Well, this is what an ingrained sense of entitlement gets us. Calgary’s city council is expensing every little thing that they may get away with. These Aldermen make almost $100,000 per year yet they still feel compelled to try to stick as many expenses as possible on the backs of the taxpayers no matter how petty. Keep in mind that these Aldermen are already provided with $145,385 annually to cover travel, business expenses and assistants.
Here are some of the petty expenses and the sad excuses the aldermen made for them.
Ald. Andre Chabot expensed $79 for a golf lesson. He said:
“It’s not something I expect to do on a regular basis, but I’m not a golfer, right? When I do get a chance to go out and golf with folks, I don’t want to look too foolish”
Trust me Chabot, you are looking extremely foolish. Who in their right mind would consider golf lessons to be legitimate expenses to ding taxpayers with?
$4,014 was billed to the taxpayers by aldermen for drycleaning. Excuses below:
Alderman Gord Lowe who billed $655 for drycleaning: “In my perspective, it’s allowed because we do have a public appearance, a public presence, and we have to maintain it.”
Sorry Lowe, laundry is an expense that everybody has public presence or not.
Alderman Ric McIver who billed $450 for drycleaning: “In a city of a million people, I’m not sure people want their representatives looking shabby“
Oh BS Ric. In a 7-11 of perhaps a 12 people they do not want their representatives looking shabby, thus they assure that their employees wash their clothing. I really expected better from you.
Downtown Calgary has thousands and thousands of employees who are expected to be well dressed for their jobs and that requires drycleaning at times. The employees pay that expense themselves and understood that when taking on the employment.
Extreme leftist Alderman Brian Pincott jumps into the mix of course. He got more creative in his personal expensing to the taxpayers than the others. Pincott expensed $87 to get a passport for example.
Pincott sniveled: “I have, on a point of principle, not travelled to the United States and I never before had a passport in my life. If it weren’t for this job, I would never travel to the United States.”
Kiss my ass Pincott. I don’t care about your weird socialist points of principle. People pay for their own damned passports. It does speak volumes about your ideology however in that you hold the American people in such contempt yet have never even been there. That is right up with religious leaders condemning movies that they have not watched.
Pincott spent $76.19 on One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo, a popular local theatre production. I am afraid that I don’t even have any sad excuse to quote out of Pincott on this one. Pincott feels that the taxpayer should pay to keep him entertained. Repugnant.
Pincott is not alone however. Linda-Fox-Mellway expensed $347.62 so her kids could go see Metallica. Fox-Mellway did repay that one. She claims that it was a mistaken credit card. I claim that she likely simply had it disallowed. It really is not that difficult to tell one credit card from another. Fox-Mellway also expensed $207 to have a shirt alteration done. She has since vowed to pay that back. Funny how their tune changes when they are caught.
Joe Ceci expensed $156.03 to go to Theater Calgary which he paid back after his fingers were spotted in the taxpayer cookie-jar.
Golf tournaments are a large part of the expenses of council apparently. Stevenson, Jones, Joe Connelly, Chabot and McIver all hit the taxpayer to attend tournaments. These Aldermen are not attending these tournaments in order to promote the city, they are attending in order to promote themselves. One would expect that these guys would know the difference.
Joe Connelly’s statement on billing tournaments to taxpayers: “It’s an allowable expense and I don’t feel like I have to defend it”
Ahh that brings back memories of Dingwall saying he was entitled to his entitlements. Yes you do have to defend it you dolt!!! It is not your money to spend! Just because it is allowable does not mean that it is right.
Connelly spent $383.25 for tickets to see Jordan’s Queen Noor, who spoke in April 2008 about global issues and the conflicts between East and West. Well, yeah I can see how many issues from Jordan can be used to learn from and better our city.
Finally my favorite Druh Farrell had to jump into the mix of course. One of her gems was billing taxpayers $89.39 for five copies of “Fluoride Deception”, a conspiracy theory book that apparently is better when one gets multiple copies. Druh in her typical arrogance did not even try to defend her using taxpayer money to fund her reading budget.
Alderman Ray Jones is in charge of determining what can be expensed and what can’t be. He would not specify, but he has declined many expenses. I can’t imagine how stupid these ones must have been.
Yes, these are not huge dollar numbers. The principle is critical however. These people are tasked with managing a city of over a million people and billions of dollars. The regard that our aldermen show for our money is reflected in what they expense to us and sadly and predictably they hold us and our funds in low regard.
These little expenses are only what we can see. Much spending is hidden and mired in the caverns of city hall. The need for a municipal auditor general is more acute than ever and I hope Stelmach gets around to doing that soon. A private members Bill went before our legislature last winter calling for such an auditor. The bill has now been referred to a standing committee.
Calgary desperately needs an independent audit before the next municipal election.