Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Just A Few

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "In The Beginning":

To: Anonymous 31 January, 2012 7:51AM

Quote: "...so far you have seen one [side of the story] and are fabricating a second."

How do you know what I've read ? What have i fabricated ? The facts are rather obvious for those of us that have actualy done some homework on this issue.

You're lucky that some of people are prepared to defend your right to stick your head in the ground and say what-ever the heck you want in a political discussion without the fear of legal retribution.

It’s amazing to me how the comments on the blogs in Georgina are 100% against Grossi on this issue (to date) and yet in Aurora we see at least a couple of people who seem so willing to defend the absurd.


That's because we have a small cult in Aurora that  believes  only they should have rights .


The Right Decision Can Still Be Made.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Some Things Bear Repeating":

Petition is ' to revoke By-law to indemnify a member of council against damages and legal procedures


The petition should read;

 A request to Rescind the Bylaw.

The Number of the Bylaw must be cited.

It must be understood every municipality indemnifies elected officials against legal action  for making decisions within their duty and responsibility.

What isn't  provided is funding for them to undertake litigation against someone . 

There's no law to prevent them from doing it. They just have to pony up  for it themselves. 

That's why Council had to pass a Bylaw to allow town funds to be used for the Mayor to launch an action against John Maclean. Aurora Council didn't even do that.

A Bylaw is a separate piece of municipal legislation.

That's what needs to be rescinded.

Nobody  with any sense of balance or fairness needs a lawyer to tell them it's not right.

Canadians have rights,guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, signed into law by the  Late, Honorable  Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the Year of Our Lord,1981

Every Canadian home should have a framed copy hanging on the living room wall.

Municipalities can  not  pass Bylaws that contravene  laws of  senior levels of government. Dammit..you'd think they'd know that.

The  petition is to reverse the previous decision which Council was probably advised, possibly by a lawyer, was appropriate.

Give them the chance to exercise their own judgement and make the right decision.

If they haven't already done that after the Special Meeting on Thursday.

Public Notice of a Special Meeting

On Thursday at 12.30 p.m. there's a  Special Meeting of Georgina Council with an Agenda posted

So far as that goes. it is in order.

There's  the required  call for declarations of pecuniary interest.

Council will open the meeting and recess to go into closed session.

The purpose is stated. To obtain advice subject to solicitor/client privilege.

That might be  perfectly in order  depending on whose solicitor and which client.

If the solicitor is retained by Council to provide advice on town business, it is exactly as it should be.

If on the other hand, the  solicitor  retained by the Mayor  is advising on the  personal law suit  by the Mayor against John Maclean , funded  by the Municipality.... propriety of the item being  on a Council Agenda is less than seemly.

The right to privacy of an individual who can be identified is a legitimate reason for closed door discussion.

What politician would argue  a law suit against a resident, already made public by passage of a Bylaw,  would entitle the  politicians who passed the Bylaw or for whose financial interest  the bylaw has been passed, to  privacy not afforded the resident being sued with  his own tax dollars.

On the other hand, councillors may be seeking legal advice about what to do...what to do.

Anyway you slice it,  public resources are being expended for a  purpose not clear under current circumstances.

Our Own Stuff

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Keswick Pinhead said....":

Evelyn wrote "It is used asphalt from road re-construction projects, dumped in that location to save paying for disposal elsewhere."

Does anyone know where this stuff comes from.One of the new problems faced by municipal governments in these parts is the disposal of contaminated soils be it from closed gas stations or Toronto;s gift to other municipalities the development of what was once deemed the most polluted area of Ontario...Toronto's Portlands.
Either way nasty stuff.


 The used asphalt  was  from our own road re-construction projects. I found out what it was when  I was talking to somebody about the possibility of  the road being straightened and  better use of  the  space .

It would cost  thousands to remove it now.

They won an election on the promise the road would not be built.

It had to be built. Instead of a short straight stretch, they curved it around  alongside  the railway, several times more pavement and infrastructure than necessary  with  no publicity for the
promise broken.  They dumped hundreds of tons of used asphalt in the field they promised not to
cross to garner votes.

The more things change the more they remain the same.

Some Things Bear Repeating

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Brief Summary And Tally":

And........ ??

We know all this already.

