A response to David Tomlinson’s letter in the Auroran, October 27th.
I wanted to start off by recognizing your commitment to the environment, and your passion for green spaces both here in Aurora and abroad. “Merlin’s Hollow” is a true gem in our town.Positive experiences like the one you bring have been on the decline with the rise of dysfunction on our town’s council. It surprises me that you would choose to support them. I wanted to take this opportunity to enlighten you as to why there may be a large number of negative comments around town during this last term. In short: Aurora council has failed and the residents are upset, frustrated and speaking out. You used the term “disgruntled”, I think we can safely say that the terror alert level in Aurora has been elevated to “outraged”. Speaking out should not be viewed as a “negative” thing, it is a positive one. It is a large component of a democratic society. One that our mayor and the GOS councilors have turned their back on. I do not agree with you when you choose to group everyone in town that disagrees with our council as being “obviously dissatisfied by the results of the last election”. I think the dissatisfaction is due to the outcome, the players are secondary, but need to be held accountable. Our Mayor and the majority of councilors have failed their electorate. In fact they have failed their own supporters, some of which campaigned for them in the last election. I suggest you re-read the letters in the Auroran, then move onto the Banner and especially cruise the “Aurora Citizen blog” before you make such an outlandish statement. It is not so. You go on to say that “The same people” are criticizing the mayor and council, in fact that is only true to a point. There are certain citizens, myself included that chose to continually participate in the discussion.
What has been most interesting of late is the fact that several new voices are being added to the mix, the fact that the common thread is a dissatisfied one speaks to how the public feels. Ignoring it and sweeping it into the pooper scooper does not a constructive democracy make. From the Mayor’s Inaugural Address she said: “I would challenge you to get involved in your government. Your involvement, your
scrutiny, your challenges and your support will ensure your Council delivers. Please don’t leave it to Council alone, to build a better Aurora – we’ll do a better job with your participation. Aurora is participating, however I’m sure that our Mayor who has tried to silence and censor any form of criticism would agree with you.
This begs the question what purpose is served by blowing smoke up the one-way digestive system of our mayor? her head couldn’t possible get any more swollen. I have no idea how you arrived at determining that the letters to the Auroran “contain few ideas as to how council’s decisons be improved.”In fact the majority of the letters that are critical to the mayor and her coalition do have recommendations, most of which are pointing to the obvious which is do the work of the town, this is what is being overlooked. Why the citizens have to continually remind our elected officials to do their job is beyond me. I also found it interesting that your letter, which was very negative, yet spun as positive, failed to mention any new ideas. You seem to support the status quo, which is a dysfunctional government.
Then you go on to say “the defeat of the mayor and members of council will not be in the best long term interests of most citizens of Aurora”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The mayor and her coalition need to be defeated because they represent a cancer on the democratic system of Aurora. There will be long term repercussions if the existing dynamics are left to play out. Are you a fan of closed door meetings? block voting? bullying and intimidating members of council forcing them to quit or slapping them with costly code of conduct complaints? When you claim “Aurora is no more dysfunctional than other Ontario towns” it shatters your credibility. There was recently a T.V. show that held a panel to discuss dysfunction on York Region councils, it highlighted Aurora and Vaughan. Newmarket was a perfect contrast, they don’t have our problems, in fact very few municipalities, maybe 9?, have needed an “integrity commissioner”. Aurora is constantly in the main stream media because of its dysfunction. It is not perceived, it is real. Although with recent allegations in Mississauga one begins to wonder if dysfunction is becoming the new status-quo. Regardless of how competent the professional and maintenance staff in our town is, it is most certainly not well managed. It is too convenient for you to paint the town a rosy red when it is clearly dog turd brown. Those of us that have stopped to smell the roses are sad to see there are very few, but the fertilizer is plentiful. We are upset, we are vocal, and we deserve better.
New seeds will be sewn next November, with it community will grow again.