"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

Sunday 26 February 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ORANGES AND LEMONS WENT THE BeLLS OF ST CLEMENTS": 

It's amazing how the Town hires a planning and urban design firm from Toronto. We don't have any such people right here in this Town, surrounding area or the Region? So much for supporting businesses within our own Town or area. Such BS hypocrites. I understand how there are probably not very many staff members who are not from this Town and don't give a damn about supporting this Town, but I would think that the council members who are, could at least 
look at businesses in your own backyard. Not only does this Town seem to enjoy overspending on projects, but also likes spending taxpayers money elsewhere.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 February 2017 at 21:41

It's not amazing.

I keep repeating.

Municipalities have no right to exist. Provincial rules and regulations circumscribe just about everything and came into being because of need. 

In the Municipal Act competition must be held to fill the top jobs. . According to law,opportunity can't be restricted to residents. Professional qualifications are key. 

Selection  must not only be right. It must be seen to be right. 

Former Councillor Grace Marsh asked once:  "Evelyn, how can a Councillor   know all that's needed
to make the right decisions ?"

"You have to trust staff " I answered. 

It was the right answer at the time. Things changed. Staff changed . Ruleswere no longer respected. I suspect may not even have been understood. Trust could. no longer be the coin of the realm in Aurora. 

Appointments were made outside the rules. 

Politics permeated. 

An outgoing treasurer gave three months notice. Time  went by. No competition was scheduled.  

Eventually, the CAO privately informed Council  he had appointed a treasurer  on an
interim basis. 

He was informed appointment was by Bylaw . Authority rested with Council. 

No bells clanged no difference made. 

The interim  pcontract expired and Council was again privately informed of  appointment to the position

The bylaw was passed after the fact. 

The appointment had been made over a coffee in a donut shop. 

At no time later did anything occur to generate confidence in judgement exercised at that time. 

Appointments were made with commensurate remuneration. A procession of consultants were hired 
in addition. 

The pattern begun in the single Mormac term continued thereafter despite an election for change. 

A purchase of culture contract  worth hundreds of thousands, from a self appointed board ,occupying a municipally owned and maintained  facility was continued. 

A lease to a federal institution of a building required for municipal purpose was extended to thirty years. 
Thetown's assumed the role of landlord with all attendant responsibilities. 

An addition was planned to the town hall and a budget allocated. The process continued to stcontract award, then, prior to recommendation to council ,after $300,000 had been expended,the project was abruptly cancelled without explanation.  

Specifications and contract price were both beyond approved budget. No person held accountable. 

The story continued . People hired with specific credentials ,were re-organized with responsibilities 
for which they had no credentials. An auditor's letter to management,official notification of mis-management called for an additional organizational shift. 

Management of facilities was transferred from a person with credentials to one with none. 

Hundreds of thousands were spent without obvious benefit.  

The latest boondoggle is construction of a joint facility on an unsuitable site purchased for the purpose. 

According to rules ,specs were prepared,bids called and a contract awarded.

Throughout construction, items  were removed  to stay within budget.The Green roof and system for monitoring gas useage are but a couple of examples.

The town provides free space for contractors to park vehicles and equipment. They may even have access to maintenance and parts. 

A gas pump is on site to fuel town vehicles. Useage Monitoring equipment  was  eliminated from the project with council approval.

 it has since been added to the 2017 budget  at double the forecast it was eliminated from construction.  

Jiggery-pokery is a phrase that comes to mind. 

No matter who makes the recommendations  at  staff level, Council  is ultimately and finally responsible.

It pays to have the right people on the job. 


Anonymous said...

Lets face it, the reason for the surprises is there is lots of money in the pot to spend as one sees fit. We have a major payroll at town hall but no worries as we have plenty of money to damn well hire who and when we please. If we are short the treasurer merely has to do a calculation of how much we need for next year. Presto, on to the tax bill it goes.

I read with some concern that a consultant was hired to tell town folk if the garbage pick-up contract was a good deal. Can't we do that at town hall? No worries, there is money in the pot.

Every once in a while someone gets caught promising something that cannot be delivered. No worries, stuff it in a following budget to finish the job. There will be lots of money.

There's really no "jigery pokery". No sir, it's all transparent. There's lots of money in the pot and the supply is never ending.

Too much money and not too little is the issue.

Anonymous said...

TRUST is a word that is misused with regularity.

Do we trust members of Council? After all, what do we really know about them other than what they tell us? And on this basis we are supposed to make an intelligent decision come election time.

Do we trust Staff? They are, after all, hired by members of Council and are supposed to be accountable for what they do. How intelligent a decision do councillors make when hiring senior staff? Do they believe what they are told?

And that raises another weasel word - ACCOUNTABLE. Are any of them?

Anonymous said...

I believe Council doesn't hire staff at all. The mayor and council are responsible for the CAO
only. All staff members report to their directors and directors report to the CAO. And council reports to the electorate every 4 yrs. I'm sure the CAO and directors have a hard time hiring the right candidate for job positions at the Town, just like we do every 4 yrs. The quality of people out there is pretty dismal. Accountability? You only find that in private business, which this provincial government is destroying each and every day, unless your one of their friends.