"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

Wednesday 27 July 2016


If  members of council decide business matters based on personal preference or opinion,without reference to logic or law, policy, principle or precedent,it should be a simple matter to resolve shadow problems indirectly alluded to, by reducing staff at the top.They've done it before. 

The Mayor's weekly report regularly lists fun events. Like social convenor and communications wallah combined. There hardly seems to be a need for both. 

Councillor Mrakas regularly uses Facebook to inform of matters he thinks are important. If all nine Council members were doing it ,that would surely be open lines of communication.

After reading Councillor Kim's reference to the Historical Society and Culture Centre's budget,
I tried to discover from the town's www  which two Councillors serve on the Culture Centre Board.
Couldn't do it. The  process must be simple and straightforward for me to use.  And of course, 
many residents are still not on-line  from choice. Others are not using Rogers. They use satellite 

Councillor Kim's query  could have been partially answered. The Culture Centre contract allows the board to conduct business in closed meetings.  A quarterly report is forwarded to the treasurer showing how the town's money was spent and he in turn, exercises his judgement  and issues the next quarter's installment. 

Council has no involvement except to approve in the next year's budget the requested payment for services. 

The Historical Society receives  an annual grant for no municipal purpose. They have no responsibility for museum, heritage collection or receiving donations.
A few years ago they opted out of a legal agreement to manage the museum because they only had fifty-nine members. 
Since then the town has retained a curator, taken responsibility for the collection and taken over space in Church Street School for a museum. The budget is likely a couple of hundred thousand at least out of town coffers. 

Still  the Historical Society receives an increased grant every year.  

Three years ago,the Mayor acknowledged continuance of the grant needed to be decided but budget deliberations  was not the right time. Since then the grant has increased fifty-per cent. 

Current President of the Historical Society is the same who promoted a heritage theme park for qHillary House and it's neighbours. The Mayor's name was first on the petition of support from prominent citizens. 

Several tens of thousands and weeks of staff time were incurred  before a consultant's report advised  no financial advantage to the municipality. Like we needed an expert to tell us. Like we didn't have a mega-million dollar administration of experts on the payroll. 

The same individual now has $75.thousand with annual increases from the town.This volunteer group has a curator on the payroll to do the work.  Instead one curator authorised by  Council, the town pays for two. 

Councillor Kim's query on these matters could easily have been answered on the spot. The treasurer is certainly familiar with funding history. 

But when he talks about solving unarticulated  budget problems, he offers a reduction in town payroll as a solution. Even while hiring continues non-stop. 

Last time they decided to save  money ,they got rid of the Director of Administrative Services.  

In a re-organisation, responsibility for administrative services was transferred to the town solicitor. 
A Town Clerk was hired.

Since then,the CAO has flown the coop with much fanfare. The town solicitor exited the joint with no public attention. , The  town clerk went off to join the Richmond Hill Municipal Legion. Human Resources Manager and the Communications manager simply departed, silent of kefuffle that we know.

I keep intending to quote some of the phrases and sentences the treasurer used convey funding shortfalls  to council without actually speaking of shortfalls from spending funds they didn't have that now require  drastic action to correct. 

I keep being diverted by diversions.


Anonymous said...

Phew ! Try not to catch a cold with the whiplash of heat and a/c.
Council can deal with the mess they created and if Cllr Kim can get some accountability from the Centre or the Historical Society, he is welcome to try. I will believe it if and when I see it.

Anonymous said...

Communication and transperancy has also left the corporation.

Anonymous said...

Pretty well everyone sitting at that table has acknowledged that the two entities of which you wrote get too much money from the town. They just lack the gumption to do anything about it.
On another front, I hope Ontario's opposition parties are getting set to take on the Liberals. They are thoroughly screwed up and vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

This would be considered serious by many if it weren't so pathetic.

Highway robbery is what it might be called.

The Historical Society should be shut down so far as town financing is concerned. If there are Aurora residents who want to see something like it continue they should arrange this at their cost, and raise funds to cover same.

Anonymous said...

They have, 15:05? I haven't heard one councillor say that. I do hear them preface any funding comment with words of support and appreciation, though.

Anonymous said...

Addressing funding to all these groups will always be an issue with this council. When we can't give a dime to our local food pantry, but can hand over hundreds of thousands to this new 'Culture industry" we have a huge problem. We have to face the fact that unless we vote in politicians that have the courage to cut off this excessive spending to these interest groups, we will just get more of the same. With food, water and energy prices skyrocketing, insurance premiums on the rise and the Federal and Provincial government handing down carbon taxes in January, something is going to have to give. There's going to be some massive shake ups come the next set of elections.