Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Who is Responsible for Farmers Market

Posted by auroracitizen on September 25, 2009

If you believe the recent Letters to the Editor there seems to some confusion about who is responsible for the success of the Aurora Farmers Market.

Sher St Kitts, wrote a letter suggesting that Mayor Phyllis Morris and Councillor Granger were responsible for all that is good at the Farmers Market. It seems the only things she didn’t credit them with was sunshine and warm weather.

A number of citizens rightly pointed out that the Market was around long before either were involved and that if any Councillor was to be credited with the success, it should be Councillor Kean who was the driving force behind starting the market.

However, former Councillor Kean got it right when he shared the credit with those who are most deserving — the volunteers and the vendors. Without them there would be no market regardless of any Council involvement.

And of course, the most important people of all? The many people who visit the market to chat, purchase products and just enjoy the opportunity to be part of an event that reminds us all what a community is about.

So maybe folks should be less concerned about giving their political friends credit — and we should all celebrate the sense of community that activities like a Farmers Market represents — regardless of what politician you support.

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Posted in Community Corner, Recreation | 34 Comments »

The State of Volunteerism

Posted by auroracitizen on May 14, 2009

Volunteers have recently come into the spotlight here in Aurora.

First, Sher St Kitts has come to our attention because the committee she heads has been unclear on how funding for the July 1st parade and how the Dream Team is associated with a Town funded and endorsed committee. This lack of transparency and potential conflict of interest has raised eyebrows and concern in some quarters. At a meeting on Tuesday, this issue was raised in a very confrontational manner — endorsed by the Mayor and Council.

Before you ask why we used the word endorsed — understand that when someone attacks a Councillor directly (versus Council as a whole) on a civil matter that is outside the mandate of Council and this is allowed only because Council waives the procedural by-law – that implies endorsement.

The same week, we have seen the resignation of Dave Giroux, the President of the Aurora Minor Ball Association (AMBA) in frustration because Council continues to refuse to honour their commitment to build a senior ball diamond. Not everyday one sees that!

He communicated his reasons through the local papers and has encourage stakeholders to rally around the issues because of the lack of movement on this issue.

We all recognize that stuff happens — but when they escalate to this level it links directly back to leadership — by the Mayor and Council.

Why have they not been able to deal with issues without this level of escalation?

Council needs to immediately take the following steps;

  1. Clarify the conflict of interest and financial questions associated with the Dream Team and the Town endorsed parade committee.
  2. Communicate with the stakeholders in the AMBA about what has happened and why they have not moved forward on resolutions that are a year old. Plus indicate what next steps and timing are in place to resolve the outstanding issues.

We predict if Council doesn’t move quickly to address these issues they will continue to fester and will become significant issues at the next election. We all know that is the last thing the Mayor wants. Unfortunately, she may not get her wish.

Stay tuned.

PS — There are a number of comments related to this post in the previous post When Is An Invitation Not An Invitation?

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Posted in Code of Ethics, Conflict of Interest, Legal, Recreation, Town Council | 26 Comments »

When Is An Invitation Not An Invitation?

Posted by auroracitizen on May 11, 2009

Have you ever had a party where you felt obligated to invite someone even though you didn’t want them to come? How did you manage that?

One way is to send the invitation so late that they have no opportunity to re-arrange their schedule to make the party.

Mayor Morris has invited various user groups and interested stakeholders in the senior ball diamond to a meeting scheduled for Monday May 11 (tonight).

In the email she states,

“In an effort to bring all parties together – and to get all the facts on the table – I am proposing to host ” one meeting ” rather than lots of one – on-ones on the same topic. It is hoped that as many members as possible will try to attend.”

The problem is that the email was sent last night at 5:59 PM — leaving folks with the difficult task to change their plans for tonight with very little notice.

Short notice equals poor attendance. For an issue of such importance — that has been in discussion for over 1 year — shouldn’t this meeting have been published further in advance.

What is your opinion about a Senior Ball Diamond?

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Posted in Recreation, Special Meetings, Town Council | 43 Comments »

Town Considering Fencing Town-owned Soccer Fields

Posted by auroracitizen on April 18, 2009

Recent reports indicate that in an effort to reduce maintanence costs of town-owned soccer fields, one option tabled is fencing soccer fields adjacent to schools.

Since these are town-owned and funded by the entire population, shouldn’t the entire population have access?

Equal access is already not available. Users groups have priority at certain times which seems a reasonable situation. But to now restrict access even when user groups are not using the facilities seems too much.

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Posted in Community Input, Recreation | 15 Comments »