Time to re-focus on Evelyn I guess - Grossi has had enough of this blog for now.


The Blog has a new audience.  Georgina residents have had a rude awakening to events. Aurora has already been through this experience. We can share.

Residents  need to approach their Council  to protect  their interest.  They need to convince them to reverse the  decision to fund Mayor Grossi's personal legal costs.

In Aurora , an election intervened. The new Council reversed the decision but not before $65,000 had already been spent.  As it turned out for no purpose, useful or otherwise.

It was not a solitary event. It was the culmination of  a succession of  events throughout a term that went from bad to worse.

Georgina Council has three more years to serve. People need  to act. They should  not accept financial responsibility for personal litigation undertaken by the Mayor.

When Aurora Council voted for the weasel worded motion, they had no idea what was intended
Georgina  doesn't have an election in the offing to allow voters to decide the matter..

If it continues for three years, God  knows what  legal costs will be on both sides.

What I saw of the R.O.C facility on television, it looks spectacular. . If it's going to cost  to iron out  problems, that's where  money needs  to be spent.

I don't know any municipality that can afford to spend taxpayers' money to  compensate for what it would cost every time a fragile political ego is assailed.

Four year terms for municipal government  has  reduced voters rights substantially.

Just appealing to the Mayor to think again would not be out of place. Georgina should not be tearing themselves apart. They  need to be working together to get over this hump...pardon the pun

A Brief Summary And Tally

Before gale force winds blew down from Georgina carrying all kinds of  familiar flotsam and jetsam  the Heritage Act was being referenced in our political circle. I will get back to it.

First it should be said, a Mayor doesn't have to defend him/herself for having  big ideas.

They just have to turn out well. Full credit is accorded if it does. A different result, if not.

Putting  the Blame on Mame doesn't  cut it. No politician worth his salt blames .They bite the bullet.  

Standing at the corner of Wellington and Yonge years ago, looking west at the chaos of re-construction,a municipal solicitor told me once, "If you want a career in politics Evelyn, you won't do anything. If you want to get things done, you won't have a career in politics"

He was partly right.

Stuff happened  during  the last term of Aurora Council to ensure a negative outcome. 

An e-mail was forwarded by a councillor  to the solicitor  for a client appealing a town decision. 

Councillors are bound by  Oath of Office to protect the municipality.Under Federal law,  Breach of Trust is a criminal offence. The Councillor had difficulty accepting the stricture. The town solicitor,  obliged to advise found other employment.

A Code of Conduct was custom designed  to serve a purpose other than integrity.

Complaint costing $70,000 legal fees filed,trumpets blaring.  A negative decision,  Number One Commissioner fired the day following.

New Commissioner after  a private meeting with the Mayor,  second complaint filed, same target.  Half- assed decision  never to be referred to again.Cost $40,000.

Still another complaint filed and withdrawn

The same  probationary employee coerced to file additional  complaint of harassment in the work place. Cost unknown.

Finally..... litigation....and a town  insurance provided defence.

Following that, failed litigation against three families costing to date, $65000 of public resources. Cost to families unknown at this time.

Mountain of a Molehill Of Blame

I have removed a letter I had cut and copied from a  link provided. A friend is convinced I could be sued and the prospect is causing him considerable disquiet.

Mr.Maclean's letter is but one of a deluge published in the local press. 

 Councillor Danny Wheeler signed the Bylaw as Acting Mayor.

Still no evidence the Mayor declared a pecuniary interest or absented himself from the meeting when the question was debated and the vote taken.Legality of the meeting itself is not established.

Righteous rage  over criticism is  a  peculiarity of  the modern- day breed of politician   After battling  their way  into the boiling roiling pot of politics, some of the little darlings, huff and puff in the heat and  in a new tactic,beat constituents about the head and shoulders with public resources  for daring to exhibit any signs of opposition.. 

I think it's the fault of the baby-boomer generation .They spoiled their kids rotten ,created unreal expectations and fostered  grandiose delusions.

That said, there is nothing extraordinary about staff being directed by Council. Council is the authority.

The  Mayor  is not  unless delegated by Council. Even then, staff  ignore a Mayor at their peril unless he is a de-clawed pussy cat.

If  no record exists of direction from Council, staff are left with posteriors uncovered and exposed to  the elements which  are the vagaries of politics. Teflon hides are de rigeur.

