"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

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

We Stand Our Ground

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Committee Members.? Not Yet":

Cllr Buck, coming out of the 28 Feb. meeting, the parameters, terms of reference, etc. are what was proposed to be settled by the March 27th meeting. You seem to be suggesting that the new cultural services agreement was expected to be ready at this time. Not so, but progress towards that goal has certainly been made.

Your desire for immediately breaking the contract full stop ('keeping the corporation safe'?!) is not going to happen, you have to admit.


This is an interesting comment. It's source can only be guessed.

What was properly before Council on February 28th was a multiple clause resolution,  moved by Councillor Able, seconded by Councillor Pirri.

Several speakers, including the Mayor spoke in support of the motion  with seemingly  rational conviction. 

The Mayor in particular, spoke at  length of his personal efforts over the past year to bring the problem to a resolution.

 He spoke of  dedicated  attempts by  town staff to persuade the  Centre Board the agreement was unsatisfactory and needed to be changed.

The Mayor emphasized the full extent of the  efforts and concluded they had all been for naught. He gave every sign of support for the Abel/ Pirri resolution.

After debate concluded , nothing more was needed but to call the vote.  It  was not called.

Instead a  change  was proposed,  To everyone watching , it appeared  to be  prompted by the Mayor.

The Chief Financial Officer was brought  round from the opposite side of the table to huddle with the Mayor and  CAO, to  work out
details of whatever they had in mind. 

There was no clarity.

It was not an amendment.

It was undignified maneuvering,and  degrading capitulation to the  manipulators and noise-makers. 

By sleight of hand , without  due notice, the Able/Pirri  motion  was neutered before our very eyes . 

Since the 2011 budget, I have opposed continuing funding a non-accountable board to use a  town-owned facility and  public resources  for  purposes  not  endorsed by the community.

I have not  presented a resolution to terminate the agreement. I supported one.

The Mayor has a web site. A move to present things  in a more favourable light , would best be presented on his own web site.

I assume that's its reason for being.

As is the reason for this post  to present  the town's affairs  as I see them.

Without fear or favour.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes what people see and hear is what they want to see and hear, not what was actually said and done.

Anonymous said...

To even continue discussing the ACC agreement is to dignify a nasty mean-spirited dispute between a landlord and sitting tenants. Aurora provides the building and funding and received nothing in return. No thanks, no good intentions, no co-operation - just anger, fear, threats, stalling and bluster.
Bottom Line: Aurora Real Estate and Cash Flow

Since Aurora is funded by resident taxpayers and supplies site and funding, it is in the landlord position. The ACC has nothing to offer in return, certainly nothing of use to the treasury. It is in the position of supplicant.
Check Landlord/Tenant law if the Mar Report was too complicated.

Anonymous said...

The PSCA entered into between the Town of Aurora and a group wishing to operate the Church Street School as a cultural centre is dated June 9, 2009.

A report by the Town Solicitor dated December 6, 2011, raised some concerns, pointed out some shortcomings and suggested that a number of modifications be made to the June 2009 agreement.

Before proceeding, let me state that a volunteer group organized itself into a structure, including a Board of Directors, and hired staff to develop and run affairs of the Culture Centre. For the most part these people have done a highly credible job and deserve to be complimented for doing so.

What must be recognized in all of this is that various artists, sculptors, musicians and other creative people have had made available to them a very handsome, restored old building with much history. It has been a part of Aurora for many years. The building was restored at a cost of $2,500,000 paid by the town and/or through grants.

It is traditional in the history of cultural activity that artists, sculptors, composers, writers and playwrights would not have been able to create the magnificent works that they did without the financial assistance of patrons. Think Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Chaucer and Shakespeare.

The same is true today. In a sense the Town of Aurora is a patron to all artists who are making use of the Cultural Centre. These creative people receive several direct benefits, that without the Centre they would not enjoy. They have available a significant and substantial building with superb display capabilities that allows them to present major shows of their art. Before this, they might have had to display bits and pieces of their creative work in scattered locations. They now have the ability to enhance the presentation of their work, and indeed, of themselves and create a better potential marketing capability that should improve the likelihood of selling their works, thereby generating significant potential revenue.

The same is true of performing artists, who are able to attract larger audiences than might have been possible before the Cultural Centre came into existence. Their performances in Aurora might lead to similar elsewhere and thereby generate significant potential revenue.

