I’m curious if accepting campaign donations from Frank Stronach and/or his dysfunctional family comes with the unwritten expectation the sitting Mayor of Aurora do photo-ops riding his latest contraption. Almost 3 years ago I wrote this post on Stronach’s last non-car vehicle failure: BionX. Then touted as “the world’s most advanced – and most desired […]
Read more "just like falling off a tricycle"
It’s Emergency Preparedness Week which means here in Aurora it’s time to go on my annual search for a revised edition of the Town’s Crisis Communications Plan. A fruitless quest that I’ve posted on in 2015 and 2014. Why bother? Well, even as of today I have been unable to obtain confirmation via the town’s […]
Read more "nothing to see here"
Significant resources were exhausted to develop and approve the Town of Aurora’s strategic plan in 2012 A plan the Former CAO emphasized would not sit on a shelf but be a living document. To track implementation, a report card was issued back in April of 2014 and on page 2 it reads: The Strategic Plan […]
Read more "I love it when a plan comes together"
With a dearth of large-scale shovel-ready projects on the horizon the crowning achievement of Mayor La de Dawe’s two terms in office will be the deplorable roll out of the Town of Aurora’s Joint O(o)ps center. From a site selection which resulted in significant soil issues, a public consultation that amassed a headcount of under 10 people. […]
Read more "under a green roof"
Clr. Mrakas motion on the Repeal of Vacancy Tax Rebate Program was debated at the February 28th council meeting The motion sounds good in theory, especially if you were to take a cursory glance as to the situation in Ottawa. But the numbers here in Aurora suggest it will have little to no effect on […]
Read more "Happy the people whose annals are vacant"
While the cobwebs continue to grow in the empty room that CHRA 101.5 is squatting in over at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex a real voice has broken the radio silence that we were led to believe blanketed Aurora. At the February 28th meeting of council Pickering College radio 102.7 presented to the town you can tune […]
Read more "Would the real voice of Aurora please stand up, please stand up!"
Calling the LED signboard at Yonge & Aurora Heights a lemon is an insult to lemons, but it didn’t stop Clr. Thompson who raised the question as to the constant issues with that piece of equipment at the February 28th council meeting. You can catch the discussion at 3:40:50 We hear from staff that there […]
Read more "Anyone for lemonade?"
Recently Chris Ballard doled out awards recognize the strength, leadership and positive example select women in Newmarket/Aurora It’s no surprise that former 1 term mayor Phyllis Morris made the list given their close political relationship, but it is the way the accomplishment is framed that sticks out, not unlike Ballard in the glaringly obvious photo-op where […]
Read more "Putting others first"
On Facebook Town Clr. Kim has opened up a can of carbonated gummy worms in his attempts to firm up his position on whether the Town of Aurora should consider banning sugar from vending machines: Seeing sugary drinks in athletic/recreation centers may indeed seem paradoxical. So what? Life is full of paradoxes. I pointed one out […]
Read more "blood sugar is thicker than water"
The results are in and Earth Hour 2017 was the best one yet! Not even close. Alectra (Formerly PowerStream) released its findings and Aurora saw a reduction of only 4.9%, its worst showing in 6 years. After reaching its peak of 14.3% in 2011 the town naively set a target of 15% for 2012 which they failed to […]
Read more "The Forces of Darkness"
Aurora King baseball delegated to Town of Aurora council this week. They are short 2 baseball diamonds, which of course Aurora needs to build immediately for their needs. A ballpark figure is $150,000 to build a diamond, not including the cost of land and ongoing operational costs. The town of Aurora currently maintains 18 ball […]
Read more "Shine on you crazy diamond"
CTV is reporting that the Town of Aurora has been inundated with calls about coyote sightings which means it must be time for a toothless politician to propose an empty “public information meeting” Given the discussions council had this with Metrolinx over who was going to foot the bill for future crossings with neither side having […]
Read more "Let’s get moving"
Back in February the Banner covered the annual snoozefest that is the Aurora Chamber of Commerce’s mayor’s luncheon. Last year the substance was so lacking, and the Mayor’s talk so uninspiring that the coverage focused on the tablecloths and napkins. This year Mayor La-De-Dawe contorted a cliche to proclaim “it takes a town to support […]
Read more "Character is a journey, not a destination"
Earlier this month the YRDSB disclosed reports about “jurisdictional learning” that it approved for staff to travel to Finland. 5 years ago I wrote a post about a Freedom of Information request revealed $130,000 in expenses that resulted in a moratorium on travel. It appears that moratorium was short-lived as we now learn it was […]
Read more "Crossing the Finnish Line"
Gordon Prentice, a former British MP writes a blog in Newmarket for over 5 years. His February 15th post on Development Charges and their impact concludes with the question: does growth pay for growth? As this coincides with my recent post on Mayor Dawe demanding the waiving of DCs as the only way for Aurora […]
Read more "DC Superheroes"
In January news broke that Trump hotel in DC lost $1 Million in 2 months. Closer to home Trump Hotel in Toronto went into receivership last year. This TorStar piece touches on the receivership and sale price but what is more interesting are the comments on the Toronto hotel market itself: Last year, to the […]
Read more "Fawlty Powers"
Last December I posted about my experiences with the town’s Where’s my Plow app and its shortcomings as a useful public engagement tool that represents a cost of over $70,000 to date. It is certainly interesting to note that the City of Ottawa discontinued use of a similar app after they encountered significant technical issues […]
Read more "where’s my app?"
