By Letter to the Editor on December 5, 2017.
Re: “Council expense numbers don’t tell the full story,” Sept. 14 Lethbridge Herald.
In reviewing this article in The Herald I find issue on several counts.
1. The mayor indicates that all travel expenses must be signed off by himself and the city manager. Reading from the City website handbook for candidates it clearly states that all councillors’ travel and per diem must be signed by the mayor with an indication as to what expenses are expected. I find no reference to the city manager’s approval, which would indicate that the city manager is comfortable with councillors’ allotments as they stand at $10,500 each per year.
2. I question the use of a “pot” of unused expenses by other council members. Again it is clearly indicated in the candidate handbook travel at $7,000 per year and per diem at $3,500 per year for the total of $10,500 per year per councillor. I have dug to the depths of darkness and can find no reference, agenda item, motion regarding making unused expenses going into a “pot” to be used for councillors to overspend their allotments.
3. I would expect that as these expenses are contained within the renumeration package for council that a motion, discussion and an open vote would be required to alter this from a personal responsibility issue to a communal pot one. Was there? As my wife so aptly questioned, how does that work, first one to the pot digs in and the rest get what’s left?
I am just asking if I can be pointed to the link to where individual expenses became a pot of unused expenses. As Councillor Hyggen stated on Global, he has gained valuable insight, knowledge and education from spending all this money. The taxpayers just didn’t realize that we would have to pay for him to start from scratch!
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