"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

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Another Sample

Dear Mayor Geoff Dawe and Aurora Councillors,

I am writing to express my disappointment with Councillors Paul Pirri and John Abel who intend to table a motion to invoke the termination clause in the Town's five-year signed contract with the Aurora Cutural Centre at Feb. 28th's Council Meeting.

I have been a long time resident of Aurora, since 1981, and the Aurora Cultural Centre has been one of the best ideas to keep the Arts alive in this area! It is much more than an idea. Many people worked very hard to transform the Church Street School into what it is today, a beautiful facility to display art, attract musicians, showcase Aurora's rich historical past, encourage the public to take courses, etc. The staff continues to work hard to provide relevant attractions for residents of all ages. The popularity of the Centre speaks for itself! Never have I seen people use this building like I have in the past three years since it became the Aurora Cultural Centre. Why would you want to terminate something that is of benefit to all?

Personally, I would be very upset to see this contract terminated. I have used the Centre on many occasions, taken courses there and attended functions. It has enriched my life and I would like to have further opportunities to partake in events organized by the directors and co-ordinators.

The Arts are IMPORTANT, just as important as parks and recreation (sports), environmental issues, the library, and the list goes on. Please reconsider the motion that is about to be tabled. It could adversely affect something that is truly important to many residents of York Region.

I picked the above because the writer claims long-time residency of Aurora.

How many times have I told the story of the purpose of the town's investment of millions into the renovation of Church Street School.

About the Historical Society's fund raising campaign and retention of architect specialists to design the museum. Of $750,000 grant obtained and used to create the controlled environment necessary to protect valuable artefacts.

I provided the facts so many times,readers complained about having to read it over and over.

I talked about it at every opportunity. Wrote letters to the editor.

The issue has been discussed again and again since the 2011 budget

The e-mail campaign to support the Culture Centre Board and staff, launched by the board against the Council has produced some surprises.

I have responded individually to most e-mails.Now I am calling a halt.

If they were sufficiently disinterested in town affairs to be able to write with knowledge aforethought, they are not likely to be interested in facts now.

The e-mail authors stick essentially to the script mapped out by Mr. Layton. The Board is doing an amazing job and staff are simply divine.

They critically identify the two Councillors who put forward the motion to deal with the problem.

They deny there is a problem.They know there's nothing that can't be worked out without knowing it has been tried.

They appreciate the beauty of the facility but know only what they see.

Probably half who responded to Layton's call do not live in our town. Do not pay our taxes. Have no idea of principles of equity between users of facilities.

Any suggestion that factors other than their own interest might be relevant to the question, would undoubtedly be dismissed summarily.

They have no idea of what went before. As though they have lived in the rarified atmosphere of some other place. Lofty condescension permeates the tone.

It will be interesting on Tuesday to see how Council responds.


David Heard said...

I believe the contact should be terminated immediately and we start from scratch.

The building was renovated and substantial fund-raising campaigns were ongoing for a museum at The Church Street School.

Developers such as Wimpey Homes gave donations for exactly that.

Imagine me finding a newspaper clipping in a book that belonged to a (decades past) Mayor of our Town and there it is in print from the Banner.

"For a museum at the Church Street School location".

The clipping was from 1980 I believe.

So I guess If you feel so moved you can just change history even though others have supported it for decades.


Anonymous said...

Pirri and Abel are doing that for which they were elected and those of us who voted for the new Council are not going to get into a fight with those who did not. Three votes are likely dead in the water. The rest were all elected with hope running along beside them.
The paper work shows the Cultural Centre has no case to remain the sole non-producing tenant of a great building. And,make no mistake. This battle is about cash and real estate, both entities owned by the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

AS Geoff Dawe asked during his run for Mayor, and I sincerely hope he has not forgotten, in replying to a question about allowing excessive taxpayer money to be spent without explanations, " What part of 'no' is it that you do not understand?"

Anonymous said...

No one can predict how another will react to a hostile crowd. But, with the 3 exceptions-you can't win everything-Aurora elected intelligent people who will likely resent being bullied. And the e-mail campaign is certainly a form of bullying by people who didn't cast their ballots for the sitting councillors. In some cases, they live outside the town and are drawing money from it. Pirri is young but from a hard-working family with strong roots. Sandra is in a 3rd generation Aurora family. All the older ones have business experience, enough for them to read the figures and realize that they have to act decisively.
But, a hostile crowd can be frightening.
The losers won't even realize that their hostile crowd is quietly living right here in town waiting to finish the job begun in the last election.