"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

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Keep a Civil Tongue in Your Head

A reader recently noted the increase in number of comments and, in contrast to the Aurora Citizen" which is going downhill" they are civil. . It's not a coincidence. I censor comments. I make no bones about it. I don't publish the nasties. As far as I can tell, they are promptly thrown into the hopper at the Aurora Citizen.

I started the blog hoping for input. At first I printed every comment. Then I thought, wait a minute, why should I provide space to people who only want to vilify me. That's dumb.

So I stopped publishing the rancorous and hostile. But it turns out not to be so simple because some comments have rancorous and hostile things to say about other people. But if they have something to add to the debate, I publish them. It puts me on shaky ground.

I am trying to find a balance. The last comment to the "Budget Matters" post made me feel really bad.

So now I have this to say:

Of course I want you to write what you think. I just want you to do it without criticising what I think. I am not your enemy.

The budget is humongous this year. It hasn't been approved yet. There's a ton of stuff I don't think we should be doing.. All the grant money coming from the two senior levels of government, the reduction in the Region's bite, again no increase for education, and new taxes coming in from new homes and industrial and commercial buildings, means we should be striving for no increase at all in our tax rate.

I think we should add staff at the library to take care of new library users. I think extra miles of roads and sidewalks will have to be plowed and maintained and it will cost more.

I think recreation facilities should be adequately staffed to bring in more revenue so they don't cost an arm and a leg running up deficits.

I think we should use money we collected for the purpose from developers to buy land for recreational needs and provide facilities so Aurora taxpayers don't have to go to Newmarket to play sports.

I think it's insane to even think about spending a hundred thousand dollars on a rotting mouldering old shack that's no use to anybody and has no historical significance.

I don't think we should be giving the Historical Society $50.thousand dollars so they can have a curator and a half for an old house that's only open by appointment from May to September.

I don't think we should be spending $140 thousand dollars to study Yonge and Wellington so that we can tell property-owners how they should spend their own money.They are doing a pretty god job of it themselves without any help from the town.

I don't agree with hiring four full-time people complete with benefits, to sit in the Church Street School during office hours and make like they're operating an Arts and Culture Centre so the Mayor can cavort like the Queen of Culture and Clothes Lines. with Councillor Evalina MacEachern as Chancellor.

The Province spends a ton of tax money protecting the environment. South Lake Simcoe Conservation Society has environmental responsibility for creeks and waterways. They spend millions of our tax dollars. They have no other function. The region has responsibility to protect the environment as well and we all know how easily money flows up there.They have a special conduit for our tax dollars.

The town has no business hiring an environmental engineer on top of the one we already have to study "environmental initiatives". The combined salary and benefits of both and their support staff won't be much less that half a million dollars. I think that's a scam.

I don't think you should accuse me of not caring about you because you don't agree with me about whether or not we need an additional librarian.

I do want you to contribute and be read by others who read and contribute to the blog. I want your friends and neighbours to contribute as well. Let's get a good conversation going. All I ask you is, as my mother (often) told me and no doubt yours did too, "Keep a civil tongue in your head" Write what you think .Use the strongest language you know.Just don't call me names and accuse me of not caring.

I bloody well do.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Councillor Buck, for highlighting these particular items on the budget. The average citizen does not have the time to read all the documentation and expect our elected officials to defend or deny the expenditures they approve.
I come to this blog for such information, and respect your stance on the issues you highlight.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog posts and the comments that follow. It is an interesting way to see the thinking behind what happens at town council. I thank you for taking the time to do this.

One thing I would like to see is for the other councilors to follow suit and start something similar. Instead of complaining about misinformation why can’t they take the time to start there own sources of information regarding the thinking process they are following. The internet is a very useful tool. Not everything can be absorbed just watching the council meetings or reading the minutes off the town’s website.

Tired of your negativity said...

So it's okay for you to slander Councillors, but not okay for people to voice their opinions about you? Shame on you.