The Mayor's weekly report regularly lists fun events. Like social convenor and communications wallah combined. There hardly seems to be a need for both.
Councillor Mrakas regularly uses Facebook to inform of matters he thinks are important. If all nine Council members were doing it ,that would surely be open lines of communication.
After reading Councillor Kim's reference to the Historical Society and Culture Centre's budget,
I tried to discover from the town's www which two Councillors serve on the Culture Centre Board.
Couldn't do it. The process must be simple and straightforward for me to use. And of course,
many residents are still not on-line from choice. Others are not using Rogers. They use satellite
Councillor Kim's query could have been partially answered. The Culture Centre contract allows the board to conduct business in closed meetings. A quarterly report is forwarded to the treasurer showing how the town's money was spent and he in turn, exercises his judgement and issues the next quarter's installment.
Council has no involvement except to approve in the next year's budget the requested payment for services.
The Historical Society receives an annual grant for no municipal purpose. They have no responsibility for museum, heritage collection or receiving donations.
A few years ago they opted out of a legal agreement to manage the museum because they only had fifty-nine members.
Since then the town has retained a curator, taken responsibility for the collection and taken over space in Church Street School for a museum. The budget is likely a couple of hundred thousand at least out of town coffers.
Still the Historical Society receives an increased grant every year.
Three years ago,the Mayor acknowledged continuance of the grant needed to be decided but budget deliberations was not the right time. Since then the grant has increased fifty-per cent.
Current President of the Historical Society is the same who promoted a heritage theme park for qHillary House and it's neighbours. The Mayor's name was first on the petition of support from prominent citizens.
Several tens of thousands and weeks of staff time were incurred before a consultant's report advised no financial advantage to the municipality. Like we needed an expert to tell us. Like we didn't have a mega-million dollar administration of experts on the payroll.
The same individual now has $75.thousand with annual increases from the town.This volunteer group has a curator on the payroll to do the work. Instead one curator authorised by Council, the town pays for two.
Councillor Kim's query on these matters could easily have been answered on the spot. The treasurer is certainly familiar with funding history.
But when he talks about solving unarticulated budget problems, he offers a reduction in town payroll as a solution. Even while hiring continues non-stop.
Last time they decided to save money ,they got rid of the Director of Administrative Services.
In a re-organisation, responsibility for administrative services was transferred to the town solicitor.
A Town Clerk was hired.
Since then,the CAO has flown the coop with much fanfare. The town solicitor exited the joint with no public attention. , The town clerk went off to join the Richmond Hill Municipal Legion. Human Resources Manager and the Communications manager simply departed, silent of kefuffle that we know.
I keep intending to quote some of the phrases and sentences the treasurer used convey funding shortfalls to council without actually speaking of shortfalls from spending funds they didn't have that now require drastic action to correct.
I keep being diverted by diversions.