The current  over-run of the project  is $1.6million.  Add various potential costs of  litigation and it's big money.

Residents have a right to be infuriated  and concerned about  source of payment for over-run and litigation.

Development charges and  grants, would  cover expected  costs.

Contingency  allowed for  change orders,will not likely stretch to cover the overage.

That the municipality  may  sue the project consultant for a mistake in measurement as reported, is extraordinary.

 Normal advice issued to all and sundry, in the matter of litigation is as follows;

Button up....Zip your lip....Hush yo mouth,baby...Let the lawyer do his job.

Letters to the editor can be ignored. Litigation can be an excuse not to talk.

But Grossi's Mountain cannot be obscured.

Save maybe in a white out of man made precipitation.

Monday, January 30, 2012

In The Beginning

When I started writing the blog, I was  naturally interested in how blogs progress.

I remember reading about one with thousands of visitors every day. The Blogger had been  diagnosed with  terminal cancer. He was keeping a daily journal of how of  his life leading up to his death.

It was not something that held any appeal for me.

My readers were few but I was delighted to have any and I  always  wondered if my own logging in accounted for most of the numbers. But the numbers slowly grew and I stopped being phobic.

Considering the subject was relatively narrow, I didn't really know what to think of the numbers.

My sole purpose was to inform Aurora residents.  I wasn't looking for a wider audience . Just being able to tell  what I  knew and thought about things was satisfaction enough.

In the last few days, since the situation in Georgina hit the fan,the numbers have taken a flying leap upward.It's exciting.

I  also think it's a good thing to know what's going on in neighbouring commuuities. We know through  national and local media  of  catastrophes happening in far-flung areas of the world. But we don't know what's going on twenty miles up the road or down for that matter.

It wasn't always like that. In the days when local weekly newspapers were in competition with each other for advertising,they did a fair  job of keeping us informed of issues within the County which became the Region and in the various Boroughs that made up Metro.

The  Toronto Star,  Globe and Mail and the Telegram all paid attention as well. The Telegram is long gone.The Toronto Sun took it's place and we get less local news than ever before.

It's another one of those changes people keep reminding me of,while they themselves have no idea of what they are missing.

Maybe the Blogs can fill the gap.

I am not proposing to become a roving reporter. But I will welcome news from neighbours. We can share some of our experience. I don't think it can hurt. Maybe it will help.

What say you?

I know What I Know

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Trail Continues":

I have no idea who you might be 'talking' to but it appears that we need a human body to go to Georgina's Town Hall with a FOI Request early in the week to determine how long the law firm representing Grossi has been working for the town. There may be other requests that someone like Paul Sesto could suggest.

Just phone the Clerk and ask if the law firm representing  Grossi  is retained by the town. If you need to file a request under  Freedom of Information,  the clerk  will tell you. It's your Town Hall.   In your service. You have a right to know just about everything they know.

Council  didn't make this decision in secret. There's a public record of  their culpability.I don't pretend to understand why they did it but there's no denying they did.

I  have no idea who you think I might have been talking to or needed to talk to but after a person has served as  Councillor,Reeve , County Councillor , Mayor and  Regional Councillor and back again as Councillor, actually in office  for twenty five  years over a span of forty five  of political involvement in Aurora and York Region's affairs, a person with any common sense, acquires an understanding of the rules. Sometimes  rules change but basic rules remain the same.

Then there are recorded  minutes of the  committee of the whole that morphed into a closed door meeting that rolled right into a Special Meeting without proper notice of an agenda circulated to inform  the public  of matters being contemplated and decided by their council, that somebody sent me from Georgina last week.

The agenda for the special meeting like all Council agendas, called for declarations of pecuniary interest.

It's the first thing on any agenda.  What could be more of a  blatant pecuniary interest than  a decision for the municipality to pay legal costs for a personal matter involving the Mayor.

Yet ,the minutes do not  record the Mayor declared a pecuniary interest . No indication he absented himself from the  in camera meeting, debate in the Special meeting,  or the final vote

Unless the person who forwarded a copy of those minutes, forged the document, then those are  the facts we have to go with.

