"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 20 August 2013

Guest post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A rejected comment":

While there may be a perceived difference in one's functioning in public life as opposed to in private, i.e. in business. this does not necessarily mean that one act one way in public and another way in private.

If the mayor is the CEO of Aurora, he has a Board of Directors (councillors) and a group of executives who act as department heads

In business the CEO and Chairman of the Board has fellow Board members and various officers, President, several vice-presidents, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, human resources head, purchasing, manufacturing and sales.

In order for the CEO to be successful he must be a leader of people and fully understand the nature of the company's business in the context of its place within its industry and that industry's place in the greater, global economy.

The public CEO must administer the services and facilities that are reasonable for a town of a given size within the context of the money available. He gets to meet his shareholders every four years for their assessment.

If he is successful as a leader it will be because he can talk with his fellow Board members, his officers and his staff, and can listen to what is being said and can make a case for what they are saying, and if he doesn't agree he must be able to convince all of them that his suggestion will benefit the company more.

Business is all about making a profit and making a company expand and grow. Ultimately the shareholders will determine the success or failure of the CEO. There are several very interesting situations with companies as diverse as Dell Computer, Herbalife, JC Penney, and Apple that are actively in the news. In Canada Blackberry is struggling for survival and Telus, Rogers and BCE are all fighting the federal government for its offer to Verizon of a huge subsidy to join the fray in the telecoms business on ridiculously generous terms.

The only difference that I can see between a CEO of a public or private enterprise is that the public CEO does not have a place to hide if he makes a stupid statement - it is out there immediately for all to see. If these people function at the regional level in relative privacy then they can make fools of themselves and this might never become public.

Private company CEOs are really only challenged when the company fails to meet its sales and profits targets, or when there is a scandal involving inappropriate activity, bribery, insider trading, price-fixing, etc.


Anonymous said...

I think it is ludicrous to compare the political structure of a municipality to a publicly traded company. There can be NO comparison as towns are not a business. And that is where most mistakes are made with our corporate elite in thinking they can run a country, province or city/town with the same framework. It does not work. Never will. As far as public companies, CEOs and CFOs are finding out how fragile their businesses are when they continually have to pander to their investors and the bottom line rather than concentrating on running their businesses successfully. Aurora is NOT in the business of making money, and making a profit. Residents DO NOT invest in this town with their tax dollars. It boggles my mind to see all the luxuries this town has in comparison to others of the same population, and how soon this town will be built out to it's perimeters. CEO and board members indeed.

Anonymous said...

In Aurora right now, we seem to have some difficulty with para 6.

Anonymous said...

09:35 Taxpayers hope that their money will be invested in the upkeep of Aurora & its necessary services. You are quite right that the degree of luxury available is outrageous. Which is why we are hearing about accounts that are flat or negative & discussions about borrowing for non-essential items.

Anonymous said...

09:35 Aug 20

You seem to not understand the functioning of either municipal (or any other level) of government and that of either a private or public company.

Both provide goods and services; the former, infrastructure such as parks and sewers and public transit, the latter automobiles or life insurance or food or pensions and health benefits.

Both have to operate within the constraints of a budget. Both are able to raise funds through the issuance of debt securities.

Municipal residents invest in their towns through the ownership or rental of their living accommodation and they further do so by purchasing a wide variety of goods and services locally; i.e. gas, food, clothing, etc. It is the residents who ultimately make for a successful town and it is this success that permits the payment of property and other taxes, the money that is required to run the town.

While a town may not be in the business of earning a profit, neither is it in the business of operating at perpetual deficits.

The trouble with politics and politicians is that for the most part they have no business experience. Our Prime Minister, an economist, has never had a real job in his life and yet he is directing the lives of 34 million people. Many politicians are lawyers. Does this qualify them to formulate economic or social policy?

Yesterday I read about a "stealth snowmobile" purchased by the military at a cost of $620,000. Is this to defend our arctic region or to sneak up on a polar bear and kill it? This is a ludicrous concept to begin with and obviously comes from vacant minds incapable of basic common sense thought.

If you have ever held a responsible job in the business world, which I rather doubt from your comments, then you might have made a more valuable and intelligent contribution to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Until they stop catering to the loudest voices and the largest bank accounts, be these poll protestors or real estate manipulators, Council does not represent those of us living in the real world. Other communities are tightening their spending. Reducing staff levels and perks. Not ours.

Reality? What a concept. said...

Excuse me 11:03...

I live in the real world and council represents me! Maybe your reality is different than mine.

Anonymous said...

Talk about boggling. How are we supposed to understand a Council that does not support the Food Pantry because of ' principle ' but gives SAC a massive hand-out for no reason at all? Like Saint Andrews ' needs ' the money?

Anonymous said...

To 11:01

Your response represents exactly what our current governing problem is. Your insulting comment about my business accumen has no merit in this discussion. Tax dollars are not an investment in government. Period. Not sure what the commnet about Defence spending has to do with Aurora municiple politics, but I'm sure I'm too ignorant to understand.

Anonymous said...

You state categorically that " Tax dollars are not an investment in government. "
I have always understood that that was exactly where my tax dollars were going. To fund the various levels of government & support the services necessary.
Where am I going wrong here?

Anonymous said...

Where our tax $ are going…it’s clearly not enough. Where ever our tax $ are supposed to go…I’m sure it won’t be enough. Has this Corporation with its CEO, Board of Directors, and the executive staff come up with the “plan” if this 10n yr. growth and revenue "plan" doesn’t happen and you can’t borrow against the reserves anymore?

Anonymous said...

I guess we are indeed experiencing different realities. My extended family are all feeling the effects of the economy despite all having jobs. The oldest grand-kid was at work at 5:30 this morning. Frankly I can't afford this Council because I cannot support how they use Aurorans' money as though they were entitled to indulge their whims.
I expect your reality is well-padded, perhaps by support from the past?

Anonymous said...

I think you might be confused about what constitutes the ' real world '.

Reality? What a concept. said...


What does someone having to be at work at 5:30 have to do with anything? What does this grand-kid do at this job? Some jobs like bakery, golf course turf management, etc. all begin early in the morning because that's the nature if the job. I had a summer job once at a hospital where I had to start at 6:30 because it was a dietary department posistion and breakfast is early in the morning.

Is this kid's job a summer job?

I don't think that this council now, is any different than any other council at any other time. There are some who live in Aurora that find that the tax burden is too high. Tax, like all other expenses are all factors that determine where you live. You would not buy a house that is too expensive for you budget (no matter where it is), house listings all show you the tax assessment, in addition to other things. If you can't afford the pay, there is only one real solution.

To 18:46... who says that your "real world" is the REAL world? Everyone has their own limits. Mine are clearly different than yours, why am I wrong and you are right?