Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

The State of Volunteerism

Posted by auroracitizen on May 14, 2009

Volunteers have recently come into the spotlight here in Aurora.

First, Sher St Kitts has come to our attention because the committee she heads has been unclear on how funding for the July 1st parade and how the Dream Team is associated with a Town funded and endorsed committee. This lack of transparency and potential conflict of interest has raised eyebrows and concern in some quarters. At a meeting on Tuesday, this issue was raised in a very confrontational manner — endorsed by the Mayor and Council.

Before you ask why we used the word endorsed — understand that when someone attacks a Councillor directly (versus Council as a whole) on a civil matter that is outside the mandate of Council and this is allowed only because Council waives the procedural by-law – that implies endorsement.

The same week, we have seen the resignation of Dave Giroux, the President of the Aurora Minor Ball Association (AMBA) in frustration because Council continues to refuse to honour their commitment to build a senior ball diamond. Not everyday one sees that!

He communicated his reasons through the local papers and has encourage stakeholders to rally around the issues because of the lack of movement on this issue.

We all recognize that stuff happens — but when they escalate to this level it links directly back to leadership — by the Mayor and Council.

Why have they not been able to deal with issues without this level of escalation?

Council needs to immediately take the following steps;

  1. Clarify the conflict of interest and financial questions associated with the Dream Team and the Town endorsed parade committee.
  2. Communicate with the stakeholders in the AMBA about what has happened and why they have not moved forward on resolutions that are a year old. Plus indicate what next steps and timing are in place to resolve the outstanding issues.

We predict if Council doesn’t move quickly to address these issues they will continue to fester and will become significant issues at the next election. We all know that is the last thing the Mayor wants. Unfortunately, she may not get her wish.

Stay tuned.

PS — There are a number of comments related to this post in the previous post When Is An Invitation Not An Invitation?

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26 Responses to “The State of Volunteerism”

  1. Evelyn Buck said

    To the person commenting on the resignation of AMBA president, I suggest, since you clearly have strong feelings and you claim to have support,it would be more useful to take your stand within the organisation.

    Put your name forward in nomination to fill the vacancy for President.

    If elected on the platform the facility is not needed, you could speak with confidence on behalf of AMBA and identify yourself at the same time.

  2. Evelyn Buck said

    Let me outline the process for a citizen wishing to bring a matter to the attention of council.

    A request in writing must be forwarded to the Clerk of the Municipality in sufficient time to be included on the agenda and outlining the reason for tne request.

    If the issue is a complaint and there is an administrative procedure in place,the clerk will so advise.

    The Agenda is posted in advance so that council and the public are aware of the issue coming up and have time to inform themselves.

    In the event of a complaint against a Councillor for unethical behaviour, the Code of ethics is the appropriate instrument.

    By authorisation of council,the Code is publicised on the town’s web site. Directions for filing a complaint are provided.

    Complaint forms can be downloaded from the web site.

    We have had an Integrity Commissioner on retainer since October 2008.

    The complainant is required to file the complaint in writing with the Integrity Commissioner.With evidence.

    The complaint is then forwarded to the person being complained about, who in turn files a response

    The Integrity Commissioner considers both documents and decides if the complaint is frivolous, can be mediated or alternatively merits an investigation.

    For obvious reasons,the process is confidential.

    As yet, there is no contract with the Integrity Commissioner.

  3. Anonymous said

    I love this quote
    “”Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” Galations VI (King James version)

    I thought it might apply to Buck.

  4. Anonymous said

    Anonymous May 15, 2009 9:42 AM you say

    “there is no innuendo, gossip, whatever nonsense you try to put forward to deflect attention away from the hard questions”

    BUT

    Sher seems to think there is enough of what you are denying to warrant pursuing her options that, from my understanding, seem to be of a legal nature, Code of Ethics…

  5. Anonymous said

    Main Entry:
    pro·pa·gan·da
    Pronunciation:
    \ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də, ˌprō-\
    Function:
    noun
    Etymology:
    New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV †1623
    Date:
    1718
    1capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
    2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
    3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause ; also : a public action having such an effect

  6. Anonymous said

    DITTO ( I’m a baseball mom)

    Anonymous said…
    Why doesn’t Evelyn Buck respond to the comment by Anonymous May 14, 2009 6:15 PM.

