"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

Saturday 7 November 2015


Excerpt from The Auroran story on Capital Budget approved for 2016 

“Would it be fair to say there is a direct impact that all that money is coming from the tax base even though it is being put into a reserve and being taken out of a reserve?” asked Councillor Wendy Gaertner.

From the perspective of Mr. Elliott, it depends on your point of view.

“I think notionally what we’re trying to do is separate the Capital Budget from the tax operating budget in that this one simply makes a lump sum cash contribution towards the capital program and the capital program sits on its own,” he said. “This way we’re not in the business of seeking capital projects to delete any effort to reduce a tax budget impact. It allows for much better, sound infrastructure decisions on the capital program and it allows us to focus on ramping up those capital contributions to reserves from the tax fund when we know we need to. It is true there is a significant component of tax funds that fund our capital program.”

And, if things stay as they are, there will be enough money to go around for Aurora’s Ten-Year Capital Investment Plan, noted Mr. Elliott’s report. Aurora will require a capital investment of $205 million over the next decade – breaking down into $106 million for repair and replacement, $95 million for growth, and $3 million for studies.

“This plan is achievable financially, provided Council continues its present practice of increasing annual contributions to infrastructure reserves by 1 per cent of the tax levy each year for at least the next 10 years,” he said.


 Councillor Gaertner's comment about money in reserves coming from taxes was a  statement of fact acknowledged by Mr.Elliott in the last sentence of the third to last paragraph of his response to the query posed.

I had thought to examine and explain the twists and turns of the full response. I tried. Several times.

Believe me, I tried. 

Originally, I included Councillor Thompson's comment indicating reserve funds allow for expenditures over and above those  forecast. Like additional work on Aurora Family Leisure Complex and projects that might be foreseen in the Master Recreation Study not yet presented or accepted.

A construction project at the AFL was  completed in May 2015. A contract awarded at a specific price.

 Are we to understand it's not complete? 

Additional work and funds over and above those allocated  still need to be spent.?

 Is there a report on record to explain Councillor Thompson's reference ?

The Councillor's  comments appear to have less to do with raising taxes for forecast expenditures than incurring expenditures hinted at and provided for in a budget with a significant component of spandex.

The full story is in this week's Auroran.

Read it and weep.


Anonymous said...

They were going to stop relying on the interest [ what interest these days ? ] from the Hydro Funds.
But every year, it just doesn't get done.

Anonymous said...

Budgets are spending and revenue plans.

Individuals have budgets, family households likewise, similarly institutions such as universities and hospitals, and of course, companies.

But we all know they are seldom met so spending has to be cut or revenue increased. Now things start to get interesting.

Individuals can borrow money to cover a budget shortfall - they go to the bank. They may need the money for repairs to a recreation room floor or to buy and plant trees. Operating. If they want to add a room onto their house the money is capital.

Individuals know what their money is purchasing.

But governments often don't, or if they do, they often obfuscate. And they all borrow big time. They don't want to share their blunders with those who voted and possibly even voted for them. A recent case in point is the Ontario government's contributing several millions of dollars to teachers' union representatives because of the significantly longer bargaining sessions. Now is this not enough to make the cow pies fly?

There are so many contingencies, special funds, you name it - they exist - that I have no confidence in Aurora's budget, nor that of any other government at any level.

The whole thing is such a sham that even the average forensic auditor would have a hard time separating the wheat from the shit.

Anonymous said...

Beg from Peter and give to Paul.
But do not let either of them know about it.
Cllr Gaertner is the only one who sees it.
And I did not vote for her.
My mistake, I guess.

Anonymous said...

16:45- Don't let her fool you. She would approve any dollar amount that the SCC would ask for, including using the Hydro fund and increasing our taxes.

Anonymous said...

The man does have a way with words. I am concerned about "notionally " in that context.

Anonymous said...

The open meetings on the budget will only have a paltry attendance.
There is a better turn-out for a coyote alarm.

Anonymous said...

"The open meetings on the budget will only have a paltry attendance."

Which tells you what?

Anonymous said...

20:08- It tells me residence don't have it bad enough financially to come out and care.

Anonymous said...

For heaven's sake, contribute something.............