Over on Clr. Buck's blog a post and resultant discussion has surfaced regarding the Town of Aurora's absence of policy when it comes to sponsorships: http://evelynmbuck.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-for-penny-in-for-pound.html
First off I want to thank Clr. Buck for correcting commenter Elizabeth's continued misunderstanding re: the library.
As most people know it is not a charity, and does not need to be drawn into discussions as such.
I am all for Clr. Thompson's recent motion as I believe it addresses an absence of policy, and that the current council should have something they can refer to. Especially in light of past council's utter disrespect for the town's finances, and obviously no comprehension of the term "accountability".
Unlike the commenter Elizabeth I think it is unrealistic to develop a policy that will "fairly" place all "charities" & "non-profits" on an equal footing as not all are created, nor require equal resources.
Nor do I believe Clr Thompson's motion talks specifically to "charities" or "non-profits" although they are included in the mix of organizations and individuals approaching the town for sponsorship.
The need for such policy is because, unlike an Anonymous commenter, I don't believe it is realistic that parties asking the town for $ will ever stop.
There are too many entitled people that have abused the town's purse in the past and will no doubt continue as the years go by.
I do believe, as suggested in my budget presentation that ALL sponsorships require higher scrutiny by council prior to making decisions, and this was covered by Clr Thompon's motion.
If I got that wrong I welcome his clarification.
Council & staff need to outline a clear definition of "sponsorship" and the pre-requisites to ANY party looking for a sponsorship and see that minimum criteria be met before it is brought forward.
Taxpayers work hard for their money while the amount of effort to access that money is disproportionate when it comes to those that seek and receive it.
It is too easy for someone to approach council with some semblance of an idea. Anyone can start a "foundation", or incorporate a "friends only" club. They can walk right into council, put their idea outlined on the back of a napkin on the overhead, talk for 5-10 minutes and at the end of it all have an item entered for consideration that more often than not gets approved. Sometimes for the full amount they are requesting, or even more.
They get the money and gleefully run away to add what they perceive to be "culture" or "increased business" to our town. No accountability necessary.
What business that you know of operates like this?
Most likely one of the ones that did so well they evaporated leaving the shell of their success to adorn our thriving historic downtown core.
Taxpayers already pay, handsomely I may add, a professional staff to accomplish what the corporation needs to sustain and grow.
If anyone is receiving $ above and beyond what we are allocating to staff, especially after such a significant and expensive re-org, than something is wrong on more than one level.
It is more than reasonable that expectations should be set to include business plans, R.O.I. statements & project plans with milestones for sponsorships that are funded by the town.
Town staff is required to do it, why shouldn't someone who is drawing upon the same $?
If they don't like the bureaucracy than they can go somewhere else.
If however they are willing to outline everything in a meaningful and reasonable way than perhaps they can be extended some resources, as bandwidth allows.
At the end of the day I see the policy less for council or staff's benefit but for those making applications.
If that policy handout needs to have big bold words like:
"The Town of Aurora welcomes your submission. Enjoy submitting your request because there is likely no $ available to fulfill it."
Of course, if one was interested in creating perceived "fairness" I suppose the town could just create a roll-up the rim contest and Tim Horton's lead and simply print "Sorry please try again" on every one.