Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Archive for the ‘Town Committees’ Category

Who Should Be on the Negotiating Committee?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 2, 2012

Here is an interesting scenario posed by one of our readers. What are your thoughts?


It is my understanding that by April 10, next Council meeting, two Councillors will have been selected to represent the Town on the Ad Hoc Negotiating Committee. They, together with two nominees from the Centre, plus a facilitator selected by agreement of the two parties, will form the Committee.

Councillors Ballard, Gaertner and Gallo seem to have eliminated themselves from consideration as a consequence of their position regarding the relationship between the Town and the Centre. Councillors Abel and Pirri might likewise have eliminated themselves as a result of the motion they placed before Council February 28 to terminate the existing agreement. Councillor Buck, who would make an admirable representative of the Town on this committee, might have also eliminated herself because of her open and vocal opposition to the entire concept of an agreement to manage and operate the Centre. Assuming that Mayor Dawe is ineligible because of his office, this leaves, by default, Councillors Humfryes and Thompson to represent the Town on the committee.

We are not necessarily getting the best or most knowledgeable people; we have simply gone through and eliminated those whose stated positions tend to render them in a kind of conflict of interest situation. And we don’t need any more conflicts of interest in Aurora. Heaven forbid!

So my question is, how is this all going to play out and will the Town be getting the best possible representation on this vitally important committee?


A further question that arises is since when does a facilitator actually vote? We have never heard of a facilitator voting in a discussion — their role is to remain impartial and “facilitate” a discussion. If they are expected to vote — then how can they remain impartial? Also, how will they be chosen?

This situation gets more convoluted and poorly thought through as the days unfold.

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Conflict of Interest, Integrity, Leadership, Town Committees, Town Council | 45 Comments »

What is the Appropriate Role of a Citizen Committee?

Posted by auroracitizen on March 11, 2011

There has been some discussion about the appropriate role of a citizen committee in a number of blog comments, so we thought we would ask the question directly.

Currently there are legislated committees such as the Library Board or Cemetery Board which are not the focus of this post– but could provide some ideas about roles.

This discussion is intended to focus around discretionary committees that are set up by Council to solicit and encourage community input — such a Leisure Service or Economic Development or Financial.

Here are some questions to get the conversation started. We are sure you will have more.

  1. Should a committee have a budget? If so, who would be accountable for the budget?
  2. Should Council members sit on advisory committees or should it be only citizens? Will citizens defer to Council members if they are part of the committee?
  3. Who should the committee report to — Council directly or should they go through staff?
  4. What role should staff play on the committee?
  5. Should staff be asked to comment on all committee recommendations prior to coming to Council?
  6. Should committee recommendations be vetted by staff before presentation to Council?
  7. Is Council under any obligation to follow recommendations from an advisory committee?
  8. Who is the committee accountable to? Are they accountable to anyone or are they independent?

Also, what committees do you think Aurora should have? Is there an area that is missed?


FOOTNOTE: What started as an intelligent discussion quickly degenerated into name-calling and insults. The moderators have removed all such comments. Sorry folks, but our attempts to let everything through continues to backfire.

Posted in Community, Community Input, Town Committees | 34 Comments »