Melania Trump Club

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mayor of East Devon

Devon council strives to be open, accessible and transparent. As municipal government officials, we are accountable to the public, and we recognize that the public has the right to see how taxpayer dollars are spent. To this end, council has been discussing posting council expense claims online. We recently agreed on a clear, understandable format that includes year-to-date expenditures for all members of council, individual council expenditures and our elected official remuneration policy.
First, the year-to-date expenditures show an overall picture of where each councillor is at, in terms of spending. Expenditures are displayed in a table format that shows:
1. total dollars spent to date
2. total dollars allotted in 2014 budget (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2014)
3. the variance or the difference between the above numbers
4. the percentage of budget spent to date
The year-to-date expenditures also show several ways that councillors receive compensation. Specifics are outlined in the elected official remuneration policy, that we have also posted online. First, we receive a monthly honorarium, or the equivalent of a pay cheque, that covers activities such as council meetings, meetings with administration, responding to public concerns, signing cheques or attending town staff functions. As mayor, I receive a monthly honorarium of $4,080 and councillors receive $2,040. Each councillor serves as deputy mayor on an 8-month rotational basis, and this increase in responsibilities includes a slight honorarium increase.
Councillors also receive per diems, billed on an hourly or daily rate, for certain activities such as attending board meetings, conferences, seminars, courses, ceremonies or grand openings. For example, all councillors regularly attend the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association annual conference that takes place either in Edmonton or Calgary. Individual councillors may also attend an economic development, parks and recreation or library conference for their board, and these provide invaluable opportunities for sharing ideas, networking and learning. In addition, we attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Association annual conference that takes place in different locations across Canada. Last year, Councillor Laveck, Councillor Hugh and I travelled to Niagara Falls, Ontario to attend the FCM conference, where we lobbied for a grant of $450,000 for our solar farm project. In 2015, FCM will take place in Edmonton, so all councillors will likely attend. Finally, councillors may bill the expenses such as food, accommodation or travel costs incurred while on town business.

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