you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination

At the recent September 13th 2022 General Committee meeting there was an item to approve a $200,000 increase for “Street Light Maintenance Services”.

Not $200,000 in total. The current contract is $717,500.

This would increase the spend to $917,500.

The report is very vague, just reads: Includes “banner and Christmas decoration installation”.

Why is council not provided a breakdown as to how much these two components comprise of both the contract, and the increase?

If you were to watch the meeting Director Downey clarified that this amount doesn’t cover the actual Christmas lights themselves. Those sterile looking snowflakes cost $1,000 each and have had a 15% fail rate so no doubt they will be needing to be replaced.

So if we do the math here $200,000 will be approved by a rubber stamp from council. Then the snowflakes will be repaired/replaced at an additional rate.

Yup, that’s the cost of “getting things done”.

If council is just throwing money on the fire whatever happened to Mayor Mrakas “canopy of lights“?

Council passed the motion unanimously to “make the downtown core a more inviting, unique place that will encourage people not only from Aurora, but from all over the GTA to visit our town.” But the little lights are not twinkling.

Why didn’t that “get done”?

After all they are just lights, it’s not as though the town operates 2 electronic signs that are currently inoperable.

Oh, wait, yes they do.

The one at the SARC hasn’t been working this entire council term.

Instead of providing the quality of life agreed to in previous budgets the town “got things done” by renting a temporary sign which they place in front of the non functional one:

The one at Aurora Heights Dr. that I have posted on for nearly a decade gets band-aid fixes then fails immediately after. It is in a current state of illegibility for southbound traffic:

How is it that the fire department operates electronic signs without issue?

How is it that St. Andrew’s College has installed and operates an electronic sign without issue?

How is it that all other neighbouring York Region municipalities operate electronic signage while Aurora is content to just pretend theirs work when they clearly don’t?

Maintaining existing infrastructure isn’t as easy as flipping a switch, or pushing a button to take a selfie.

According to this 2021 watchdog report nearly half of Ontario municipal infrastructure needs repair.

Where is the audit on Aurora’s infrastructure?

The public only hears about capital spending at budget time, where it approves hundreds of thousands of dollars only to have that number thrown back in its face for hundreds of thousands more.

All while our elected officials sit around the table and rubber stamp approvals like Clark Griswold plugging all the Christmas lights into a single outlet praying that no one will notice.

Watts on your mind?

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