"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 February 2011

Go Ahead...Ask Me

The post about "sponsorship" for the Jazz Festival triggered significant response.Many questions were posed to which I will try to respond.

Was $5K granted? No.  Council approved a motion to provide $4,230K.

Prior to budget approval, all requests for spending are normally referred to budget.  That didn't happen. An oversight no doubt. But since the budget is not yet approved,I will be interested to know if a cheque has already  been handed over. Before the community has had an opportunity to voice their opinion and before we have even collected the money to pay it out.

Why do we not ask Boy Scouts and Girl Guides to disclose finances?  Because they do not  ask  for a  hand-out of  $5K of   taxpayers money.

Thet don't demand we tax people to hand money to them.

Why don't we ask other groups to provide financial statements?  We do.  User fees do not cover costs of operating town facilities. In order to receive subsidised rates , groups must establish memberships are mainly town residents  and they are  not commercial operations.

If they are commercial ventures, they can still use the facilities. They may even use prime time. But   they pay a  higher rate which  helps subsidize community programs.

Why look for trouble before it happens?    It has happened before.    A fund-raiser for the July 1st Parade held annually at The Aurora Legion  paid for the parade. Until March 2008, when the event declared no proceeds. Despite having solicited donations for a silent auction and charged admission. Several live professional bands provided the  entertainment.  No doubt paid at scale.

What's the matter with promoting a jazz concert with good music,for the enjoyment of an audience. Nothing at all. As long as you call it what it is. A concert promotion, in a venue for musicians to ply their trade and receive fair and just compensation for their performance from an audience that values what they have to offer and are ready and willing to pay for it.

Guaranteed share of the gate paid under contract to the venue owner, the municipal corporation,,  and all risks and liablities undertaken by the promoter.

Don't pretend it's not for pecuniary advantage, or it's in support of charity, or  for necessary education and enlightenment of the unwashed masses or it's a volunteer effort primarily for the community's benefit.

Don't ask free use of facilities normally  paid for by user fees.

Don't fence off public space that belongs to the community and charge admissions.

Don't hire security guards to keep people out of their own park.

Don't order an elderly couple ,enjoying a breakfast sandwich at a picnic table in the park, to get out of their own place.

Don't bar access to the public washrooms,when you have received precise directions  not to.

Don't order town staff, to order port-potties for  children in the water park because the washrooms are yours for the day by virtue of paying a user fee for the park, by way of a sponsorship provided  to you by the town without council approval.

Don't describe a five foot high continuous chain link fence around the park as  normal  requirement  for a  beer garden to satisfy LCBO regulations.


Don't take me for a fricking,flinching, febrile ferret of a fool, afraid to voice my judgment that you should never ever be permitted space or have any part in fund-raising for any purpose whatsoever in our town again.

Not now. Not to-morrow. Not ever again.

If anybody takes  that as  an indication I think such barefaced ,bold as brass and twice as brazen tactics as we have witnessed are not acceptable in our community.

Well, you are not wrong, my friends. You are definitely not wrong.

Furthermore...I do not speak for myself alone...or have you not noticed?


Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the cause.

The truth must be told.

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore...I do not speak for myself alone...or have you not noticed?"
You're damn right Councillor Buck! There are plenty of us who feel exactly as you do and we are getting pretty pissed off at the same old, same old tactics and machinations.