Spending over budget in Barriere

Mayor questioned by letter writer on increase in expenses for first six months

To the editor;

How many times have we heard the Mayor of Barriere extol “we cannot keep spending money, public money, your money as the tax paying public, on undefined projects”.

How many times has he criticized the former mayor and council for his perception of what he constitutes as a waste of the tax payer’s money?

Let’s review our new mayor’s spending habits.  Each year, the finance department will establish an annual budget targeting amongst others, discretionary expense items such as mileage and workshop/seminars, for the mayor and councillors to attend and recover their respective mileage costs.  The assumption presumed is that mileage supports service to the community.

Fiscal 2010 Fiscal 2011 Budget 2012 6 months June 2012

Mileage $1,714 $2,346 $3,000 $3,340

This table illustrates mileage expenses for the years identified, with the exception of the last column, representing the first six months of Mayor Humphreys’ appointment.  Our new mayor exceeded his entire annual budget within six months (December 5 – June 7).

The District’s finance department raised the concern with council, necessitating a motion to increase mileage by another $2,000 (from general surplus).  The amended mileage budget is now $5,000.

What is most alarming, is the fact his worship has spent $2,265 in six months.  This represents 75.46 per cent of the annual budget of $3,000.

Assuming there is continued use of mileage, and I think it is safe to assume that within the next six months there will be some need, the net affect would see mileage increase year over year by 213 per cent ($5,000 versus $2,346).  his worship has spent the entire budget of 2011 (less $82) than the cumulative spending of the former mayor and council members in just six months?

Workshops and seminars has an annual budget of $16m and after six months $13,567 or 85 per cent of the annual budget has been spent, leaving a balance of $2,433 or 15 per cent for the remaining six months. (assumption UBCM cost of $8,500).  So what does this suggest?  Draw your own conclusion.

At face value, it appears the mayor has been doing a lot of traveling on our tax dollars (undefined projects?).

Remember, your worship – you get more with sugar than with vinegar.  Kindly improve your tone when speaking of “those people”, many of whom you interact with on a daily basis.  No need to continue to offend, preach or bully, just go about your civic duties respectfully and honour the position of office you hold.  Cultivate cohesion and stop promoting divisiveness within our community.  End of story!

Respectfully,

Pete Gardner

Barriere, B.C.