Aurora’s echo chamber of commerce


Back in February Mayor Dawe gave a keynote speech to the Aurora Chamber of Commerce at a golf club in King City, because hey why would the Aurora Chamber of Commerce chose to use an Aurora based business (say from theor own membership) when there are ones in King.

You can read the speech as it is posted on the town’s website here:
http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=62559

I don’t know who writes the mayor’s speeches, most likely the town’s communications dept. but this one is formulaic in its unnecessary length and ratio of fluff to substance which explains why the parent organization of the Error Banner continues to support such an annual forum.

Skip the first 11 pages off blah-de-blah-blah and at the bottom of page 12 Mayor Dawe suggests that we need to “Advance Aurora”.

Duh!

No one is going to argue against that statement, except that the past 3+ years of Dawe’s administration has advanced Aurora infinitesimally.

There is much talk, and a great deal of money spent but little action that does anything to move Aurora past its costly status-quo.

Aurora has been stagnating for the bulk of this council term and if there is anyone that needs to heed this advice it is Mayor Dawe himself.

On page 14 The Mayor addresses this high cost:

“York Region has often been criticized in media for a debt exceeding $2 billion

What is seldom reported is that the Region can boast nearly equal amounts of capital reserves … to manage the vast amount of infrastructure it is building to accommodate growth – and further, the Region has a Triple-A credit rating.”

Phew, for a minute there I was concerned, thank you Mr. Mayor for putting everything into perspective.

But, isn’t the region’s debt projected to increase?

Is the mayor trying to say that capital reserves will continue to match said increase?

Growth in Aurora is about to reach an end, is growth at the region unlimited?

The region’s credit rating is headed for a downgrade, but that is conveniently left
out of the Mayor’s one sided equation.

The mayor continues to spew his bullshit flavored kool-aid n page 16 in referencing the service level review:

“I was pleased but not surprised that the findings of the review suggested Aurora provides a level of service commensurate with the revenues the Town collects.”

Want some more?

“The Town of Aurora runs a lean and efficient operation that manages its finances
sensibly.

It is critical that our ratepayers understand their hard-earned tax dollars are being
spent appropriately … and that areas where costs are higher are reflective of a higher service level”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

What kind of morons would lap this up and applaud enthusiastically?

The same ones that buy into the Mayor’s next claim:

“People appreciate predictability. Predictability is understandable … justifiable … and conveys stability”.

Stability it seems is one of the 3 pillars of Mayor Dawe’s cheesy re-election campaign.

He goes on to say:

“Volatility … whether in financial markets … within organizations … or even in one’s personal life … creates apprehension and unease.”

Oh, no. Not apprehension and unease.

Two feelings that are immediately stamped out by groupthink – the process by which a group of individuals can end up making a bad collective decision because the group culture they have fostered promotes loyalty and conformity over creativity and diversity in the decision making process. The end result can be an unwise or even irrational decision at the highest level.

The town’s adopted strategic plan calls for innovation.

Innovation requires leaders to embrace the apprehension and unease that come with change management, not shy away from it in favor of perceived stability.

In order to justify the rising costs of rigidity the Mayor claims on page 19:

“Costs to run programs and services don’t vanish … they simply accumulate … and often increase.”

Sure they do, if they are not properly managed.

But the mayor doesn’t believe in the decision making required to manage those costs and inefficiencies, instead delving into those policies are simply shrugged off as “micro-management”.

That’s why the Mayor can say “I believe this budget is prudent … accountable …
and consistent with other budgets over the past 3 years.”

Prudent?

Ha.

From the mayor who admitted their needed to be a discussion surrounding the poor fiscal management of the Aurora Historical Society but would not enter into said discussion and instead voted to fork over $70,000.

Because that somehow “respects our taxpayers … is consistent with resident expectations … and invests in services our community wants”.

It is this statement that breaks the meter:

“Where others dithered … we delivered”

Delivered a successful joint bud with Newmarket to bring a university campus to town?

Delivered on revitalization of the downtown core?

Delivered on the re-use of library square?

Delivered on a fab-lab?

Delivered on the re-establishment of the Aurora Museum?

Delivered on the reconstruction of The Petch House which still has no use?

Delivered a $200,000 annual increase in spending on the town’s communications which have taken all term to redevelop a website, which still isn’t live?

I could go on but the list would exceed the mayor’s speech which comes in at 39 pages.

Indecision is the secret sauce behind Dawe’s claim to “stability”.

While the mayor has yet to enjoy a decade of it, 4 years is a start.

Those who staunchly support the the continued inflation of their collective bubble of comfort at all costs will be the most surprised when it blows up in their face.

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