"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 29 October 2013

The Culture Centre's Audited Statement

I have in my hand  he 2012 Annul Repoirt of the Aurora Cultural Centre.

I have read the audited statement  at Dec 31 2012  and alongside it the unaudited statement up to June 30th 2013.

Italics in the previous sentence mean nothing. I don't know  how they got there so I don't know how to remove them. I pressed everything  saw. Put it in save . Checked comments .Came back to start again.
Italics  are still there.

It's kind of like reading an audited statement. I would not ordinarily depend on my own reading . 
For understanding I would lean on clarification or confirmation from  professional advice. 

There  is information in the document however  I can rely upon and pass along. 

As an elected representative, responsible  for the interest of  the taxpayers, the nature of analysis must be a critique. 

It's easy to criticize  Unless there is a valid point to be made ,it's not  useful. 

Cash flow from the town  to the Centre last year was  $370,000.

The pie chart shows town grant representing  61.9% of revenue. 

Programs  produced  21.8%. in revenue. 

Donations and  fundraising produced 6 %

Grants  ( other)  10.3 %

Revenue is shown as  $576,612. 

Expenditures  are shown at $597,789.

Elsewhere in the report, volunteer hours contributed are noted and the  statement made the Centre 
could not  provide the service without the unpaid assistance of  volunteers. 

No reference is made  to the value of  the one dollar a year  for rent.

Nor the $140,000 plus cost of maintenance and utilities. 

17,500 square feet of space  recently renovated  at a cost in excess of  $3 million  capital .
is not  beyond  evaluation. 

I am not the one to do that either.

Cost of utilities and maintenance  are precisely  accounted .

Hard costs are relevant,

They make the deficit closer to $230.000 than $23,000.

A statement in the report notes the Centre would  not be able to operate without the contribution 
of volunteer hours of service. 

It follows they would not be operate without  free rent and cost of maintenance and utilities borne by the municipalities.

The Nokida   Report  is referenced in the introduction to the  Annual Report .

I was there when the  presentation was made.

The  town treasurer of the day, warned the facility would become a sink hole for tax dollars .

In his view .an arm's length board, charged with operating the facility as a business  was the 
answer to the problem. 

The consultant recommended seed money  to  allow the program to get  up and running.. Fund raising   in the community was  presented as  essential  for self-sufficiency.

It was pie in the sky and I said so at the time. 

Nonetheless the, financial plan  presented by the Consultant was adopted by Council and conveyed to   in turn for public consumption.

The contract signed with the new board  in 2009  gave  scant recognition to the financial plan adopted by Council and conveyed to the public. 

I believe the interim board understood the concept. They were in place until the official opening. 

The new operating board had  the written contract  and possibly other guidance for direction. 

The contract signed by the current Council  effects no change  in understanding.

The Board  is in  the third year of operation 

The Annual Report indicates more staff will be needed to operate in 2014. 

A  Message from the President  starts the  Annual Report, The last sentence of the first paragraph notes the following.:

i am pleased to report  that our centre is poised for  a bright future of continued growth and contribution to  the Town of Aurora ad its surrounding communities. 

Yep !  It's a sink hole .


Anonymous said...

Once an albatross, always an albatross.
Like kids who never grow up & leave home. Why should they when it's so safe & free at home?

Anonymous said...

Yes it is - a large one that can never be filled.

It is a grand delusion to think that this facility will ever be self-supporting.

Ask the questions - how many events have taken place during the past fiscal year, what was the attendance per event and the total attendance, what was the price of admission per person per event and the total revenue that was generated?

That might provide a guide to the future.

Anonymous said...

It's a contracted service.

Services cost money.

Its value is greater than its cost.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Councillor Thompson will think of those numbers. He was quite clear that he expected to see the Centre moving towards self-sufficiency. I see no evidence of that in these figures. He is not going to be pleased as he was reassured by the new chairman.

Anonymous said...

A contracted service can always be given to a better contractor. Especially when the services it provides can be duplicated elsewhere or using the same facilities.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame we have to go through all this again. But the arguments made every year was still valid. The Centre still receives the building and core financing from the town. It still shows no sign of weaning itself from the largesse I'm surprised they haven't demanded even more ' due to inflation '.

You Win Some, You Lose Some said...

"It's a shame we have to go through all this again."

We don't have to, which is the point. It's a shame that certain people can't accept a decision made and a long-term service agreement in place.

Anonymous said...

Okay, 14:25, let's meet back here when the term of the agreement is complete - it may be extended in the meantime - and we'll assess the situation. (Do you think Blog will still be around in 15 years?)

Anonymous said...

Contracts are generally awarded through competitive bids. The Centre is simply a sitting tenant which could be replaced if the building were needed for other purposes.

