"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, 28 October 2012

There Is Work To Be Done

There are a number of questions.
Let's see if I can remember them all. 
There is no meeting on Tuesday. It's an extra Tuesday. The next meeting will be a general committee meeting. 
Decisions are not made in committee. Matters are discussed. A vote is taken and a recommendation is made to Council. 
That's always a week hence. Time for a Councillor to  hear from the community, do  more research. dwelling on what has been said and possibly change one's mind.
Recommendation  to approve from Committee  does not always  succeed in Council. 
Three Councillors did not support  finalization of the draft  Only  two more are needed  for a majority. Which would be to continue with  the current contract.
I am not in favour of that.
It's the position of Councillors Gaertner and Ballard. 
Councillor Thompson's commented  the decision is not final.  Council  directed staff to finalize a "draft" agreement. It still has to return to Council for approval before it can be signed. 
It has to be taken back to the  Arts and Culture Board for the same reason. They were  the second  party in the negotiations that took place over the summer. 
When it comes back. I will not be voting to maintain the current agreement. I will propose amendments to the  new agreement. 

Councillor Thompson has  indicated he will prepare a notice of motion related to the court findings that a legal action taken by the town and paid for by the town was  found to be SLAPP
It means, the  municipality  took Strategic Legal Action to Prevent Participation. 
For that we have to thank six members of the former  council who  discussed and approved the action behind closed doors while an election was in progress. 
The resolution on the Music Festival was to direct staff to prepare 
an invitation for proposals  from interested parties.
Much is made about my personal animosity towards the Jazz Festival Organizers. 
From the beginning,I  objected to fees being waived. To grants being provided. To a fence being placed around the town park to keep people out of their own park for three days. To  ignoring notification by the town solicitor, that under no circumstances were people to be denied access to washrooms. 
To people being denied convenient access to public washrooms.  To others enjoying a breakfast sandwich at a picnic table in the park, being ordered out by the festival organizer. 
To the Rotary Club and the Optimist Club being asked to surrender  hard-earned proceeds of their labour.
I have challenged the right to permit vendors in the park and  pocket permit fees of $600.  from each. 
The contention  the purpose of the festival is to raise money for charity. 
I have insisted over and over, the Jazz Festival  is a commercial endeavour to the point where they no longer received a financial hand-out.
I made an issue of the pointed insult  when the town's first citizen  was excluded from a list of dignitaries in attendance
As an elected representative, I have only one loyalty. It  is to good and proper fiscal management of the  town I represent.
To ensure stakeholders  obtain value for  every dollar spent.
To see that  hard-earned  resources do not flow easily from  town coffers to the advantage of  this group or that, leading to scanda
and resentment within the community. 
I am not always successful.
But I try. 
I make no bones about it.              


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to imagine a scenario where all Council members were "seeking re-election" and had to participate in a public debate explaining their positions pro and con the several subjects you refer to, with a degree of focus on the expenditure of voters' tax money.

Those who receive a "thumbs down" would have to resign their seats.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information about the meeting schedules and for explaining Councillor Thompson's proposed motion. Tuesday looks like a bad weather night anyway. Have a good evening off.

Anonymous said...

This storm is looking very ugly. I think we can expect to lose power. Haul in the light furniture and get out the candles. If you have a real fireplace, get some dry wood close to the house.

John Abel said...

How many of us have heard from our children at one time or another, the rationale " If you don't buy me, or let me ....... (fill in the blank), then you don't love me "

Councillors Gaertner and Ballard often say, and I'll paraphrase " if you believe in Accessibility and Transparency, then you'll support our point of view"

I tire of hearing; if you don't support the Jazzfest and their request for funding, then you do not support Arts and Culture in your community.

What started in 2009 as a single day of music in the Town Park has morphed into 3 days, with 3 performing stages, and 60 vendors. A compound, encompassing not just the Bandshell, but also the Park and the baseball diamond, It is completely secured by fences, for 3 full days on the August long weekend and cost the residents $5 each day to enter.

Councillor Buck is absolutely right when she states that is not what a public park is to be used for. It is free for the public to use at their leisure.

Suppose I am a promoter, selling water bottles, when purchased and utilized, can save the environment from harm. Could I not rent the bandshell, fence the park and ball diamond, fill the area with vendors of all sorts, like energy saving windows, photo electric technology, chiropractic services, kids toys and some food vendors. If you do not waive my permit fees, then obviously you are not an environmentalist, and thereby are advocating for the destruction of the earth. Don't you care about our grandchildren?

Let's throw in that this Promotion organization has a political agenda as well. They will not partner with the Town, the Mayor or several of the Councillors. They are political and they are disrespectful.

I was excluded from volunteering at the Jazzfest in 2010. I supported and voted in favour of a $5,000 grant last year in 2011. I participated in their fundraiser this year at Jonathans. We have demonstrated support. We have attempted to collaborate with these people. It's possible we could have worked out issues. They have chosen not to include us.

The jazzfest have stated that they have developed and promoted this event. They have worked hard, with volunteer help. They have branded themselves as a top 100 festival. They have branded the event on the August Long Weekend.

I agree.

However, they would be wrong to assume that they are automatically entitled to the use of our Town Park as part of the branding for their event.

It is not a Town initiative like the Ribfest or Concerts in the Park.

And if you exclude members of our community based on your political agenda, then take it to private property.

Council has voted in favour, to entertain bids from other parties in our community, on what they may have in mind to provide local entertainment in our Town Park. I've got no problem with that. It is in the best interest of our community. Especially if it partners with the Town's 150th.

I read now, that the organizers, a Clowncillor and Councillor Ballard are accusing the Mayor, Councillor Pirri and myself of destroying the Jazzfest.

I say to them; Look in the mirror, that's who's responsible.

Anonymous said...

And keep trying, you have more support than you can imagine ,

Anonymous said...

I heard they are looking to take it to King Township (you know, the place where they live).

Anonymous said...

If Aurora had a by-law to the effect that only town-sponsored events are permitted in the town's parks this whole subject might just fade away - perhaps to King.

And yes, that would mean the town would have to be a sponsor of the Farmers' Market, which it probably already is.