At Tuesday;s Council-in-Committee meeting, I aske dfor the Culture Centre's 2011 Financial Statement to be published on the town's web site.
Provincial regulations require municipal annual audited financial statements to be published in a local newspaper.
Council were informed by e-mail a couple of weeks ago, the audited 2011 statement and reports had been received. Copies were attached. They would be scrutinized and reported by the treasurer at an early opportunity.
I tried to reproduce them here but it was a task beyond my skills.
The web site is not the best means of communication. Not all citizens have it available .
Anyway ,when I asked on Tuesday for them to be posted ,it wasn't clear that would happen.
I pointed out the operating funds come from the town
The facility keeps being compared to the library.
The library budget which includes previous years spending and revenues is a public document. Library funds for operation are provided when needed.
The Culture Centre Board is incorporated and separate from the town.
Therein lies the problem. The reason I do not favour of a new contract with the Culture Centre Board.
The purpose of creating a arm's length body is to free that body from political interference.There's a tendency for politicians to give preferential treatment in the hopes of winning friends and influencing people.
That cannot be part of operating a facility with a view to breaking even or ending a year in the black.
The problem arises from shoveling truck loads of money at the so-called arm's length body. charged with operating on a self-sufficient or even, dare we say it, on a profitable basis.
Itis a contradiction in terms.
It cannot be independent and self-sufficient while depending upon public funding which increases year by year, in a rent-free building with maintenance provided at town expense.
The municipality cannot transfer accountability for spending public dollars.
The library is different. It is governed by a Library Board Act. It was originally established as part of the education system. It is long accepted as a municipal service .
I do not agree the problem will be resolved with Council representation on the board.
As board members, Councillors will act separately and independently from Council.
They will not report to Council. They will not be directed by Council.
The problem of absence of accountability will not be resolved.
Whatever it costs to operate the facility, Council must be accountable, Council must be responsible.
Ergo,,, as long as public financial support is necessary to support the program at the school, public governance is required.
The contract cannot be improved upon. It must be scrapped and written off as a failed experiment.
Them's ma thoughts. As far as I know, I am solitary in this matter.
I believe my colleagues are hoping to come up with a solution that will please everybody.
I don't believe that's possible. I think it's time to bite the bullet.
But that's not going to happen either so far as I can determine.
Not unless people who are paying the bills have influence on people who are making the decisions.