Was distribution of a couple of thousand leaflets called "Clean Up Aurora " throughout part of the old town in time for the election campaign. As if four years had passed unnoticed and all of a sudden, there was a need to show something for it .
The leaflets were mailed. I tried to find out how much they cost and where the money came from. I received a curt note saying they were done in house and cost $12, or some such ridiculous figure.
I know what it costs to mail leaflets. Stamps costs more than leaflets which were substantial in size with many colours.
During the term before last , Council met with the developers of Smart Centres. They committed to $150K contribution of top of all other payments, specifically towards downtown revitalisation.
The money was paid in installments. Council has never made a decision about how it would be used.
Somebody obviously decided, it could be used to encourage part of the community to clean up by way of two thousand more pieces of litter being mailed out to two thousand homes.
Councillors did get an e-mail notifying us the first stage of the project had been carried out.
I suppose the courtesy of informing us of the project made up for not seeking authority to do it in the first place.
I'm not even sure any of that money left.
It's like the new program of blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook. Council wasn't consulted about that either.
I note the Mayor is happy to report the town's use of new technology.I myself have questions I would like answered. Neither does it look like answers will be coming soon because it seems i.m the only one concerned.
I think Council should receive a report on cost- benefit of any new program with the request for authority to proceed.
How much time needed? What is not being done while the blogging, posting and tweeting are going on.
Was there a person with time on their hands who needed to be occupied.?
Has a new person been hired for the project. Is that the extra $100K in the budget for a person in the communications department? I always add benefits to salary shown.
I do not claim authority on new technology. I know it took time to get the web site working at an appreciable level . I have not heard of any demand in the community for blogging, posting and tweeting by town staff.
I know at least as many in the community are not on line as are; what value is the new service to those who are not?
How does one measure the value of stuff like that ?
Basic cost is obviously man hours and we know that's not cheap.
What do you use as a comparator to suggest it's worth doing?
I know how a newspaper reporter's time is measured. He is assigned a story to cover. Space for it to appear.It has to be readable. Generally speaking,line advertising governs news space available.There has to be a cost benefit.Or the paper goes bust.
In the private sector, that's as good a comparator as any.
Reporters don't claim to be impartial any more.Why should tweeters be thought to be unbiased?
How does one quantify value, quality and return for tweeting. Where does it fit with services to property? Which is our legal justification for collecting taxes.
Who said the taxpayers want to pay for tweeting and posting and blogging ? Nobody asked me or anyone else on Council I know of.
If we are not the ones to decide,what else is our reason for being?
Why bother with elections for individuals to sit around a table many, many hours a month for...well....table dressing?
Why encourage the electorate to believe they are somehow in charge of their own governance
If it's not O.K. for a Councillor to tweet from the Council table, and I don't believe it is, (and I believe it's utterly ludicrous to have to tell a grown person it's not) why is it O.K. for a staff person to be sitting in a cubicle blogging , posting and tweeting to his heart's content.
Is this stuff serious?
A major erosion during the last term was the line between administration and political authority.