There is no rule anywhere to stop Georgina residents from requesting delegate status at  Council and making  their opposition to Council's decision clear and succinct. Nothing to stop  anyone from calling Councillors and demanding the decision be re-considered and rescinded.

There may have to be a vote to waive the procedure bylaw to allow  the  question to be re-considered within six months. But there is nothing to stop the request from being made.

If there is  sufficient opposition to the Mayor's legal bills being paid by the municipality, it had better be heard. The Mayor  has every right to  pursue whatever legal action he chooses. He just doesn't have the right to have his bills paid by the taxpayer, In  particular by the taxpayer he is suing.

I know that from reading the news  from Toronto. They tried  it down there ,in the face of contrary advice from the city solicitor. That decision had to be reversed.

One  bill was paid .but if I re-call correctly ,the Councillor involved was serving as Speaker of the Council.The role placed  her in a different category.

The City of Toronto Act allows Council to appoint a Speaker. The Mayor  is free participate in  debates and votes without have to pretend  to be or in fact be impartial.

There's another thing I just thought of. Normally , when everything is kosher, direction from Council is to prepare a Bylaw. Bylaws are not normally  prepared ready for a resolution for the Mayor and Clerk to sign.

A Bylaw has to be given three readings. It used to be  first two reading would be read or taken as read. Third reading would be given at a future meeting.

Those were the days when the public's  right to know what Council was proposing to sign into law was a given. 

I don't know when that  changed or why. But I can guess.

Probably some aggressive  Councillor  or Councillors with private business  experience, thought the  idea people should or would  want to have a say, was just  a silly waste of  time and the legislative imperative should  be junked.

Oddly enough the process at the senior levels, government bills still require separate readings.

Anyway, there's always some jackass  ready to suggest that I don't really write this blog. That I can't possibly know all I know and write about.

Most of the time I pay no attention. But now and then  it p-s me off.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saints Preserve Us

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Trail Continues":

But should a Georgina resident sue any of them over the breach in the Act, wouldn't it still be our taxes footing their defence through their insurance policies? Isn't that what passing the by-law was about anyway (given that Mayor and council were already financially protected should someone sue them but not the other way around)?


The Conflict of Interest charges against Aurora's ex-Mayor  have been  filed by a resident. The ex-Mayor will not be indemnified   since she is no longer a member of Council.

It does have to be a citizen who takes the action at his/her own expense. That's how serious the Province is about enforcing Conflict of Interest prohibitions.

They stick us with four year terms of office and  responsibility of private citizens having to enforce their laws.

 Aurora's  gang of six  continue to be indemnified  under another suit, apparently because they were councillors when the action began and even though they started the legal process with their phoney baloney Code of Conduct and a lawyer to contrive a complaint  who was paid a fee of $70,000.

I have been informed  the insurance company initially refused to indemnify. But yet another legal opinion was obtained  at taxpayer's expense to convince them they should.

I have tried to discover the total amount spent on legal fees from the start of  the four year term . Except at the beginning , before the wholesale turnover of staff ,I was stonewalled by staff and politicians. I haven't finished with it yet.

In Aurora, legal costs for the ex-Mayor's last Hurrah  of suing three residents, had not been paid  by the time of the election. . The new council  retained another lawyer at another  fee of $8,000. to tell them what to do. Of course  he advised the  lawyer's  bill should be paid.  So they did. They paid the  $65,000
tab run up by the defeated Mayor up to December 1st..

It seems to be a generational thing. Modern Councillors tend to  believe they are not  obliged to exercise any judgement. They need to be advised every step of the way by their professional superiors.
If the professional says it, it must be right.

It must have something to do with the educational system.

Councillors also willingly make themselves available to lobbyists and let themselves be persuaded to hand over the keys of  the kingdom willy nilly .

It fairly makes a mockery of everything I understand about accountability.

But...what do I know ?

From the extreme of getting rid of all staff who offered a hint of resistance to  the harridans, to the other extreme of  presenting  a soft plushy body to plunder with ultimately the same result:

The taxpayers get hosed.

But I digress.

Municipalities purchase indemnification policies to hedge against insurance claims. Premiums are paid.
If  claim are valid, the insurance company pays.

Indemnification does not provide for politicians or staff to sue people.  

Mayor Grossi's litigation could not be paid by the insurance company. They should not have been paid with  public funds either. Except for Council taking the extraordinary step of passing a bylaw. 

