In my last entry, I told you about the gifts that some city councillors received over the calendar year.
I didn't tell you about the gifts received by city staff.
That's because no documents were filed indicating any member of staff received any swag, according to my latest check of the gift disclosure forms at city hall.
In fact, since I've been typing away here for a decade, the only staff member who filed a disclosure form was city manager Penny Ballem.
Maybe there are others but I haven't seen the paperwork.
As I previously reported, Ballem received $3,500 from a speaking engagement at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and recommended it be donated to the United Way.
Call me skeptical, but I find it hard to believe that no other member of staff received a gift of more than $50 while on the job in the past decade.
So I asked Wendy Stewart, the associate director of the city's communications department, about this. Stewart, for the record, has been on the job a lot less than a decade.
"I think it's quite conceivable that some senior staff have received a book, a pen or some other memento for speaking at a conference or event," she said in an email. "That's perfectly legit _ and would not require a disclosure provided the value was under $50. Typically gifts are very modest and, as they say, a token of appreciation."
Added Stewart: "A staffer might speak at a couple of events during a year and receive gifts from both of them but given the usual type of gift [bottle of wine or book], it's usually well under $50."
OK, fine. But what about Mayor Gregor Robertson - surely, he must have received a few gifts since being elected 2008? Well, yes he has, according to his staff.
But it's stuff that gets turned over to the city, put in display cases or donated to somebody or some organization. The mayor's staff has made it quite clear a few times now that Robertson doesn't accept personal gifts.
When he goes to a Canucks game, for example, he pays for the tickets, according to Kevin Quinlan, the mayor's director of policy and communications.
Robertson recently received a Team Canada jacket from some of the Olympians and Paralympians, who were honoured by the mayor at city hall last month. He tried on the jacket and it was a good fit, but Quinlan tells me Robertson will donate it. To whom or to what organization, he hasn't decided yet.
The gift disclosure policy also applies to advisory body members. But I've yet to see anything disclosed from those members either.
We'll see what 2013 brings.
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