Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Jazz Festival Back In The News Again

Posted by auroracitizen on April 13, 2012

It seem Councillors Ballard, Gallo and Gaertner never miss an opportunity to create controversy. They have tried to create a controversy where none should exist.

Council recently declined to wave the user fees for the Town Park — in keeping with the policies that apply to other user groups who use the park.

Seems pretty clear. In fact, it should never have come to Council in the first place. Remember, Council sets policy and then expect staff to execute accordingly. Why wasn’t staff simply allowed to do their job without the controversy?

More on point, why did the jazz festival come before Council in the first place. It’s simple — they expect to be treated differently. Which make sense — since the previous Council provided them with privileges no other group received. And clearly they have vocal support this term who feel they should get special treatment again.

However, not so fast. This Council rightly decided to treat everyone equally. Good for them. That’s leadership, transparency and integrity. What we voted them in to deliver.

But then Ballard and crew started their whining because their friends didn’t get to continue on the gravy train and get access to our tax dollars. And instead of dealing with the policy issues — then have tried to hide behind their cries of the balance of Council being “anti-culture”.

Well boo hoo. You didn’t get what you wanted — so again you start twisting the facts and trying to change the discussion.

First it the Aurora Cultural Centre being an attack on culture versus what it really was — a demand for accountability for our dollars. Now it’s the jazz festival.

This is a privately run organization that claimed to generate $100,000 in revenue. Yet they feel they are entitled to have you and I dip into our pockets and pay part of their expenses even if we would prefer to have that money used for something else. If the event is that successful — fantastic. Run it responsibly and pay your way like every other user group in town. But keep your hands out of our pockets.

And to Councillors who voted to give them the funds — start looking after our money — and stop giving it away to special interest that you deem as worthy. It’s not your money. It’s our money and we want to have a say on how you spend it.

Wonder when Councillor Ballard, Gallo and Gaertner will figure out that there was a reason their mentors were voted out. Auroran’s want transparency around how and where our tax dollars are being spent and no more special privileges for friends. The jazz festival situation has again brought out the underside of Aurora politics.

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17 Responses to “Jazz Festival Back In The News Again”

  1. Anonymous said

    I read the comments on Clr.Bucks Blog about the original monies to get this festival started came from funds that were allocated to the Farmers Market.
    I do remember reading in the newspaper(Banner or Auroran)that this was to be a joint project by the two parties.

    What happened?

    • evelynb said

      It’s how the so-called festival got started. St Kitts was on the executive of the Farmer’s Market as the special events co-ordinator.She quit the next year when they refused to pay for her services..

  2. Anonymous said

    Did anyone ever discover why a staff member announced that He would give the Jazz Gang a four-day permit if they asked because it was His Right ? What about the right of Council to keep this thing from mushrooming? The event is advertised for 3 days – why are they even considering 4? Who is running the Town Hall policy ? Surely not the leisure services manager. Council SETS the policy. No?

    • evelynb said

      He didn’t say it as if it was his right. He was advising council if there was an application, he would process it. Like …if you would like me to do otherwise, tell me now. Staff do not have autocratic rights. They follow policy or Council’s direction.

    • evelynb said

      There was no application for four days. They had already advertised it as three days.There was a lot of pushing and shoving going on.

  3. Logic 101 said

    Councillor Gallo was quoted in the Auroran during that dispute about who saw what in the Coffee Shop that his religion did not allow him to tell a lie. This past week he stated in Council that if the park fees for the Jazz Group were not waived ‘ culture was dead in Aurora’. So which one is it that we are to believe?

    • Anonymous said

      Since culture in Aurora would not be dead even if the Jazz Gang left town, which they will not do, that was an outright lie. Gallo could have just exaggerated and said that not waiving the park fees would hurt the festival. He took the former route and lied. His words, in the Auroran and on tape.

  4. JOE said

    The Jazz festival people will never learn. They are like the well to do kid in the school yard who is always doing the “I am better then you,so give it to me” thing. They have no idea that they are asking for OUR money. If they want OUR money then maybe they should knock on every door in the town and ask us personally for it. But no, they do the easy thing, forget where the money comes from and ask the “YES MAM” politicians for other peoples money and they seem to have no problem giving it. Now if we asked them to take it from their own pockets would it be so free flowing. TAXES ARE COLLECTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING MY TOWN BETTER! THEY ARE NOT COLLECTED FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS THAT MAKE 150,000.00 in profit at a not-for-profit organization and then give $6,000.00 to charity.

  5. Anonymous said

    I would like to know why Ballard and Gallo have arrogantly proclaimed themselves the only members of council who either understand or appreciate arts and culture. Who the hell are they to pass judgement on others? Kudos to councillor Thompson for firing right back at Gallo.
    Speaking of Gallo, I was trying to decide just what his current look is supposed to be. Is it his idea of what an arts and culture guru, as he believes he is, should look like? Is he a Sherlock Holmes wannabee? What, with the plaid manteau, all he was lacking on Tuesday evening was a deerstalker and pipe. Or is he simply wanting to look like a rather premature Hallowe’en little devil? He has the slicked back hair and goatee but the horns were missing.
    At least his look provided a little light amusement during an otherwise onerous meeting!

    • anonymous said

      We have been asked not to comment on personal appearance. But Gallo must have created his ‘ look ‘ to attract attention. Too much time, effort and cost are involved. The ‘ why ‘ is peculiar as the end result is frightening, especially for small children.

    • Anonymous said

      As a newcomer to this site, I find it offensive to read the comment about a councillor’s looks. Even more offensive was the tirade that a “gentleman” by the name of Chris Watts made on his blog about the same topic. I have never met this Mr Watts, but I guess he looks the same over the last 4 or 5 years. I think those that believe that looks matter in local municipal politics have not seen many. You don’t have to look far.

  6. Music fan said

    Actually their revenue might have been closer to $150,000 last year.

    What bothers me is the spokespeople for these music/culture groups. They are aways making bizarre statements, writing rather boorish letters, exaggerating, or issuing ultimata. As a result they come across as unpleasant, unattractive, unappealing, just the sort one would rather never want to deal with. From a public relations standpoint they should look for someone who can be viewed sympathetically by the community.

    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. This is a lesson for them to learn.

    • jd said

      Even with a “honey” approach this group and its bleeding heart supporters should not be entitled to special favours. Other groups pay user fees; they do not get special favours and most of them just pay them without a to-do, meeting their obligations to the town for the use of facilities. What’s so difficult or unusual about that?
      I don’t want my taxes to support “special favours or freebies.” I want them to be spent on necessary services; I want user fees to be collected, as they should, so that our town’s facilities can be properly cared for and maintained for everyone’s enjoyment. They brag about the money they made last year; let them dip into that.

    • Jazzed out said

      Over on Evelyn Buck’s site they are arguing about whether the Centre is properly constituted as a charitable enterprise. Some say yes, others question this. What do you people have to say about this?

      Some wag has even commented that if it is, indeed, a charitable venture the Town’s contributions, both in cash and in kind, would be tax deductible and hence result in a reduction in property taxes.

      Is this possible?

      We are now in Never-never Land. Quick Toto, there’s a tornado coming!

    • Anonymous said

      “Over on Evelyn Buck’s site they are arguing … What do you people have to say about this?”

      Umm, Jazzed Out, you do know that it’s all the same “people,” don’t you?

    • jd said

      Quite frankly, I don’t give a horse’s ass which they are. It still doesn’t entitle them to any freebies from my taxes.

    • jd said

      To Anonymous, April 14th @ 11:08
      Speak for yourself!

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