"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 5 November 2013

Neither Rhyme nor Reason

Sugar coat ----scintillate

Sears is closing  a  number of  outlets including a"flagship" store  in Eaton's Centre.

There's irony for yiu. All that's left of  Eaton's is the name.How long, I wonder before the idea of selling naming rights  is proposed and even the name will disappear.

Yes, there's no place for sentiment in business.

Rona store at Smart Centre in Aurora is closing next month. It did only half the business expected.

I came home from  Budget meeting last night  and turned on the news.

Blackberry had withdrawn from the market. Apparently the market  did not put the same vaalue on the shares as Blackberry.

The Town is  a $51 million  operating business  the  Mayor  recently advised.

Politicians should not "micro-manage" he said.

The rationale is problematic.

Oversight , involvement, authority,control  Call it what you like. Those elected  are held responsible by electors for success or failure of town business.

The current Council is like two solitudes, on the edge of a precipice looking down into an abyss.

Town finances  are in  shambles.

With three months until year end,  the  2013 budget is overspent,increased taxes  were collected. ,  projects planned , either cancelled or deferred.

Supplementary assessment  forecast , but not in hand, failed to materialise. .

It was always a possibility.

Micro managing or not the Mayor and Council are in it up to their necks.

The Budget  was approved   in  mid-April.

In May, June, July and August, agendas were jam-packed with direction to b e given.

More  time scheduled for town business was  spent givig and receiving awards. Repeat delegations demanding we deal with issues we had no authority to deal with.  Lawyers retained and paid for  advice  already known.  There never was  authority to do what was demanded of us.

We  listened to David Heard tell us over and over about his vision and Klaus Wehrenberg  agitating just as often for trails.

Deliberations continued until midnight . Agendas never once completed 

 Short shrift  to major issues and ill-advised decisions. 

 In some circumstances .there may be satisfaction is saying "I told you so"

Not  politics. 

In politics , no discernment  is practiced , no justification sufficient, no  culprits to blame. 

Responsibility rests  securely at the feet of  power to make a difference ---- exercised or mot


Anonymous said...

Do you know the difference between "Micro-manage" and "oversight"?

I don't think you do.

Anonymous said...

Residents have been very much aware that money was flowing far too freely from the town without any increase in revenues. It was a pattern from the past so our Council does not bear the blame alone. BUT this is their term and they will have to deal with flak.

Anonymous said...

I think you're going to catch hell for the "shambles" remark.

Anonymous said...

The timing is good & I hope Council understands. There are a # of items coming back to Council tonight after much study & wasted time & Money. None that I can recall from a early glance at the agenda were revenue generators.

Anonymous said...

Someone had better not suggest using the former Reserve Hydro Fund to try and paper over the cracks. It was not created for such a purpose.

Anonymous said...

What's the value of all the reserve/contingency funds

plus the hallowed hydro fund?

What buildings and land does the town own and what

are they all worth?

What firm performs the audit on the town's financial


Are any of the matters you mention surprising?

What previous experience have any members of council had

with the management of $50-$70,000,000?

Anonymous said...

In answer to your last question 0% of council has experience with that. Even our esteemed host with all of her self-professed experience.

Anonymous said...

" Shambles " is simply a word used to describe the situation when you have a group of people who cannot make sense of what they are trying to understand. Sometimes a shambles can even be sorted out.
Let's not get stuck on nit-picking words. There already is an individual on the Blog who does that consistently.

Anonymous said...

We elected a Mayor that was apparently a successful businessman. This is what the town needed ater the previous lot.

The Mayor has disappointed. Holding the line on taxes does not seem that important to him. Repeated tax increases have a significant impact on some residents. Foolish spending is distasteful to others.

Some may not like the unvarnished truth presented by Councillor Buck, but it has to be said and I am glad she said it.

Anonymous said...

Overspent?...What a surprise. What does any other corporation or household do when that happens? Freeze and cutback. Or you can get into some of that creative accounting. I hear Nortel didn’t do so well with that.

Anonymous said...

Once more into the fray. Bundle up good

Anonymous said...

& all the while the Senate, another elitist outfit, continues to self-distruct.

Anonymous said...

Delegations have learned that they can pull the strings of Council. I can't really blame them. It has worked since the beginning of this term.

Anonymous said...

I noticed something strange. The delegation about the potential park had signed that they had Not discussed their concerns with any staff members. Perhaps I'm dating myself, but I recall when you had a problem you would see the staff members whose department dealt with such matters. If you could not reach a satisfactory solution, Then you went with the staff person to Council to work together.
Tonight it seemed adversarial. Concerns had gone to specific councillors who had taken the issue right to council.
Cart before the horse which gets everything out of proportion. IMO only

Anonymous said...

This is a council meeting ? Good grief !

Anonymous said...

Councillor Humfryes seems to have a problem with kids smashing pumpkins down her street. Does she not remember Hallowe'en ? She should consider herself fortunate - it used to be upturning out-houses. You can see the big city roots.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion you stepped over the line naming two citizens Councilor.I believe they may have grounds for a complaint.

Anonymous said...


Get off your small town / big city high horse. Smashing pumpkins and overturning outhouses as never acceptable and to say that one is less significant than the other is foolish.

A neighbour had $2500+ damage to a car in the driveway when some "kids" decided to smash a pumpkin against his fender.

This is vandalism pure and simple.

I suppose you still put dog s**t in a paper bag, light it on fire and put iot on your neighbour's door step, ring the bell and watch?

Anonymous said...

@ 00:17
" Speak for yourself, my friend "
E. Rostand

Anonymous said...

I could not believe it when councillor Gaertner apologized to that delegation because they were not going to receive instant gratification to their demands.

Anonymous said...

It's called putting things into perspective. A few smashed pumpkins is a small matter. I am sorry about your neighbour's car - the kids we had were all very polite & there were 94 of them.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter carved a terrific pumpkin for us this year. It still got smashed up to go into the yard waste bag. That was its destiny.

Anonymous said...

You know, 10:57 and 11:50. The problem is not "the kids" it the older lot of hoodlums.

The damage to the car costs everyone. A police report has to be filed. The insurance people have to review. Insurance rates will go up. Lost time to the individual to take it for repair/pick up.

I am sure both of you would be as understanding if it was your car.

I think the councillor was making a point about the vandalism - not about pumpkins. But this lot here is soo literal, you don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Press
" Saskatchewan premier to introduce motion calling for abolition of senate "

Anonymous said...

Pammy's lawyer says his client may sue

Anonymous said...

2 Very different views of the town's finances were presented. Both can't be right.

Anonymous said...


Three sides to every story. Their's, Your's and The Truth.