"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

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

I trust everyone until they give me reason not to

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Since You Asked ,I will tell":

It's a volunteer board, 12:42. What extra costs?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 30 December 2014 at 15:00


It is a board that holds  meetings in private. How would it be known precisely how funds   received from the town are used. They received a grant from the trillium Foundation. They tap local business for sponsorships.

They are required to submit quarterly statements to receive their quarterly pay-out from the town.  in
How would that answer the question of specificity.

The question of employee privacy is pertinent. . Board employees are not town employees. The agreement  states in the event of dissolution ,board employes do not have status as town employees.

Think about that.  What do we know of conditions of employment that might not support that clause ? Are they members of  municipal benefit plans?

What if, when the Ontario Ombudsman receives authority to investigate validity of confidential meetings, will he decide. where public resources are being spent, meetings should be  investigated?

How would that all come out in the wash?

Did the board have legal counsel when the  second agreement was negotiated ?

What is  the staff complement ? What  titles.? Salaries? Are they better or lesser than  town employees?  Where do they fit in the grid?  What benefits?

Without knowing these answers how could it be known if  costs are higher, lower, or equal to  the town 's for similar service?

Is service provided at the Centre  exclusive to  Aurora tax-payers?

When the issue was first dealt with by the last council, Councillors received hundreds of  critical
e-mails from patrons from  a radius as far as Orillia .

The  Mayor expressed exasperation  when he spoke of centre staff involvement in the pressure campaign.

Only later  we learned he was attending board meetings unbeknownst to the rest of us.

At the Council meeting when notice of termination of the agreement was debated. The majority debated in favour of  termination.  The Mayor spoke more strongly and firmly than on any other  issue before or since.

Debate  concluded.
The only thing left was  to call the vote.
 It never happened.
The pause was palpable. Then  ,

what was clearly pre-planned , on a motion by Councillors Humfreys and Thompson the decision was reversed.

It  was early in the term. I believe Council was intent on doing what the voters intended.

But it didn't  happen. .  Instead the Mayor was meeting with the board unbeknownst to at least some.

Trust  is a treasured commodity.
It must be earned.
It can be squandered
Once tossed away lightly on the breeze
It can  never be recovered.

It was then he opposed a review of the agreement by the town solicitor.He said the solicitor had enough to attend to.

The agreement was found to be seriously deficient in the town's interest. It was re-written .and then ignored.

Regrettably it was the experience in many other areas as well.

The story unfolded as it  did.


Anonymous said...

The Board may receive no salaries although they can probably expense certain items. Staff has to include legal, accounting, secretarial at a minimum. The last Trillium grant was linked directly to the hiring of one individual.
I do find it interesting that they continue to require the town money be increased while sitting on a comfortable contingency fund which could likely be accessed during a bleak period. Sort of like the hydro funds where at least residents can hassle councillors if the do something stupid.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple of definitions of the word "culture" -

1. The integrated pattern of human behaviour that includes thought, speech, action, and artefacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.

2. The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious or social group.

From my standpoint, assuming the above are reasonable and accurate, the ACC is nothing more significant than a mouse attacking an elephant.

And yet we have endowed it with all sorts of magical powers, none of which it has.

Aurora and its fifty five thousand residents comprise the culture of our town, be it cuisine, language, sport, residence, automobile, manner of dress, you name it and it's all part of our identity.

I'm getting sick and tired hearing about our culture as if it existed only in a single refurbished building and sustained by taxpayers' money.

Let's try and make the ACC more inclusive of all, and not a little kiddies' club where a secret password has to be uttered in order to enter into a secret chamber for a secret meeting.

Anonymous said...

"And yet we have endowed it with all sorts of magical powers, none of which it has."

Hmmm, sounds like a certain ex-councillor, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

19:13- Ahhh...you're going to have to be a little more specific with the ex.... we've kinda had a few over the history of Aurora.

Anonymous said...

The agendas for the new term are going to be packed with special interest groups. I am hoping that we will see some spine from the Council. Certainly all the candidates heard about concerns about how town money was being spent. No one was elected to send artists to Paris or build a hotel in the middle to town. So I still have some small expectation that expenses will be reined in.
Colour me Dumb because I felt the same way after the last election.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder about that man who wrote a letter to the Auroran linking his votes to the return of the Jazz folks.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone out there really interested in this pathetic tale?

Why don't we start off the new year with a happy story or a funny one?

Let's park the politicians and politics in the barn, where they can ripen to their hearts' content.

Anonymous said...

A lovely bright sunny day to help wind up the year.
May we have a new one without cloudy meetings and blown promises of transparency.

Anonymous said...

Not the jazz folks who shafted the Farmers Market for funding to start up.Oh, with help of the former and an ex Clr.

Anonymous said...

I think we credit them with too many smarts when they were mostly going by instinct looking for the weak spots they could use.