Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Archive for the ‘Election 2010’ Category

Lawsuit Update

Posted by auroracitizen on November 2, 2010

The following was reported in this weeks Auroran.

Howard Winkler, Lawyer for Ms Morris indicated that the only amendment was to make it clear the plaintiff was Ms. Morris.

Translation?: Taxpayers are still funding the lawsuit that she will personally benefit.

Wendy Gaertner stated: “the scuttlebutt was not off-base” when asked whether Councillor knew whether they were voting on a lawsuit as rumoured. She went on to say “we didn’t know what that something would be, in fact I found out what that something would be via the newspaper.

Translation?: Councillors did not discuss a lawsuit behind closed doors. Morris took the motion from Council and decided on the lawsuit herself. With her eligible to win $6,000,000 personally.

Makes one wonder if Councillors voted for other things over the years when they didn’t know what that “something” would be.

Given the closeness of the votes for Granger and Wilson — wonder how they feel towards Phyllis these days. Did her personal lawsuit cost them re-election? This lawsuit will also follow them in any future attempt to seek re-election.

Posted in Election 2010, Legal | 17 Comments »

Like a Bad Smell – Some Things Just Won’t Go Away

Posted by auroracitizen on October 30, 2010

Granger files request for recount

By Sean Pearce | Oct 29, 2010

Incumbent lost seat by 21 votes Monday

The ninth-place finisher in last week’s race for a council seat has requested a recount.

Incumbent Stephen Granger finished just 21 votes behind first-time candidate Paul Pirri Monday night.

In Aurora, voters elect eight councillors at-large, so the ninth-place showing leaves Mr. Granger without a seat at the table.

Mr. Granger couldn’t be reached for comment by deadline.

The request for a recount will be considered during a special council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.

When reached for comment Friday, Mr. Pirri said he isn’t particularly concerned about the prospect of a recount.

A candidate is entitled to ask for one, he said, adding he’ll accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

“It’s his democratic right,” he said. “I place full faith in the process, so whatever happens, happens. I’m not too stressed about it really.”

There is a 30-day time-frame from when official results are calculated for a recount request to be filed.

A council or school board can pass a resolution for a recount or the minister of municipal affairs can order one.

Unbelievable as it may sound — the same people who refused to “waste” tax payers money on a by-election 18 months into the term are now considering spending taxpayers money on a recount.

Seems it was 7 (corrected w/thanks to our readers)  years ago that MacEachern wasted our tax dollars on a recount to try to oust Councillor Buck. Now they want to try to keep Granger in. It will be interesting to hear their rational after the recount proves to have been a total boondoggle.

Maybe they would be willing to reimburse us for the wasted money.

Posted in Election 2010 | 65 Comments »

Legal Chill Settles in Aurora in Response to Lawsuit

Posted by auroracitizen on October 28, 2010

The following letter was received from one of our readers last week.

Dear AuroraCitizen Moderator,

I know that this may be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has gone, but is it possible to have my post of (date/time removed by moderator) removed?

While I recognize that all posts are already in the hands of the Mayor and her lawyers, and what I posted cannot be “undone”, I believe that the Aurora lawsuit will soon be receiving national attention. Many readers will be looking at the AuroraCitizen in the coming days, weeks and months, and I have no wish to be potentially dragged into this as well.

In spite of this request, please know that I fully support the AuroraCitizen and its moderators. My heart goes out to all of you.

The commentary on the AC pales by comparison to the vitriol against Ford, Smitherman, and McGuinty every day in the comments in the Sun, Star and Globe.

We hope that with our new Council this type of fear will dissipate and once again the freedom to publicly criticize an elected official will be acceptable in our community.

Posted in Election 2010, Legal | 25 Comments »

Geoff Dawe Says Thanks

Posted by auroracitizen on October 27, 2010

This is my first official communication as Mayor Elect and my very enjoyable first task is to thank all my volunteers!

It has been a fabulous experience. I met wonderful people — and made many new friends.  It makes me proud to call Aurora my home.

