"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 24 April 2012

In Point Of Fact

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "My Sentiments Exactly":

It's all in the semantics. We are not talking about a Youth Centre, but about a building where youth can find their place with the rest of Aurora. Need a new working name for the building as it progresses to correct this discrepancy.


Actually the building and  gathering place within  for teens, is just an idea.

Two separate motions to demolish the buildings and build something new are before Council to-night. Without a  seconder or sufficient support, they go nowhere.

If they are approved, there are next steps.  I am hopeful.

The first motion is for demolition of existing buildings.  The second  is to contemplate using the  hydro sale asset  to provide a facility we would  never contemplate as  a tax burden .

The second is to give  notice to the community and opportunity for input on  use of the hydro reserve fund. It's ours to spend as we see fit.

Paving Wellington Street  is not an option. . 

Also before Council tonight is the consultant's report on  various options  and locations for a youth facility. The  need is identified in the Master Recreation Plan adopted during  the last term.

It has also been identified in the calculation of development charges . When a specific purpose is identified, the funds must be used for that purpose and no other. 

That fund is currently dry . The charges are paid when building permits are issued. 

Almost $14 million  are in the cash-in-lieu of parks reserve  fund. It does nothing but grow. It's the money taken from business development.  Because they do not create a need for parks, we take  money from them instead. .

It can also be used for  recreation purposes. Or it can be borrowed from  for the youth facility until the development charge fund is replenished. 

If the youth facility is approved  ten per cent of the capital cost must come from taxes.

I am not sure how to vote on the  recommendation.  I'm torn.

The facility will be a dedicated youth space. But it will be designed to be shared. If  youth don't use it, it will be used.

My concern has been reflected among  comments received. I am encouraged.

The staff proposed facility is first and foremost, practical and best use of resources. It's how public funds should be used.. It's good stewardship. 

 But   I don't think it will fill the gap I see in youth services. 

We have arenas and gyms and organized sports. We have high  schools and extra-curricular programs. We have affluent families who  provide cars and cash  for bus fares and private recreation. 

What we don't have is a gathering place where teens can just be. Safe and in touch with each other, during a time in their lives when they are trying to find their way.

Times change. That's for sure. But teens don't.

 Growing up is hard to do. Hard on them and hard on  parents.

I think we could make it  safer and easier.

I'm willing to spend  hydro asset funds to include the possibility in a new building on Victoria Street

If we build it and they don't come,we'll think of something to lure them. We are their friends ,are we not?

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