The Town of Aurora is running a low effort photo contest: Instead of using actual photos taken in Aurora, showcasing what they are seeking from applicants, they opted for uninspiring Getty stock images: Compelling budding photographers by using “One woman cross country skiing at sunset in ski resort”. because nothing says Aurora like photos from […]Read more "Grand Theft Photo"
Earlier today someone at the Town of Aurora attempted to be funny and posted this to their social accounts: The post claims this declaration to be signed all members of council. Here is the official declaration: One of these things look just like the others, and yes it’s the signatures. WTF? Is the Town of […]Read more "sign, steal & deliver?"
The Town of Aurora’s Communications department has several full-time staff and an annual budget of over $700,000 for several years now yet with all these resources move in very snow motion. Back in 2016 I posted on how the town used inappropriate stock imagery that showed snow to advertise fun activities for a March break […]Read more "Snow Green and the 7(00,000) dollar bills"
It is said that however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. So today let’s take a deep dive on the Town of Aurora’s IT Strategic Plan. In June of 2018 Perry Group Consulting announced that they were “really pleased to have been selected by the Town of Aurora to help facilitate […]Read more "What’s the Sharepoint?"
Municipalities consider dog waste to be a dilema, not a lost cause. In 2018 Municipal World identified the risks and impacts and outlined solutions: As a result several municipalities have risen to meet the challenge. Here’s how Toronto “gets things done”: In 2018, the City audited Garbage and Blue Bins in a number of Toronto […]Read more "Civic Doody"
Looks like Aurora’s Robert The Bruce wasn’t content to bitch about dandelions on school properties during this pandemic. Now he’s got his his kilt in a knot about wards. Nothing like being 6 months late to a party. It has taken ages to bring Aurora out of the dark ages, and to do so the […]Read more "Them’s Fighting Wards"
The response from our elected officials to the steady stream of letters hitting The Auroran about the nearing $60 million White Elephant that is Library Square should have been extending the opportunity for productive dialogue. Instead what got spat back to us was Clr Humfreys adorning her cheerleader uniform to try and muzzle the outcry […]Read more "Give me a B, Give me an R, Give me an E, Give me an A, Give me a K. What’s that spell?"
Last September I pointed out how the Town of Aurora has failed to maintain its own electronic sign at the SARC I checked this week and almost a year later and it is still non-functional. Seeing as I posted about it back in April of 2018, so this has been an ongoing issue for over […]Read more "Light travels faster than sound which is why Aurora politicians appear bright until they speak"
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has listed a page of numerous communities whose local leaders have stepped up for their communities. Among them we learn Prince Edward County developed a website that updates residents on businesses offering products and services. And did Aurora make the list? No, and who would expect them to given the […]Read more "METUBE"
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 […]Read more "A mistake repeated more than once is a decision"
During Covid19 the Town of Aurora’s social media accounts have been used to direct residents to crosswords and virtual tours of Disneyland. But in one of their more recent posts this week they claim the pandemic is a “Great opportunity to explore our town”: Perhaps whoever created this post never got the memo from York […]Read more "When opportunity knocks… you off"
First it was links to Disneyland, now the Town of Aurora’s vapid social channels are shovelling crosswords at us: Work from home means actual work, the kind that adds value to the town not sad attempts at justifying the continuation of your job. Since when did citizens require the Town to disseminate BuzzFeed style content? […]Read more "Adding value or adding noise"
Back on March 17th the Yonge & St. Clair BIA released a post to alert citizens to head online and support local shops. That was also a month ago, a very fast reaction to the pandemic. They followed this up on March 23rd by announcing a $500 Digital Growth Grant. This initiative is to help […]Read more "Downtown Aurora M.I.A."
