"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

Saturday, 27 October 2012


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "RENEWAL":

"The Culture (sic) Centre issue is pending. I am not hopeful."

Hmm, do I detect a sense of resignation?

Resignation isn't the  right word.
We live under a democratic system; the majority rules .
It doesn't mean the majority is always right.  It means the minority will be heard.
Sometimes we do it right. Sometimes we don't
I use every tool I have to influence the decision.  I am not coy. Blog is a new and powerful tool in what is essentially a war of words.  
As well  other people's views, it influences mine. 
In St John's Newfoundland , at the time  the cod vanished, 
when things were tougher  than normal,St JOhn's Memorial  University carried out a project. 
They went to the  outports  with  video cameras  and invited people to express views about the problem and solutions. 
They returned  to the university, edited the film and went back out.  Participants  were invited to watch and  listen to themselves. 
It was like taking  thoughts out of their heads and putting them on a table, poking and prodding them to determine what was sound  and what wasn't. 
I often find when I  start a blog , it turns out to be something different. Blog forces me  to work at my arguments. 
I am against  having  independent  management for  Church Street School. The  experience of the last three years mitigates against  continuing the arrangement.
It  started  with exclusion of the museum from the building and concluded  with abject failure of the goal of self-sufficiency that underscored the principle of arm's length management. 
The proposed new agreement is an improvement but not much. 
Funding from tax revenue is still there.
Approval of a budget doesn't change that. 
Having two Councillors as members of an  independent board doesn't make the board  dependent. It  just makes the two Councillors independent of Council.
They will be unable to  function as Councillors, if a board matter has to be decided by Council. Unless of course, they oppose a majority decision of the board. How could that work ?
Insisting  employees of the board cannot be considered municipal employees  has peculiar  emphasis.
Library board employees are not  municipal  but public  resources   pay their salaries. They are therefore public service employees.
The draft agreement was recommended by staff to be "finalised"
and brought back for Council consideration prior to being signed.
Council  accepted the recommendation.  I disagree. 
If however, if the goal of self-sufficiency was re-instated, within a time limit I might re-think my opposition. 
I did not believe it when the consultant set out the theory. Actual  experience has done nothing to shake my conviction.  
But if Council is determined to  re-shape the agreement, there are suggestions to be made.
The Director should have more than oversight. 
Leisure service staff should  be re-located in the building. They are currently located in a storage locker. The town needs the space in Church Street School.  Staff  presence would provide security  and save on costs.
The Town Bulletin Board would provide for  program promotions. 
User fees for space should be charged  as in other town facilities.
For the purpose of obtaining donations by issuance of  tax receipts,
the charitable foundation board could continue. 
The agreement should be  annual . If  donations to cover the cost of programming are not forthcoming, the board should simply Sayonara . They have no other reason for being. 
Library service  is  century- established in  public support. Financial support for the service has never been challenged.
Library Boards are  governed by a Library Board Act. Some funding is provided but not enough considering the  status  of the service. 
Both the town's leisure services and the library board provide a variety of arts and culture services . 
There is no need for a third agency unless it is self-sufficient.                  


Anonymous said...

Councillor Thompson sand 2 confusing things at the last meeting. The first was a reference about the draft for the Center not being the ' final ' draft. The second was his announcement about preparing a motion for Council due to reports in the newspapers about the SLAPP verdict. Both comments are interesting. Not sure what either really means.

Anonymous said...

If you ask, I'm sure you'll find the insistence that employees not be considered municipal employees was most likely made by the Town's negotiators. Why would the Town want extra people on the payroll (probably at higher than present, pay equity wages), plus the responsibility of Town staff benefits packages (including an OMERS pension contribution)?

Anonymous said...

This entire subject has been talked to death and it should now be allowed to do just that.

Council should simply withhold any further funding starting now.

Council, in the name of the Town of Aurora, should take over the operation of the Centre and hire as direct town employees persons knowledgeable in such a venture.

Council might even consider hiring present Centre staff if they have the experience and express the desire to continue in their positions, recognizing that instead of a Board of Directors to whom they would be responsible, it would be to Council.

Surely this proposal would satisfy the basic desires of all parties. And if not, I would like to hear their specific objections.

Anonymous said...

1:04 PM, you do know that the new agreement is all but finalized, right? There is no going back to the drawing board. After Tuesday's meeting, even Cllr Buck has had to concede that.

Now, turn your attention to the music festival. That is a fight that she's winning.

Anonymous said...

6:20 PM
Do get off your duff & re-start your own Blog. You are not going to be allowed to base your campaign from Evelyn's Blog. Enough scrounging.

Anonymous said...

2:28 PM, do you ever get the feeling you're talking to yourself?

Anonymous said...

1:45 PM Nope. I now know exactly whom I am addressing.