Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

2010 Budget Highlights – Part 1

Posted by evelynb on January 5, 2010

The town budget for 2010 is an election platform for the Mormac regime. Anyone contemplating a run for office should study it well. Supporting documentation is as important as the figures. Hopefully, the Library will keep the 2009 budget on hand for comparison purposes.

An interesting picture emerges of the effect of changes in the administration. Like…are you better off ?

Council completed lengthy deliberations last Dec. 8th, when the Mayor triumphantly announced hard work and success in achieving a “low” tax increase.

The completed document, I am informed, will not be ready until after January 26th.The Bylaw will not be passed until early February.

It’s believed to be good economic strategy to complete a budget before year-end. There’s a head start on contract awards. Council met two full Saturdays and several extra evenings to that end. If the Bylaw isn’t passed until early February, we will have lost that advantage by a month.

There’s more. Keep the calculator handy.

You already know about the $100ks for the Arboretum to plant trees. They still have $20Ks left of last year’s $50Ks. That means a group of well-meaning non- elected residents have $120Ks to spend however they see fit in 2010. $80Ks have already been spent and little to show for it.

In 2009, immediately after the new CAO joined the administration, $95ks was allocated for a re-organisation study. One might think it wise to learn how an organisation functions before determining what or whether change is required. Not in the Mormac regime.

Financial impact from re-organisation adds $231ks to this year’s budget. Four new management positions are created. Changes in salary grids are another consequence.

An additional $231K is being transferred to management of the Church Street School facility. We didn’t hear what was done with the first $300K. Not much of anything it seems. This year’s transfer is over half a million. Add $140K for operation of the building ,heat and light and maintenance etc and we have three quarters of a million additional annual burden for something that gives no sign of being needed let alone profitable.

We are handing over $50ks once again to the Aurora Historical Society to do with whatever they fancy. They are an organisation of fifty-nine members. A few years ago they committed to raising a million dollars to restore Church Street School. Now they need the town to keep handing them $50k every year to keep doing whatever it is they do.

$290K of the surplus from 2009 is tucked into an account to “stabilise” next year’s tax rate. That means, we pay extra this year to make next year’s tax rate look better.Over $300Ks filched from anticipated supplementary assessment not yet on the books, shows on the books as actual revenue. The $600Ks combined substantially improves the bottom line.

$100K is still in 2010 budget for the rotting, mouldering, crumbling shack that was the Petch family abode which still sits, after more than six years, at the side of Leslie Street south of Wellington. For nothing, we obtained an expert opinion that it could not be moved in one piece. Councillor MacEachern was sure that wasn’t true. As the town’s representative on the South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority,the Councillor convinced the Chairman and Manager of that body to accept the building on Sheppard’s bush property as long as no trees had to be removed in the transfer.

After more than $2Ks was paid to get a new report; the building would have to be taken to pieces, mouldering boards replaced with vintage but not rotten . Then the Ontario Heritage Trust exercised their authority and declared the structure would no longer be authentic and they didn’t want it. Financial resources, staff time, Council deliberation, metres of print and paper were expended on the exercise before it was finally, apparently, not laid to rest.

After six years of fruitless ruminations about what if anything can be done with it, we still have a $100Ks in the budget to do it. $8ks was anonymously donated in addition.

I’m not finished with this election platform of a budget. All kinds of sugar plums dance in my head that you need to know about but will not necessarily be a comfort to you.

8 Responses to “2010 Budget Highlights – Part 1”

  1. fed up said

    Anonymous: what’s your point–we all pay regional taxes too and if the board can clear their lot why can’t the town with town employees clear the streets–they seem to have no shortage of little plows to clear sidewalks, bike and hiking paths throughout the forests–what happened to clearing streets?

  2. Michael said

    Wellington Street may be a Regional Road, but thought I would throw in some food for thought.

    I live near Yonge Street and Murray Drive. Yonge Street is also a Regional Road (Regional Road 1 after the downloading by the province…i.e. the Region of York is now responsible for it). I see Town of Aurora plows and Salt trucks (or at least trucks with the sign “contracted by the Town of Aurora) plowing and salting this road. So why can’t the same be done on Wellington Street?

    Is the same thing done for Bayview Avenue, St. John’s Sideroad, Bloomington Road, Leslie Street, etc. All of these are Regional Roads as well.

    Just wonderin.

  3. fed up said

    Aurora Heights and Orchard Heights are not regional roads and they have not seen a plow all day–what excuse is there for this BS?

    • Nigel Kean said

      All streets cannot get cleaned at the same time. I know that I have called the public works department to let them know that a street did not get cleaned and they look after the complaint very quickly.

    • Countdown to Oct said

      Hey Nige, I see you’ve signed the papers for your candidacy for Mayor. Let the games begin!

  4. Anonymous said

    I am sure that the Board uses a contractor.

  5. fed up said

    related to our budget–How is it that the school board office parking lot on Wellington St is perfectly clear of any snow or slush but Wellington street in front of the board office is still snow covered–where are all the salt trucks and plows?–why isn’t my tax dollar being used to clear the streets and make them safe? Our streets right now are a disgrace!

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