Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Kean to Take 10% Cut in Pay if Elected

Posted by auroracitizen on September 7, 2010

Nigel Kean has recently released his first ad that makes any concrete commitments.

The first commitment was a 10% reduction in pay “to stop the wastage  of your money”. That caught people’s attention — which we guess was his intention.

But he wasn’t very clear on what this commitment actually is or whether it is even achievable. Was that also his intention?

First, is he talking about the Aurora portion of the salary or the Regional salary as well? Many people might not be familiar with this distinction, so the bold claim could certainly be mis-leading. Shouldn’t he be more specific with his commitments? Otherwise, how can voters hold him accountable?

Secondly, it is virtually impossible to guarantee that he will take a cut in pay in his salary as a Regional Councillor — this would require a Regional Council resolution to change a single salary — which would be highly unlikely since it would also require support of his fellow Regional Councillors. Something they would probably not want to discuss. So has he made a commitment he can’t deliver?

If he is strictly talking about the Aurora portion of the wage — shouldn’t he be clear? This would probably amount to around $5,000. This would also require a Council resolution for it to be enacted.

The big question is; Shouldn’t he make sure he can deliver against his commitments before he makes them?

Making commitments you cannot guarantee you will deliver is not what we are looking for in our next Mayor — we already had one of those.

Wouldn’t it better to actually provide some concrete examples of where he plans to find these promised cost savings rather than making a vague promise that is probably never achievable?

Let’s hope that he starts discussing issues that are important to this community rather than trying to create silly sound-bites.

Stay tuned. We will expect clarification of these issues as the campaign unfolds.

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14 Responses to “Kean to Take 10% Cut in Pay if Elected”

  1. Anonymous said

    10% of 0 is ZERO.

    He ain’t gonna win.

  2. Anonymous said

    I agree with Councillor Buck when she pointed out that anyone and everyone (who meets the criteria)has the right to run for office. However, after reading Kean’s and Clowater’s ads in the paper this week, I wish to hell they weren’t!

  3. Anonymous said

    Did anyone read Clowater’s ad in the Auroran? Did anyone understand it? The way in which he cannot string a coherent sentence together makes me wonder if he is related to the Lone Granger. It was pathetic.

    • fed up said

      There is only one choice for mayor–Kean and Clowater are incoherent and don’t present any real choice–poorly thought out platforms–Morris is a bully and a total failure–please for real chanage in this town

  4. For a fistful of dollars said

    Nigel’s platform is rather weak, if not downright pathetic.

    There are many serious issues arising from the expiring Council’s performance that he could be addressing – should be addressing vigorously.

    a. Pass a By-law doing away with the Code of Conduct and its attendant IC.
    b. Conduct a review of senior staff – department heads – to determine whether they are capable of performing their duties on behalf of the citizens of Aurora, rather than be lackeys to the present mayor. If not, fire them.
    c. Scrap the Promenade Study which is a pipe-dream. Rather form a commission of business people, both downtown and elsewhere, to determine how we can attract high tech service companies and others that do not require big box buildings to the core. Most merchants today want to be where the action is, and if you look ay Bayview north of Wellington and Wellington at Leslie you will see business investment and growth.
    d. Deal with traffic calming in a sensible manner – speed humps – and tear out the chicanes that were stupidly installed several years ago.
    e. Take a conciliatory and business-like approach to development and developers. They will provide future assessment to help offset increasing town service costs.
    f. Reexamine the composition of all Committees and get rid of the deadwood and the present mayor’s buddies. Appoint serious people who care.
    g. If studies are commissioned they should have public input and then be accepted without parallel studies conducted by councillors resulting in the total waste of tens of thousands of dollars, or more.
    h. Examine the “Culture Centre” to determine if we need it or can afford it, and develop the adjoining buildings.

    These are but a few initial thoughts; there are many more.

    • Anonymous said

      Whoop-di-do a 10% cut in the mayor’s pay! Now how about standing for something REALLY important, Mr. Kean, like eliminating the ridiculous amount of taxpayer money that is wasted on legal fees and Integrity Commissioners?

    • Richard Johnson said

      To For a fistful of dollars:

      These are all good ideas. I agree with every point made with the exception that think that both Nigel and Geoff have put forward solid and thoughtful platforms. It appears to me like both candidates agree that the amount of money spent on legal fees and an integrity commissioner is a waste of our time and resources. Both candidates have stated that we need to revisit our town’s priorities while improving the work environment and public dialog. I am not so sure that Roger has developed a winning strategy, however he is doing his best and he is a good man. At this stage I would bet that he won’t come close to winning, but we should respect his efforts none the less.

      In addition to your policy ideas, I would also do a blind survey via an arms length body that would ascertain what staff feel the issues of concern are at the town hall and what steps could be taken to improve the work environment and productivity. From my perspective on the outside looking in, it appears that we need to take steps to restore a positive work environment by moving away from the paranoia, the bullying, the manipulation and the secrecy that seem to be so well entrenched these days.

      At the end of the day, this will be a two or three person race with the potential for a spoiler. I highly suspect that provided voters do their homework, and are not “snowed” by the spin we are about to witness, the Mayor will not win as many votes as she did last time around (even in-spite of the town’s growth). 4,250 to 4,500 votes is the magic number range that will likely elect our next Mayor and I have to believe that we will see change. To think otherwise would be too painful.

    • Richard Johnson said

      Oh ya, one more thing. I would insist on either balancing the budget or at the very least, keeping any increase to something below what we expect the CPI increase to be. Enough is enough.

      The challenge here is that we have long term infrastructure needs that the town has not fully addressed as of yet, although I know they are trying. That said, we can’t keep going to the money tree to get more and more money each year. At some point we need to stop spending on frills, revisit our priorities and start creating a sustainable long term budget.

  5. Robert the Bruce said

    This platform “plank” is just proof that Nigel is really not in touch with the reality of the job at hand. In the grand scheme of things, this is a pittance to the real bottom line. I would argue that in order to get the “Best” candidate running for elected office, we should be increasing the salary so that really qualified people will consider taking a run at the job without the big hit in the pocket book.

    Another empty plank is his pledge to reduce the size of council. Even as Mayor, he is 1 vote in 9. Unless the council is filled with “Keaners” he would have a tough time getting 8 people to vote to eliminate two of their jobs.

    Nigel is looking for headlines, he’s getting them here but the substance is lacking.

    Fuimus

    • One who Knows said

      RTB & anonymous just hit the nail on the head, , you get what you pay for , What a very limp old notion from a very weak and shallow candidate,obviously aimed at the like minded voter, Quite pathetic really !

  6. Anonymous said

    we should pay what a candidate is worth! so for nigel, a 10% cut sounds about right… hey, you get what you pay for!

  7. Richard Johnson said

    The fact that Nigel is prepared to put forward such a resolution at Aurora Council is a good faith measure, but there are a great many other areas where we could save money… like scrapping the $200,000 plus plus plus we pay to lawyers and the IC to oversee Council and their apparently endlessly bad behaviour over the next term.

    What I want to know is will council actually balance its books verses continually implementing annual tax increases (most of which are even above CPI) ? I thought I heard a number of Councillors actually argue for annual tax increases as being justified. The music will to stop one day… when we hit the wall (which we may have actually hit some time ago).

  8. fed up said

    Instead of a 10% cut in a portion of his wage, how about a 10% cut in our taxes–now that’s meaningful, but I can’t see him or any of the mayor or councillor candidates making that pledge

  9. Oh no! said

    Nigel Kean running for mayor is a joke.

    The trouble is that it’s likely to be on us, rather than on him where it belongs.

    Silly old Nigel.

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