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.