Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

When Will We Get A Cultural Centre Update?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 27, 2012

At a Special Council meeting on April 5, 2012, Section 5.1, among others, of the Terms of Reference, was amended to replace two members of Council with two members of Town staff, plus one alternate.

The apparent reason for this amendment is that insofar as the Negotiating Working Group will be meeting in secret, members of Council could not participate. A secret, or closed session that involves elected representatives is only permitted under the Municipal Act in very limited circumstances; the Negotiating Working Group does not qualify.

The above having been said, we are now almost three weeks after the above referenced Special Council meeting. Has there been any public announcement from the Town advising which two members of staff, plus one alternate, have been named to the Group?

Is the composition of the Group just as secret as its deliberations? This does not appear to be typical of our democracy at work.

The Group is only dealing with approximately $500,000 per year of taxpayer money. Is this not a large enough sum to warrant some limited public disclosure?

Has anyone heard any updates?

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24 Responses to “When Will We Get A Cultural Centre Update?”

  1. anonymous said

    No way we do this again. It is not rocket science. Draw up the agreement & get it signed within a specific time frame. You can fool the taxpayers once. Aurora holds all the cards. Play them!

    • Anonymous said

      A time frame has been specified. (BTW, we are all “Aurora”)

    • Anonymous said

      I BELIEVE THAT THE AURORA “CULTURAL” CENTRE IS INCORRECTLY NAMED.

      IT SHOULD BE THE AURORA CULTURE CENTRE.

      POSSIBLY SOMEONE FAMILIAR WITH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AND ADVISE BEFORE WE GO AND MAKE AN ONGOING ERROR.

  2. Just Asking said

    Sorry to be obtuse, but if we get a prompt explanation for the earth, why not the same with the Heritage Center? It is a town-owned building. And Puh-leeze, none of this top-secret stuff. I don’t care if meetings are under way; there have been ‘ meetings’ for more than a year. I want to know if headway is being made. Just asking, is all. Simple, enough?

    • Anonymous said

      “…why not the same with the Heritage Center?”

      The what? When did we get one of those? (I’m just asking, Just Asking)

    • Same old, Same old said

      The initials ACC were claimed earlier by the Community Centre. In order to avoid that word ‘ culture ‘. we adopted the Heritage Centre which includes the Museum which was always intended and has been paid for by the taxpayers. That’s where it came from and it does seem to be gaining acceptance.

    • Anonymous said

      That sounds pretty silly, Same Old, Same Old. What made-up name do you use for the big building next door that is full of books?

      p.s. Who is “we”?

  3. anonymous said

    Since the removal of that termination clause, I expect absolutely nothing from the subsidized squatters in a town owned building. They have no reason to come into compliance with the Mar Report and every reason to stall. Aurora blew it we caved in at that dreadful Council meeting of thuggery.

    • Anonymous said

      Sorry to disappoint, 3:28, but meetings of the working group have commenced.

    • Anonymous said

      The fact that meetings of the working group have commenced is totally meaningless.

      It is not what began that counts, it is what is produced in the end, what is ultimately reviewed by senior staff and ultimately by Council. And then what is agreed upon and then what is committed to writing in the form of new or amended agreements. It is only here that we may make a considered judgement

      5:08 pm strikes me as a very superficial, ignorant observer of events. “And in the beginning…..”

    • Anonymous said

      What you say is correct, 7:13 (apart from your first and last sentences, of course). What you’ve described, and what was planned, is a lengthy process. I’m not sure what progress Mr Moderator was expecting after only “almost three weeks after the above referenced Special Council meeting”.

    • anonymous said

      Why a lengthy process? Nothing left to be discussed. All been said. STALLING. Since notice was given that the current agreement was hocus-pocus, there has been time to create a child. Sitting tenants need to deal with landlord. Soon would be nice. So would transparency.

    • anonymous said

      8:35 AM You must be new in Aurora. Where did you get the idea that the Moderator wrote the post to which you responded? Or even agrees with what it says? Surely someone would have informed you that you can submit a post yourself? Not that I’m looking forward to that!

    • Anonymous said

      Can anyone state with factual authority who created the original Centre agreements and how long this took?

