Disappointing meeting with municipality

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We’re very disappointed.

The meeting did not resolve anything.

Present at the meeting were my mom and dad (Marta and Lech), Mayor Jim Abernethy, Deputy Clerk C. Anne Greentree, Manager of Development Review Carlo Pellarin, and Junior Planner Meaghan Harrington. I was on the phone to participate in the meeting.

The municipality did not budge.

With respect to the crippling $50,000 charges faced by mom and dad for permitting me to host the Liberty Summer Seminar on their property, Mayor Abernethy insisted that there is nothing they can do. That once the charges are put forward, there is nothing he can do. “I’m not in a position to drop the charges,” he said. “Once a charge has been laid, politicians cannot interfere.” The mayor continuously insisted that his hands were tied.

With respect to hosting weddings, a separate issue from the Liberty Summer Seminar, we would need to file three applications. It costs $10,000 for a change in the Official Plan application, $5,000 for a re-zoning application, and $3,000 for a site amendment application. On top of the prohibitive $18,000 application charges, property owners should also hire a planning consultant who puts the applications together; and must pay for any experts that the municipality decides are necessary.

Total estimated bill (application fees + experts + consultant fees): the average income of an average Ontarioan for a year. To start a business. In Clarington. With no guarantee of approval.

When I asked how residents of the municipality can start a business if they cannot pay an average year’s salary up-front, the mayor explained to me that there are only two sources of revenue for the municipality — property taxes (my parents’ property tax bill is $7,542.78 this year; the municipality’s share is $2,249.75, the remainder goes to the Durham Region and to education) and user fees, including application fees.

The mayor’s salary, as of this year, is $100,232.14, with $12,340.16 in taxable benefits (source). (Mayor Abernethy attempted to decline the three per cent raise that bumped him over the six-figure income mark, as the article explains).

As for the commercial sign that Ezra Levant wrote about, they informed us that we have to get a permit for the sign. It costs $150 for the permit.

When my mother, in tears, explained her fear of the by-law officer who has been dealing with my mom, and explained, “I feel harassed,” C. Anne Greentree interrupted her. “We do not harass people,” she intoned. “I do take offense to that.”

When I asked about whether or not a different by-law enforcement officer can deal with my parents, since my mother is obviously frightened of the one dealing with us now (especially after reading Ezra Levant’s column and blog), they did not want to discuss that issue.

My mother went to the hospital yesterday. She has lost 10 kilos (about 22 pounds). She is just over five feet tall. She weighs less now than she weighed when she got married.

But no one wants to discuss the simple matter of putting someone other than the six-foot by-law enforcement officer who menacingly said, “be careful” to my mother in one exchange. When my mother, confused, responded “I am careful,” he leaned in and whispered, “be very careful…”

At the end of the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that nothing has moved forward, and that my parents are in the same position they were in before all of this started. Nothing has changed.

My parents did not go to work this morning to attend the meeting. My father left at one point in the meeting to put more quarters into the parking metre. The civil servants and the mayor were on the clock for the meeting. They did not lose two hours of income to speak with my parents.

Disappointed might be the wrong word. I feel deflated.

I feel deflated, but not defeated.

(Posted by Peter Jaworski)

If you would like to help, please call our councillors and mayor (click for details). If you can, please also consider donating to the Marta & Lech legal defence fund (click for details).

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10 Responses to Disappointing meeting with municipality

  1. Pingback: Help save the Jaworski family from the bullies of Clarington! — mooseandsquirrel.ca

  2. Mal says:

    C. Anne Greentree. Say no more, Peter; there it is, right there.
    That first initial is always a good indicator of questionable character, especially in a crummy bureaucrat.
    And these bureaucrats of yours are particularly vile. They actually have the gall to trot out a line like: “Once a charge has been laid, politicians cannot interfere.” Yeah, right; that NEVER happens…
    I’ll certainly send something towards your fund, Peter; and, as I wrote to those scumballs before, I will do my best to steer family and friends away from any thoughts of living in Clarington. Not only are there officious pigs at the council’s public trough, but the “neighbours” that lodged the original complaint are every bit as contemptible.
    Screw them. The only contact we’ll have with their foul little fiefdom is when we stay at your folks’ B&B on the way through.

  3. So after the email traffic they got, they’re still acting like a-holes. I guess they really are souless ghouls. They should be ashamed.

  4. Revnant Dream says:

    Go to this thugs Union. If not them, than the labor Union. This is unacceptable.
    You have a rouge employee. Unless he’s getting orders from high up for some grudge. Than its the Courts.
    Small Towns in my experience can be as corrupt as Big Cities.
    This is outrageous that these Elites who are parasites on the community have this much arrogance, this much sense of entitlement.
    Unknown to this species, an extinction event is on their horizon politically.
    You have a lot of support . They do not. Nope not a figs worth. Frankly having Ezra on your side, is like having a fleet of bulldozers headed their way. They just don’t know it yet. Oh but these bumpkins will soon feel the brand.
    I like it when statist fascists are reveled as the cruel SOB’s they really are. Don”t you?
    God keep your Mother & your Family in health

  5. Maureen says:

    Have you spoken to the local media? I realize that’s often useless, but everybody has picnics on their property. It’s why people acquire property.

  6. Dan says:

    I can’t help but get the feeling most people have given up without a fight. Freedom means nothing to them. If they haven’t had to fight for it, it doesn’t seem to have value. Where’s the outrage?

  7. LaVallette says:

    Don’t you people have an ombudsman in Canada and the Provinces? What about the Human Rights Commission (HA HA HA HA!)? What about Civil Liberties unions?
    As Mark Steyn wrote: “when our elected representatives and their appointed bureaucrats forget they are our servants and start acting as our masters then we stop living as free citizens”. Law enfoircement officers are allowed to enforce the law but they do not have a right to INTIMIDATE the citezenry.

  8. Kalim Kassam says:

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

    So frustrating. After an experience like that were I in you’re shoes there’s a (possibly less wise) side of me that would want to go old-school-Randy-Hillier or Howard Roark or civil disobedient or something like that just to stick it to those bullies in open defiance and not give a single inch.

    Marta & Lech–by hosting the LSS for ten years you have been parents to all freedom-loving Canadians. Now it is our turn to return the love and support.

    There are so many of us who wish to be standing there alongside with you in defense of your slice of earth; you are in our dearest thoughts.

  9. old white guy says:

    will anyone in this country just stand up and say no to assholes like this. you have to force their hand you can’t talk or reason with them. they have to be controlled and soon. no court, no compliance, to hell with the breaucrats.

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