Give us Farmers or give us Sher!

Join_or_die

Napoleon Bonaparte once declared "A Constitution should be short and obscure."

It looks as though this is exactly what Councilor Granger delivered to the Aurora Farmer's Market.
The document is indeed short, it amounts to a mere 11 pages.

After hearing everyone go on and on about how this was such an immense task, that it required several hours of dedication, and is the excuse why Councilor Granger was late for the recent Farmer's market meeting is just sad.

Just because it takes someone a long time to accomplish a task doesn't mean that the task was difficult or that the extra time ensured quality of work.  Sometimes it can mean that the person isn't up to the job, which looks to be the case here.

After reading through such a thin document, most of which reads as boiler plate and most likely lifted from other Farmer's Market's constitutions, I counted only 11 references to town bylaws.  These were most likely vetted with town staff leaving them to do the work.

One wonders exactly how much time it takes Councilor Granger to complete the most basic of tasks.

The constitution has some wording which I found most interesting, I will expand on  it here:

4.  Relationship to the Corporation of the Town of Aurora

(a) The Town of Aurora supports the independent operation of the Market by way of waiving of Park permit fees, and by way of an annual grant to the Market which subsidizes the AFM Committee operations of the Market.

Subsidizing the independent operation?

How is that not an oxymoron?

The town both waives fees (read chooses to lose revenue) and extend tax money to help run the market.

Why?

If the market is incapable of running self sufficiently after 4 years why is it being propped up?

Why does the market require the town to waive the fees?  Are these the fees for the band shell? 

Considering the promotion that the "Special Events" receive for use of the band shell why is it that the market, or the "Special Events" at the market not asked to bear the cost for this town service.

If there is a perceived R.O.I. on this exchange of service I would like it laid out explicitly with metrics that support it.

As for the grant, the town is financing a private business.  A private business that is not self sufficient.  A private business that has no mission statement, no business plan, no recorded minutes from meetings. 
The Farmers Market needs to be careful, as it approaching the lack of openness and accountability that we have seen from council.

5.  (d)  key Director positions and subcommittees will be identified and "assigned" on an as needed basis during the AFM comittee term to meet the duties required of the market's operations.  For example:  a "Director of Special Events", "AFM social events coordinator", etc.

Does anyone else find these examples interesting:  "Director of Special Events", "AFM social events coordinator"  ?

What other "Farmer's Markets" have these lofty titles and most useless positions?

For a business striving towards self sufficiency wouldn't "special events" take a back seat to , oh I don't know, say "Director of New Business", "Director of Finance", " Director of Quality Assurance"….

5.  (e)  Town Liaison

The town of Aurora will "assign" a "Council Liaison" to sit on the Committee. 

?

So Councilor Granger, as liaison, creates a constitution that outlines the role of liaison and then 2 days later steps down from that role?

So who now fills this role?

And why does "council" get to appoint such a person?
Is this the string attached to the "grant" ?

6. (a) A vendor's permit fee, payable to the Town of Aurora……..The vendor permit fee will be set by the Town of Aurora annually.

What?

How many strings are attached to this grant?

The town decides the vendor fees for the Farmer's Market, yet the Market somehow operates "independently" ?

And why do the permit fees go directly to the town and not to the private business that is the Farmer's Market?
 

Patrick Henry said it very well when he said:

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

What choice to vendors and even the Farmer's Market committee have with this constitution now dominating their business?

Make no mistake the town has effectively said to the vendors "join us or die".

Wow, talk about a free market!

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One thought on “Give us Farmers or give us Sher!

  1. Good one!
    This whole Farmer’s Market deal failed the sniff test right out of the gate.
    Yet another glaring example of what happens when you have too many councillors with nothing to do. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” as they say.
    No wonder the local movers and shakers insist we need such a large council – the odds are better they’ll find an eager ally ready to spend taxpayer’s money on whatever pet project they can come up with.
    Maybe Farmers’ Markets Ontario needs a constitution but two guys with a bag of turnips?
    I don’t think so.

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