      The Agenda for the Council meeting April 24, 2012, Item 4 is a memorandum from the CAO regarding Interim Report No. 1 of the Ad Hoc NWG and that Council select two Town Council representatives for the ACC Board of Directors. All of this is being conducted in Closed Session.

      I find this entire process deeply offensive, a complete outrage. We do not know what staff are representing the Town on this Group, bearing in mind that the Town is all of us. The $500,000 that is going toward the operation and maintenance of the Centre programs and building housing same is our money paid in property taxes.

      If it were up to me I would seek legal counsel’s advise regarding this entire process, something that is so opaque as to be the equivalent of a top secret missile defence system.

      It would be appreciated if someone with experience in these matters could explain the necessity of these secret meetings involving people whose names we do not know negotiating on behalf of those who are going to foot the bill.

      This is a complete boondoggle and should be suspended until answers are provided and we are satisfied that there is a degree of accountability at work. Some transparency would also be nice.

      The Municipal Act permits Closed Sessions dealing with matters affecting land transactions and personnel. The Ad Hoc NWG is neither. A complaint should be registered with the appropriate provincial ministry. Is there such a thing as an ombudsman whose office could investigate this top secret shamble?

    • Anonymous said

      “You must be new in Aurora.”

      Bang on! With all the accuracy of “Buckshot”! (Been here long enough to make that decades-old local reference)

    • Anonymous said

      12:55, you do realize that staff normally negotiates with other parties (often involving a lot more money) that we never hear about until it comes before council, don’t you? A little perspective and a lot less overreaction is required.

    • Anonymous said

      @12:28

      If the moderator didn’t write the “When Will We Get An (sic) Cultural Centre Update?,” then there should be a name or pseudonym attached to it, or some indication that it was submitted by a guest contributor.

    • anonymous said

      12:38 PM
      Now that’s a great idea – Not! You want 8:35 AM, the chronic morning grouch who pours acid over the comments of all others, to sit down and string his/her thoughts into a coherent post? And pigs would truly fly!

    • Anonymous said

      2:34

      It is my understanding that “staff” can authorize an expenditure for a maximum of $50,000 without specific Council approval. Is this correct?

      Most major municipal expenditures arise from tenders being called and awarded. Normal operating costs would be excluded.

      Is a commitment of $500,000 of our money chump change?

      Accountability and transparency – the two buzz-words of this century – do not appear to be occurring in the present Ad Hoc process.

    • anonymous said

      2:39 PM Why? That was the former Mayor’s error, [ well, one of the many ]. She assumed that whoever moderated also wrote. What? You think you are ‘ entitled ‘ to know? Judge Brown said ‘Nope”. Frankly, NOYB or that of any of us. We do not make the rules. You might ‘want’ more info. There ‘ should ‘ not be a requirement.

    • anonymous said

      Dear 8:35 AM
      Who is Mister Moderator? Lived here long?

    • Anonymous said

      The post about Bruce Cuthbert appearing on ‘Our Town’ was “by Alison Collins-Mrakas”. The one about the lawn bowling club was obviously provided by Kelli Collins. No big mysteries there, then. So if a reader submitted the one requesting the update, why not indicate so? If not, then the moderator did. No biggie, I’d have thought.

    • Anonymous said

      “Who is Mister Moderator? Lived here long?”

      That’s relative, of course. By some standards, no, he hasn’t lived here long.

    • Really, we are back to who wrote the post versus the topic at hand.

      So here’s the scoop. We received the post/question from a reader. We posted it unchanged for people to comment. Some people did. You can agree or disagree.

      The posts by Alison and Kelli included their names on the post because they directed people to something specific. The next post from Alison for “Our Town” probably won’t have Alison’s name specifically attached. No big deal. We assume people will figure these things out. The content is the issue.

      For the record, if the reference is to Bill Hogg as the moderator — he has lived in Aurora approx 20 years. So he is both a long time resident and a short time resident based on your own context. He is 1 of many who contribute time to this site. Everyone is welcome. The initial post above is an example.

      Length of residency doesn’t accord comments more or less value. The quality of the content does.

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