"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, 22 March 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "That's the way the money goes ....Pop goes the wea...": 

Make no mistake, Al Downey has been driving the bus on the Cultural Precinct plan. He had the pedal to the metal on it, too - until the new CAO hit the brakes

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 22 March 2016 at 21:16

Well O.K....supposing you have the inside track and Mr Downey, Director of Recreation, was assigned to the Cultural Precinct Plan .  And supposing he was getting the job done, as you say "with the pedal to the metal " ...that should come as no surprise.

Mr. Downey was  Director of Recreation and Leisure Services until the first re-organisation under the previous CAO , within weeks of his own appointment. 

He didn't take enough time to determine how things were operating before he recommended the changes that transferred the authority of some Directors with credentials to others without credentials.

For example, the treasurer was assigned responsibility for Human Resources. A couple of years later the auditors suggested the inadequacy of financial operations were because the treasure was 
dealing  with human resources . The auditor did not understand the background. 

Under conditions of the times, it would have been foolish to imagine  re-organisation was the brainchild of the new CAO. 

Or the intention was greater efficiency. 

Downey's competence was politically inconvenient.  

In the last term , the  CAO assigned responsibility for overseeing the engineering contract for servicing Leslie Street lands to Downey, Director of Recreation. 

As always, when he was in charge, the project  was  completed on time and within budget. 

Unlike the addition to the Family Leisure Complex which isn't finished yet and was millions over budget. 

Downey took the crap for it  and wasn't even in charge.

Now we have a new CAO. Maybe he doesn't see any merit in the Culture Precinct Plan. Maybe he sees it for what it is .  A bunch of bafflegab. 

He should have been here when the town was prepared to spend twenty-two million dollars with the Town of Newmarket to entice a university to locate on our border. 

Or before that, ten million on a heritage style Disneyland on three Yonge Street lots at the north end of town. 


Anonymous said...

I thought that we were to stop using staff names here.

Anonymous said...

That was when she was still on council, 14:29.

Anonymous said...

If he did have the petal to the metal, he was told to drive that way.

Anonymous said...

He wasn't holding a bouquet, 17:03.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Who exactly is driving this bus? CAO? Mayor? Council?

Anonymous said...

Mr Downey is a Keeper. The members of council. not so much.
I have no idea how he manages to remain sane & focused. And he is always polite even when faced with the most ludicrous grilling & show-casing.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the Dawe years have seen the squandering of many hundreds of thousands of dollars on plans, schemes, and projects that have involved "professional" planners or consultants.

Whether it be the Hillary House "Disneyland" debacle, the Yonge Street sidewalk beautification to entice shoppers into the core, the present cultural precinct nonsense, all of these have been a complete waste of time and money and there is absolutely nothing to show for them. And the "shovel-ready" university might well be the biggest stupidity.

Can you or your readers name half a dozen "planned, consulted" projects that were actually built, on time and on budget during the Dawe years?

I doubt it.

The previous council and this one are not providing taxpayers with any value for money, and, in fact, are not providing anything, unless you consider an unnecessary six acre park "value." Despite a "Parks Plan" that shows it is not a requirement.

Thank goodness this council does not have to deal with frigates or fighter jets.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst this bubble but, two councillors are reported, and laying claim to the "precinct".

Anonymous said...

We got another set of competent ones taking care of those.

Anonymous said...

On a off-topic note
Ted Cruz is what one gets by crossing Elmer Gantry and Joe McCarthy

Anonymous said...

This is much the same lot as those who ' lost ' the Stronach Ecco Park and never even followed through on Mr Tree's rink idea. We cannot expect innovation here.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as though the Republican brass are going to select Mr Crz as their candidate. Could be fun to watch - from a safe