I noted early in my campaign that if it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community to elect a Mayor. And, a big part of this community are the volunteers who gave so graciously of their time, talents and treasures. Without all your support and hard work I would not have been successful. You worked days, nights and weekends for weeks and months to make this a reality — and for that support I could not be more grateful.

I am humbled by the confidence and trust you and the people of Aurora have placed in me. Thank you!

Thank you for placing your faith in me. Thank you for the opportunity to work together to put the Aura back in Aurora.

It is my commitment to work as hard for you in the next 4 years, as you did for Monday night.

I am extremely proud that we ran a clean, hard-fought race and we can all hold our heads high for demonstrating that an election campaign that follows the rules and stays focused on the issues can be successful.

It’s often said, that behind every successful man is a good woman – in my case it is 4 — so a special thanks to my wife and daughters for all their support and hard work.

I would like to offer a special note of recognition to all who put their names forward for this election — and especially the many volunteers who unselfishly worked for each candidate. Aurora is a stronger, more vibrant community because of your commitment. Running for public office takes a special dedication and anyone who puts their name forward deserves our thanks.

I would also like to recognize the large numbers of people who worked election night, and leading up to the election, to make sure every citizen of Aurora had the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. They are often the unrecognized support workers who make each election possible.

And, lastly, I would like to offer my congratulations to those Councillors who have been elected. The community faces a number of challenges and I am excited about working together as we move forward.

On Monday, the residents of Aurora delivered a message. They spoke loudly and clearly that they demand change:

  • They demand Leadership that listens — and returns respect and civility to the Council table
  • They demand we rebuild our sense of Community — where we work with each other
  • They demand Accountability that is not just words — but truly open and transparent
  • They demand action!

And, with the help and support of the new Council, that is what I intend to do — to hit the ground running and start getting things done!

As I clearly stated during my campaign — my initial priorities will be to address the issues of:

  • Building a team with fellow Council members and with staff
  • A Strategic Plan that serves the needs of residents based on input from all residents
  • The Integrity Commissioner & The Code of Conduct
  • Stop wasting taxpayers hard-earned dollars on legal battles and consultant fees that bring no value to taxpayers
  • Building a 2011 budget that reflects the needs of all Aurora residents

These will be our priorities beginning with the first Council meeting. The residents have “hired” me and my fellow Councillors to get things done – and there is no reason to delay.

It is time to put the past behind us and look forward to the future. The residents have spoken. It is time for the Council to act on their behalf.

Thank you for the privilege of leading the new team that will put the Aura back in Aurora.

Geoff Dawe

Posted in Election 2010, Geoff Dawe | 40 Comments »

Dawe Says Thanks

Posted by auroracitizen on October 26, 2010

Geoff Dawe was spotted at the corner of Bayview and Wellington at 6:45 am this morning with a message for Aurora Commuters.

It’s definitely a different type of leadership style.

Looks like we are off to a positive start.

Posted in Election 2010, Leadership | 8 Comments »

Introducing your new Mayor and Council

Posted by auroracitizen on October 26, 2010

The results are in (based on Town website) and your new Mayor and Council (listed in finishing order) are below.

Mayor:

  • Geoff Dawe 7254 (55% of popular Vote)

Councillors:

  • John Abel: 5803
  • Michael Thompson: 5335
  • Evelyn Buck: 5317
  • Sandra Humfryes: 5308
  • John Gallo: 4601
  • Wendy Gaertner: 4343
  • Chris Ballard: 4276
  • Paul Pirri: 4144

Collectively they have a lot of work to do. One of the first things on their agenda needs to be repairing the relationship between Council and staff and Council and residents.

Many town staff were in attendance at the town hall and there was an appreciable sense of joy and collective sign of relief when the results were announced.

Well it turns out that staff and citizens are concerned about what was going on at town hall. It turns out that people do want change.

