I'm running through items in my memory bank and taking you with me.
I had a conversation with the town solicitor yesterday. I recollected the railway museum project and how it was stopped.
Does the Ontario Municipal Board still have authority to hear appeals against a decision by Council.
It seems OMB authority has been narrowed since then. But I recently read of an appeal that surprised me. So I need to confirm.
The solicitor is confident an agreement to purchase cultural services is within Council's l authority
In the same way garbage collection and snowplowing.are contracted.
I don't see cultural services as similar to snow-plowing or garbage collection.
Both are hard services. Specifications are drawn up. Tenders are called. Contracts are awarded
A rigid process is followed.A rigid service is provided.
Council will deal with two comparative items. in this week's agenda.
One is the contract for culture services.No opportunity for public input. Negotiations in secret
The second a report recommends a process to obtain public input into disposition of surplus public buildings. before a decision is made.
A resolution was passed over a year since. A schedule of workshops taking until 2014 to complete is proposed before a decision is made.
The decision has been pending since the years 2000 and 2006.
Substantial funds have already been spent on consultant studies and engineering reports on the building structures.
Second recommendation is to sign a contract for purchase of culture and surrender of a public facility, for a dollar a year
A consultant study was undertaken in 2008. It recommended,. a format for joint heritage and cultural services to be provided and become financially self-sufficient.
The agreement eventually created and signed made no reference to self-sufficiency. It called for free use and maintenance of a public facility, with a formula for an annual increase in funding of 3%.
At no time was the public informed of the change in direction..
Their input was not sought.
A Board was created by the municipality at the municipality's expense.
A not-for-profit board with a constitution that calls for self-direction self -appointment of officers and closed meetings.
Public money spent out of sight and sound of the public.
A new agreement is now recommended for signature.
None of the features of governance noted above are changed.
An agreement will be signed with a board having the authority of a private corporation ..
No government regulations apply.No municipal policies will adhere.
It occurs to me , if a wily gang of scam artists, intent on creating a scheme for siphoning funds out of the town treasury, with all the appearance of regularity, they could not do better. Town staff have inadvertently created the perfect model for a shell game.
First, retain a solicitor to create a non-profit board with separate and independent authority. Then proceed to to funnel money from the town treasury to the coffers of the board for purchase of airy-fairy services that can't be traced or measured for intrinsic value.
When a song is sung , a piano piece performed or a painting gazed upon, how are key performance indicators captured and
measured against funds expended.
As tax collectors, what do we have to show for funds expended .
The OMB may not have authority in the matter.
But any person may make an application to the Supreme Court to quash a municipal bylaw.