    I’d be interested in that.

    May 15, 2009 10:04 AM

  7. Anonymous said

    It certainly is amusing to watch Morris and MacEachern twist and squirm as they are getting back in spades what they’ve been doing to others for years

    The retribution is almost biblical.

    Brings to mind a favourite passage,

    “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” Galations VI (King James version)

    Perhaps the Mayor should consider that passage before her next “prayer breakfast”

  8. Anonymous said

    Anonymous said…
    Evelyn Buck raises the issue of Conflict of Interest in reference to others. Her awareness of this Act exists. Then why did she participate in the vote. Voting not to permit staff to review the formal complaint levelled against her?

    If, Evelyn is found guilty of violating the Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics or the Harassment Poilcy she may experience financial consequences. Under the code of conduct she stands to loss 3 months pay. So, why did she participate in the vote?

    As momma use to say- you can’t always tell who your friends are. So mind your tongue. My understanding, the complaint went beyond “her” blog.

    Is a class action lawsuit possible on this type of legal action?

    May 14, 2009 6:42 PM

    Anyone have an answer?

  9. Propaganda'R'Us said

    Propaganda:

    The promotion of specific ideas or views, often political in nature.

    An extreme form of written or spoken persuasion intended to influence the reader or listener strongly.

    Information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause.

  10. Anonymous said

    Rumors, Long Time Resident, are rumors.
    Those who spread them are not interested in facts.
    If they were they would use legitimate ways to discover facts.
    They want rumors to sow seeds of suspicion, then step back, knowing that they have achieved their purpose

    Sowing seeds of suspicion, ill will, fear serves a purpose. You can take that to the bank!

  11. Anonymous said

    Why doesn’t Evelyn Buck respond to the comment by Anonymous May 14, 2009 6:15 PM.

    I’d be interested in that.

  12. Long Time Resident said

    Why is asking a question about the use of Town funds and why a Town committee does not provide financial results for their activities called rumour or misinformation. They are questions that tax payers have a right to ask and have answered.

    The fact that no answers are forthcoming is what leads to rumours.

  13. Anonymous said

    “I think the fact that this issue has been boiling for a month now and the only response we’ve seen is an attack on Buck for her questions speaks VOLUMES…”

    Perhaps a small point, something is being done: the person “under suspicion” as presented by this site is standing up for herself and has presented her case to Town Council.

    So why continue the mud slinging? Wait for the official process to take place. Wait for the reveal.
    I’m sure we will all get some interesting information.
    Let’s go with the official legal process.

    I know Buck and her supporters have a problem with that concept.
    But there are rules and procedures which Buck both uses and abuses at will.

  14. Anonymous said

    Let’s put it this way you spread a rumor saying that someone is having an affair.
    Then you say that person has not provided the town with facts to prove there is no affair going on.
    Isn’t that person being victimized at least twice.
    And does it really concern you, and if it does are there not legitimate avenues available to you in a democratic country to get your answers without spreading rumors, with No facts?
    Just asking.

  15. Anonymous said

    Heather,
    Dictionary definition for propaganda:
    systematic efforts to spread opinions or beliefs, especially by distortion and deception.
    Hope that helps.

  16. Anonymous said

    for heaven’s sake…

    there is no innuendo, gossip, whatever nonsense you try to put forward to deflect attention away from the hard questions

    why don’t the parties involved just answer the questions and be done with this mess??

    I think the fact that this issue has been boiling for a month now and the only response we’ve seen is an attack on Buck for her questions speaks VOLUMES…

    Not once has there been a straightforward answer – to even one question.

    So for those clamouring for the “facts” – yes PLEASE give us the facts!!!!!!!

  17. Anonymous said

    “It’s unacceptable to me that a volunteer is being smeared with mud because some perceive her to be friendly with the mayor. No facts to support the allegations, just innuendo.”

    Yet you’re okay to say what you want about Heather for being friends with Evelyn. It’s a shame you don’t have political intentions because you’ve become quite adept at talking out of both sides of your face!

