"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

Friday, 30 December 2011

Idle Hands

An anonymous edited and re-wrote yesterday's post. Twice. Forwarded it with the covering comment I would be unlikely to post it as it would break the spell I have over Aurora residents.

It's probably a fair indication blog is well received. The sentiment was repeated several times recently in less than Christmasy language. It's a good sign people are paying attention to what I have to tell.

I have mentioned several times the overwhelming influence staff and the Mayor have over council members.  It's not unusual. There's safety in numbers and following the leader is a natural human inclination.

But Councillors are individually accountable.Voters vote one at a time. Judgement starts from the time election results are known.

Allowances are made for learning.  A councillor who learns well validates the voters choice.

Budgets are key performance indicators. We are now on our second with  one left to go. The first was a major disappointment for most taxpayers including me.

We have spent many hours at it. Estimates have been approved as presented as per resolution prepared by staff.

I know Councillors intend further debate. I also understand staff's understanding of the accumulated votes. Final approval was expected to be achieved before Christmas.

At the last scheduled meeting, it was not accomplished. Staff's timetable was not achieved. Carte blanch rubber stamping did not happen.

Further debate was pending.

Then... Whammo...another meeting was slotted in days before Christmas.

I notified all and sundry of my discontent. I did not attend the meeting.

It was a low point. Me against the world. I decided Christmas was the best time to opt out of battle.

I boycotted a public planning meeting later in the week as well.

The calender of meetings will receive closer scrutiny by all in January.

I did not inquire about the results of the slotted in budget meeting. I did scour The Auroran though. Had to read almost to the last page to discover, despite best efforts of the triumvirate, the budget as presented was not given final approval.

The Mayor offered pending completion of the Strategic Plan as a rationale.

No matter.

I took comfort.

Council may finally have collectively decided they are neither subservient nor irrelevant.

They do have ultimate authority.

Lord knows,I keep hammering that home. In the kindest way of course.

Then, as often happens in a power struggle, a hand was overplayed.


Anonymous said...

"Lord knows,I keep hammering that home. In the kindest way of course."

Tongue firmly in cheek with that statement.

In the past you have rubbed most council members and staff the wrong way with your bull in a china shop methodology. You continue that with this council.

You have never heard that old saying that it is easier to attract bees with honey than it is with vinegar. You will never learn nor will you be a Dale Carnagie poster child.

Anonymous said...

"Me against the world"

... just the way you like it!

Anonymous said...

I do believe there is method to Ev's madness.
She is assured of standing alone, a voice in the wilderness.
In every situation she is alone ( or at very least, in the minority).
She is always on the sidelines shouting, " i was right. i told you so. i alone."
When the "others" make good decisions, it does not matter what Ev said.
Ah but when problems are uncovered that's when Ev rises to the top.

Anonymous said...

Some good could come out of this budget experience if the individual Councillors decide that budget should be all abut what Aurora NEEDS and nothing at all about what staff think Aurora needs. There is a world of difference between the two and I think, and hope, that
this has sunk in.

Anonymous said...

Evelyn, why don't some people get it? Why do they think for one second that your goal is, or should be, to attract bees? Your RESPONSIBILITY, as an elected official, is to follow the rules, and your conscience, and to exercise good judgement in the managing of the town's affairs. And when you see things that ain't right, you speak up, as loudly (metaphorically) as possible. That is what you do. And you should keep doing it.

The complete irony in this is that it is the people who try to attract bees that cause the trouble!

Anonymous said...

"You will never learn nor will you be a Dale Carnegie poster child"

Isn’t this the truth and thank God for it, with a mind set of Carnegie and the mask of a poster child this Town would have been saddled with another 4 years of reckless spending and pandering to every special interest that demanded attention.

Most of us would rather have a bull in a china shop and a rub against the bureaucrats any day when it comes to minding the public purse , Keep it up!!!!

Anonymous said...

Staff simply needs to acknowledge that every dollar they spend and every dollar they earn comes from taxpayers pockets.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 30 December, 2011 4:48 PM said

"Your RESPONSIBILITY, as an elected official, is to follow the rules,..."

Very true. Are the code of ethics a rule? Maybe she should re-read those.