Feb 21, 2013- 10:52 AM
Much of the reason city councillors are so darn dysfunctional is because there are many council seat warmers who are long past their useful shelf life. All too many of the councillors have lost all sense of what they’re at city hall for.
Let’s clear the air before the next municipal election. It’s slush fund period once again. If you re-elect your councillor, then stop complaining about waste.
Ward 5 Coun. Ron Dupuis has spent less than $10,000 in 2012. Any portion of councillors’ $50,000 annual budget is carried over to the next year.
Each of the city’s 12 councillors can spend $50,000 a year as they see fit. Critics say it gives councillors an unfair advantage because they can spend $200,000 over their four-year term, currying favours with voters, with little oversight.
Despite all the funding handed out, some councillors still have plenty of funds left over.
Carrying over cash from previous years means Ward 8 Coun. Fabio Belli has $175,000 still in the bank, and Ward 6 Coun. Andre Rivest has $159,900 remaining, plus the $50,000 slush fund for 2013.
At the other end of the scale, Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann has $54,000 left, and Ward 2 Coun. Jacques Barbeau has $53,000, the least of all councillors.
Sudbury is the only municipality in Ontario to have such a fund. A change is urgently required.