Operating from a baseless premise that many Aurorans aren’t sufficiently active Activate Aurora offers redundant programs with a goal to somehow make the town the “most active” in all of Canada. The only metric Activate Aurora seems to be focused on is counting steps registered by Aurorans, with a goal to reach the number of steps […]
Read more "step it up?"
Back in 2014 Prince Andrew made an appearance in Richmond Hill. Only minutes away he couldn’t be convinced to visit in person to unveil a plaque so the town had to take it to him. That didn’t stop the town from falsely claiming that he actually visited the park on their official website. Prince Andrew […]
Read more "every Tom, Dick and Harry"
Possibly during a sugar low last Wednesday Mayor La De Dawe retweeted this: You mean like hindering kids natural ability to choose their own food and drinks at a public venue? How exactly does Mayor Dawe expect kids to develop and learn about making healthy choices when he is in support of Activate Aurora ‘s […]
Read more "the bitter sweet taste of hypocricy"
Philip Joyce, a professor at University of Maryland’s school of Public Policy, had a great piece last month on the fundamental ways that running a government is different from running a business. Earlier today Clr. Mrakas wrote a piece on a similar theme, but then took it one step futher about how residents are taxpayers […]
Read more "Where everybody’s business is nobody’s business"
At the beginning of the month Mayor Dawe sent his congratulations to the grand opening of 102.7 Canadian Chinese Radio With only 10 days left in the year any congratulations for a radio station opening here in Aurora are going to have to wait until 2017 or beyond. After receiving both town grant $ and charity $ a license was […]
Read more "dialing back the crazy"
Public Health inspectors charged Aurora eatery Aw Shucks last Tuesday. You will likely see a green poster in their door welcoming you in. However if you were to visit YorkSafe website you’ll notice that over the past 1.5 years they have been charged with 7 incidents of non-compliance: Back in 2014 there were similar failings […]
Read more "This establishment “passed” the inspection"
Coming in at $200,000 Mayor Dawe’s street parking pilot crashed and burned with the approval of the town’s 2017 budget. As an early Christmas present to residents the Mayor’s ill-conceived pilot (without input from the Region) was not approved, and likely never will be: Mayor La De Dawe has developed a pattern for not getting […]
Read more "Auto pilot crash"
There was no sign of a snowplowing on my street the entire day Saturday. This after a considerable snowfall Friday and facing freezing rain Sunday. When I was out driving I noticed several secondary roads that had also not been plowed. Where’s the plow? The town tweeted out this last night: The link takes you […]
Read more "Aurora’s snow job"
King Henry’s Pub shut down 3 years ago then like the Zombie King it returned, this time under a much funnier name. Well, the laughter is over, and so is the Dick. Without any notice the pub’s reanimation has come to an end. Their website is gone, Google shows them as permanently closed: and they have […]
Read more "Dick Move"
The big news in the world of hacking is surrounding Russian interference with the US election. As that plays out there’s something going on closer to home we need to also get to the bottom of. We recently read that the Town of Aurora’s budget survey had been successfully hacked. Town’s CFO states: We received […]
Read more "Monkeying Around with Surveys"
Following on the heels of last year’s efforts that saw a virtual reconstruction of his 680+ year old tomb the University of Glasgow has released the most realistic appearance of Robert the Bruce to-date, based on all the skeletal and historical material available. Even when factoring in his disease-ridden appearance the King of Scotland is far more likey to […]
Read more "G’day, Bruce!"
At council this evening Toronto’s “bold and honest” Mayor is poised to condone highway robbery (his words) on the DVP. Back in 2011 I wrote a post about road tolls and how they have played out in the province. But you can sleep well knowing that this time it will be different and Tory personally […]
Read more "The Phantom Tollbooth, part 2"
Jamie Lill’s Nov 4th letter to the Banner is a fitting response to Aurora Mayor La De Dawe’s motion concerning the banning of train whistles If Dawe seriously wanted to get a handle on costs for implementing all those crossing controls he could have spared staff time by simply looked at Markham, whose price tag is […]
Read more "Silence is Golden"
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