David Griffith’s Museum Madness

Museum_madness

David Griffith circulated a letter to  council members as posted on recently on Clr. Buck’s blog.

It also made the Era Banner and you can read it there:

Here we go again with someone who wants others to believe that only Clr. Buck wants a museum.

If Griffith payed attention to the September 13th council meeting he would have seen that all but three councilors supported Clr. Buck’s motion.

“She has cocooned herself on Aurora Council by voting negatively on anything positive that has to do with The Aurora Cultural Centre.”

Clr. Buck has the support of the majority of council, and from those I talk with the majority of the community.

The three councilors that voted negatively on a positive motion to curate our town’s history were Ballard, Gallo and Gaertner.

What is with the offensiveness on behalf of the Cultural Center?

Remember when Clr. Abel dared to ask about the lack of transparency from the Culture Club they trotted out the word “inquisition”. 

How dare a councilor ask questions or be critical of an organization that has been anything but transparent and acts at arms length.  It simply can’t be tolerated!

I’m not sure where Griffith is going with “shrink The Cultural Centre in favour of a museum”.  The Culural Centre doesn’t need to shrink.  It needs to relocate.  It has unwittingly been placed in a building designed and paid to operate as a state of the art museum.

It’s rich that Griffith suggests that council should “Let the tax payers see some numbers first?”

Why weren’t numbers shown before the Culture Center was formed?

Why weren’t taxpayers privy to the contract that continues to hand over $500,000 of their tax dollars to a hands-off organization with no accountability?

” No responsible organization would embark on a project like this without a lot of research into its viability, how much it would cost tax payers and how many people could be expected to visit it.”

Exactly.

Why is there a cultural center where a musuem was funded and arranged to be?

“How much would (a museum) cost taxpayers?” 

It has already cost taxpayers municipaly and federaly.  We even won a “Heritage” award for our restoration efforts of our museum, which was then usurped. 

How is it Griffith can claim that the “cultural center” has “outperformed all expectations of it, when there were no expectations of a center that the community didn’t ask for?

“more than 9000 people” is an interesting statistic, one has to wonder if these are unique visits.

I continue to wonder why the board at the “Cultural Center” is not open and transparent in providing its metrics in a similar fashion to the Aurora Public library.  They didn’t even bother to show up at budget time.

“If a person has never visited or taken in some of these activities, they have no idea of what it is doing for our community of Aurora.”

I disagree.  The activities that Griffith claims the ACC runs overlap other programs offered in the town and the region.  I’m not sure how he quantifies “extensive”.

Like Clr. Ballard, Griffith continues to suggest “Council Members go to the Centre and talk to the staff about the variety of programs that are offered to all ages from pre-schoolers to seniors.”

As though walking through the front doors of the Church Street school one suddenly reaches a state of enligtenment due soley to the programming.  

“There is designated space for atifacts to be displated at the Centre, and I’m sure more can be acquired if needed.”

How patronizing and downright arrogant.  The ACC acts as though they are entitled to the building.

They are not.  They are temporary guests, only there because of a questionable contract.

There is indeed designated space for artifacts.  the Church street school was designed as a state of the art museum.  “more space” doesn’t need to be aquired “if needed”.  It is needed.  A collection of Aurora’s heritage sits in the basement.  Some of it sits piled ontop of itself at the old library.  The town is no longer acepting artifacts, it is turning them away, and all because a Culture club wants to have exclusive jump-ups.

There is no debate in my mind as to what is needed, and what is superflous.

“It should be up to The Historical Society, who owns these items, to see that artifacts are displayed, on a systematic basis, so they can be enjoyed by the thousands of people visiting The Centre.”

The Historical Society “owns” said items?

Who is Mr. Griffit to say who owns what, and why he would even want to raise the issue of ownership of our towns history when it is clear that it is sitting in boxes instead of being appreciated.

A museum is not a side-act, to be wheeled out when it is convenient, and then shelved again to make room for wine-sipping yuppies to gather around a $26,000 piano for VIP nights, galas and $300/ticket events.

I have no doubt that the town’s artifacts will be enjoyed by thousands of people viewing them at the Aurora Museum.  There is no need for a “systematic basis” or any shuffling of exhibits when the museum is reinstated fully into its home.

“If you listen to other people, you will find that our Cultural Centre is envied by many other municipalities.”

Interestingly Griffith fails to state who any of these “other people” are or identify which of the “many” municipalities make such a claim.

I listen to a lot of “other people” in the region and not a single person has claimed to “envy” Aurora’s Cultural Club.

To many it is a yawn, a copy-cat of other towns who have amalgamated many of the services we already have in our town.  What makes our town great is having these services provided by several different organizations, spread over our town.

In listening to a lot of Aurorans, what several of them are envious of is other municipalities museums. 

Even Oak Ridges has a museum!

The fact that we paid for one and it has been replaced by a Center that feels it is not their responsibility to respect why the building they ocupy was renovated. 

After his letter David Griffith includes the fact that he was an Aurora Town Councillor from 1991 to 2003.

Ironicaly the part of the town’s website that lists Municipal Councils 1863 to 2014: http://www.aurora.ca/aurora/index.aspx?ArticleID=534&lang=en-CA
including Mr. Griffith, expresses at the top of the page:

“Thanks to the Aurora Museum for much of this information.”

There is much to be thankful for in having a museum in Aurora, and that is why so many in this town want to see it restored, in full.

It is unfortunate that history is lost on Mr. Griffith, and a handful of small minded elitists who would obviously rather the town spend its tax dollars on the madness that is a “cultural cente”r.
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