And change is what they voted for — in no uncertain terms. You will need to search a very long time to find a more decisive and convincing defeat in an election. This is the first time a one-term Mayor has been defeated in Aurora in many years. Clearly a reflection of what voters think about the performance of the past Council.

So to the new Council, we wish you well. The citizens of Aurora have great expectations. They will be watching — and continuing to hold politicians accountable for their decisions and their behaviours.

Residents of Aurora have been very clear about what they do not want — and what they expect.

It’s time to put the past in the past and look to the future.

It’s time to Put The Aura Back in Aurora.

Posted in Election 2010 | 78 Comments »

More Dirty Politics in Aurora

Posted by auroracitizen on October 24, 2010

The last couple days has seen 2 separate emails distributed that bring to mind the type of dirty politics usually associated with US campaigns. Information that deliberately distorts the truth — or in some cases is a complete fabrication.

It also demonstrates who the Morris camp is worried about as the key challenger to their re-election ambitions.

Both emails are loosely based on the actual facts from campaigning at the GO Station on Friday — but they have made assertions that are not grounded in reality of what truly happened.

The facts are:

  • The GO Station is private property and campaigning is not allowed without a permit from GO.
  • Geoff Dawe followed the rules and applied for and received permits to campaign on the platform on 2 dates.
  • No other candidate had followed the rules — so were asked by GO personnel to leave the property
  • The Morris camp is upset that GO personnel asked them to leave on Friday when Geoff had the only permit
  • These are GO rules, not Geoff’s.

The issue here is who followed the rules versus who thought they were above the rules.

Yet Morris and her supporters are trying to hide the critical fact they didn’t follow the rules and were held accountable by claiming that they have been unfairly treated. Their second point — which we especially like — is that because they never followed the rules in the past, they shouldn’t have to follow them now.

The first troubling email was from incumbant Councillor Evelina MacEachern.

It seems ludicrous that a publicly funded facility could be permitted to one candidate and block other campaigners from greeting people and passing out their literature. We were shocked with this restriction of our democratic rights.

instead they prefer to use intimidation and bullying tactics to try and silence our present Mayor and her supporters who have as much right to be seen and heard as they. Is this the style of leadership Aurora wants?

Speaking of leadership — the last 4 years we have seen the Morris/MacEachern type of leadership.

We think leadership that follows the rules is exactly the type of leadership we want in Aurora — not the kind that expects them to be modified to suit their own purposes.

Sher St. Kitts also sent out an email with the following comments.

It felt as if we are living in a 3rd world Regime.

Bullies in Yellow – the Yellow Shirts headed by Jack, I mean Geoff Dawe – what does this remind you of?  Is there truly freedom of expression in Aurora without fear – why is this allowed to happen.  Jack Dawe boots might be available soon here in Aurora.

Be aware and be sure to vote on the 25th for those who can work together with others of different opinions and platforms.  Do you want to have a communistic state here in Aurora – all ruled by one voice, one idea, one company?

Sher St. Kitts – still shocked at this behaviour in this day and age in our town….

Of particular note was the title of one of Sher’s email’s “Subject: Help with Campaign – Help Yourself *Help Sher & George;Help Aurora“. How “typical” — Sher puts herself front and centre. What makes her think the citizens of Aurora want to help her and George?

The facts are simple — GO policy states that if you want to campaign on private GO property a permit is required.

Geoff made the effort to get one, the others chose not to and were asked to leave by GO personnel.

As experienced campaigners, both MacEachern and Morris should know and abide by the rules. Yet clearly they feel they don’t have to.

In our mind — no one is above the law.

If you agree, then support Geoff Dawe in his bid to bring new leadership to our town.

Posted in Election 2010 | 41 Comments »

Star Endorses Dawe

Posted by auroracitizen on October 22, 2010

The Toronto Star has released their candidate endorsements for GTA Mayors.

In Aurora, the town council has been dysfunctional under Mayor Phyllis Morris.

