"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

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

It's Not The Deal

Anonymous comment:

 Maybe it's easier to support a youth centre when you were a teenager only a few short years ago and not during World War II.
I support a space for different activities.
Not for a particular demographic. 
Not the  same old. same old  fitness programs  we keep on duplicating.And cooking classes for goodness sake.
I think computer designing programs like Chris Watts talks about, and music and dancing and drama  and play-writing and short story writing and chess and sound studios and  opportunity to grow and continue to learn and a building that's central and alive with people of  every  generation. coming and going from morning until night.
I think fun and leisure and a life well lived  is  a worthwhile endeavour . The opportunity to excel  and gain confidence and status within one's home community.  
I think to-day's young adults will  keep the same interest as they advance through life  in the same way  people always have.
They should not be treated as children. There should be expectations and  opportunity  provided to meet them.   
Council passed a resolution a year ago to direct staff to report  on action  to  deal with the surplus buildings on Victoria  Street. 
With a view to replacing them with a  new and dramatic  centre  to meet  the combined modern concept of leisure , earning a living  and living one's life.  
Last night, despite that direction, Leisure Services Director revealed the Executive Leadership Team is considering new uses for the old library. Council did not authorise that.
The 2013  budget has two items for a new roof and an HVAC system.  
I've been  informed, contractors were busy in the building during  summer months making renovations.
 It's  as though,  there is no elected body.  Only an Executive Leadership Team  running circles around us. 
It's hard to  persuade Councillors who don't know what was, to understand how things ought to be.
But I think realisation is beginning . I think Council  needs to hear  and be encouraged by you  as to your expectations.
There's time yet.     


Anonymous said...

"With a view to replacing them with a new and dramatic centre..."

No, I think that was your personal view. Your 'pie in the sky' proposal didn't seem to gain any traction around the council table.

I'm glad that the Town's centenary project building won't be demolished. We're losing too much of our built heritage, as it is. The town council shouldn't contribute to that deficit.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Councillor Gallo hasn't pounced on the work at the Old Library. I recall his anger at one company for cutting down trees on it's own land & then again over the construction of tennis courts. Where is Detective Gallo when we need him? I believe he might holler if the Leadership Team has stepped out of line.

Anonymous said...

Evelyn, you say things like this all of the time... "It's hard to persuade Councillors who don't know what was, to understand how things ought to be."

Why is it that what was should be? Things evolve. Municipal government evovles. Just because we did someting 40 years ago a certain way means we should still do it.

You really need to take a step back and look. Change is not a bad thing and if it get's things done, it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Your three posts of today prove a point that I have been making for years.

When it comes to major capital projects elected officials at all three levels are generally clueless.

They simply do not know, and thus are forced to rely on consultants, designers and architects.

MP's know nothing about the technical design, requirements and costs of a fighter jet. And so they listen to and are influenced by "expert" opinions from the Department of National Defence and the myriad of these. Eventually they conclude that if all of these people say that this is the fighter jet for us, they vote in favour of it, even though they have not the smallest understanding of this aircraft or the possible alternatives. The alternatives are never highly discussed or promoted.

But should these same MP's face a debate concerning a subject that they all understand and with which they are all familiar, they all dig in with tedious and protracted speeches, wasting time and ultimately the public's purse. All this over the price of pencils.

By your description of some long standing capital projects, councils of old were no wiser that is the present one. Those bygone councillors were led astray just as easily as the existing ones.

There seems to be no real concept of what is essential to a youth facility; even the youth do not know. Some of the ideas being bandied about sound as though they had escaped from an asylum.

There is much in what you have written to which I could respond and comment, but that would take too long and probably fall on deaf and ignorant ears. It makes no difference how well intended some of this is.

And you are quite right. The operating costs must be estimated and analyzed before any capital project is approved. How many years will pass, all too briefly, before the Centre's operating costs - just for the building at $150,000 per year - exceed the capital outlay?

It seems to me that the Executive Leadership Team should be put on a very short leash, and the authorized expenditure without specific Council approval in advance should be dropped from $50,000 to $5,000.

Possibly councillors have no talent for or experience in administering the expenditure of money, especially public money. Although each of them should be able to understand the concept of a budget, funds available for spending and those required to be saved. They all are a part of a household where such things are as matter of fact as breathing.

Anonymous said...

Communities evolve, governments don't

Is it really overly difficult to understand that town revenues generate just so many dollars, and we have to live within those amounts?

Capital assets deteriorate over time and provisions must be made for repair or replacement.

Staff need to be directed by Council vision, if there is such a thing, and held accountable for all expenditure.

Anonymous said...

Not all councillors are visionaries, 5:08 PM.

Anonymous said...

I think Councillor Ballard will rain on the youth centre. He originally suggested a vacant warehouse. This will likely offend his sensitivities as well as those of his dog. Somehow I don't believe he was consulted. Will have to wait and see next week but so far I see only the Mayor and Councillor Pirri comfortable with the larger concept.
Oh, and staff, of course. But then they don't live here and a few of the top ones haven't even worked here for very long. What do they know about Aurora's sad lonely teens who isolate themselves?

Anonymous said...

6:06 PM...

Our council consists of "Peripheral visionaries"