The community needs to see the bylaw. Who signed it ?.  Is the Mayor's signature on the dotted line ?   Is the Clerk's?

The clerk, who allowed Council to roll right on from a Council- in -Committee meeting into a Special Meeting  of Council without public notice or circulation of an agenda to notify the community of what their  Council is about.

Oh My Gawd!!

The Trail Continues

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Georgina.....There Is A Solution": The by-law was without any doubt passed behind closed doors-- this is taken from the Committee of the Whole Minutes from Monday November 21st, page 16:23. RECESS COUNCIL AND RESOLVE INTO CLOSED MEETING:
Moved by Councillor Smockum
Seconded by Councillor Craig That the Council Meeting recess at this time and move into a closed meeting pursuant to Section 239 of The Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, to consider:
i) Personal matter about an identifiable individual; Section 239(2)(b), MA
Moved by Councillor Smockum
Seconded by Councillor Davison

(unrelated topic between what I'm pasting here)

Moved by Councillor Smockum
Seconded by Councillor Davison
That the Committee of the Whole meeting resolve into a Special Council meeting at 11:40
a.m., immediately following the Committee of the Whole meeting to deal with the following
i) Roll Call
ii) Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
iii) Memorandum concerning appointment of members of the public to the Former
Sutton Public School Steering Committee
iv) A By-law to indemnify a Member of Council against damages and the costs of legal
v) Confirming By-law
vi) Adjournment
If you were to dig up the actual Agenda as a whole, you'd find
that nothing was recorded (at least publicly) after item iii) Memorandum concerning appointment of members of the public to the Former Sutton Public School Steering Committee

Hunting for RESOLUTION NO. CW-2011-0278 mentioned above through the Town's Electronic Records management yields nothing.
Fortunately, The Pefferlaw Post has identified the relevant By-law as No. 2011-0121
However, having searched this in town records online I can find the Bylaw, but for the past two days the webpage that it is supposed to open in refused to load (having taken too long to respond according to google) -- either their system has been down for the last two days or they are attempting to hide this by-law from the people like me following the trail of slime through the mazes of bureaucracy. Hope that clarifies a few specifics.

 Anything but.  It raises far more serious questions.

 Item 24.     The resolution contains  similar weasel words used in Aurora when staff were directed to take whatever action was necessary to resolve the situation.The election was underway. Council had no further meetings. Councillors heard about  the suit at the doors while  they campaigned .  The decision to  litigate  against  three local residents was made  without council authority.

Item Number 25.

"Adjournment was moved and seconded".

Presumably there was a  vote. No further business can take place following adjournment.Special Meetings require public notice of forty-eight hours  and circulation of an agenda stating its purpose.

Committee of the whole cannot  resolve into a Special  Council Meeting.

Did the Mayor attend the closed meeting. Did he participate in the vote to "request staff  to follow legal advice on a personal matter. Did he vote on the resolution in the so-called "special meeting of council?
Did he declare a  pecuniary  interest  when asked and abstain from voting on the resolution to " request  the C.A.O.to obtain legal advice to be sought on a personal matter"

Was the Clerk present? The Clerk is  the  statutory officer responsible to ensure municipal business is conducted in accordance with the statutes?

Aurora's former Mayor is currently facing a charge of Conflict of Interest because of the issue. It has been filed  by a citizen of Aurora. It was to be heard in February. It has been delayed until August.

The charge followed an investigation by a solicitor retained for the purpose of determining  how things evolved and  publication of his findings. Which included the statement the Mayor appeared to be in conflict.

The  Town Solicitor employed  by the town during the period no longer is.

Aurora paid  legal fees of $65,000 on behalf of the former Mayor for a case that failed miserably and caused tremendous stress  and horrendous expense to three families in the community.

Too damned right...I did not vote to pay that bill.

The families were served on the eve of Thanksgiving... for God's Sake.

Georgina residents can stop this now if they have the will. Your Council answers to you and not just at election time.

There is no weaselling out of it.   The town is not involved in litigation. The Mayor is. His is the personal matter referred to in the "request to the CAO to obtain legal advice to be sought on a personal matter " as stated in the recorded  minutes. .

Like a  cab, the meter keeps on clicking.

