"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

Friday 18 October 2013

The Best Laid Plans

It was a calm and civil  meeting sponsored by Councillor Gallo on Wedneday evening.

The Councillor had done  a great deal of work to bring it to-gether. He hand-delivered the letters. He booked the Council chaamber to give residents  an  opportunity to express concerns and have questions answered .

It took energy and commitment.  The Councillor went further and committed to the gathering he believed the site should be acquired by the town and  become a park. The residents were no doubt assured .

I told them I had seen residents, not as many , express opposition to a park abutting their properties

I suggested they needed to know more about the impacat of a park before taking a position.

They  were not impressed .

I re-call the nightmare  scenario presented to Council. on that occasion'  Foul language, fighting ,drug deals.  late  night lights . noise and screeching cars.

That park was planned for the neighborhood.  Site selected.  Design  approved. .

I risked the wrath of  angry residents and voted to proceed. With the work, study  and resources already exppended, I was satisfied .

Parks are not planned on a hit or miss basis.

Professional expertise and pride go into the final product .

Every park has a different element  to  provide children with a variety of experience

People may not know that about the town's parks .  I'm not sure we tell them.

The Consultant study  on service levels made the point.

Aurora parks  and recreation programs  are a higher level of service than any comparator municipality.

The budget is larger. As is  incoming revenue which covers the cost  Programs and events are popular and  well used.

Parades, Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween HauntedHouse   Summer  Concerts in the  park , Rib Fest,
Winter Festivals are all truly community events . Supported with financial contributions from local business and  hundreds of volunteer hours contributed generously to make it all happen .

The departmnt has a skeleton staff who  regularly go above and beyond expectations because of  the leadership of their director .

Council and the community are well served.

It's how it should be.

At Wednesday's meeting ,a resident asked Council members present how they were going to vote on the question of acquisition of  an uneeded school site as an afterhought for a park. Councillor Gallo had  already indicated his  decision  is to add the site as another park.  His answer was open and shut  Black and white. A fait accompli . A done deal. Amen my friend.

I was not and am not prepared to make a decision without facts.

The parks plan for the neighborhood was prepared and approved  years ago when the area was a blank page. and an entire neighborhood was planned.

There were no prohibitions.

I need to know  that change  now will serve a better purpose  and  additional cost can be justified.

I will not pander .

I will not toady .

Whatever I  do will have to make sense.


Anonymous said...

You're in the hot seat. We're just observers all with our own opinions. The only thing I have learned about this council is that I understand nothing of how they think.

Anonymous said...

By what process will it ultimately be decided - park or no park?

Will this require a consultant? Surely not. The Town's staff under an able Director should be able to pull together all the little bits and pieces, including the ongoing cost to the town and the lost revenue if the land were to be developed and accompanying charges paid.

Let's hope that the process and the final decision will be based on fact, and will make sense. Let's also hope that emotions are held in check.

The Republican Party in the United States appears embarked on a civil war. Let them fight each other on their own battlefields.

It will be fun to watch them destroy each other. That used to be the case in Aurora politics. But, having fought a war and seen the bloody outcome, we can hold ourselves above the fray.

Although a couple of exorcists might still come in handy.