Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

What is The Issue?

Posted by auroracitizen on February 19, 2011

There has been a considerable discussion around the post What Is She Thinking — or Is She? focused on who was in the wrong and who owes who an apology.

But the issues seem quite clear.

First, a mistake was made by staff and Council when it was incorrectly thought that Councillor Gaertner moved the motion. We say staff and Council because no one — including Councillor Gaertner — noticed that Councillor Gaertner had not moved the motion but only requested a recorded vote the evening it took place.

Second, after reviewing the facts it was acknowledged that an error had been made and some Councillors felt that in addition to noting that Councillor Gaertner had not moved the motion — that the motion should be struck from the minutes.

Moved by Councillor Gaertner Seconded by Councillor Ballard

THAT the motion to receive the Confidential Memorandum dated December 14, 2010 from the Director of Legal Services/Town Solicitor entitled “Morris v. Johnson et al. – Defamation Action be struck from the December 14, 2010 minutes.

On a recorded vote the motion CARRIED.

YEAS: 5 NAYS: 4

VOTING YEAS: Councillors Ballard, Gaertner, Gallo, Humfryes, and Mayor Dawe

VOTING NAYS: Councillors Abel, Buck, Pirri, and Thompson

Given the innocuous nature of the motion — simply to receive a confidential report which still hasn’t been released to the public — and the fact that no action arose from this motion — some Councillors felt that the action was unnecessary. A waste of Council time some might say.

Of note, it should be pointed out that if this Council subscribed to block voting — this motion would have been defeated since it was moved and seconded by Councillors Gaertner and Ballard — but alas, it sees the block was not in place that night. Conspiracy theorists must be twitching at that bad piece of luck. But we digress.

Third, Councillor Gaertner impugned the character of a member of staff in contravention of every sense of professional conduct and good government by accusing Mr. Leach of “doctoring” minutes.

Fourth, Councillor Gaertner refused to retract her accusation. And even suggested that someone file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner. Very witty indeed.

Fifth, Mayor Dawe, in keeping with his role as Chair, in accordance with the procedural by-law and supported by the majority of Council requested Councillor Gaertner retract the comment.

Sixth, Councillor Gaertner refused and has continued to in subsequent meetings.

Seventh, Mayor Dawe held Councillor Gaertner accountable for her actions, while giving her every opportunity to correct herself.

So, those who are trying to mask the fact that Councillor Gaertner accused staff of “doctoring” minutes by turning the discussion towards anything except that simple fact are just trying to obfuscate the discussion (there’s a good lawyers term :))

The facts are simple.

  1. An honest mistake was made, explained — and corrected
  2. Councillor Gaertner refused to accept the honest mistake/correction and stepped out of line by making an unfounded accusation against staff
  3. The Chair held Councillor Gaertner accountable for her actions and supported staff
  4. Councillor Gaertner needs to retract her statement or continue to face the consequences of her actions

By refusing to simply retract her statement Councillor Gaertner is dragging out a simply issue for reasons only she — and her back room advisers — can know.

Councillor Gaertner — it is time to grow up, show a little integrity, get your priorities in line and move on. Believe it or not — you are not the centre of the Aurora universe.

The people of Aurora have more important issues — like budget discussions and growth issues and traffic issues and development issues and OMB hearings. Need we go on.

Hopefully this Tuesday, Councillor Gaertner will come to her senses, retract, and we can all move on.

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16 Responses to “What is The Issue?”

  1. Sophie said

    I am so sick of all this. Its like there is a snotty brat-child in the room, cutting the mic seems appropriate to me. Town Hall is not a playground and anyone who is there merely to disrupt business shouldn’t be there at all. Ms. Gaertner needs to grow up or go home.

  2. Anonymous said

    Just last week Councilor Buck posted this on her blog.

    “Minutes were doctored in the exact sense of the word. It was a legal imperative.
    A majority of Council recklessly put the corporation at risk.
    Staff took the only means left to save the town harmless from further disrepute.”

    If this isn’t harmful to the character of staff or the Town, I don’t know what is.

    Is she saying that staff, “DOCTORED” the minutes to protect the corporation? Is she condoning the “DOCTORING” of minutes if it benefits the Town. Is she telling readers it’s okay to falsify the record if it protects the Town?