At the beginning of the year Mayor Mrakas was all about finding efficiencies with a proposal reduce representation at the regional level to reign in $600,000 savings. Fast forward to today and we learn that theTown of Aurora recently laid off 280 workers. On the surface this looks like leadership, but I suspect none of […]Read more "When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine"
Attempting to catch up on some committee meetings I went back through the town’s YouTube channel and found a rather glaring irregularity that needs to be addressed. The Town’s Committee of Adjustment held a meeting September 12th, 2019 yet there is no video of that meeting to be found: Now I fully appreciate that videos […]Read more "I’m altering the town’s committee minutes…"
There’s a pandemic going on and it looks like certain staff members at town hall are desperately seeking escapism. Yesterday they shared this facebook post: In traditional fashion instead of using an authentic photo of Aurora citizens taken by their full time Digital Strategist, they have used a stock photo: But it’s the message I […]Read more "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy"
Yesterday by way of email Diabetes sent out this communication: The first thing I noticed is the photo they used is from one of their locations in Aurora, a site that has a documented history of being abused. Back in January 2018 Anna wrote a post about it, then on March 4th I wrote a […]Read more "Shamed into getting things done"
While the Town of Aurora has spent 2 attempts over 5 years and $140,000 on their corporate website only for it to remain a hot mess the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury is poised to get a new smartphone app. Oh and the cost, well below the $70,000 website refresh, and that amount may qualify […]Read more "Smartphone Dumbtown"
Today is International Open Data Day. Anyone can organize an Open Data Day event. The City of Hamilton does. As of March 2019 there are 66 municipalities that have open data portals in Canada. Toronto adopted their Open Data Master plan, have an Open Data team that does active AMA on reddit and solicits feedback […]Read more "open and shut data"
Over a month ago the Town of Aurora announced it launched a new website. Proving that attention to detail is a huge challenge it appears the town’s communications department couldn’t even bother to spellcheck their own announcement: The claim is the the new website offers residents a cleaner, new look with updated features and more […]Read more "A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good"
Former Mayor Tim Jone’s Auroran piece titled “Branding the Town” speaks to the Town of Aurora’s logo’s history, being born out of the need for the town to market itself for economic development: The logo was supposed to provide a “strong foundation for consistent communication across many town functions”. I question exactly how strong that […]Read more "Identity Theft alive and well in 2020"
Earlier today the Town of Aurora posted yet another a cheesy video to its poorly trafficked Youtube channel, this one featuring the mayor announcing a regional energy challenge to businesses: In closing the Mayor says “For more details click on the link”. One small problem. There is no link. When one checks the description for […]Read more "The Mayor’s Energy Challenged"
On February 4th Mr Brad Watson delegated before council regarding the enforcement measures that regulate noise prohibitions #6 and #11 under Schedule B of the town’s Noise By-law. Watson comes to the meeting more prepared than the majority of council members, and you can watch him at 17:55 – 32:13 He outlines the exact sections […]Read more "Who lives in a town whose bylaws hold no guarantee?"
In 2011 the Town of Aurora equipped their snowplow fleet with GPS units at a cost of $70,000. 3 years later in 2014 the town approved new Winter maintenance service levels with the reported goal to “create the perception of unchanged or increased service levels”. This is when they introduced Where Is My Plow , […]Read more "Aurora’s Flurry Plows"
Come to Downtown Aurora. It has all your favourite shops and amenities from Pickering, but the traffic and parking are worse! And that’s according to the comments on the Downtown Aurora Business Improvement Area’s facebook page: Oh and if you are lucky enough to come when the same BIA is hosting a piggyback event to […]Read more "Bullsh!t In Action"
At some point the Town of Aurora started to include the fount Zing Sans Rust in its communications. I hadn’t seen its use prior to January 30th, 2017 where it was used in report CAO17-007 ( Branding Concepts for Aurora Armoury) on all 3 concepts found on pages 6 through 8. Below each concept is […]Read more "No Patrick, Mayonnaise is not a font"
This February 21st piece in the Auroran raises valid questions on the effectiveness of the Town of Aurora’s public engagement capabilities. A range of opinions are captured with Clr. Gallo believes the town has failed miserably and the process is flawed. Clr Gilliland states that insufficient information has been communicated even though multiple events have […]Read more "Aurora’s Silent Majority"
Richmond Hill announced last week it has “parted ways” with its CAO / City Manager Neil Garbe. The Banner piece references his final meeting, which you can watch the item at 1:24:00 here: You may remember Garbe as he was the Town of Aurora’s CAO for 6 years and 7 months. He was hired to […]Read more "Gift of the Garbe"
It’s February, which means it’s the 2 year anniversary since the Town of Aurora launched their “digital engagement tool” Place Speak. Well maybe not exactly 2 years. As with almost all digital properties the Town of Aurora is involved with PlaceSpeak online failed to launch on-time and it was only operational 8 months later. The […]Read more "caught in a traffic jam of discursive thought"
With it safely behind us I thought I’d take a moment to highlight the Town of Aurora’s 2019 Christmas market-ing fail. Feedback on the town’s social media efforts were lacklustre and ineffective: What caught my attention was the roadsigns that couldn’t be read from a distance, and I wasn’t alone: Although I didn’t get a […]Read more "It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small"