"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

Friday 24 July 2015


The Mayor said the  report before Council was in error. The difference between quarter of a million dollar funding for a project he has been privately discussing with a proponent for more than a year and $10,000 for electrical outlets and carpet in a room that did not have a purpose in the renovation at Aurora Family Leisure Facility to fulfill Youth Needs. 

The news story indicates the $10,000 is to be an increase in BUDGET and taken from A RESERVE 

Which budget ? Which  reserve fund ? Hydro...Cash in Lieu...or the new slush fund in the budget recently referenced . Once again no input from the Chief  Financial Advisor. 

In the absence of particulars ,one would have to read an increase in the AFLC renovation budget
already  hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget and apparently still incomplete and nine months behind schedule. 

With no input from the Chief Financial Officer, Councillors plunge head first into Donald Trumpland.

It sounds familiar. Fantasyland Heritage Park comes to mind. The Mayor swallowed that scheme hook,line and sinker. Months of high priced staff ,support and effort  went into it before a consultant was retained to save face with a report indicating no advantage to the municipality that allowed the scheme to be abandoned. 

But not without the Mayor's adamant statement that he still believed it was a good plan. 

The Title of Mayor headed the petition of support collected in advance of presentation to Council. Prominent citizens added their names to support a plan with no hard facts to commend  it. 

Of course they were the true progressives while others with feet planted solidly on terra firma obviously had no vision,closed minds, lived in the past and were impervious to change. "K!!?".?..?.l.lSlackers and laggards the lot of them. 

This time ,in public, the Mayor scrambled to untangle himself from the price tag to finance a municipal radio station from town coffers. 

"It's not what I talked about with the proponent" he said.

Miscommunication had apparently ocurred and according to the Mayor, pstaff were responsible. 

All very strange. With little to support the Mayor's protestations of innocence. 

Staff received direction from somewhere to discuss the matter with the Man from Bradford but still apparently basking in the glories of the past. An ex-air-force wallah wearing the big bushy upcurled mustache Air Force glamour boys wore to distinguish themselves in the forties, seventy -odd years ago in another time and another place. 

Substance of the staff report suggests discussions were to determine resources required  for a municipal radio station to emerge from fantasy to reality and justify it's location in a space renovated to serve needs of youth in the community. 

A substantial price tag was identified for a sound studio for budding young musicians which would also serve the needs of a radio station

His speedy reversal, indicates the merits of the plan entirely escaped the Mayor's comprehension. 
It was not what he had in mind. 

Which was what exactly?

Therein lies the problem. 

The other question is how the report came to be tabled at that meeting. 

The Municipal Clerk is responsible for preparing the agenda of business items for Council attention.

The Mayor is responsible for vetting the agenda prepared by the Clerk. 

That calls for  an element of familiarity with content. Like reading reports. 

The agenda is required by law to be complete and publicized days before a Council meeting. It's not a courtesy. It's a legal requirement to ensure public awareness of decisions contemplated.

At the start of  the  Council meeting, a motion is moved,seconded and a vote taken to approve the agenda. 

Even though it managed to pass scrutiny of the Mayor, at each step the weight of the report should have been recognized and referred to general committee for a full discussion before deciding. To say nothing of opportunity for public input.

Mayor Dawe is in his fifth year as Presiding Member of Council . But possibly, his first meeting without the former CAO at his elbow to guide his every step. 

What have we here?

A presiding member who, in five years, has absorbed nothing of process and a table of Councillors with no more facility between the lot of them than himself alone?


Anonymous said...

It's summer time and I think reading of reports has taken a back seat to playing golf.
There is also the real problem of the absent CAO who basically saw every piece of paper and held things together.

Anonymous said...

sort of like attending hush-hush meetings with the Centre and not mentioned self-sufficiency at any of them,
It is going to get worse, I am afraid

Anonymous said...

Only 2 councillors voted against the $10,000. And they gave totally different reasons. It might be one of those issues that just keeps coming to council in the hopes it will be approved eventually,

Anonymous said...

It's possible I may be missing something here, but what is the purpose of the town owning (?) and/or operating (?) what I understand is to be an FM radio station? Do we then need a news department, a sports department, political commentators, DJs?
What is the operating cost for this stupidity?

All of your post deals with a group of ignoranuses (spelling intentional) who don't seem to understand the first thing about municipal government, namely the need for an Agenda that clearly sets out the proposed business for the Council/General Committee meeting to be held in a few days. Surely, if these nine people plus staff cannot create a simple document how are we to expect their ability to govern, to raise taxes and spend these same monies to provide various services to our town's residents?

Evelyn, it appears to me that you alone could do a better job, working with staff, than the nine elected bozos who are supposed to be looking after our interests.

Anonymous said...

"But not without the Mayor's adamant statement that he still believed it was a good plan."

With last week's presentation to Council from the Town Curator, hoping for thousands of extra square footage floorspace in the next few years, Mayor Dawe will prove prescient regarding the concept.

Anonymous said...

"Mayor Dawe is in his fifth year as Presiding Member of Council."

Hey, isn't that the total number of years you served as Mayor of Aurora?

Anonymous said...

...and a longtime councillor without a seat.

Anonymous said...

A lot of work went into that report. Someone must have authorized it.

Anonymous said...

Why did you have to get personal about the man's appearance? People who live in glass houses and all that...

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone has a thorn in its paw !
Really, 13:32, 12:34 and 13:37 !!!!!
Do try a bit of spacing .

Anonymous said...

I don't understand, all these slush funds that municipalities have at the ready for these pet projects. These funds must have a name in the budget to be approved every year? I remember a couple of years ago in the Town of Richmond Hill a councillor in his first term discovered an item in the budget that he had to ask staff about because he noticed that this particular fund was overspent +$10,000. He looked into a few years previous and the name of the fund was not there. He discovered that this fund was being renamed almost every year and being overspent. It was one of the funds funded by taxpayers, approved by council for the Mayor to spend as he so wishes. It could only be used by the Mayor himself without council approval mainly to charitable organizations in the Town. Mayor Barrow had this slush fund at his disposal as well as his Mayors annual Golf tournament. Could our Town have the same type of funds available as well? Evelyn, you've been God knows how many budget processes and approvals, how many of these slush funds could there be?

Anonymous said...

Would the town need a licence from the CRTC?

Anonymous said...

I heard the sound of a wounded loon.
Did someone cast aspersions at the Centre ?

Anonymous said...

I do not think he really knew it was his job to vet the agenda because the former CAO just did it, If someone does the work, there is no reason to take it on yourself ,

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the business plan for the Heritage Park