"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Contradictions Abound

A copy of the draft agreement  was on the agenda of last week's general committee. It was recommended the draft be finalised for Council's consideration
Last night's  meeting contained a couple of  interesting contradictions. 
For years  the Association of Municipalities has been  quietly urging the Province to repair the broken arbitration system for Police,Fire and Emergency Services.It's quiet because nobody wants to be seen to be critical of the compensation packets for the local heroes.
From a management  perspective,  months ,drifting into years, of staff time and professional resources are spent in  endless  "negotiations" that always end up in lop-sided contracts. 
While police and firefighting services swallow up ever more  of municipal budgets, social  programs like housing and social service are decimated.
Ontario is not the Province it once was. 
Last night the Mayor surrendered the gavel  once more,to move  a resolution to urge the Provincial government to fix  a broken system. 
The Mayor does that a lot. Being  head of Council seems not to be  sufficiently satisfying. He needs to be the  mover of motions as well.
But this  was truly  ironic.
Municipalities, with good reason,complain about  home owners having to shoulder financial responsibilities of the Province for social problems and health services.
Yetthe same night we sent off  an urgent  resolution about the unbearable burden  for police and fire protection, we re-affirmed a new and needless burden created by the last Council  to pay for arts and culture. Through taxation with a budget similarly structured to the Library Board. 
There are  home owners  in Aurora who do not believe library services should be financed from taxes. They feel people should pay for their own books.There is a valid argument. 
Every year, two or four Councillors looks for ways to cut the library budget.It's a favourite target.
Yet there is no recognition of the contradiction of introducing a new budget to provide access to arts and culture  while objecting to  the cost of library services.
No acknowledgement that  people have a right to have  a say. 
Then there was that  hokey scheme to spend millions of  dollars on   something called a Heritage Park. 
Who ever heard of such a thing? Everywhere I go I check out the heritage facilities. have yet to visit a Heritage Park Unless one counts Disneyland in Orlando. 
By the way, we won't be hearing of it again  in Aurora. 
On  last night's agenda, a report dealing with the matter was received. Who knows how much staff time was spent on that.
It means no further time will be spent. .
We do some things right.