Czar Whores : The Gift Horse Awakens

Over on Clr. Buck’s blog there is some discussion brewing with regards to the Town of Aurora’s budget process and the overall lack of public engagement. You can follow it here:

It is an anonymous comment posted November 6th @ 22:16 that I want to explore, I will share it in full below:

It would be interesting to see the various commenters deal with the reality of Aurora’s budget.

It’s easy, and cheap, to criticize what others do.

But we can go to the town hall during budget discussions, not by ones and twos, but with enough people to pack the public seating and demand detailed reasoning and explanations.

Not just roll over and play dead for another four years.

These people are elected by us, they are accountable to us and they should have to justify their decisions when spending our money.

Having attended and delegated at the town’s budget meetings this past term of council it appears to me that it is not a sense of apathy but futility that fails to pack the public seating that this commenter is seeking.

Another Auroran that falls into the "ones and twos" category is Klaus Wehrenberg who has summed up his take on the matter in a March 26th letter here:

I agree with Klaus, the entire format for public engagement is flawed, a position that Mayor Dawe’s reinforces leading into the new term in this Error Banner piece here:

Read the last point:

"a discussion regarding how the town communicates with residents will have to be had to ensure everyone is engaged in the processes that will determine the future of Aurora."

You mean the very discussion council failed to address during last year’s budget process? :

Not unlike the discussion about the financially unsustainable and abysmally run Aurora Historical Society that council said they needed to have, but never did:

Hammering out the towns’ budget does not happen in complete isolation from the public or it’s Strategic Plan. The public engagement sought and incorporated in that document outlined principles of innovation and sustainability.

Scrutinizing performance both internally and that of organizations benefiting financially from the town to see if they are in alignment with said plan should be of paramount importance of our elected officials.

So what can our newly elected officials do to increase the transparency and accountability they all professed to on the campaign trail? Well one easy thing would be for each candidate to fill in the town’s online survey here:

From there they can share their budget choices with the whole town opening up the process for greater discussion.

To council members unwilling to make their decision-making so transparent, or those that are unwilling to make the tough but necessary decisions they were elected to, I give you the words of a wise Jedi master:

"So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?"


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