The Cultural Centre is an important asset to Aurora and its operation has been extremely successful. It does, however, require awareness that the town is a kind of super-patron. Cash financing is approximately $350,000 annually and since the town assumes the responsibility for maintenance and operating costs of the building at some $150,000, the annual patronage cost is $500,000.

Anonymous said...

What has been identified by the Town Solicitor in his December 2011 report are matters that would have been of concern to the patrons of the historical persons mentioned previously:

1. Town Council representation on the Cultural Centre Board.

2. Financial budgeting and projected operating costs, in advance.

3. The types and nature of the projects planned for each year, in advance.

4. A reglar review and modification of 3) above to better serve the public.

5. That the minutes of Board meetings be made available to the public.

6. That the Cultural Centre propose how it might, through various forms of fund raising, become
less of a financial burden to the town and how it might one day become self-sustaining

None of these are in any way a threat to the Culture Centre's operation, present or future.

It is difficult to understand, as reported, in this week's Auroran why a total of five meetings will have been held by the end of this week. If all the parties are working toward a common goal their job should have been completed by now, not just the Terms of Reference for the formation and objectives of of a Committee, but a new agreement.

For comparison's sake, if it were to take one meeting per $100,000 in cost, how many meetings would it take to approve the town's annual budget, which is one hundred times as great as that of the Culture Centre?

I must conclude by saying that I am quickly losing confidence in the great majority of the people who are participating in these meetings, and in their judgement.

Anonymous said...

I have had to send my comment in two parts because it had too many characters.

Can you not change this?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone swallowing this crap about numerous meetings? I'm gagging on it. WTF !

Anonymous said...

Maybe off topic...maybe not.
Danforth has remained solidly NDP, a credit to JACK Layton who represented the taxpayers and the ' little guys'.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you're right, 5:15, both the Town and the Cultural Centre board are lying about it. Messrs Dawe and Layton are just making it all up, and laughing at us behind our backs, no doubt.

It's all a ruse, how could reasonable, co-operative people dare sit down and actually talk?! Don't they realise that this is tribal, and never the twain shall meet?!

Anonymous said...

I have read everything that has been posted. And thought about it. Delay works to the advantage of the ACC. It costs Aurora money every day. Basic stuff.

Anonymous said...

We all deserve individual explanations in writing from Mayor Dawe and Councillors Humfryes and Thompson as to how and why they came to vote in the end.

As far as I am concerned this is beyond credible; it is almost extra terrestrial.

Anonymous said...

To 9:01

Great satire! Love it!

(Oh, you weren't kidding ... oops)

Anonymous said...

5:56 PM And Talk and Talk and Talk . There is nothing for them to discuss. Mar draws up a contract, council approves or not and it is signed or not. Talk-time is long since Past-time.

Anonymous said...

To 5:56 PM
You are the sole individual to apply the words " reasonable" and " co-operative " to those meetings. The rest of us must have missed a subtle nuance. We thought it was about ending a subsidy to healthy, well-off free-loaders unwilling/ unable to support their life style.

Anonymous said...

To 10:17

Was it "the rest of us" who filled the council chamber to overflowing on Feb. 27th?

No, I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

No, you wouldn't find the characterization of the talks as "reasonable" and "co-operative" here, would you? That's because the majority of the comments that Cllr Buck chooses to publish are from similar-minded zealots such as yourself.

Anonymous said...

1:39 PM
" Zealots"? In Aurora ? Wow! The sheer beauty and utter irrelevance of your rhetoric !
Oh, sorry, did you have a point to make about the discussions under way? Maybe a rough draft of a new agreement with the ACC that we could consider?

Anonymous said...

12:49 PM
No. Those people were ill-informed and led by a few of the old guard. Frankly we thought our Council was up to handling the bullies and most of us left the parking spaces and sound effects to the in-comers. We watched on TV and discovered our trust had been misplaced and that the bullies did indeed get Council to capitulate. No one was even considering Morris' former campaign manager might stage manage the event with Ballard and the ACC. Because we really do believe that Mormac has been vanquished regardless of the accusations you toss at us on Evelyn's Blog. This is all about right now and nothing to do with the past.
Is that simple enough for you?