Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

The Role of Council

Posted by auroracitizen on April 19, 2009

There has been a spirited discussion on the topic of Who Do Councillors Work For, so we wanted to broaden the discussion by adding a couple more thoughts. We originally broached this subject with a post about Council versus Staff Roles back in Sept 2008.

One of the issues seen with this Council is their determination to get involved in the daily running of the business of the Town. By definition this is the role of staff and is in fact a Managerial role — not a leadership role.

Managers focus on adherence to rules and systems and policies. While leaders are about providing vision and delegating and empowering people to be better.

The reality is people who get involved in the day to day activities of their teams do so because they are comfortable there and uncomfortable at the hard task of delegating and empowering through policies.

The current Council seems focused on the day to day work. They have demonstrated a lack of trust in their team by constantly challenging (in a non-productive manner) staff recommendations and sending them back to be re-written the way Council wants them. This is the very definition of poor leadership.

In the business world we know that people don’t quit companies — they quit leaders.

In the political world, people don’t quit leaders — they just keep their head down and wait for a new leader. Effectively they quit their job, but don’t leave so we the taxpayers keep paying their salaries.

Unmotivated staff don’t do a very good job, but you don’t fault the staff for this. It is always the leadership.

This Council needs to get out of the daily details and start letting staff run things based on the policies set by Council. Since this Council has effectively replaced the entire senior team this term, we should expect to see less micro-managing and more visioning/policy setting in the balance of the term.

After all, we should have every expectation that they hired people they have confidence can do their jobs and be willing to let them. Time will tell.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “The Role of Council”

  1. Anonymous said

    Forget about legal costs, forget about tax dollars being given away. Can we concentrate on the costs that are wasted by meetings that continue on into the wee hours of the night so that the mayor and her cohorts can appear, to be conducting town business on the up and up?

    The costs that include paying our administrative staff to work extremely long hours on the days that meetings take place.

    As well, our mayor should know given her HR background and her paralegal experience, what a joke, that there are employment laws that govern the length of hours employees work.

    These lenthy meetings only seem to be a facade as it becomes more and more evident that the decisions have been made by the esteemed few prior to the meeting.

    So we pay and I would like to know how much money is spent on overtime, lieu time and replacement of staff? What are the actual factual all inclusive dollar amounts?

  2. Anonymous said

    Can someone clarify what this council has done this term for the good of the Town of Aurora? I recall a number of issues that have been voted on that are a direct result of one delegation or another, but I cannot in recent memory come up with any decision that has been made on behalf of the entire town, with the exception, of course, to give away our hard earned tax dollars to specific groups that the mayor or one of frivorlous five always seems to have ties too.

  3. Suggest An Alternative To This Mayor said

    To Anonymous 6:36 p.m. – I agree with your comments so completely and I want to commend you on your reference to the John Gallo appointment to council in particular.
    Mayor Morris must never be allowed to forget that disgraceful episode.
    John Gallo is there by the grace of Mayor Morris.
    If he does run for the next election, he had better make sure his election materials do not make any reference to “re-elect” him as a councillor. He was NOT elected, full-stop.

  4. Anonymous said

    Excellent points that highlight the major problems of this council.For starters we have a mayor with phantom HR and Business experience elected for her so called leadership skills.Perhaps that explains the almost complete turnover of senior staff on her watch. Also, historically the councillor with the highest vote count has always been designated Deputy Mayor. Heck last term Ms. Morris made sure wherever she went everyone addressed her as Deputy Mayor. So how did Ms. Maceachern become defacto deputy Mayor. Who changed the rules? Furthermore several councillors Granger and Wilson come to mind,were elected on nebulous credentials and abilities. Couple that with the appointment of John Gallo as councillor despite the overwhelming desire of the voters for an election.Do you really believe Ms. Morris’s spin that an election was too costly. If the ninth place person was a Morris antagonist do you think she would have worked so hard to avoid an election.? This council is a disgrace and there is nothing that can be done until November 2011(thanks McGuinty) Hopefully the residents of Aurora will use their vote better this time and retire team Morris back to private life/

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