pork-barreling on the taxpayer dime

CBC journalist Joanne Chianello: “When we think about how the city spends our money, what comes to mind are light rail, snow removal and garbage collection, not what councillors pay for brochures or cellphones.

But over a four-year term, councillors have sole discretion over how to spend $23 million running their offices. And how they decide to use that substantial budget is surprisingly different from office to office. There are surprisingly few rules about how councillors are allowed to spend their office budgets, which in 2017 came in at $257,723 each.

From the time they were sworn in Dec. 1, 2014, you’ve paid more than $750,000 for councillors to advertise themselves to you, $50,000 for them to serve you coffee, doughnuts and, in many cases, take their staff to lunch, and $168,000 for their parking.

Zooming in even closer, you’ve paid $380 for Coun. Jody Mitic’s blender, and $600 for ’embroidery’ on Coun. Mark Taylor’s deputy mayor jacket. Coun. Rick Chiarelli expensed $71 at Chances R (he must have a regular table there, judging by his expenses) for a lunch that included a city planner.

Four councillors spent $1,700 on NHL outdoor classic tickets. Other expenses are posted under wide-ranging categories, making it impossible to see exactly what councillors bought with our money.”

Going nuts when the taxpayer foots the bill. They love their wives.

At Bob Chiarelli’s golf course?

King-of-the-Business-Lunch crown: Chiarelli picked up the tab about 60 times this term of council, treating staff, community association presidents, business people, and sometimes other city officials to lunch (or breakfast) on our dime.

Rick Chiarelli spent a TON* of money on pork-barrelling: gala tickets, “hospitality” for staff, political friends and wealthy donors to his campaign war chest. Everything from $63 for a gift basket for his buddies at Friends in Sportfishing to $32 for Melodies and Martinis at Algonquin College.  And $300 for membership in the Canadian Italian Business Professional Association.

$31,119 spent from his 2017 “office budget” with ZERO transparency.

Who got the cash? Mike Patton? Ken Gray? Kurt Stoodley?

Family members?

Wacky Westcliffe WECA.

Power’s out in Bells Corners.

New maps.

Bells Corners accidents.

Bells Corners cycling.

Stress-free cycling.

Volunteers clean up Dragonfly Park.

Vote for your favourite politicians:

*Chiarelli 2017 personal spending (hospitality, donation, events, sponsorships):

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