Sometimes, promoting economic development means accepting the Herculean task of moving and modernizing a prison.


The metaphor in the title is courtesy of Gary Herbert, 17th and current Governor of Utah.

Under 8 years of La de Dawe’s leadership, Aurora has proven itself not up to the task.  It has however succumbed to a status quo that has many parallels to a prison.

Let’s explore how the town positions itself for business on its own website.

Two paragraphs of boilerplate garbage that no one reads and 3 links.  The town encourages users to click on the link to the town’s Economic Development website to “explore what Aurora can do for you”.

Here is what you get:


Red flag #1:

The link the town provides is to not a secure site.


The strange thing is, is that there is indeed a secure site at yet the town is directing traffic to the non secure site…because, well, this supports an exceptional quality of life for all, and Aurorans are getting the most for the money we spend on those that deliver our communications services.

Red flag #2:

The site uses an Adobe flash banner.

Flash has been around for 20 years.  Last year Adobe announced end of life for the product in 2020.

A good thing as it is a huge security risk, with now updates containing malware.

Best practice is to disable flash as a default.

This means the first visible section on the website that answers the question as to what Aurora can do for you from a business standpoint is a large broken puzzle piece.

Red flag #3:

The last featured news item is from January 2017.

Is there no new business news from the Town since January 2017?

If the answer is yes, then why is it not being updated?

If the excuse is that this site is purposely not being updated then why is it still linked from the town website?

If the site is being left on the town’s website because there are elements the town wants to leverage then why were they not rolled into the town’s main site back in 2014?

Or anytime in the past 4 years?

Craig Venter, known for being involved with the first draft sequence of the human genome says that intellectual property is a key aspect for economic development.

A key aspect that is being ignored.

I get it. is a cast away.

An island to itself where flaming bags of poo are allowed to burn.

An abomination courtesy of Aurora’s George Costanza which I commented on 9 years ago.

It was shamefully dated and out of touch then, now it would equate to a failing grade if submitted as homework by a high-school student.

I can understand if the town wants to try to sweep it under the rug, but if that’s the case you can’t keep it running and linked on the town’s corporate site.

You actually have to replace it and put it out of its misery.

It was revealed that this site cost $30,000, and the bottom of the site reveals it was designed and delivered by something called EDTools, which can be traced back to McSweeney & Associates.

Outside of Aurora only Dryden and Gravenhurst also used there services.

Was Aurora well served by this tool?

I seriously doubt it but staff should be able to provide metrics to support an answer either way.

And they should look to do that soon as it appears the same McSweeney & Associates submitted a bid on the town of aurora’s Economic Development Strategic Plan rfp.

Are we on path to simply repeat the mistakes of now now 3 terms of council?

2 and a half years ago the Town’s own Economic Development Advisory Committee confirmed their efforts were ineffectual:


A year later in the January 26th, 2017 edition of the Auroran, Marilee Harris, a member of that committee commented on the change from committee to Economic Development Board by saying:

“You talked about doing more interviews with business, and it was a great success. I don’t know what success it was and I have been on this committee for six years….We only did one survey when [Councillor Michael Thompson was] Chair and we weren’t even allowed to have input into the questions let alone hear the responses because it was a Regional initiative. To frame that as something that is successful that we should expand is way out of line – and an abuse of taxpayers’ dollars to redirect funds to do more of something that we did once in the six years I have been on this committee that didn’t have any impact. To state that it did and we should expand it and to have Councillors agree to that I think is an embarrassment. I would be embarrassed if I was a Councillor.”

There are a multitude of reasons for all councilors past and present to be embarrassed when it comes to economic development initiatives.

8 years to transition from a committee to a board while leaving a website to rot in plain site, not too dissimilar to the growing number of vacant buildings lining our promenade are just a couple.

The proof in Dawe’s leadership is in the pudding.

The pudding that is on fire all around us, and Dawe is fine with that.

If you place a check mark next to his name on October 22nd, you are too.



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