A mistake repeated more than once is a decision

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If you watch the GC Meeting of May 5th the subject of the Town of Aurora’s still not fully operational website is discussed at 1:51:32:

We learn that instead of the budgeted $70,000 only $23,000 was spent to date, yet when trying to determine why only emphasizes the huge communication deficiencies and lack of leadership.

The question is asked of the Town’s bylaws manager?  WTF?

Where is the town’s Communications Manager? I haven’t seen this staff member attend a council meeting well before Covid.

When the bylaws manager was unable to answer the CAO had to weigh in and this is where we learn there have been a bunch of changes since council’s approval.

Okay, so where is the communication on these changes to council and public?  Was any update made? What intervals were set for status updates on this project?

Where is the work plan for this project signed off by senior staff that shows where these deviations happened and why?

The CAO tells us that there will be more details forthcoming as to what’s left undone.

Undone? The Town said it was complete and launched it.  Then they said that it was incomplete but would be fixed in a couple weeks.

It is now May.  How are council and residents supposed to have any confidence in staff’s ability to meet deadlines with repeatable extensions like this?

Then we hear that one of the pieces that is being worked on is replacing Placespeak.

What?

When did that factor into the equation? There was no mention of this when council approved the $70,000 item.  What prompted this?

I though PlaceSpeak was a bulletproof success, considering it keeps getting touted as one by the town even though it is obvious that it has been widely refused by residents in favour of already existing social channels.

But it is @1:57:30 that staff confirms that the old website is not compliant with the Accessibility for Ontario with Disabilities Act.

Oh yeah.  Tell us more.

Apparently it is not compliant with the information and communication standards set out in the act.

Oh yeah, and how long has this been the case?  Since it was launched back in 2014?

Was the town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee ever involved in the 2014 redesign and launch?

Apparently the new website launched this year is also not compliant but staff says there is a work plan to address the issues.

So they know how to make work plans, then it should be assumed that work plans exist for all web development done in the last decade and can be summoned for purposes of an audit.

Collectively council should be fuming, but will they even bother to investigate?

Instead of learning from the failure back in 2014 and again repeated in 2019 I instead see council looking at the whole exercise to be too boring to tackle.

It’s much easier to cover this up and decide to commit the same mistake again in 5 years, all while patting each other on the back and claiming everything they do to be a resounding success.

If you’re mad about government waste at the federal and provincial levels well then you aren’t paying nearly enough attention to what is getting done at the municipal level.

And if you are, well then the primary tool for you to use to engage with your local government is itself a barrier, either by incompetence or by design.  Either way it has been decided by those you elect that hot garbage is what you will get, and you will like it.

Watts on your mind?

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