    And you’re piling on Wendy. Unbelievable.

    • KA-NON said

      Ummm, I think that Ms. Buck was not at all condoning the revision to the minutes that she refers to in the last council. Au contraire, I think she saw it as a whitewash of what really happened, which was an attempt to put something on the record that had no business even occuring at al, and that she would have bpreferred it had the record shown it in all of its ignominy.

    • Anonymous said

      If you want to watch something unbelievable watch the council meeting where she wrongfully accused the clerk of doctoring minutes.

      The only one guilty of “piling on Wendy” is Wendy.

  3. Winter's comin' said

    … cudos to Mayor GD & the 4 councillors for resolving the game. As for WG, a flukie goal – nice recovery.
    Your reward: the title of “Doc Gaertner”. Has a nice ring to it, n’es-ce pas? The moral of this story, always
    check out what “Doc Gaertner” really means before proceeding. Maybe some good will come from it. … wc

  4. Guy Poppe said

    I await an answer from the four councilors (Buck, Abel, Thompson and Pirri) why they refused to correct an obvious error in the record.

  5. Citizen of Titipu said

    Political vermin appears to have infested the Aurora Town Council, working surreptitiously to undermine the Council’s agenda and the conduct of its business. We need to find an exterminator or a Pied Piper to rid ourselves of these verminous actors.

  6. Broderick Epps said

    “The people of Aurora have more important issues — like budget discussions and growth issues and traffic issues and development issues and OMB hearings. Need we go on.
    Hopefully this Tuesday, Councillor Gaertner will come her sense, retract, and we can all move on.”

    The issues as listed require insightful thought.In 7+ years Gaertner has not shown this trait.
    Result, don’t expect Gaertner “to come to her senses, retract, and we can all move on”

    • Evelyn Buck said

      The last four years,has seen little semblance of formal debate in the Aurora Council Chamber.
      Rules allow for a question to be asked. It’s purpose is to emphasize a point of debate.
      For four years, various councillors have monopolized council time by engaging staff in interrogation that seldom got around to making a point in debate.
      Councillor Gaertner was not the worst offender but it is what she understands the role of a councillor to be.
      Mayor Dawe’s decision to cut off access to staff during public meetings is not as draconian as expulsion from the council chamber. It does deny the opportunity to accuse staff of wrong-doing.
      It can only be a good thing. If it cuts down endless,meandering, pointless questioning that adds nothing to intelligent debate. that’s a side issue and a bonus for all concerned.
      Including the Councillor herself.

    • Anonymous said

      I asked this question on another post but it seems most relevant here.
      Has something changed that Gaertner was permitted to ask questions of staff last night? Has she tendered a formal apology to the town clerk for levelling such an insulting accusation against him?

    • Inquiring Minds said

      I was wondering the same thing. She did seem to be courteous last night and minus the usual snarkiness, so that was good to see.

      She arrived late at the table, just as the meeting was starting and the issue of an apology wasn’t addressed. The accusation was made in public, during a council meeting, so any apology – if made – should also have been made in public, during a televised council meeting.

      If one hasn’t been offered, why was she able to direct questions of staff through the chair?

    • Anonymous said

      I wondered this too. As far as I know nothing has changed regarding the request for Clr. Gaertner to withdraw her unfounded and grossly insulting allegation against the clerk.

      Perhaps an exception was made last night because she was asking for clarification, it was not a part of debate.

      I don’t expect Clr. Gaertner to change her tune any time soon, and I hope she doesn’t as the meetings seem to move along faster and without the same level of dysfunction when she isn’t provided the opportunity to harass staff and waste everyone’s time.

    • KA-NON said

      @Anon 8:23, I have exactly the same question. I missed the first couple of minutes of the meeting last night, and so possibly there was a withdrawal/apology. If so, then fine. If not, then W-T-F!

  7. Stephanie said

    Agreed!

  8. JOHN H SARGENT said

    RE What is The Issue…Anonymously said at 7.23 pm (yes please) ..I agree, can we not all move on regardless of what one councilor will or will not do….or will there be a third or forth post pop up re same issue ???

  9. Anonymously said

    Yes please.

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