"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

Tuesday 17 October 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "YOU ASKED....HAPPY TO OBLIGE": 

The IES Director has already paid the price for the JOC as the sacrificial lamb. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 October 2017 at 17:15

Mais non, mon ami ....

Aurora's taxpayers are victims in this story. 

Four years ago, salary grid for the position of IES director was within the range of $189,000. It's
likely more now. 

The CAO position was in the range of $200,000. He moved on to $260,000.

Complete with other benefits,averaging  $30,000. vacation around 6 weeks, plus time off for
 meetings attended, the financial impact of administration of town business is real and substantial
 even without the $26 million cost of the project so far spent.

Chief Financial Officer is within the same range as the others. 

Full - time Mayor  salary is  $150,000  or thereabouts , plus benefits. Vacation time is indeterminate and difficult to discern,from days of doing little that's discernible. 

If the pattern established by an earlier termination for cause, on advice from the CFO,was followed,
a month's salary was paid to the departing IES Director for every year of employment. 

Considering value not received for resources expended, sacrifice is definitely on the backs of  
residents. None of the directors referenced lived in the town. 

Aurora taxpayers are IT.

In recent years,three construction projects were completed within budget and on time; 
Seniors' Centre,Aurora Recreation Complex and Leslie Street Industrial Park Development .

All supervised by the longest serving member of the Administration, The Director of Leisure Services. 
In 2006/10, his authority for buildings and facilities was transferred to IES in a re-organisation recommended by the new CAO. The one who recently defected.  He came from the Region,where he served as  Manager of Database in the CAO's office. He wasn't in the Aurora job long enough to know how things were done  before sweeping changes were recommended to do them differently. 

I found no merit in the proposal. I suspected the origin. I voted against .

Not long after, the town's Parks Department was evicted from the Hydro Building to make way for Queen's York Rangers, to save them from extinction. A lease was recommended. 

I found the recommendation to be totally without merit and in fact contrary to town interest. I voted against. 

Mr Ballard ,not yet Councillor but a pstrong supporter of the former Mayor, had a special relationship  with QYR. He was appointed as a citizen member of the Economic Development Committee. 
Councillor Mac Eachern stepped aside to allow him to take the Chair. He took credit for the Promenade Study designed to revitalize the downtown,eventually incorporated in the Official Plan .
It's been seven years. Can't say I've noticed any spectacular results. 

There was one recommendation to budget to replace sidewalks with an ornamental surface and buy heritage street furniture for downtown in a million dollar figure. It was not approved. 

This story has many twists and turns. 

The Family Leisure Complex addition,was undertaken in the 2010 /14 term under supervision of 
IES Director. Completion was months beyond schedule. Cost was millions above budget. Work 
is still outstanding and the project  was a fraction of the JOC contract. 

The IES Director had a business administration degree from a Scottish Distance University. He had previously been a private contractor but came to Aurora directly from York Region's Water Department.

The Public Works Director was an early departure  after Mormac took office.The exodus that followed was fairly steady.The Town had difficulty attracting candidates thereafter. 

One vacancy had 3 candidates.Two had no credentials and even less idea of what the job was about. 
Every vacancy attracts applications like that. But this one only had one with credentials and two without. It was the Municipal Clerk post. 

Although the Municipal Act requires a competition be held for Municipal Treasurer, it didn't happen.

The former CFO gave 3 months notice. Weeks went by, no action. Eventually ,Council was 
informed, behind closed doors, of interim appointment of a candidate of the CAO's choosing. 

The decision wasn't his to make and if truth were told he probably didn't. 

The Chief Financial Officer of a municipality is appointed by Council Bylaw. 

The interim appointment was later confirmed . It was learned the job had been offered 
over a coffee in a doughnut shop. The CFO had worked for Richmond Hill for twelve years. 
The municipality went to a commission system a year before and he had been employed by a consultant since. 

When responsibility for supervising the JOC contract was assigned, failures in the previous project were already known to Council. It was not their first experience. 

But the majority decided to proceed in all haste. It was election year. They had to be seen to be getting things done. 

Disaster was a long time coming ,easily foreseen and only more visible than many others.

Our Town was consistently  ill -served. 

There can be no shifting of responsibility . 

Councils elected to provide oversight and ensure competence and financial efficiency...have not done 
their job. . ..the list is endless. 

One vote makes little difference. 

It can easily be disregarded, dismissed and disrespected. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My thoughts:

"Aurora's taxpayers are victims in this story" is a kernel of truth we need to keep reminding ourselves as we ponder the next municipal election.

I guess the Mayor's chair is very comfortable at $150,000/yr. He may need a strong arm to push him out. I hope voters are staying informed and have a strong arm.