see some well thought out anonymous comments that added more to the discussion than some of the regular “named” posters. That’s not a dig, but an observation that it sometimes appears that “star posters” comment so often that the original issue is lost very quickly so why bother joining in the thread.
    Its very obvious that there are a lot of former posters that no longer contribute to this blog. The visitor numbers may be up, but that means nothing if it is the same few people sharing too few opinions.

  8. Matt Maddocks said

    Kudos Aurora Citizen – this new policy is a great move. I wouldn’t stop there though, I suggest you no longer allow anonymous or pseudonym posts, unless the commenter behind the pseudonym provides their name up front. This would also help in returning civility to the conversation / debate; the posturing and tone of some recent posters got pretty ugly, given their ability to “hide”…

    • Mad about Matt said

      There are some people who post to blogs using their real names. This does not provide their commentary with additional credibility, insight or value.

      There are others who probably would not post at all if they were required to use their real names. (“unless the commenter behind the pseudonym provides their name up front” – what exactly does this mean? Please provide an example)

      This would deprive the AC of much variety of opinion and emotion, neither of which requires offensive language to be effective. Calling people names in a public medium is akin to the childhood “Sticks and stones……”

      I would point Matt to the New York Times, one of the world’s leading newspapers, and in particular the “Comments” that follow each day’s several Op-Ed columns. There are usually several hundreds comments, from around the world, before the paper closes the commentary gate. Having looked through these regularly it is interesting to note that the great majority, if not all, are written by people using pseudonyms. This does not make them any less coherent or the paper third rate.

      Why can we not comment anonymously when we vote in that fashion?

      A little more thought might have gone into this effort, although you are one of AC’s best posters.

  9. JOHN H SARGENT said

    It will be good to see a change to comments made recently on topics up for discussion as they seem mostly a attack on each others comments and then up comes ones personal thought of other person who is posting coment ,,Maybe this is the the objective of a few so as main discussion topic gets left in the shadows as they only seem to be trying to discredit others or this blog and not have real view on issue up for discussion.Lets not fall into their web of distortion..TO all—Being Yourself Is Not The Solution,Its the Problem,Lets Learn TO Change ((Election is over,new council in place )) no need for Pub like talk here,take it to street

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