"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

Monday 6 July 2015


Following  the markers made for interesting conversation last week.

I believe the flap to hide how the training budget was spent in 2014 is  now exposed for a canard .

The CAO , generously compensated head honcho, took a course in Business Management at the Schulich School of Business at York University  at the expense of Aurora  taxpayers. 

Schulich has a web site. I haven't checked  time requirements for the $15,000. certificate course. Maybe someone can check for me. We will know then whether or when  he was at school or at work. 

Two courses were listed in the report. The second was $8,000.

The two combined were less than several years of membership at $12,000 a pop,in the Institute  of Excellence of Canada . Members submit information of doings and the Institute sends out a Certficate of Excellence. No doubt handy to pack a resume. 

A question though is still outstanding on these items of the 2014 training budget 

Public Service Agencies do fund continuing education for employees ,providing the subject
is relevant to the occupation and useful to the organization. 

The whole  is not always paid.  Nor is any part paid until the course is successfully completed. Pro-
rated repayment is required, if employee leaves the agency within a five year period.

The CAO's Business Management Certificate taken in 2014 was likely approved by Mayor Dawe.

As a member of Council then, I can affirm each year the CAO was evaluated. Council was never informed of a request to take the Schulich Course in Business Management.

It seems the CAO had plans to leave the town's employ. 

Considering period of recruitment, references required and close association between Mayors of Aurora and Richmond Hill, being  seatmates an' all at Regional Council, and prior employment of the 
CAO at the Region,  I think the plans to leave Aurora and join Richmond Hill would  be an unlikely
secret between the trio.

So the obvious  question remains :

Did Aurora recover the investment that created the excellent candidate spoken of so highly by Mayor Barrow with particular reference to the  Schulich Business School Certification.

I asked.

Incredibly, the answer is NO?

The explanation......no policy  exists  for the Town to recover the funds. 

What kind of crazy logic is that?

What a crock of gallon-sized proportion !

Without a policy to recover the funds in the second place ,there could  be no policy to provide them in the first place.

The Chief Financial Officer, Keeper and Guardian of  the Coffers, is responsibile to advise Council
of the  best interest of the munipality.

He whose signature is coupled with the Mayor's on town cheques. 

Methinks much more than bad judgement is at hand in the matter! 

The tangled web woven is in urgent need of being straightened out. 


Anonymous said...

Good to see "I think" and "Methinks" as qualifiers, rather that the usual bald statements.

As for trying to create an issue re: training, education, and professional improvement expenses for Town staff, I don't see one.

Anonymous said...

This is the time of year when the treasurer has been known to have to come in from the cottage if he is required.
Hence the shirt-sleeved look also seen from the departing CAO

Anonymous said...

Good grief, I sure hope you are wrong. The CAO is supposed to be training staff in Aurora, not polishing up his resume so he can limb the Sunshine ladder.

Anonymous said...

I guess no one here works for a living. There are employees (the CAO is an employee) taking courses or going to conferences/semiinars all of the time to "better themselves" and then find better opportunities elsewhere. Why should the CAO be any different? If an employee isgoing to take a course, their expectation is that their new and improved skills should be recognized - be it through salary increase or responsibility increase. The employer is investing in the employee. If they fail to take advantage of that estimate, they deserve what they get.

Anonymous said...

This is like all that sneakiness with the secret meetings with the Centre board.
I had hoped the lesson not to go around your own council had been learned.
Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

In the corporate world, or private sector, if one receives higher training such CAO received, they are sometimes required to stay with the company for x amount of years, otherwise must pay back. Written agreements come handy sometimes. This should not be any different in the public sector. I think our Mayor should visit our local library to do some reading on leadership, he definitely needs it, and since he exhausted good chunk of money on CAO, library is his only option. I think it is time to execute that succession planning that been floating around here.

Anonymous said...

13:32 you maybe right, however that is usually the case IF the fees were re-imbursed and IF there was a written policy that describes what happens of you were to leave.

Given the "old town" way Aurora works, I doubt either happened. The former CAO received training on the Town's dime and moved on.

Anonymous said...

13:07- Ah you work? Where? Not the private sector, that's for sure. See 13:32 comment.

Anonymous said...

12:08 - I see you're another public sector employee.

Anonymous said...

13:32 - They have already. They hired an interim CAO, who will be looking for a "permanent" CAO. Hope they hire one that doesn't need 10's of thousands in education.

Anonymous said...

So now Richmond Hill will benefit from the thousands of dollars of business courses our former, and their new CAO took, that we poor cousins to the north paid for.

When is it going to be our turn to receive a benefit rather than the shaft?

Possibly we need more imagination, more vision, more accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

All I want is someone with integrity. It's something that can't be bought or study for. Everyone is now so impressed with all those accreditations beside a name, which means absolutely squat without integrity.

Anonymous said...


The only place that you will find integrity in Aurora is at the library. There is a book there called the Dictionary. Integrity is in the I's.

Anonymous said...

That is a huge statement about Aurora. I will blame it on the early hour as there is plenty of integrity in aurora. Please be more specific,

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I can assure you anything that comes out of Mayor Barrows mouth has been written for him. I don't think he's ever had a thought of his own.

Utter Nonsense said...

I don't accept your assurance, 18:45.

Anonymous said...

12:44- You know him personally? I've seen that guy in action, mainly no action. 18:45 is right on the money with the comment. Couldn't tie his own shoelace without help.

Anonymous said...

20:53 & 18:45: How did he get elected then?

Anonymous said...

His team panderd to the majority of the 30% of the electorate.