"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

Something New

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Another Sample":

Once the dust settles, Council is going to have to examine whether or not their CAO has exceeded his authority in his dealings with the Cultural Center. From the outside it appears as though he was working for the Centre instead of for Aurora. That has to be sorted since it quite clear to all involved in this blasted mess that there was no free flow of information. This doesn't have to be done now, but it does need doing.


I can't publish this without an accompanying comment.

Keep in mind the circumstances in which this board and the agreement were created. It was not  done  during this term.It was not done by legal counsel or Councillors. It was done by the Mayor's friends. 

The last term was four years. Much of the first three years spent trying to silence all opposition within the council

The lament was frequently heard throughout the land:

 "She is trying to undermine everything  council  does.. She must be stopped."

When the first  plan  failed , the next was to move corporation business beyond the purview of council or part thereof.

It was not easy to do with an administration which understood  shared responsibility.

So the administration was changed.  I used to  imagine  an entry  arch  to the town hall;  large wrought iron letters affixed

"ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE" with tiny  flames of  hell curling, twisting and turning between the letters..

After original familiar faces departed , even new faces were in the process of changing.

Silence in the halls and corridors tangible with tension while everyone waited for the next screeching harridan episode that echoed like a banshee.

People with  children  and mortgages to pay, do not simply  pick up and move on. Good gigs are hard to find.

In municipal public service, there's always  hope for relief in the next election, accompanied by the fear of retribution  with change.

One must simply weather the storm and master wooden inscrutable facial expressions.

Change comes  and of course ....Who  to blame?  Who to blame? Who else  is left but staff. It would be so-o-o easy.

No use to say" The devil made me do it." though  truth can  be contained in that small  kernel of cliche.

I had not heard the board was meeting with the CAO until Mr.Layton made the statement in his call to arms. It cannot be ignored.

The statement,it seems, has been circulated throughout Ontario.

But it has not been confirmed. 

I knew the financial statement was submitted quarterly to the treasurer to obtain the next payment of funds. There was no obligation  under the agreement  to report any part of the information to Council. 

I believe ,the agreement was written to keep council in the dark.

The  CAO  was not  intended to be exercising control.

The plan to sidestep council authority continued. Agendas  appeared with no  substantive business.

Decisions were made and actions taken without the messy time- consuming business of  obtaining council authority.

A new Mayor took office and discovered an arrangement much to his liking.He knew nothing  different.

To my knowledge, he and the CAO, without direction from Council undertook to meet with the Historical Society. They came forward with a plan.

Now we find  from a supporter's e-mail The Mayor has attended Culture Centre board meetings. It may or may not be true.

If true...to what end...does he contribute to board deliberations? Provide assurance of support?

It would explain the  board's confidence in  mounting opposition to any council attempt  to change the agreement.

I do not know

But we do all  know the Board's plans ARE  to counter any  attempt  by council to change the agreement.

The battle was enjoined as soon as the notice of  motion was reported. Did the Mayor discourage the Board from challenging Council's authority?

I wish I knew.

Whose side is the Mayor on? Does he represent  Council or the appointed board? Can he represent both?

I'm  doubtful.

The situation is obviously more complicated than first appeared. Sometimes politics have  to run  their  course for  the game plan to emerge.

Just as it has. Every day...  sometimes two or five,  here-to-fore unknown details, come to light.


Anonymous said...

Just take care of yourself, Evelyn. Take whatever time you need and do what you feel you should do. Whatever will be will be.

Anonymous said...

If the CAO and Mayor Dawe were on top of this, we would not be facing this crisis situation. Unless they were unable to reach an arrangement that suited the Center. Going to be an interesting period and won't end, no matter how the vote goes, on Tuesday night. Serious house-keeping to be done.

Anonymous said...

That can't be right because it would mean that the Mayor and the CAO left Pirri and Abel out to hang . God, I hope they didn't do that!

Anonymous said...

"Keep in mind the circumstances in which this board and the agreement were created. It was not done in this term. It was not done by legal counsel or Councillors. It was done by the Mayor's friends."

"I knew the financial statement was submitted quarterly to the treasurer to obtain the next payment of funds. There was no obligation under the agreement to report any part of the information to Council."

It is becoming readily apparent that the Aurora Cultural Centre and its agreement with the town was created in a manner that has caused the present Town Solicitor to voice several concerns. These relate in part to the relationship between the two parties. It is possible to amend the agreement by mutual consent. If this is not given, and the concerns are of a serious enough nature, the agreement can be terminated upon the town giving notice of one year. All agreements provide for some form of remedy in the event of a dispute or inherent weakness.

What is even more startling is that the treasurer is approving quarterly payments of approximately $90,000 with no obligation to provide detail to members of Council. Where is there "no obligation?" Is it in the agreement itself or is the treasurer under no obligation to account to Council the detail concerning the annual disbursement of $360,000 of tax payer money?

The hysteria that this matter has raised will probably not get resolved amicably and on a rational basis. It is my feeling that a first class facility that provides for the needs and desires of all our residents in the cultural, historical and heritage areas is probably a goal common to all the foaming-at-the-mouth participants.

But because this debate has become so inflamed by irrational passion, it might be best, since we are probably witnessing something that falls within the scope of the Municipal Act, for the town to request a judicial inquiry in order to resolve once and for all how this building can be best utilized by all members of the community.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

8:10 PM
We cannot deal with 'sneaky suspicions'. The aim is to find out what has actually happened and determine if there is any remedy. Obviously there will have to be an investigation of some sort if only to see how such a mess of miss-communication came to exist.
If there was any doubt about the need to terminate that contract, it as been put to rest. A fresh start with new people is essential.

Anonymous said...

A round of applause, please, for Solicitor Warren Mar, Aurora's Whistle-Blower !