    I understood the Dream Team to be a fundraising committee who collected money from people in support of the Canada Day Parade, the Christmas dinner thing, etc… working closely with the Town of Aurora and it’s council and employees. Now it sounds like it wasn’t ‘authorized’ by the Town. Either that or the Town knew that it wasn’t really a charitable foundation. If I wanted to start up Bob’s Help the Children Foundation and use the Town as a platform/endorser – and it came to light I wasn’t actually RAISING funds, just covering costs for big parties, don’t you think that would be a problem? The problem isn’t the leader of the group, the problem is the lack of information provided.

  18. Heather said

    “I have deduced that this is a propaganda machine.”

    Is propaganda a positive or a negative term to you?

  19. Anonymous said

    The reality is May 15, 2009 12:33 AM,
    you have nailed it.

    I have deduced that this is a propaganda machine.
    The people who claim this site and its mission choose to promote the following ideas;
    Conspiracy: hackers, connected to the mayor; no
    responsibility for attacking “a mayor
    supporter” with absolutely no evidence
    : All majority Council decisions, wrong,
    orchestrated by the mayor
    : All delegations, orchestrated by the
    mayor
    : Controlling comments by Evelyn Buck
    and her enabler Heather Sisman (who
    apparently lives and works in
    Newmarket, doesn’t volunteer in
    Aurora but feels free to spread gossip
    about a high-profile volunteer)
    :Pour gas on any fire that Evelyn Buck
    deems to be opportunistic.
    All in the service of freedom of speech I rest my case.
    It’s unacceptable to me that a volunteer is being smeared with mud because some perceive her to be friendly with the mayor. No facts to support the allegations, just innuendo.
    That’s how kids behave.
    Bullies threaten anyone seen talking to their target.
    I like to stand up for the good that is my Aurora… and I date back to 1964!

  20. Anonymous said

    Ah yes, again we see the motto of so many correspondents on this blog:

    When in doubt, assume the worst.

    Facts? Why bother getting them first?

    It seems that on this ball diamond matter, however, there is another side to the question. Not every day one sees that on Aurora Citizen!

  21. Anonymous said

    From what lofty position are you directing the activities of council?
    Are you an elected person?
    Do you have some expertise?

  22. Anonymous said

    well that answered alot didn’t it?
    TO May 14, 2009 8:12 PM.

    I have no desire to meet with the MP, and really don’t care who does.

    I care how my tax dollars are spent and for what.

    I just don’t remember council approving funds for a trip to Ottawa for a non-citizen.

    If i am wrong about who paid for the trip then i am sorry. But if it was paid by taxpayers then someone needs to be explaining how this happened without Council approval

  23. Anonymous said

    In response to Anonymous May 14, 2009 6:19 PM – WHY? because you are not!

  24. Anonymous said

    i read in the banner that Ms. Kitts paid a visit to Ottawa to see Lois Brown and speak to hear about Canada Day.

    Was this paid for by us as taxpayers??

    If so, who authorized this?

    a phone call would have done the same thing and been cheaper

    And once again why is someone that is not a citizen of Aurora or newmarket meeting with our MP to discuss plans for our parade??

  25. Anonymous said

    Aurora Citizen said, “The same week, we have seen the resignation of Dave Giroux, the President of the Aurora Minor Ball Association (AMBA) in frustration because Council continues to refuse to honour their commitment to build a senior ball diamond. Not everyday one sees that!”

    In response Aurora CItizen, Mr. Giroux’s views on this are not shared by all the AMBA membership or Executive of AMBA. As a current member of AMBA, I will say I neither share in his views nor agree with his position and I am happy to accept his resignation.

    This Council has asked relevant questions. Mr. Giroux and others may be planning a field that will address the needs of a Major League Baseball Team, but, this is not the needs of our group. We need Council to continue to ask questions in hopes the facility that will some day be built will be for our youth and not the “dream field” planned by a few.

  26. Anonymous said

    My goodness Aurora Citizen, give the democratic process a chance to work.
    Are you worried that you might lose your negative momentum?
    You seem to thrive on churning up ill will.
    Never enough, I guess.

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