"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

Thursday, 24 July 2014

It's A Mess

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "TWO TEAMS DO NOT MAKE A WHOLE":

I am not thinking in terms of teams but of numbers and the silliness of the exercise. If one more councillor were unable to attend for whatever reason, there would be no quorum ? No ? What then ? Would the skies fall ?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 24 July 2014 14:39


Council normally goes into recess in July and August. Input from the community during those months is a lost cause. 

Children  are out of school. Families plan vacations. 

There was no reason to assume every member of Council would be at home.

Council was not polled  for availability.

There could be no indication on July 14th how many candidates might apply to fil the vacancy and how much time might be required.

Staff recommended each candidate be given ten minutes to speak. Council  reduced  it to three minutes.

But we still  have provision for. each Councillor to ask two questions. No time limit either for questions or answers. Ten minutes could easily be exceeded by another twenty minutes per Candidate.

A Council Meeting. Meeting is scheduled to follow . A Bylaw to appoint will  likely be  prepared and on the agenda  for passage.

It seems clear plans were  cut and dried  for someone's convenience.

I am not aware of  any consultation with Councillors at large.

Eighteen people have been asked to  accommodate  the meeting schedule.

If it doesn't take place,all will have been inconvenienced.

If it does take place without the full Council a  fair process will be denied.

Regulation  requires the seat to be filled by appointment. The appointment process does not require a public  election.

Nor is it required to be done before August 23rd.

The skies will not fall if the appointment is not made on July 29th

But many will have been badly served  in the process.


Anonymous said...

It does sounds as if it has mushroomed out of control. But who could have imagined so many candidates ? And reading though the list from the Auroran, there do not seem to be any obvious time-wasters. All will have to be treated equally.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that whoever controls the time clock controls the meeting.

If one assumes that there will be 14 applicants who show up they will each have 3 minutes to
state their case for why they should be selected to fill the vacant council seat. This will consume 42 minutes except that after the conclusion of each candidate's statement and question and answer session at least one minute will be required for the just concluded person to make way at the podium for the next victim. So we are now up to 56 minutes, and this assumes a smooth transfer of positions.

Apparently staff had originally recommended each candidate be given 10 minutes to speak. This would have consumer 140 minutes, two hours and twenty minutes. Again this is a theoretical number as no provision was made for position transfers. But glory to council who decided that only 3 minutes to speak, the same total 42 minutes that appears in the preceding paragraph.

But the barn door has been smashed and the councillors are running wild, each with up to 2 questions for each candidate - a total of 28 questions - and apparently with no time limit for either the questions or the answers.

We are now into the area of quantum quantum, as potentially there are no limits to the time required to ask a question nor to the time to answer it.

It is conceivable that this meeting might drag on until the very late hours of the evening as the candidates are egged on by their respective cheering section, time no longer a constraint.

Will this entertainment be catered? Will there be a pay per drink bar, to keep the speakers' and questioners' throats suitably lubricated?

Possibly Aurora Council should approach Rogers, CBC and CTV to enquire if a potential broadcast interest might exist, sort of "reality tv - politics 101."

You know, I simply can't understand how something that seemed so simple at the outset has turned into low comedy.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, will Thompson be allowed to defer to staff for clarification, opinions and requests for staff reports on issues raised by candidates?

The citizens of Aurora need this exercise like they need a collective hole in the head.

Very wise for a councilor to have a "situation" that prevents his/her attendance. Perhaps there has been a sewer back-up at the house and the plumber said he will be there between 8:00 and 10:00 pm; but no guarantee so owner to stay on standby.

Anonymous said...

Since council has knocked down the time from 10min to 3min. to each candidate, it will be interesting to hear who will be asking questions to which candidate and what types of questions will be asked. The answers will surely be amusing. I’m expecting some great performances. I’m going to make sure I have enough popcorn and licorice to last me well into the evening.

Anonymous said...

16:55 - Don't think so much about the spending. Think about how code words, phrases and sentences look to those at,for example, the "Centre for Excellence" and maybe at the region. I can tell you they have special decoder rings at the Centre's headquarter. As you can appreciate, they have many reports from consultants and municipalities to ponder. These words and phrases score big points.

I can see our mayor and deputy with heads high making the trip to Ottawa (on the taxpayers' dime) to collect a prize and bring it home for towns folk to admire. Yes, a ribbon of standing could make it all worth while.

Please councillor make sure our annual dues are paid in full.

Anonymous said...

Is it going to be ok to hand out election material at this event ? Because I can see it turning into a feeding frenzy.

Anonymous said...

It's fairly simple to get an award if the applicants are limited. Scroll through the Canada Council grants & find one that applies.

Anonymous said...

There will at least be more people in attendance than there were to see to the open house for the joint-ops project.

Anonymous said...

There is still time to add some dignity to the procedure. Councillors should just scoot into closed session to vote - then report right away. No rules will have been broken.