The Feint of Art


At the Aurora Public Library All Candidates Debate Mayor La de Dawe took great umbrage with those that pointed out the several financial missteps Aurora has endured under his brand of “proven” leadership over the past 8 years.

Dismissing facts as fantasy Dawe claimed the town is in great financial shape, and to verify this claim we should just look at the website.


Here’s the page that lists the Reserve funds and their respective balances.

In order to satisfy Dawe’s narrative I guess we’re skip over the Parkland Reserve fund overdrawn by $11.5 Million thanks to the Hallmark Lands debacle.

Yup, nothing to see there but a lot of red ink.

When we check in on the town’s Public Art Reserve fund.  It shows a $0 balance. But that is not reflective of that reserve.

The new Joint Fire Station project contributed $36,100
The $5 Million Armoury rebuild contributed $46,100

The real total of that reserve should be sitting around $82,200 and will likely show around that when this page is updated.

Let’s drill down a little bit more to what this fund is and how it works:


1% of the budget of ALL new municipal facilities are to be allocated to this fund.

The Library Square redevelopment is not yet finalized. If it proceeds as on paper the total costs are conservatively pegged at $27 Million. If 1% of the total budget is allocated to public art then that would be a $270,000 figure.

So in a year or so we should expect to see a $350,000 sum.

What we won’t see is a higher amount because La de Dawe and the majority of council voted not to contribute 1% of the Joint Oops Centre budget to the public art.

Something that was pointed out in this letter to the Auroran in April of last year:


Back of the napkin math would show 1% of the $22.1 million Joint Oops project to be $221,000.

Add that to the $350,000 and we would have had $570,000.

Instead, the Official Plan was dismissed and the 1/4 of $1 Million amount was scuttled to bring the embarrassing over budget total down during the audit.

That’s a fact.

Porter Arneill, Director of Arts & Culture for the City of Lawrence  emphasizes how the One Percent for Art Program compliments his town’s thriving art community and it serves as a testimonial to his elected officials’ dedication to the city’s cultural heritage and vision for the future.

Not so much here in Aurora.

If the town was in such  “great financial shape” as La de Dawe claims then why was the commitment to allocate 1% of the Joint Oops budget to Public Art voted down?

The only fantasy I’m seeing is Dawe claiming any dedication to the Aurora’s cultural heritage and vision for the future, while simultaneously denying funds for this very purpose.

Watts on your mind?

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