the crusaders and their stooges


The image above is a still from a Three Stooges episode titled "Knutzy Knights" and was episode 4 from season 21 which originaly aired on Sep 2, 1954.

I think it depicts what we're in for at council this evening, and you can watch it here:

Things are indeed getting nutty.  My blog recieved 7 comments between 10:43 PM – 1:28 AM from someone going under the name "CharlesV13". I will look to moderate and respond to them after I complete another couple posts.  I think its hillarious that someone would chose such a psyedonym.

Wanting to know more about this Mr. Smith character that approached me I started to explore some of the comments he has been circulating through the blogosphere, community forums and his own twitter feed as they relate to the almighty Aurora "Cultural" Centre.

I was not suprised to find his viewpoint to be increadibly biased.  He is after all a board member of the Cultural Center that is at the height of this controversy.

His choice of words are unfortunate in that they are more serving to upholding the status-quo than serving the cultural needs of the town as a whole.

Some of Mr. Smith's recent tweets are needlesly adversarial and incorporate verbage including "assult" and "kill" in reference to the Aurora Cultural Centre, here's one:

This rhetoric seems to be diametricaly opposed to the comittment to continuing a dialogue with the Town that has been suggested by Robert Layton, President, Aurora Cultural Centre in a recent announcement.

I fail to see how Smith's stance does anything to foster the healthy working agreement with the town and its council that the President has claimed in his call to arms.

Twatter isn't Mr. Smith's only blow-horn, he has contributed commentry on the AuroraCitizen blog here:

on March 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm he states:

"is plenty of opportunity for the AHS to mount shows and exhibits at Chruch Street."

Bullshit.  The Centre rented out space, and the AHS already stated this obstructed them from creating displays.

"The vision for Church Street was articulated in the Novita report which is available on the Aurora web site."

The Novita report is an intrinsicly flawed report, it hardly "articulates" anything as is the agreement with the town.

However, if Mr. Smith intends to reference it, there seems to be little recognition from those at the Centre that on page 25 of that report the Aurora Public Library is identified as a key provider of cultural programs for Town residents.

When drawing comparisons between the library and the Cultural Centre's operations, which several in our community have, the latter fails miserably as has not reached or reported out financials, metrics or indicators in a reasonable or transparent manner like the library.

"the model for the cultural centre is bold and innovative and frankly is the envy of the cultural community in Ontario."

who exactly in the cultural community in the entire province of Ontario is envious of Aurora's Cultural Centre?

Where is the references to all this envy?

I have not seen evidense of this in any materials.  If it existed I'm sure Mr. Smith could have cited a couple.

Speciicaly what is "bold" about the Cultural Centre?

Speciicaly what is inovative about the Cultural Centre?

From the programming that I have seen promoted I suggest that the Centre is the antithesis or innovation.  It's Business plan, board and agreements prevent it from being so.

He suggests unwaivering support becuause

"has every chance of putting Aurora on the map in southern Ontario as a cultural hub"

How does the centre have "every chance" of putting Aurora on the map?

More importantly how is the Centre measuring its success in pursuing these chances?

I didn't understand the Centre's goal was to be a destination for other communities, I thought it was to serve the cultural needs of Aurorans.

I think there are board members that have too much money and are spending it on delusions of grandeur.

More recently Mr. Smith contributed comments tp Clr. Buck's blog here:  

on 17 February, 2012 2:58 PM he wrote:

"in the agreement there are several avenues for the Town to resolve issues, concerns or deficiencies in the agreement."

What "avenues" specificaly are in the agreement to "resolve issues"?

I reviewed the 18 page document and under the section regarding "dispute resolution" it speaks of mediation and arbitration.  

Perhaps the problem with the agreement is that these "avenues" are insufficient and do not provide the requisite openness and transparency the town of Aurora expects.

The town's solicitor recognized that both are costly and time consuming and recommends council have the final determination in disputes.  How could this be objected to?

Is the board of directors at the Cultural Centre, Mr Smith included, simply not proactive enough, or incapable of evaluating their operating efficiencies without the town's feedback?

Either way it is unaceptable behavior from an organization that claims to be the operating the "cultural hub" of Ontario, the envy to all other municipalities.

"discussions regarding key performance indicators have been on going recently but derailed by the proposed termination by Pirri and Abel."

How exactly have 2 town councilors derailed the Cultural Centre's efforts regarding non-existant K.P.I's?

Why is the board of the Cultural Centre feel they are exempt from providing the professional level of reporting similar to the Aurora Public Library through the town's budget process?  How could they not be aware, or content with the fact that they have been operating this way from their inception in 2009?

It's a cop-out to hear a board member state:

"not all problems could have been foreseen by town staff when it was written and signed"

Perhaps not, but an agreement as flawed as the current one, does nothing to allow the inflence of change and correction in a positive and proactive manner.

Throwing hands up in the air with statements like this certainly does not speak well of the agreement's suposedly "professional" architects, which include Ken Whitehurst, and Clr. Chris Ballard.

The Agreement is severly flawed, and was botched from the start without the proper time and attention taken to draft.

Operating under this agreement since 2009 this board has had sufficient time to identify and address these significant operating deficiencies, it is unfortunate that the have not.

Operating at arms length from the town has hindered, not strengthened their ability to operate in an open and transparent manner.

Culture is not static, it changes, it grows.

And it is this reason Aurora needs an agreement that embraces adapatability and rewards performance.

Let's hope this is the course that is agreed upon tonight, and it is not derailed by an all out siege of foaming crusaders, and their stooges.

As a small snippet of culture I invite everyone to check out is "last crusade" a song from Sam Roberts, one of the finest rock-n-roll bands in our country, and is off their album Collider.

The lyrics are all to fitting:

The crusaders and their stooges 
All you renegade rulers 
All you spotlight fugitives 
All you shakers, all you movers 
All you cutthroat dealers 
And you small-time users 
All you turncoat schemers 
All you victors, all you losers 
There's a lighthouse on a battered shore 
Gotta fight now, never mattered more 
And the black tongues spitting poison 
Spare no one 
Gotta keep on, gotta keep on 
Till the Ghosts of War come marching in 
They've been reborn, they're free from sin 
You play the king and you play the pawn 
You give up and you soldier on 
This is the last crusade we're on 

Here is a live version of the song from their May 16th 2011 apperance on the George Strombo show:

One thought on “the crusaders and their stooges

  1. From above comment:

    “the model for the cultural centre is bold and innovative and frankly is the envy of the cultural community in Ontario.”

    Of course it is the envy of others, who else wouldn’t want hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating money, pay $1.00/year in rent and have no accountability to those providing all this to you. I’m sure everyone else would love to be working from this model….

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