Guest Column: One Person’s Opinion

2015 First Quarter Statistics – Morinville Community Cultural Centre

At a recent Council meeting, Administration presented the Town’s 2015 First Quarter Statistics to Council. Of particular concern at this time is the information concerning our Community Cultural Centre.

First of all, to receive any report on first quarter activities just prior to Council’s summer break demonstrates an abysmal and apparent absence of ability on the part of some of our senior administrative staff. Make all the excuses you wish for this, but it should never take the better part of three months to make this information public!

Secondly, the first sentence of the report states: “The first quarter of the Community Cultural Centre was an absolute buzz with all kinds of various activities”. However, as one reviews the actual statistics the reality of our situation proves once more to be more than a little disappointing. With almost 38% of the total available hours going to waste, the methodology being utilized to secure clientele for this facility must be changed – yet again.

Thirdly, not one of the four live performances held during this quarter broke even, although the Little Mermaid show did make a valiant stab at it. It is recognized, and it has been reiterated by Councilllor Dafoe on more than one occasion, that the making of money, especially when shows are for the whole family or the children of our community, is not necessarily the overriding factor in deciding whether or not any given act will be hired. Once again, the methodology being utilized to determine which acts should be hired should be re-examined.

While it may indicate “success” to some people, most taxpayers are not particularly impressed with Administration’s statement that: “…Morinville numbers for the 1st quarter of 2015 exceed that average…” when referring to national averages for earned revenue amongst performing arts organizations.

So – what does all this tell us?

We have had nothing but controversy and a multitude of organizational difficulties from Day 1 and the opening of this facility. Perhaps, as stated quite clearly in the Town’s recently-completed “Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Review”, the time has come to get Administration out of the business of trying to run this facility and giving it over to an “at arms-length” board. The operation of our own Library Board comes to mind when considering such action and might provide a valid start-point template.

By the way, it is definitely NOT too early to consider keeping Administration at “arms-length” when deciding exactly how our new “multi-use recreational facility” is going to be run – and by whom!

This Town’s Administration has a large number of exceptional and dedicated “worker” staff, and the significant problems do not originate with those members. The senior and mid-level managers appear to have way too much on their collective plates and, consequently, some important items may slip between the cracks. Perhaps the time has long passed when we should divest Administration of some of its responsibility.

James O’Brien

Author’s Note: Over the next few weeks (the “Dog Days of Summer”) I intend to produce a series of articles which are critical of the Town of Morinville’s handling of several issues. This is being done in response to discussions with a number of residents, not all of whom are entirely pleased with the manner in which these concerns are being addressed.

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1 Comment

  1. Debbie K: As far as the top level of Administration is concerned, the answer is simple – ONE (Claude Valcourt – Public Works) resides in Morinville – All the rest take our money and RUN!!!

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