Delta has released its annual list of remuneration and expenses for city council, and in doing so, has also pledged to make the list more transparent and available for view for the public.
At the Aug. 10 council meeting, Mayor George Harvie brought forward a motion asking that the report be posted on the city’s website as well as being released through regular council meetings.
City council approved the motion unanimously.
“I think it is a great idea and it’s about time these expenses are digitalized,” said Coun. Dylan Kruger. “As local officials, it is an expectation that we attend community events and support local organizations. A significant portion of expenses go towards supporting local charities like the Delta Hospital Foundation and the Reach Child and Youth Development Centre. I try my best to attend as many local community events as I can - this is an important part of my job.
“I support Mayor Harvie's motion to ensure these expenses are reported on our city website regularly for the sake of transparency. I hope we can also find a mechanism to record councillor attendance at conferences and events for which they have purchased tickets. In my view, if a councillor spends taxpayer dollars to attend a conference or event and fails to show up, that councillor should be responsible for paying the full cost of the expense back to the city. Neglecting to pay back these expenses would be a serious misuse of local tax dollars.”
Coun. Jeannie Kanakos echoed Kruger's thoughts that it was a good approach and one that follows other municipalities in the Lower Mainland.
She said being transparent and accountable to taxpayers is important.
The report presented outlines remuneration and expenses from January to December, 2019.
Mayor George Harvie received $152,069.13 in remuneration, $16,728 in car allowance for a total of $168,797.14. He had $9,327 in expenses.
Coun. Dan Copeland received $65,828.44 in remuneration, $10,368 in car allowance for a total of $76,196.44. He had $5,676 in expenses.
Coun. Alicia Guichon received $64,542.91 in remuneration, $10,368 in car allowance for a total of $74,910.91. She had $7,771 in expenses.
Coun. Lois Jackson received $64,837.83 in remuneration, $10,368 in car allowance for a total of $75,205.83. She had $5,587 in expenses.
Coun. Jennie Kanakos received $64,837.83 in remuneration, $10,368 in car allowance for a total of $75,205.83. She had $5,353 in expenses.
Coun. Dylan Kruger received $64,837.83 in remuneration, $10,368 in car allowance for a total of $75,205.83. He had $10,973 in expenses.
Coun. Bruce McDonald received $64,603.84 in remuneration, $10,368 in car allowance for a total of $74,971.84. He had $210 in expenses.
Expenses varied amongst the councillors and the mayor based on the number of events, meetings, functions and conferences they attended representing the City of Delta.