"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 23 July 2013

Guest Post Councillor Abel

John Abel has left a new comment on your post "Mathematical Conundrums":

I voted in favour of the cost to upgrade the Aurora Family Leisure Complex - AFLC. It is an increase in cost for the construction of an addition to the AFLC for a Youth Centre Facility.

The vote was 5 in favour, four against. It was the exact same vote taken in May (2013) when the budget for the facility was first approved.

To tear down the AFLC and build a Youth Centre from scratch, with a rink and pool would cost over $30 million.

To purchase land and make a stand alone Youth Complex would be at least $20 million.

As it is, the total cost is;

$4.8 million for Youth Facility ( May 2013 )
+ $2.6 AFLC upgrade (July 2013)
= $7.4 million ( plus permit fees ) Total

To postulate over $10 million is misleading. So is the statement - there is no public transit. The AFLC has designs flaws, but not structural flaws. Property taxes will increase, yes, but not due to the construction of the Youth Centre, or the AFLC upgrades.

90% of the cost is funded from DC's. For a term of 30 - 50 years, the construction of this facility will have little impact on property taxes. There will be additional funding from grants, community organizations, advertising revenue to help offset the Town's contribution.

The issue is not; are we going to pay.... it's are we going to pay now, up front, or are we going to pay more, a whole lot more later on.

How do we enhance our children's mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative and involved lives? By investing fully in children today, we will ensure the well-being and productivity of future generations for decades to come.

That is why we provide schools, libraries, and recreational facilities.

Today, we are using 11 different facilities to run the 145 youth programs.

Dedicated youth space would allow the Town to offer more diversified programming, which would gear more towards special interests (i.e. technology, cooking, theatre, etc )

A recent article in the Toronto Sun "it takes a true political Leader to invest in children, because children can't vote"

There is an obesity crisis among our youth.
Unsupervised, inactive kids are glued motionless to social media.

It is imperative to take an action when presented all the documentation. Delays and deferrals can cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Council's job it to be informed and to make decisions.

DC funding is available for recreational facilities, and a long overdue (since year 2000 ) facility has been identified by Staff ( 4 separate reports on Youth Needs ) The Youth Centre has been set as a high priority.

By combining and constructing an addition to the AFLC, which is an excellent location, we can save millions of dollars.

The AFLC is a burden left for our Council to address. It has to be brought up to code, and modified to meet the design shortcomings of a past Council decision.

Why did four Councillors vote against a Youth Centre in the first place?

Have they forgotten about our children and forsaken the next generation?

Tyler might be correct. This could be a 2014 election issue.

In 2010, the issue was a Town funded SLAPP Litigation, approved by the then Council, that was front and centre during the 2010 election campaign. That didn't sit well with the electorate.

In this case, opposing the Youth Centre is about supporting the same political agenda. Ignore the reports, mislead the facts, and create division & confusion. Only empty heads and empty hearts would adhere to that sort of rationale.

If we don't stand up for youth, then we don't stand up for much.

Children are a quality of life. When our children are happy, then we are all better human beings.

Why did I vote in favour?

It's about investing in an identified, well researched, facility, funded through growth revenues (DC's ) that provides services for our Youth.

Our community is better, more attractive, and subsequently drives up our retail property values.

An opportunity to invest in our Youth and our Community, that's why I voted in favour of the staff recommendation.

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Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by John Abel to Our Town and Its Business at July 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM


Anonymous said...

I would be much more willing to consider this project if it were not for that looming Heritage Housing Scheme. If Council would agree to turf that idea right into the garbage, they would have my approval. We cannot be all things to all people.

Anonymous said...

Why is it either or, 8:30 AM? Each project should be judged on its own merits. I think the youth centre and heritage park are both worthy of support.

Anonymous said...

To 8 :56 AM
That is your right. You were also in favour of continued heavy support for the Centre. Also your right but I have a vote at this table too. Regardless of where we each wish to spend our town's money, I resent bullying tactics wherever & whenever I see them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think debt and tax increases is worthy of support in this economy.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:56 AM
When Aurora's tax rate is as friendly as that of TO, then you may get on with your largesse. Meantime, paws off!

Tyler Barker said...

what political agenda why not build near the Aurora recreation complex hack. Tear down leisure complex And build a new facility for youth I would be more in favor of that even though it would cost more the leisure complex is about to fall over or have serious structural issues.
On the contrary it has nothing to do with agendas at least on my end and everything to do with a difference of opinion since my name was mentioned I thought I'd state my position by the way me and counselor able agree on a lot of things.

He has done a lot of good for this community and I plan on voting for him again. There are a couple issues that we 't don't see eye to eye on I appreciatehis passion and being very accessible to the public sincerely Tyler Barker

Anonymous said...

A side note to Mr Barker:
T'was you who introduced your name into the debate.

Anonymous said...

...and some people still wonder why most choose to comment anonymously.

Anonymous said...

10:37am.... only one person that comes to mind that still wonders... and he has not been seen online for a month

Anonymous said...

Through no fault on their part, the current Council are well on their way to be remembered as those who were
stuck with cleaning up the debris and fury left from the previous one. No single matter is as it seems. All come loaded with past grievances and old wounds. It make me want to sob at the waste of good people and their hopes. We had all wished for something new and clean.

Anonymous said...

10:37 AM
You do recall when posting your name on an Auroran blog became dangerous to your physical, mental & financial health?

Anonymous said...

8:38 AM
I have read all the comments. Tyler was also the only one that I can find to suggest he might have a political agenda . Freudian or what?

Anonymous said...

councillor ballard is on record as believing that all the ' youth ' of this town wanted was an empty warehouse with no supervision so they could just hang out & make noise.

Throw Down the Guantlet said...

7:21... And how are they doing in that quest?

I think that this council is just as bad as the previous one. What significant change have they made that improves the life of the average Auroran?

Free beer at King Henry's Arms for the first answer that convinces me!

Anonymous said...

7:57 AM
If I read the comment of 7:21 PM correctly, the point would appear to be that nothing positive has emerged from this Council. And I tend to agree that there is a lack of constructive projects and plans that might be able to make the councillors work as a team.

Tyler Barker said...

my reference to a political agenda was not in regard to Mr. Abel but in regards to his comment that people that are against the youth center all have one I believe his intentions on this matter are very sincere this will be my last post on the matter

Anonymous said...

Councillor Abel is now going to help fix the obesity problem with a youth among other things and right here in Aurora. This guy is way off the mark on most of his ideas.

I am glad he broke down the numbers for us - $5M for a youth centre. This is way out of control - beyond all reason for a place for youth to hang out.

I wish he and others could focus on the job they was elected to do. There seems to be a notion fostered by the Mayor that there are bags of money in the basement that must be spent. And you must spend hard because more is coming in every year that must be spent. If the treasures says we are short you tell him to figure the percentage increase required and stick it to the citizens again.

Anonymous said...

Did this Mayor really run a business that fixed problems for its clients? I just can't believe it. He looks and acts like a deer caught in the headlights. He has not shown any financial leadership.

I brought a problem to his attention. He agreed it needed a fix. Staff gave him all the reasons why it would not be fixed and he gave me a very very lame response.

I think he needs to go back to fixing problems for someone other than the people of Aurora.

Anonymous said...

What "problem" did you bring to the attention of the mayor?