Georgina.....There Is A Solution

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Tobaggon Ride May Not Be The Only Slippery Slo...":

Judging only from the surface, it would appear that the Mayor expected McLean to roll-over and was not prepared to follow through with his threat. Much will depend upon who and what McLean is, if he is comfortable in his own skin. It is a big risk to bully someone who knows where all the bodies are buried. But bullies seldom consider that they might not be the victors.


I   read all the links sent to me. It  sounds as though  Georgina Council had their discussion about financing the Mayor's personal law suit  behind closed doors.

But that can't be. A municipality can't pass a bylaw behind closed doors. The town's web site will  provide  information on  agendas and meeting minutes.

A closed meeting requires  a purpose to be stated. The right to privacy requires no names to be disclosed.

But what  politician in his or her  right mind, believes spending public money on a personal objective   qualifies for closed door  secret discussion.

Of course I don't know that happened . 

A steady stream of letter to the editor expressing outrage over Council's action seem to think it happened that way.

Few dispute the Mayor's right to sue if he thinks he should, as long as he spends his own money.

I personally think any politician  worth his salt should be able to defend him or herself  against criticism without the help of lawyers. My goodness, yes. If you can't stand the heat, the obvious solution is  to remove oneself from the kitchen.

But when  lawyers  are hired with public money to mount an  attack on  the  freedom  to lambaste a politician , no self-respecting Canadian who values  the Charter of Rights and Freedoms can submit.

The fight for rights has been too long and hard and bitter to surrender  so easily. 

Georgina residents ,with opportunity to vote so far distant, should not content themselves with letters to the editor and comments to blogs.

They should delegate and take the issue directly to Council.

The people of East Gwillimbury  took the matter in hand.

The  people of Aurora tossed  the bastards. Most of them.

When people see something repugnant being done in their name, they have a right to call a halt to it.

Georgina Council can change that decision.

Aurora did.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Tobaggon Ride May Not Be The Only Slippery Slope

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Keswick Pinhead said....":

It would appear that Bloggers communicate with Bloggers from other towns and we know Town Staff have a support network of staff from other towns. You would think the lawyers for Mayor Grossi would have been in touch with the lawyers for former Mayor Morris to head off this freight train.


I think  it's entirely possible lawyers for Mayor Grossi might have been  in touch with  lawyers for Aurora's former Mayor.

Lessons  were  obviously learned.  Like having Georgina Council pass a Bylaw  to  approve financing for  the Mayors  personal law suit.

It's not a freight train you have to worry about.

Out of interest, when was Mr.. Maclean a Regional Councillor ? When did he become Director of Leisure Services ? When did he stop acting?

Does Georgina have a ward system? How many wards? D'you think ward councillors might be dependent on the Mayor's good will? Would each be more concerned about their own  bailliewick than  about the rest of the Municipality?

Did the Bylaw to approve financing the Mayor's personal law suit pass with a unanimous vote  or a simple majority? A Bylaw can't be passed in secret.

Ours was a resolution  passed behind closed doors delegating  authority to decide on a process to a staff person. Some Councillors learned about the court action when campaigning at the doors during the election.

Why would  Georgina Councillors  be willing to carry that  can for the Mayor?

Keswick Pinhead said....

Instead of wasting taxes on this frivolous lawsuit, Mayor Rob Grossi could have saved us ALL a boatload of money, and saved HIMSELF from the disdain of an angry public by saying this:

"A disgruntled former employee has spoken his piece in this newspaper, as is his right.
Here is my rebuttal...."

I was unaware that he was using our money to sue the newspaper too...very interesting post.
Keep up the Wood Gork.
28 January, 2012 3:30 PM

Welcome Keswick...

I didn't say the newspaper is being sued. I said there was no  indication  the newspaper is being sued. Have you heard something different?

We have heard Mr. Maclean is  still a Georgina employee.

Somewhere else we saw he is a former Regional Councillor...that's interesting. 

We have something like Grossi's mountain down here although we didn't spend millions on it. 

There's a berm along the length of the soccer fields  at Sheppard's Bush. It follows the serpentine alignment of the Industrial Parkway. A rusty five or six foot high chain link fence and a boulevard  separate  it from  the road.

