"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

Sunday 25 January 2015

How many of these fit on the head of a pin

I submitted a letter to the editor on Council responsibility for delayed opening and extra cost of the Family Leisure Complex addition
Whether published is a decision of the editor.
The CAO  of the town objects to  criticism. He challenges the editor's judgement Not unsimilar to  the challenge to the moderator of the Aurora Citizen Blog.  SLAPP  action launched  with town resources indicates threat is not idle.

If the letter is published, space mitigates against complete disclosure .A  review of process might re prove to be enlightening.

The youth facilities site was chosen contingent upon soil conditions. It follows soil tests were required to confirm the choice.

A variety of  activities for youth were recommended to and approved by Council.Consultants had to be retained for design services. A bidding process is necessary to choose the consultant.

Cost estimate are received and approved by Council.

Specifications  are required  for the building contract to be called

Specs must be precise for competition to be  measured.

At each step of the process, background checks must be undertaken to ensure competence and past performance.

Council approves specifications and authorises bids to be called.

Approvals are required every step of the way. At no time is Council off the hook.

To obtain specifications, contractors must submit a certified cheque. The intention is to
ensure only qualified contractors participate in the process.

Bids are opened at a time and date for all to know and attend. No decision is recommended at this step.  Not until all bids have been analyzed,backgrounds checked is a further recommendation made to Council.

Despite  the weight of responsibility, council approvals can be  given without the item being called for discussion.

Control of the meeting rests with the chair. Less discussion, faster disposal. Agendas can number hundreds of pages with dozens of  business items with

no possibility of due consideration,transparency or  accountability.

Management of a project is not decided by Council.It's an administrative matter.

Aurora is managed by a team system.

The legal division is responsible to ensure contracts represent town interest.

Chief Building Official is responsible to ensure all building complies with the Building Code adopted by Bylaw ,to ensure safety ,security and provide inspections along the way.All building  plans must be approved by the Building Department.

I think that's why the Petch House is still not in use.

Despite staff involvement,  steps  necessary for approvals, Council was informed in a public meeting proper soil investigations were not undertaken at the start,  required additional support beams were not realised until later, plans were deficient and mould  that has to be dealt with ,was  hidden in air ducts.

The final insult to Council authority was that  work on the project will stop if an  additional,$6 hundred thousand  is  not paid and  a chance of litigation was hinted at against the municipality.

The question of competence is a matter of personal judgement.


Anonymous said...

The town goofed on this one, There was no penalty clause so the tussle could take a while & cost more.

Anonymous said...

"Despite staff, steps and approvals, Council, were informed in a public meeting, proper soil investigations were not undertaken at the start, additional support beams are required, plans were deficient and mould clearly visible on walls was hidden in air ducts."

"Aurora is managed by a team system."

I think we need to make some changes in the team, major ones. Like what the Leafs need!

Anonymous said...

$600 thousand cleanup... that's a lot of mold that was hidden. You would have thought that you could have smelled that mold in air if it were in the ducts.

Anonymous said...

I was perplexed by Cllr Thompson's comment about such thing being expected when one renovates a building. If such were the case, that should have been taken into account during negotiations by both parties.

Anonymous said...

I believe the original date to reopen the complex was scheduled for November! Mangement where?

Anonymous said...

Any time a "former" member of a council writes a letter to the editor, I cannothelp but discount the validity of it - especially when they lost a re-election bid. That situation appears as sour grapes or "I told you so" backlashes.

Former councillors need to keep to themselves unless they are asked.

Anonymous said...


Are you suggesting that the columns by Alison C-M are unappreciated ? I certainly enjoy them more than those of Mr Somerville who has not served on council.

Anonymous said...

Allison C-M's columns are op-ed pieces paid for (probably a stippend) by the paper. She also did not run again, so she did not loose her seat. EB's letters to the editor will fall into the same category as Nigel's. Disgruntled former councillors that failed to retain their seat.

As I said in my last sentence. "Former councillors need to keep to themselves unless they are asked.". I think A C-M was asked.

Anonymous said...

I think that anyone who has held a position in government, education, health, business is free to say whatever they wish.

Their opinions should be sought especially if it means that there will be fewer screws in the future.

10:32 - you are a dumkopf.

Anonymous said...

There is no stippend. Once again you know nothing about your subject. Alison received nothing for her programs either.

Anonymous said...

10:32 sour grapes, I think not! I think Councilors Buck has handled her loss with dignity and grace! And has moved on, does not mean she should be quit, she is still a tax paying citizen of this town. She has every right, as do you, to say what she thinks of how our money is being spent! You should learn and listen and you along with the rest of the town might one day have more monety in your pockets and less being used to fix unnecessary mistakes.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Evelyn must been asked to contribute - she is an important town resource. It isn't as if current staff come equipped with local history. Those with knowledge of Aurora have mostly gone.

Anonymous said...

10:32 -First of all, Evelyn didn't lose anything. The Town and its citizens did. Second, Evelyn is and still does provides us with more valid and factual information then all members of council, Town staff and media put together. Which is probably why you continue to read her blog. Why she continues to post comments like yours... God only knows, but it is her blog and it must be respected. Just like any post on her blog, letter to the editor, or maybe even decide to be a delegate at council one day. Her almost 30yrs experience in politics, and who knows how many more yrs as resident in this Town commands respect. Something people like you have can only dream of.

Anonymous said...

Well said 21:49!

Anonymous said...

7:04 ditto, I could not agree more with 21:49. Keep going strong Evelyn you are missed at the table by Aurora residents, maybe not 9 though!