"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

Wednesday 18 June 2014

From a Distance

At the same time I queried funding provided to the Farmers Market I sought information about the Chamber  of Commerce. I received the following information.'

Records do not show any grant funding being paid to the Chamber in recent years.

Predominantly the Town supports the Chamber of Commerce in the following ways:
o   Sponsorship of the Business Achievement Awards ( Paid $ 6,000 in support of the event in 2012, 2011, 2010);
§  Did not sponsor this event in 2013, but are budgeting $ 8,000 to sponsor event in 2014 ( $6,000 sponsorship, $2,000 for tickets );
o   Purchase of Business Achievement Award Event Tickets for TOA attendees and award candidates ( Paid $3,813.75 for tickets in 2012 );
o   Purchase of business directory ad each year ( Paid $ 2,107.45 in 2013 & 2012 );
o   Entry of Foursome in Annual Golf Tournament ( Paid $ 1,250 in 2011, 2013 amount was $940 through the CAO’s office. );
o   Payment for Town’s own Home Show Booths ( Paid $ 1,288.20 in 2012 );
o   The majority of our spend is undertaken by the Economic Development Committee.

All funding for Chamber of Commerce spend comes from the approved general operating budget.

The Town also has a membership in the Chamber of Commerce. 

The Chamber  facility sits on public property. I believe the current facility was financed with  backing from the Town. Original accommodation was obtained for the Chamber by the town. 

The Mayor's Luncheon is held annually.  A table is purchased. 

Last week I  asked for cost of  manpower support for the Street Sale. No fees are charged by the Town. 

 I   had asked for the information before the issue  of  The Tiger's need for  later ice in the community centre and  resultant conflict with Home Show dates. 

During that discussion, reduction in  Chamber user fees  was suggested by Councillor Humfryes.

I had  already planned a post .

Aurora Chamber of Commerce is highly successful .Management is to be commended. 

But they  didn't do it alone. Numbers  help put things into perspective.


Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the Town supporting the local chamber with some of the sponsorships that are given. God only knows how much the Town spends wooing large businesses, and the hundreds of thousands $ “investing in culture”. Supporting local businesses with sponsorships is probably the best return of taxpayers money the Town receives. If the decision is made to move the Home show, they will need support. A change like that will set the tone for future shows.

Anonymous said...

They took in a bundle at the Street Sale. Think back. Have you ever heard about the Chamber sending a team to plant trees, clear ice or present money for a park or to the Food Pantry. They always manage to be on the receiving end.

Anonymous said...

For the love of god - can you say anything positive about this town!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with the town. I think fixing that park up is do-able if the #'s are seriously crunched, the street sale was terrific, my garbage & snow removal were/are excellent, the parks & rec dept are fantastic & that afternoon of gospel music should be successful.

Anonymous said...

"Aurora Chamber of Commerce is highly successful .Management is to be commended.
But they didn't do it alone. "

Exactly... but the role of the Town and councillors in this regard is assumed and if you are looking for a pat on the back... sorry, that is your job.

Anonymous said...

9:38 How about this?....Aurora is very fortunate to have an exceptional councillor representing all people in the Town of Aurora.

Anonymous said...

What I am about to quote is a true, real life horror story, and to some extent it is happening right here in our town. The book, BOOMERANG" is by Michael Lewis, whose book MONEYBALL was made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt, for which he received an Oscar nomination. Lewis has written several New York Times best sellers and his latest has earned him an invitation from the US Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, where he was asked to explain whether what he had written about actually took place. Yes.

Lewis is going to be meeting the Mayor of San Jose, California, the American city with the second highest per capita income in the country, after New York City.

The Mayor, Chuck Reed, was first elected to the city council in 2000 and hadn't even thought about pensions. It wasn't until San Diego flirted with bankruptcy in 2002, that he started to wonder about his city's finances. He became Mayor in 2006 and was reelected in 2010 with a 77% vote in his favour.

Reed handed the author a chart. "It shows the city's pension costs when he first became interested in the subject were projected to run $73million a year. This year, 2011, they would be $245million: pension and health costs of retired workers now are more than half the budget. In three years' time pension costs alone would come to $400million, though 'if you were to adjust for real life expectancy it is more like six hundred fifty million dollars.'
Legally obliged to meet these costs, the city can respond only by cutting elsewhere. As a result, San Jose, once run by 7,450 city workers, was now being run by 5,400 city workers. The cost was back to staffing levels of 1988, when it had a quarter of a million fewer residents to service. The remaining workers had taken a 10 percent pay cut; yet even that was not enough to offset the increase in the city's pension liability. The city had closed its libraries three days a week. It had cit back servicing its parks. It had refrained from opening a brand-new community center built before the housing bust, because it couldn't pay to staff the place. For the first time in its history it had laid off police officers and firefighters."

It really pisses me off when I had to watch the childlike, even infantile performance of most members of council earlier this week. How difficult is it to tell the Chamber of Commerce that it's going to have to either relocate or change a date in order to accommodate our town's hockey team and the extended schedule that was imposed upon it?

Scrap the word "heritage" for a whole year and save hundreds of futile hours talking about trees and districts and parks and houses.

Our council chamber is screaming out for some intelligence to occupy it, not the vapid miasma that confronts us weekly, except in the summer when the chamber is empty but for one meeting each month.

Anonymous said...

19:27, just ask Tim Hudak if that kind of thinking flies here in Ontario.