It looks like it's screening the soccer field from the view of drivers using the road. But  even if that was a useful purpose that's not its purpose. It is used asphalt from road re-construction projects, dumped in that location to save paying for  disposal  elsewhere.

It probably takes up ten or fifteen per cent of the field.

If anyone is interested ,there's another  story of political chicanery .

Grossi's Mountain ...2

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Grossi's Mountain":

As of Jan 26th, calls to Georgina's Town Hall were told that Mr. McLean was still an employee.

An even more  intriguing situation presents. 
I read the links. I saw  reference to disability.  Also  to Mr. Mclean defending his staff from blame by Mayor Grossi and Councillors for cost  over-runs and design flaws in Grossi's Mountain.

The "mountain" is man-made. Created by fill placed in a corner of the property by invitation of the Mayor.  I am not a reporter. I am going by what I have read. I don't have to check my sources.  While  the story  might seem crazy to any reasonable person, it's entirely plausible to me on the basis of my  personal experience

Georgina is part of the northern-six municipal pact. We  jointly obtained an indemnification policy at a favourable price together.
Staff  and Councillors in Aurora are indemnified against legal action  for decisions  undertaken in the course of their duties. .

Mr. Mclean  could   be eligible for a  legal defense from the town's policy against suit by the Town's Mayor.

I wonder if he knows.

I didn't a few years ago when the deadly duo brought George Rust D'Eye in to advise what could be done about moi. They identified a leak of information from a closed meeting which should have been reported out three months previously and to this day, never was.

A resident informed me the town would have indemnification in place, if legal action was taken against me for fulfilling my elected responsibilities.

So, I asked  about that. In all the  years I had been a councillor the question had never been raised.

But those who must  have known , denied all knowledge of indemnification 

Some time later  I inquired again. Council  learned they would  indeed be indemnified if sued while performing their duties  as elected representatives.

At the same time, we were informed  no indemnification exists to allow staff or council  to litigate against another. We received  a written report to that effect.

Now we know, Georgina Council  had to pass a bylaw to allow the Mayor's legal costs to be paid  straight out of taxpayers' pocket.

Wouldn't that  just take the cake if Mr. Mclean's  defence  was covered by town insurance while the Mayor's  is being paid straight out of the treasury.

A couple of posts back, I told you how the community in East Gwillimbury  filled the Council chamber at a meeting and said;

Enough of this damned nonsense, Mayor Young and Councillor Johnstone, get back into your seats and get on with the job.

I'm paraphrasing but I was there and  that essentially is  what happened. The issue  was a  Code of Conduct  complaint against the Mayor and Councillor Johnstone, filed by the Chief Administrative Officer with Mr. George Rust D'Eye , on hand to advise Council. 

It remains to be seen if the people of Georgina will be more docile than the people of East Gwillimbury
in the face of  nincompoopery in the first order and gross abuse of public resources.

The Meaning Of Integrity

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Mardi Gras In Aurora Is Spectacular ..Kudos To The...":

1:08 PM
Christopher, I think that comment was about You earning trust. And you have not done so. The fury over being asked not to meddle on Evelyn's Blog and losing the battle over the condemned house shows why people might be reluctant to sign in.
And you only know what you read and infer about what stands Anonymous Bloggers might take. There is a world of inter-action beyond the Blog. You have not been asked to participate as you are judged to be a 'wild cannon'.



I am happy to be the conduit between Christopher and the people he dismays. I am  confident of his ability to speak for himself.

But I need to clarify a couple of things. I  appreciate  advice  from Christopher on how to improve this great opportunity we have for carrying on a robust conversation about this and that but mainly town affairs.

I  sense  the world of interaction beyond the Blog . I  am also not asked to participate.I notice that.

I have an affinity for Christopher. He does what I did when I first became involved . 

For me, the next step was politics. No point firing off salvos if I didn't believe they were shared by others and should make a difference.

Aurora may be  the only place to elect someone like myself. They've certainly done it often enough to prove a straightforward position delivered with force of conviction is appreciated in this town. 

I have never felt pressure  to "play nicely". It's a good thing.

Politics is not kindergarten, a Sunday school picnic, a service club dinner or  the lady's auxiliary.

Criticism is a sign of good health and vigour. 

Politics is the one arena where the battle should be enjoined. People should put forward  positions  with all the force they can muster without malice aforethought.

