"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 21 April 2013

I don't know

   Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "More of the story about Hidden Taxes":

Why wasn't the "usual complete background info" provided by staff to Council last week? Was it just a slip?

I  don't  know why. We had four-hundred and fifty pages  and twenty-six items of business to  get through. Plus we met at 6 p.m.  for an in camera meeting .W dealt with 2 items on that  agenda and deferred the third. 

Only one committee and one Council meeting was scheduled for March. We haven;t caught up with the  town's  business still. 

I left at 10.45 p.m. on Tuesday. The rest of Council went on until 11.28 p.m. and still didn't get everything done .

A seven o'clock start means by  ten minutes to  ten, people are slowing down and not really doig justice to the decisions they have to make. 

In the old days we started at eight and adjournment was 11.00 p.m. 

Then some bright spark probably thought if the start was earlier,the meeting would finish earlier.

Nope ...that's not what happens.

So... we had four-hundred and fifty pages to read and twenty six items to debate. There was an agreement of seventy five pages and one of sixty-nine to read. 

Several items were deferred  after I left the meeting. 

There was lots of background material. The skate board park was an item. The Recreation Director always has his  material complete, That one was deferred. 

The recommendation to top up maternity benefits so that  growing  a family doesn't create financial  hardship to the family was also deferred. I'm not even sure how that item got on to an agenda. The Human Resources Manager  recommended  it.

If I want  to put forward an idea  to Council, I have to put forward a notice of  motion; in writing. Two weeks later I have to follow up with a motion in writing. The motion has to be seconded by  another Councillor before it gets an  the table to be debated. And I'm an elected representative of the people paying the bills.

That reminds me, the job  of Customer Services Manager has been  posted internally. The pay is $88,000- $100,000 a year plus  benefits.

The customer service thingy was supposed not to cost us any extra . Now we are adding space to the town hall at a cost of a million to accommodate extra staff. One of whom is a manager of customer service at a very generous salary. What does a Manager of  Customer  Service manage?

We  dealt with  a recommendation on Tuesday to retain a consultant to do a study of service levels.
That was a motion from the Mayor. I askked what it was about, How did it differ from Custmer Service. Didn't understand the answer.

The $440,000 software program we bought a year and  a half  still isn't up and running and I've 
 lost track of how much more money we've spent on that since we bought it  and it would be hard to tell how many more people.

Anyway, to answer the question,I don't know why the background was missing. I didn't notice it was  with all the other stuff I had to read. I only thought about it afterwards when I thought about everything I'd heard . I had to go back to the agenda to see if it  was there before I   could say  it wasn't .

Weird space and bits of flotsam appeared at the end of the last  post. It doesn't mean anything. It wasn't meant to be. 



Anonymous said...

It looks like we might have a few decent days in a row. Try to get some sun before the hammer falls again. Our mallards are throughly confused. One moment they are getting a lovely shower and smiling as much as ducks are able. Twenty minutes later a curtain of hail is driving them across the yard in panic. Reminds me of a councillor or 2 but it's too nice to dwell on them.

Anonymous said...

Approx.October of 2012 I recall seeing reno to the old Thompson Furniture building in full gear.There is now a permit issued at the beginning of April 2013 posted on the front entrance.Have they been working without one til now.This is the same biz the Mayor keeps championing.

Anonymous said...

Used to be the Town Clerk did ' customer service '. Now you have all these jumped-up titles & jumped-up salaries. Same old taxpayers. the pretensions of grandeur were not here when we moved to Aurora. You'd think we were this great big important town, instead of a neat bedroom community with the shrinking tax-base.

Anonymous said...

5:15 PM
You are going to be charged with Reverse Snobbery. But I like that.

Anonymous said...

To 4:31 PM
May I suggest you take yourself to the Town Hall and ask your question about the permit or lack of permit ? Easy. Then we could maybe talk.

Anonymous said...

I am getting totally fed up with all the ' reverse snobbery ' stuff , the implication that people reading this blog don't know an arpeggio from an archipelago. It simply has to stop. Readers are quite capable of doing research on their own and there are no dummies up here. Cut it out.

Anonymous said...

A new Manager of Customer Service and a consultant to study customer service(proposed). As one of your responders said recently, "another flea-brained scheme".

This Mayor is a winner.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the staff per capita is growing faster than the per capita.

Tend to Your Own Knitting said...

Whoa, who elected 7:39 PM as class prefect?!

Anonymous said...

To 8:32 PM
I don't think you can land all of that on the Mayor. There are other councillors, especially Humfryes, who natter on about customer service and ' stake-holders ' as if there were floods of taxpayers requiring immediate attention constantly.

Anonymous said...

The agenda loads look large indeed and seemed to drag on and on the last meetings of both Council and General Committee. I also notice there is a "Special Meeting" of General Committee being called for April 23rd according to the town's website here: http://www.aurora.ca/aurora/index.aspx?CategoryID=63&lang=en-CA

I'm looking ahead and think this whole large meetings with several items to get through will occur again. Luck at July & August: No General Committee meetings scheduled as of yet and 2 council meetings instead of the usual 4. Someone at Town Hall needs to decide to schedule 4 council meetings during the summer to make the load lighter instead of making important decisions at 2 A.M.

Anonymous said...

10:43 AM
Surely the last Council's whacky late-night decisions should have warned the current lot of the dangers. I don't think any SLAPP suits would be launched at 10:30 PM, do you?

Anonymous said...

@ 11:19 AM

you would think they would have learned, but apparently not. Things were supposed to be different, but now they seem to be repeating themselves. Lawsuits should have been carefully considered. I wonder if there was a "notice of motion" presented for it. I somehow think not.

Anonymous said...

The Aurora Post Office is sporting a ' SOLD ' sign. Unless they only sold off the front of it, that could mean the loss of the sorting jobs at the rear. What does that guy with " Business Retention " do with his time?

Anonymous said...

To 12:14 PM
I have never seen a motion for it. Nor heard about the usual confirmation of decisions taken at a closed meeting. Certainly nothing for residents to notice. Their job was just to pay the bills, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Christopher has a nice post re alcohol history.

Anonymous said...

OK Did the Auroran Looks like you're good to go on the SAC matter.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Ballard is once more rattling his sabers in the Auroran. This time, he is determined to prove that Morris was badly wronged by the town. Vast conspiracy of everyone on his radar. When will he learn that Aurora believes the town was badly wronged by Morris and her sycophants ? The third Hallowe'en since that debacle has not yet come around and he is already trying to re-write history. Hey, our town is still paying their legal bills. Better he get on with his poll-dance with the King Communications pole. Gets him out of our hair.

Post or not, your call.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Ballard's latest quest is reminiscent of when the former Mayor was running for office. She made the burying of the hydro wires over on Bayview an enormous deal. Problem was that she had no control over it. Didn't happen & a lot of people felt cheated after the election was over. Councillor Ballard does not have control over what King decides to do. Although he would very much like to embroil Aurora in this mess. Maybe even drag our town to the OMB ? That boy really wants a lawsuit that he can claim as his very own.