"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

Monday 30 April 2012

New Broom Just Scatters The Dust About

And in the interest of full disclosure, I would move that any organization that receives a substantial amount of funding or subsidy from the town be required to post audited statements and KPIs online. This would include the seniors’ centre, library, AHS, sports clubs, swimming clubs, Theatre Aurora, etc.

The public has a right to know about all of these expenditures, don’t you agree?
Last week , I requested 2011 Financial statement from the Church Street School operation be published on the Town's web site.

Councillor Ballard immediately responded  as copied above.

Council  has not long  completed the 2012 budget  The second  adopted by the current council.

It may not be easily understood by the average taxpayer but it is a public document and I believe posted on the town's web site.

Councilor Ballard's comment allows  me to focus on a couple of items.

The Library Board  budget is a public document. Presented to Council at a public meeting. Several times. The service  has certainly  been long enough established to be assured of public support  Council has authority to reduce the budget if they so desire. Any move in that direction would be publicly debated.

The Seniors do not enjoy heavy subsidization from the town. All users pay a membership fee. Last I heard it was $24. or thereabouts. Almost all of the fee  is transferred to the town as revenue.

The Seniors Association enjoy exclusive use of parts of the facility

The greater part can be and is permitted to other users. when not in use by the Seniors. Cost of operating the facility is proportionately charged to the Seniors.

Unlike culture  users  Seniors do not receive free space, free maintenance, a $356,000 grant  increasing by 3% each year plus a matching grant for all funds raised  from  fund-raising activities.

I am not aware of any grants or heavy subsidization provided to sports clubs or swimming clubs .Swimming clubs, by constant  use, contribute to  the bottom line of operating  swimming facilities.

 Free family swims are sometimes  sponsored. Swimming is not  inexpensive. It's out of reach for many families .

Theatre Aurora receives no subsidization or grants.

Fifty years ago, a derelict building was transferred to the town for forgiveness of a minimal tax bill and  for the purpose of a theatre.

With hard work and commitment  the group have created a small bijoux theatre within the community which provides entertainment
for drama enthusiasts, and opportunity to thespians among us, that costs the town nothing.

The exterior  of the building  is maintained at public expense when   need arises .

Volunteer hours in the millions  have been contributed to appreciative Aurora  audiences for more than fifty years.

Oddly enough,  last time they were a target of  "new broom"Councillors, was the 2000/2003 .. Former Councillors  Kean,  McEachern and  Vrancic  were  concerned they should  "pay their way." 


Anonymous said...

Councillor Ballard would, of course, want to include any monies received & still being received in legal expenses by the former council in his tally? That would qualify as a ' substantial amount of funding or subsidy from the town '. His own words.

Anonymous said...

Does the Councillor always dress in blue?

Does this influence his thinking?

Anonymous said...

According to Ballard's Face Book, he and his dog Toby were ' mad as heck ' about Aurora's high taxes. Last time I looked, dog's didn't get to vote on tax expenses. Toby's owner had a vote and sent our money to the Centre. First he tries to blame his dog, now all the other organizations in town. HE has the vote and used it. No more animal abuse in Aurora. It isn't Toby's fault.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Councillor Ballard breaching the terms with Face Book? I don't have an account with them but recall reading that you were forbidden to create accounts for non-existent identities. Don't suppose that stops anyone but he does fling a lot of mud on others. Maybe some clean-up of his own is in order?

christopher watts said...

Regarding Clr. Ballard's Facebook Faux Paws I posted a screengrab and outlined the T.O.S. he violated in a post here:

Facebook saw the violation and terminated the account.

Either Clr. Ballard doesn't read Terms of Service, does not have a strong attention to detail, or doesn't care if he meets the terms or not. I don't care which it is, none are qualities I desire in a member of council.

Actions speak louder than words, and coming from a self-professed Communications professional it certainly reduces any credability he has in areas relating to responsible online identity, legal agreements and differentiating between right and wrong.