“Updated” treasurer’s report sparks debate amongst two council members

 

Town hallBy Ron Giofu

 

An “updated” treasurer’s report – complete with different council remuneration figures from the first one issued by the town two weeks ago – is out but the debate between councillors Diane Pouget and Carolyn Davies lingers.

At the start of Monday night’s meeting, Davies stated she believed there were “erroneous” statements made about her two weeks ago and called for Pouget to retract statements she made at the previous meeting or apologize publicly for them. Davies said she adhered to the standards laid out by the council compensation advisory committee.

Pouget responded, stating she had no intention to apologize or take anything back, adding she was responding to a public report that was on the previous council agenda.

“I was speaking to a document filed at the last public meeting,” said Pouget. “As a result of my questions, there seems to be an increase. Everything has changed.”

The overall dollar figure of council remuneration increased almost $16,300, she said, including Davies’ total rising from $20,976 to $24,097.76. The latter total includes $3,277.83 in travel and mileage and $2,298.02 in honorarium and per diem.

“Each and every member of council is allowed $1,000 for conferences,” said Pouget.

Pouget added that Councillor Bob Pillon’s travel and mileage was less than $1,000 while Davies’ revised total is now more than Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland. Sutherland overall remuneration was billed at $23,778.10 in the latest report.

Davies responded by saying she used the $1,000 allowed by the town’s compensation advisory committee and wrote a personal cheque to make up the difference.

“That did not show up (in the report),” she said.

Davies added it was “important to recognize there is a value” of going to conferences and learning new things. She added she had no problem with Pouget raising such issues but had concerns over Pouget not asking supplementary questions and using “inappropriate” language such as “racking up” when describing her expenditures. She added that she attended three conferences last year and paid for two out of her own pocket.

“I am doing it appropriately,” Pouget said of her questions. “I am doing what a councillor is supposed to be doing. We are supposed to question reports.”

The salary for mayor is $28,872, while the deputy mayor salary is $18,413. Councillors have salaries of $15,936. They also have various other expenses, such as conference expenditures, communication allowances, per diems, honorariums, travel and legal expenses factored in. Hurst’s overall remuneration for 2013 was listed at $35,160 in the “updated” report, followed by Councillor Bart DiPasquale at $24,141, Davies, then Sutherland.

Pouget’s remuneration was listed at $22,910 while Councillor John Sutton had an overall figure of nearly $22,317, though Sutton questioned an over $1,100 travel and mileage expense, stating he had only put in for one trip to Toronto thus believing that total was high. Pillon’s remuneration was about $20,455.

Interim director of finance Wendy Dade said the report from two weeks ago was “full of posting errors” by the treasury department and was confident the new report was a better reflection of council’s expenditures.

The salary for mayor is $28,872, while the deputy mayor salary is $18,413. Councillors have salaries of $15,936. They also have various other expenses, such as conference expenditures, communication allowances, per diems, honorariums, travel and legal expenses factored in. Hurst’s overall remuneration for 2013 was listed at $35,160 in the “updated” report, followed by Councillor Bart DiPasquale at $24,141, Davies, then Sutherland. DiPasquale claimed almost $3,100 in legal expenses and was the only other councillor with such an expense.

Pouget’s remuneration was listed at $22,910 while Councillor John Sutton had an overall figure of nearly $22,317, though Sutton questioned an over $1,100 travel and mileage expense, stating he had only put in for one trip to Toronto thus believing that total was high. Pillon’s remuneration was about $20,455.

Interim director of finance Wendy Dade said the report from two weeks ago was “full of posting errors” by the treasury department and was confident the new report was a better reflection of council’s expenditures.

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