Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Regional Question or Two And One At the Town Lev...":
Could you list ALL the events/charities to which the town makes a contribution, be it cash, waiver of fees, providing facilities requiring town staff labour/vehicles or any event that doesn't fall within the aforementioned?
Which are charities, which are entertainment and which are something else?
Finally, can you provide the cost to the town for each event, in direct dollars when cheques are issued, in waivers of fees, in labour provided by town staff including use of vehicles, and in any other category you can think of?
This will go a long way to being able to understand the demands made on the town, the problems, and how an appropriate policy might come to be written that is clear and fair to all.
The request requires a staff report. I believe any member of the public has a right to request such information from the town. There may be a fee. Certainly there is a cost for a page of printing.
The town has Grant Funds in the budget. There is a request form. .There is criteria within which staff may recommend a grant to Council If the request does not fall within the criteria ,the applicant will be advised of refusal and has the option to approach Council.
There is a user fee policy for use of town facilities. Arenas and swimming pool facilities have an hourly rate.
Rates for groups and organisations can be subsudised by revenue from commercial organisations.
For example, if the auditorium at the Community Centre on Aurora Heights Drive were to be in use all the time, revenuea would keep the hourly rate for ice down.
Revenue from the Roger Neilson Hockey Club means the swimming pool deficit is less than it would be without.
The more a facility is used the less the user fees. There are hours in the day when facilities are not in use.Competitive swimmers can be in school or at work. They can be out in the middle of the night to get the time they need to compete.
Ice time for figure skaters is more expensive than hockey players. A figure skater needs a patch. So there are not so many users on the same expanse of ice.
The Men's Soccer Club pays nothing for the Highlands field. They have a club house with a licence. They cater weddings and funerals and election victory parties in competition with taxpaying businesses. They pay neither rent nor taxes nor user fees.I'm not even sure they get a bill for water or sewers. They get fire and police protection, garbage collection and snow clearing but they contribute nothing to the cost.
The lawn bowling club pays no fees . They used to maintain the lawn themselves. Numbers fell to twenty-seven and members were not physically able to continue maintenance.So they asked the town to take it over. The town did. No user fees are charged. I noticed in the Aurora Citizen Blog, they are soliciting new members.
The Chamber of Commerce has a highly successful Home Show annually. The pay for the facilities for the days the home show is in operation. They don't pay for the days it takes to set up and take down.
They also have the greatest street sale in the world in June. They don't pay for clean-up after it's over.
The town has a membership in the Chamber and we give them $8,Ks a year for something called a Platinum sponsorship. Nobody gets a prize or anything. The Town's Logo appears on the plaque.
The Bob Hartwell race for the Heart and Stroke Foundation was started to commemorate a Councillor who died while running a marathon.
Fees for facilities were waived when the event started. It has became highly successful. This year the name was changed to A&B Courier Service, A Newmarket company. The event no longer commemorates Bob Hartwell and we don't know if the organisers are local any more but we continue to waive the fees anyway.That was $750. worth of manpower and vehicles to transport picnic tables and garbage bins and clean up afterwards.
A councillor commented when the decision was being made; "We should do it this one time"
The Relay for Life event, a fund-raiser for cancer is not a local organisation but they received a waiver of fees to the tune of $650. They raised $80 Ks for the charity last year and expect to do better this year. I guess they figured they needed free facilities. One Councillor figured the picnic tables and garbage bins wre just sitting there anyway. They didn't cost anything.
I'm inclined to think when the name of the event was sold to A &B Courier Service, the Bob Hartwell Race for the Heart and Stroke Foundation might have contracted fund-raising out to a commercial fund-raising organisation. That would mean much of the money raised, pays for salaries and such. It would be another reason why they would not be entitled to a grant.But they got it anyway.
Then of course we all know about the "sponsorship" for the Commercial jazz festival in the park. They get the $975 user fee waived for the park and the bandshell. Plus a $4Ks hand-out. The operator is not a town resident.
So we have policies in place to govern grants. The purpose is to take the decisions out of politics. To ensure people are treated fairly and equally and not by having friends in positions of power.
But the policy allows the policy to be bypassed and politicians to make favourable or unfavourable decisions as the case may be.
The main difference now is they can't do it without you knowing about it.
Last year staff granted a sponsorship to the Jazz Festival without Council approval.
So,you see, while we convey to the world we have policies and principles that guarantee fairness and equality. .. in reality we don't even pretend to be fair.
Tax dollars are collected and distributed here and there in varying amounts and you are allowed to guess at the reason why.
Certainly no logic is offered because there is none.