Topping off a rocky four years in office, she has launched a $6 million lawsuit against three citizens who criticized her on a popular local web forum. The suit was filed on behalf of Morris “in her capacity as mayor,” which means the taxpayers will likely be picking up her legal fees.

It’s time for her to go.

We prefer Geoff Dawe, who has a record of community service and business savvy.

No argument here 🙂

Posted in Election 2010 | 36 Comments »

Should I be Afraid to Speak Out in Aurora?

Posted by auroracitizen on October 18, 2010

The below letter entitled “Should I be Afraid to Speak Out in Aurora?” was submitted on the evening of Saturday October 16th to The Auroran and the Era-Banner newspapers for publication as a Letter to the Editor.

It may be too late for publication (if it does get published) before the municipal election. On Saturday evening, I sent a copy to Bill Hogg, Richard Johnson and Elizabeth Bishenden and also to Geoff Dawe. It was also forwarded to Lois Brown, MP Newmarket-Aurora and Frank Klees, MPP Newmarket-Aurora for their information. This Monday morning, October 18th I sent to Evelyn Buck in response to her blog entry “Incredible As It may Seem”.

I may not always agree with what is written on the Aurora Citizen or the responses but we all have a right to voice our opinions regarding how our government runs our affairs.

Should I be Afraid to Speak Out in Aurora?

Should I be afraid to speak out in Aurora?

Should I be afraid to criticize the established municipal government if I do not agree with their actions?

Should I vote and then remain silent and cower under the threat of litigation from the very people who I may have voted to office.

If I speak out will I be silenced by our very government that is an integral part of our democracy, an institution of our rights and freedoms?

Should I be afraid to attach my name to this letter in fear of future repercussions having voiced my opinions?

As a citizen must I confer with a lawyer before I express my opinion in regards to governmental affairs?

Should I be fearful of my associations and friendships with good people of Aurora?

It would appear so in Aurora, but this can not be allowed to stand!

I reference and call to attention the recent information at the Aurora Citizen website: https://auroracitizen.ca/2010/10/15/maybe-you-heard-about-the-lawsuit/
Maybe You Heard About The Lawsuit

Aurora is not a community that I would continue to be proud of should the voice of the individual be choked under the hand of the local municipal government.

Mayor Morris’ re-election website contains the following quote: “The New York Times wrote: “Aurora is exactly the kind of hip, upscale, well-educated town where conflicting values are put to the test.””

With these current legal proceedings, in my opinion Aurora has shown itself to be neither hip, upscale nor well-educated and has in fact censored any conflicting values so as not to put them to the test. I do not need to have a code of conduct, a legal background or advice from a lawyer to know what the members of council did in voting for this action is wrong.

I applaud the actions and statement from Councillor Bob McRoberts.

I strongly support the actions of Bill Hogg, Richard Johnson and Elizabeth Bishenden in standing for all of our individual and collective rights for freedom of expression.

I hope that other Aurorans and Canadians will also show their support by not remaining silent and by not being afraid to express their opinions on our government.

Paul Sesto
Aurora, ON
October 16, 2010

Posted in Community Input, Election 2010, Legal | 102 Comments »

Standing Room Only

Posted by auroracitizen on October 14, 2010

Last night, was the 2nd of 3 scheduled all-candidate events. And, like the Library event it was standing room only. This continues to indicate the residents are engaged.

 This one sponsored by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. This has been a regular election event although last night the format was changed slightly for last night, due to the absence of candidate Phyllis Morris, who was attending the funeral of her father-in-law in England.

So, rather than a Mayoralty debate, it was a moderated question and answer session. Some of the questions were a bit bizarre — what by-laws didn’t the candidates like — but overall the event was a great success.

Candidates for Council were also present so attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and decide who to vote for. 

If you didn’t attend, then there is one more public debate on Sunday October 17th at the Legion – 2:00 pm start. This one is sponsored by Sport Aurora and will have a recreation focus. Morris should also be back by then, so it should be a lively affair.

Posted in Election 2010 | 3 Comments »