It takes courage and confidence, a willingness to risk and it keeps you knowing you are alive.

It calls for sticking your head above the crowd and inviting dolly molly shots. There are plenty of those.

In my judgment, an unwilling,ill-equipped  council member,who aspires to popularity at the expense of  integrity, is mainly taking up space.


Pig ..sticking

I've been watching  debates between American Republican candidates for the presidential nomination.
Without knowing  pig-sticking ,  the word came to mind as I watched the process.

I thought it was in the category of  cock-fighting and dog fighting; Unspeakably cruel, appealing only to  sub-intellects and prohibited in  civilized societies

One reason  only could  compel a person to submit to such indignity..... overwhelming lust for power and total lack of self-respect.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Welcome customers into your business on Google

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog.)

When we initially announced the Business Photos pilot program, we wanted to give business owners an easy way to get customers in the door online using interactive, high-quality, 360-degree images of places on Google Maps and on Google Search results. With thousands of businesses under our belt — from salons to gift shops — we’ve been hearing the same question again and again from both business owners and photographers alike: How can I participate?

Well, with the overwhelming success of the first pilot, we’ve decided to unveil a complementary initiative that will help us reach more interested business owners, more quickly: Trusted Photographers.

Click and drag to view the inside of Spice Market, New York City.

It’s simple. Visit our new website and search for a Google Trusted Photographer in your area. Either email or call a photographer in your area to schedule a time and agree on a price that you will pay the photographer for a photoshoot of your business. This self-serve model makes for easier scheduling and quicker turnaround, while also supporting the local photographers in your community. During the hour it should take for the shoot, you can collaborate with the photographer about how best to display and capture your business. When finished, the photographer will upload the images to Google, and shortly thereafter, you’ll see 360-degree panoramic views of your business on Google.com, Google Maps and on your Google Places listing.

See how Business Photos has helped Toy Joy of Austin, Texas.

Trusted Photographers are available in 14 U.S. cities, as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France. Don’t see a photographer in your area? Let us know, as that will help us determine where more Trusted Photographers are needed.

Posted by Gadi Royz, Product Manager, Google Maps

Friday, January 13, 2012

Limber and flexible IT: YogaWorks goes Google

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Jay DeCoons, COO of YogaWorks. Renowned for its excellence in classroom instruction and teacher training, YogaWorks delivers yoga training and classes in 60 cities around the world. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.

At YogaWorks, we first and foremost consider ourselves to be educators of yoga. Since opening our first location in 1987, we’ve expanded our reach across the world, which means we’ve had to figure out how to effectively scale a growing organization while continuing to deliver the best training instruction possible. When we first took a look at Google Apps, we thought it would be a great cost savings tool but as we’ve discovered, Google Apps has also allowed us to easily and flexibly connect our business throughout the world.

Prior to Google Apps, we used a hosted Microsoft Exchange server. While on Exchange, we had to set a 2 gigabyte inbox quota and had difficulty achieving a simple, scalable email deployment for our staff’s mobile devices. We also had a lot of offline processes that were cluttering the operations of our studio managers and producing a lot of excess paperwork, which ran counter to our goal of running a sustainable and eco-friendly company. At the time, our IT costs were roughly $130 per user per year.

When we were evaluating Google Apps, we realized that the solution would allow us to further our green-friendly mission by reducing our overall environmental footprint and would enable us to create a truly mobile workforce with anytime, anywhere data access. We also saw the potential Google Apps held for collaboration among team members, with its unique communication and sharing capabilities.

We went Google with the help of Google Apps Authorized Reseller Dito, who assisted us in setting up Apps and training our team. With Google Apps, we’ve been able to reduce our total IT costs by over 60%. The ability to share documents and reach out to teammates quickly has boosted the morale and sense of community across our team. Mobility has also been a key gain for us, as Google Apps allows us to work seamlessly while on the go across our 24 studios and 60 cities where we hold teacher trainings. Through Google Docs, we have been able to save paper and eliminate tedious offline processes, making our day-to-day operation more environmentally-friendly and efficient.

Google Apps has helped us create a more efficient, more excited and more productive workforce, which in turn has helped us focus on what we care most about: bringing safe, compassionate and skillful teaching of yoga to all.