"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

Thursday 5 November 2015


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "YOU WERE ASKING": 

What? No outside consultation or study? You mean that this decision didn't cost us a dime? 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 4 November 2015 at 21:22


This tale began during the 2003/6 term of Council.  A decision to create an Environmental Advisory Committee of five members was made.  Eleven applications were received. All were appointed.Eleven agendas. Eleven sets of minutes.

Public Works Director was staff resource to the committee along with secretariat. Among others,a Public health nurse from the region attends  every meeting. Never participates. 

First  recommendation from the committee was environmental engineer added to staff complement. 

First Budget of 2006/10 term, noted $100,000. salary and set-up for environmental  engineer. 
Function to attend committee meetings  and  "identify " environmental initiatives. 

At the time, it cost thirty thousand to equip a staff with paraphernalia  necessary. Not to mention space. 

BTW The town has to pay annual license fees for WAMS operators. 

WAMS  was the $440,000 software program purchased in November 2011... Remember?Two years later it still wasn't up and running and cost was still  rising. 

Every year, at budget time,like a child writing to Santa,  I enquired of environmental initiatives identified. The Director of Public Works was first in a procession, out the door in that term, replaced  with someone from the Region. Job title changed to Infrastructure and Environmental Services. 

The snow melt treatment facility appeared in the Capital Construction Budget in an amount of  $750,000. At some point thereafter $287, 000 was forked out  for a design. 

With the new term and council, budget for the item increased to a million. I'm relying on memory so don't hold me to those figures exactly. 

 Deferrals were as noted previously.   The  night the Joint Facility contract was awarded, the 
snow melt treatment facility contract also came forward for award.

Finally, a majority turned it down.  

Yes indeedy, to answer your question. There  were costs. 

Annually  increasing salary for an environmental engineer. 

$278,000 for a design never utilised. 

I have no idea how the engineer's  time has  been occupied during all those years.It would be entirely unfair to suggest it wasn't. But now you know how  and why the job materialized.

And how a decision was not made by Council over three separate terms of Council. 

Reams of paper, miles of verbiage, thousands of kilowatts of energy burned with pollution added to the atmosphere and hundreds of hours of  executive and secretariat time to produce reports for Council.  Read and signed  by Director and CAO every time. 

Agendas sometimes number hundreds pages with thirty copies prepared for every meeting. 

I swear some publishing companies might have smaller output. All of it ending  up shredded  and re- cycled.

All the while gums flap about ways and means of cutting down pollution and protecting the earth for the future of our children. 

As a corollary,  it seems the role of Council has   become more of social convenor in the over-all scheme of things.

Like most other public institutions, it is more about people employed than people served.  


Anonymous said...

I had hoped that useless nurse on the Trail co had been let go. Both Ballard & Gallo are no longer there and they
were the ones who kept her imo

Anonymous said...

In some places it would appear that Christmas comes year round.

Aurora Council - the gift that keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...

There are always costs. Even if an initiative is rejected, like say that radio station, staff have had to do their studies
and make their own decision.
Now, get out in the yard and enjoy the day - we won't have many more like this one.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of drivers who insist that every outfit " is doing good work for the town " and hit the pay-out

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is that eveything this town does or doesn't do, costs us a bundle. How do costs get so out of control with every issue? I just shake my head everytime I open up the Auroran.

Anonymous said...

We might save one expenditure or at least maybe reduce it. Looks like that ugly thing is not going to be in the Peach Park.
It might cost less to shove it somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Some friends are coming into Aurora Sunday morning and I wanted to warn them about the Yonge Street closure for the Remembrance Day parade.

I checked the Town website and was told the parade was scheduled for 10:00 am Sunday but made no mention of specific Yonge Street closure.

This is far from helpful. Actually this is a disgrace. Why do we have a town website for this kind of useless information?

Anonymous said...

A disgrace, 10:50?

First. World. Problems.

Anonymous said...

23:52- And what would you call it? A little Oops?

Anonymous said...

17:44- Certainly not a "disgrace," that's for sure. Not when there are so many REAL problems with which to be concerned.

'No biggie' and 'much ado about nothing' do come to mind, though.