“Information Aurora” declares turf war over volunteers

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A delegation at the October 27th council meeting allowed Rosemary Park from “Information Aurora” to speak about agenda item # 5.  What she had to say was utterly offensive.

For anyone following on the Rogers streaming video the start time of this delegation is 1.09:29

She actually said that she wished their not to be a duplication of efforts, pitting Information Aurora against a much respected organization : Neighborhood Network .

Apparently too much of a good thing is a problem?

The discussion then turned from “duplication” or “overlap” to “conflict”.

One wonders why Mrs. Park felt it necessary to cast an immediate “negative” view between two organizations and why she couldn’t opt for a more positive path of collaboration.

Councilor Buck confirmed that the intention is non-compete, she reiterated that collaboration means co-operation.
So how exactly can it be construed that a partnership with Network Neighborhood negatively affect “Information Aurora” ?

Mrs. Park went farther and recommended that council not sign a partnership agreement with Neighborhood Network .

Such a recommendation is grossly insulting.  It insults volunteers and it insults our town. 
This is nothing more than continued bashing by wholly political individuals against Belinda Stronach, Steve Hinder & Neighborhood Network.

What is the end-goal of this discussion if not to give “Information Aurora” exclusivity? 
That would be a huge mistake to both our town and the region.

The motion put forward was simple: “partner” with Neighborhood Network.

What happened next was a lot of humming and hawing that proves how petty the majority of our council is.

Evelina MacHeckron was quick to object and refer to staff, because she doesn’t know what it means to partner.
No surprise from the queen of Cop out.

Bob McRoberts said “I see no problem with the positivism this motion is putting forward”, and supported the motion.

Surprisingly Al Wilson seemed to support it, and then amended the motion.  Possibly some independant thought?

Wendy Gartner seems to think their is a lack of focus on behalf of Neighborhood Network because they also serve Newmarket.  What?  really? that is your objection/ what a total cop-out.

Steve Granger wrapped everything up in red-tape to support his favorite “Information Aurora” and not support the motion.

Collins-Mrakas said exploring the partnership is worthwhile and supported the motion.

Gallo said he was not familiar with Neighborhood Network , talk about sheer ignorance on behalf of a councilor.  He quickly brought up a connection between Magna and Network Neighbourhood, so he knows something. 

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to judge councilor Galo.  Before this council meeting I had no idea that organizational body “Information Aurora” existed.  I seriously doubt others did as well.  and how would anyone, Mrs Parks informed us that apparently they keep a low profile and do not advertise.

For an organization with “information” in its title it sure doesn’t do a very good job of making itself known. 
Neighborhood Network doesn’t suffer from this oversight at all, it is very well conected and respected in York Region.

Neighborhood Network has a website:  http://www.neighbourhoodnetwork.org/index.asp
Information Aurora doesn’t, which is strange considering it claims to be in existence for over 8 years.

Mrs Parks admitted that Information Aurora’s budget is small, which should ring some alarm bells if one service is to be compared to another.  Neighborhood Network is well funded.

Councilor Buck was trying to get a figure on what it costs the town to provide the staffing for “Information Aurora” and believed it to be $25K.

Wendy Gartner was quick to followup on this figure and say that it would likely cost more, inferring it is good value for the $, overlooking that the service Neighbourhood Network would provide for free.

Mrs Park, please rethink your position.

You have created a negative framework where you have clearly outlined you are not interested in collaboration with Neighbourhood Network .  By doing so you are creating a no mans land and needlessly putting volunteers in the crossfire.

Is it actually possible that Aurora has too many volunteers?  Of course not.
Evelyn Buck said it best “there simply cannot be too many people encouraged to volunteer”.

Perhaps if you lead by example there will be even more volunteers wanting to offer their services.  But I guess that just escalates your problem doesn’t it?

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One thought on ““Information Aurora” declares turf war over volunteers

  1. I watched last week’s council meeting and was gob-smacked by the Aurora Information delegation and the ensuing discussion. I cannot believe that, when the need is so great for volunteers by so many people for so many needs, we have people in Aurora who would do their best to prevent an opportunity to obtain more.
    I knew nothing about Rosemary Park before she spoke but I am quite clear now that she is a pouting, defensive and territorial nincompoop. She was joined by Wendy Gaertner who seemed totally threatened by the scope of Neighbourhood Network (God forbid we share with Newmarket!). Before the meeting began, I heard Wendy making “nice nice” with Rosemary so it was hardly surprising whose side our Wendy would be on! What a pair of narrow-minded, paranoid idiots who do not for one minute understand the gigantic need for service out there today. How dare they suggest that we pass up this opportunity. Just who does Gaertner profess to represent? How on earth did Park even get such a position with her attitude?
    The discussion that followed was painful. Such a fuss about nothing. The motion succeeded with 5 kicking and screaming to vote “yes” and 1 “no”.
    I wonder if the fact that it was Councillor Buck’s motion had anything to do with it? The 5 almost choked on their votes.
    Wake up, wake up and look around you, you selfish, petulent people! Citizens are struggling everywhere and the need for volunteers has never been greater.

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