"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

Thursday 24 October 2013

What does it profit man if he gains he whole world and loses his own soul

A Motion  for  consideration  is not  an automatic process. Before it reaches the  Council table it must be seconded by another Councillor.

I have a reputation for being  persnickety about rules. I think it must  be true.

I don't ask other Councillors to support a motion as a favor. I don't want to be obligated to support a motion because  a favor is owed.

My motions come to the table without a seconder .  To move forward . the idea must have sufficient merit  to move  to the next step.

I  risk embarrassment if a motion fails to win  a seconder. In  some respects, it's a  repudiation of the idea.

Once seconded, the motion belongs to  Council.

It's like pushing a small boat out on to the pond .Once on it's way, the current will  carry it forward.

Everything depends on the presiding member to ensure it does not go  of course.

I moved the motion on Tuesday requesting the Mayor provide a clarification of his role.

I meant exactly that.

It was sensitive but not intended to be a public referendum on the Mayor's performance .

He made it that.

The issue was  a  common understanding of the role of the office of the Mayor.

Not Geoffrey Dawe  as such. But whoever might hold the office.

Council needs an understanding  on the Mayor's authority .  No other body than Council can make the determination.

As a former Mayor ,I absolutely reject  the premise Council is without authority and the Mayor's office is  not the conduit for exercising  Council's authority.

Councillors are accountable to the community for whatever happens in the name of the community.

In the last term a Bylaw was passed outlining the authority of the CAO in matters of  human resources;  Hiring,Firing , Re- deployment, Promoting,Demoting Displacement, Creating Positions, Wiping out others you name it. the Chief Administrative Officer  apparently has authority to do it with no reference to  the elected body and no obligation to  provide information when requested.

It seems, in the Mayor's perspective , in accordance with his experience in the private sector, the  CAO Bylaw provides complete autonomy in that area. He answers to no-one.

 The Mayor see the title as Chief Executive Officer  as a meaningless term.

The judgement of whoever holds the  office of CAO ,in the Mayor's estimation ,is "sacrosanct" (his word)  unassailable(mine).

As a consequence,in the area of human resources Council is not fulfilling its responsibility. We are accountable in theory.  We are not in fact;

By virtue of the Mayor's refusal .

Council is denied and deprived of  its rightful authority.


Anonymous said...

The US tried that in the armed forces with '" Don't ask; don't tell " It only works when the people at the top do not want to know what is transpiring below them.

Anonymous said...

Well, I sure didn't know that the Petch house was useless until you raised the subject. I suspect no one at that table did. Now they all want a place in it for their favourite groups.

Anonymous said...


Talk About a 180! said...

When did the person who thought that nothing should be spent on a "mouldering" heap at the side of the road - home to multiple, rotten animal carcasses - become such a champion for the Petch House?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Christopher Watts for a superb piece on leadership and why it is lacking on Aurora Council.

Anonymous said...

12:38... Yes the Petch house was useless UNTIL a company decided to pony up some cash. Before that time, Evelyn Buck was against spending a dime on Petch. I agreeed with her. Now, look at the pictures of the opening of Petch and she is there like a dirty shirt. Flip Flopping of the worse kind. Either you have a stand or you don't. Just because it was someone else's money doesn't make it right.

Anonymous said...

This motion was nothing short of a public display of disrespect for the office, the man and the instituion.

Political grand-standing.

Anonymous said...

You know the answer to that question. It was asked & answered as recently as this week. The so-called champions of the Petch did nothing but throw money at it. It was Evalina's pet'

Anonymous said...

I believe it is necessary for All the councillors to have a good idea of what staff are or are not doing. It might take a bit of mcro-managing on occasion but that would prevent lengthy costly witch-hunts at meetings. Our Prime Minister is currently claiming that he did not know about a cheque written by Nigel Wright. Although about a dozen people linked directly to his office were informed.
It is making him look foolish even if he is telling the truth.
There is no need for any on council to appear foolish.

Try Something New - Like Originality said...

Yes, that copy and paste aggregation was superbly done, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with taking a helping hand when it is offered. Unlike some others who continue to take from the town.

Anonymous said...

Say what?

Anonymous said...

According to your thinking, we should reject the Stronach offer because we cannot afford to do it ourselves ? What happened to that offer by the way ?

Anonymous said...

When you can do better, I would be delighted to have a look at your product. Your condescension is ugly.

A Genuine Question said...

16:05, in general, what tone would you attribute to the blog in question?