Anonymous said...

Strident & tacky

Anonymous said...

Now I see why Christopher was targeted earlier. There is nothing he likes better than to sink his teeth into a document like that one.

Anonymous said...

We're so unaccustomed to stridency on this blog, aren't we, 18:45?

Or Should I Call It a Dummy? said...

19:40, a baby with a teether is a more imposing circumstance.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think Blog will still be around in 15 years?"

Yes, and we will still be talking about the Hydro building, chicanes, the Culture Centre and empty lots that some want as parks.

In addition, the street the Town Hall sits on will be renamed 4 more times and the library square will be deemed surplus.

Anonymous said...

If I may...

"No reference is made to the value of the one dollar a year for rent."

What purpose does that serve other than note it. It will increase expenses by $1.

"Nor the $140,000 plus cost of maintenance and utilities."

I would not expect this to be listed on the Centre's books because they did not pay for it. The Town pays this expense and let's be honest, no matter who the facility was leased to, the Town would still be paying this expense.

"They make the deficit closer to $230.000 than $23,000."

No it does not. For the reasons above.

Anonymous said...

The town would not have to pay maintenance and utilities if the building were leased by a group or groups who contributed towards the costs. They might actually derive some revenue if the organizations were working as partners with the town.
Instead we have the Centre which does pretty well what it pleases with taxpayer money.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the presentation of a cheque to Aurora from them.

Anonymous said...

7:41...Is that right? "The Town pays for it"...You’re funny.

Anonymous said...

That is the point. It the lease was structured to recoup those costs, then those costs would be on the statements. Those costs were not included in the lease deal, so to cry foul now is like spitting into the wind. They get it for free. So sad that the council of today and previous with their team of legal eagles did not include it. You had an opportunity to review but let it fall through the cracks.

Score 1 point for the Centre.

Anonymous said...

I love how “creative accounting” is used nowadays for analyzing and defending, deficits and values of services. What ever happened to the analyses of a negative number or deficit as not a good thing!

Anonymous said...

07:41, you're in danger of making too much sense.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

The argument continues in ever decreasing circles. Various expectations, philosophies, and biases are at cross purposes to each other - and, from the opposing faction's standpoint, to the present realities.

A new, long-term agreement is in place, negotiated during this term - so no need to keep invoking the names of old enemies or fomenting conspiracy theories.

The deal is done. The time for argument is over.

Anonymous said...

11:31. A deal is never done. Changes, amendments and cancellations happen everyday in business and politics.

Anonymous said...

Perchance you forgot about the ' reserve fund ' they have- which they got from the town - in case they ever decide to leave ? That is about $10,000, I believe

Anonymous said...

Wow ! Someone rattled that cage ! There might even be two of them taking turns on the Blog. Certain words do set them off.

Anonymous said...

How about turning the building into a Fab Lab?

But Thanks for the Suggestion said...

That'll be next door, 18:36. The place with thick concrete floors, not 1880s timber floors.

Anonymous said...


If Petch can be relocated, Centre's wooden floors can be re-enforced.

Yeah, That Follows said...

"...Centre's wooden floors can be re-enforced (sic)"

Thank you, 22:17, I appreciate the input from a structural engineer.

Anonymous said...

Why should amatuer engineers not have a say? Amatuer politians, journalists, accountants, lawyers, etc. all get a chance to spout off here.

Anonymous said...

The Town's hired consultants, architects, planners, prepare wondrous reports full of recommendations that, besides being costly, are usually impractical.

In the end delays occur, what is really needed is seldom ever built.

Just like the best laid plans of mice and men they gang aft agley.

Surely we are entitled to better.

Anonymous said...

So far, no one has asked the neighbours if they want the Fab Lab stuck in their midst. I sure don't want the thing which is still very much a concept that gives Aurora zip. It could even be dangerous. Stick them out at the armoury. They have great floors.

Anonymous said...


Do you really want to involve the public? That is how we got chicanes.

The Armoury is not viable as that belongs to DND.

Huh? said...

10:13, the old library and the old armoury are in the same neighbourhood.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 07:58...and even amateur spellers.

Anonymous said...

Great comeback... I guess you are the great editor of the internet. Clearly the transposing of two letters was still enough for you to get the intent of the message.

What a maroon.

Anonymous said...

Enough nonsense. Go set up your Hallowe'en table unless you disapprove of Hallowe'en too.

The Great Editor of the Internet said...

12:14, doing it once could be transposition, twice demonstrates otherwise.

No biggie - just the thrust and parry of pedantry.

Anonymous said...

Well done, you have secured yourself a job for life. You would have a heyday at Watt's blog. Spellcheck is not an option there.