"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Chickens Come Home To Roost.

A playground for Seston Park was deleted from 2007 budget. Before the budget was struck, Council received a delegation from neighbouring residents.

They had read of beautiful things happening in other parts of the town and wondered why their neighbourhood was being overlooked.

When the item had been discussed during budget deliberations, Councillor MacEachern informed Council the park was in her neighbourhood. If the Town spent $75 thousand there, her neighbours would think we were crazy.. The item was deleted from the budget.

The night the residents came to Council, the Councillor, quick and sharp as a whip, turned to the Director of Leisure Services accusingly,

"You said it was safe," she said.

"I told you it was not dangerous," he said. “Dangerous equipment is removed, or blocked off, so the kids can't use it. There's not much left now. That's why we recommend replacing it.”

The Playground never made it back into the 2007 budget.

It was included in 2008. The parents were invited to participate in the choice of equipment. On completion they came back and expressed profound gratitude to the Mayor and Council for our "generosity".

Apparently, the only people in the room who were unaware of how they had been handled, were the residents themselves.

Councillor Wilson regularly reminds me in less than a civil tone of how things have changed over the years. I think that's funny since I'm the one who has made the trek.

Seston Park neighbours must surely appreciate their new playground. Having to wait for it will not seem so bad now that it's there. .

They may not have noticed and might even dismiss it as of no consequence, yet everyone else at that table, staff and council , were witness to how responsibility for deleting the item from the budget was laid on staff; by the Councillor who said her neighbours would not want tax money spent on their playground.

The event, in my view did nothing to elevate the tone of this Council .

If it's the change Councillor Wilson refers to, I remain unimpressed, It's not new and it's not clever.It's low, primitive and sleazy.

The Policy Statement at the beginning of The Code of Conduct states the following:

This Code of Conduct is a public declaration of the principles of good conduct and ethics that members of the Council of the Town of Aurora have decided its stakeholders could reasonably expect from the Members of Council to demonstrate in the performance and responsibilities of elected representatives.

Attaining an elected position within the community is a privilege which carries significant responsibilities and obligations. Members of Council are held to a high standard as leaders in the community and they are expected to become well-informed on all aspects of municipal governance,administration, planning and operations.

I think that statement is a load of self-righteous claptrap and it is bound to trip up even the most sanctimonious of politicians.

And there's always the possibility someone with a blog will decide a particular account of politics in action is worth recounting.

1 comment:

Robert the Bruce said...

I too am a "neighbour" of Seston Park. I have seen Councillor MacEachern around the neighbourhood (albeit behind the wheel of her mini-van most times). The equipment at the park was in need of repair or replacement. I do not recall anyone asking me for input, I imagine the bulk of the neighbours involved are the same bunch that were involved in SWAT and were looking for a cause. I never even knew it was about to be done until it started. I have news for her too.... we already think she's crazy!

My only comment on the "new" park is that I am not sure of it's safety. I have heard some parents complain that the slide is not safe (versus the old slide). I am not entirely happy with the choice of ground cover. For lack of a better description, it's wood chips and sawdust. How will this material weather the winter? I would have been much happier seeing the same rubberized material as what was used at Highview PS in that playground.

On a similar topic, I read this past week that Leisure Services requested that some parks become fenced off. One of the parks was Norm Weller on McClellan between Highview PS and Light of Christ CES. I mentioned to my daughter, who attends Highview, about this and she told me that they have not been allowed to use the field (during recess or lunch) at all this year. They have been told that it is off limits. I find it appalling that a large grass area that would be ideal for two large elementry schools is off limits because the Town wants to preserve it for "paying" customers. What good is therein having green space when no on is allowed to use it?