Councillors well within their office spending limits
Yesterday, on CFRA’s municipal panel with Rob Snow, his guests were Councillors Allan Hubley, Tim Tierney and Rick Chiarelli. One of the topics was their office budgets which are now made public monthly and in some detail.
Councillor office budgets are $234,000 per year for councillors to spend on staffing, office and community related expenses. AS CFRA notes, they highlighted that Councillor Doug Thompson had the lowest expenditures to date at $59,000 and Councillor Mark Taylor the highest at $142,000. The issue discussed was are some councillors on track to overspend their budgets?
I’m not sure that was a valid question because expenses are not evenly spent from month to month. Summer months and initial office set up would run higher office expenses than other months. In fact, I could argue that Councillor Thompson is not doing enough in his community due to his lower than average office expenditures but even that could be erroneous as money spent does not equal community efforts spent.
This is not the first time that some councillors have been asked about how they spend their discretionary money. Previously, some were criticized for supporting community publications or events by making donations or talking out small ads. But that is exactly what this money if for. It’s for councillors to use money in ways that directly benefit their wards. The proper time to criticize a councillor would be at year end if they go over their budgets or if they use the funds improperly.
I have to say, this council is making Rob Snow’s job tough on municipal panel. It’s hard to find things to complain about when things at the city seem to be working pretty well. Fortunately, they have 3 years left to offer up some juicy stories for the press.