Category Archives: Perks and Expenses

Conflict over Kitchener councillors’ potential $55,000 lawyer allowance

Read it and weep as council strums the budget blues During recent sessions, councillors faced the unpleasant but necessary prospect of raising costs of storm water by 9.2 per cent, sanitary/sewers by 10.8 percent and water by 7.6 per cent. … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Perks and Expenses, Transparency, Ward News | 1 Comment

Council transparency: Appearance or substance?

When it comes to efforts by Kitchener council to improve accountability and transparency, appearance of change is not enough. Such efforts must have clear, meaningful results and a motion from Coun. Scott Davey last night achieved no such thing. The motion … Continue reading

Posted in Journalism, Perks and Expenses, Transparency | Leave a comment

Small but very symbolic budget decisions

It didn’t surprise me that two small but very symbolic issues attracted little media attention during a recent 13-hour budget meeting where Kitchener councillors grappled with some multi-million-dollar issues. What did come as a very unpleasant surprise was that both issues — additional money for a leisure … Continue reading

Posted in Leisure activity subsidy cards, Perks and Expenses, Ward News | Leave a comment

Public deserves more budget information

“Public engagement is a key component of the annual budget process.” So reads the high-flying introduction paragraph on a 2015 council document distributed last night at a public-input budget meeting staged by Kitchener Council. At the end of the meeting I complimented members of … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Centre in the Square, Leisure activity subsidy cards, Low-Cost Housing, Perks and Expenses, Transparency | Leave a comment

Front-porch politics in Kitchener’s vibrant Ward 9

Your vote counts. That’s the powerful lesson learned when I was elected by a single vote in 2010 that I would like to communicate before tomorrow’s election. And, based on subsequent conversations with hundreds of people convinced that they each cast … Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture, Democracy Ward 9, Giving thanks, Heritage, Jobs, Light Rail Transit, Low-Cost Housing, Neighbourhoods, Perks and Expenses, Transparency, Vibrant Downtown, Voter Turnout, Ward News | 2 Comments

Meet your candidates at city hall forum

All candidates will be transparently accountable I can safely predict you will hear frequent mention of the words “accountability” and “transparency” at a meeting for all Kitchener candidates at city hall Tuesday night. Nothing wrong with that unless the 25-30 … Continue reading

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Cost of councillor conferences

First off, I would say that I recognize the potential learning experience gained from some conferences attended by councillors. At the same time, I believe the amount of money council approves for conferences and the apparent lack of control on … Continue reading

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Trimming home-office expenses

What’s a mere $629.55 while councillors wrestle with a $104,450,374 annual budget? That question and suggestions I was media grandstanding were among comments heard during Jan.30 final budget session as I brought up items like the home-office technology allowance for … Continue reading

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Use councillor perk to help low-income families

As you read this, councillors are immersed in budget meetings, trying to find ways to control taxes while maintaining services. It’s during this budgetary balancing act  I compare items like the home-office technology allowance for councillors with Kitchener’s fair-access subsidy program for … Continue reading

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Ward 9 time of the signs

Today’s the day Kitchener’s election bylaw permits municipal candidates to put up lawn signs. Members of our campaign crew — recent experts in the use of boltcutters required to snip metal prongs that support signs — were out braving blisters … Continue reading

Posted in Amalgamation, Greener City, Heritage, Jobs, Low-Cost Housing, Perks and Expenses, Rockway Seniors, Speeding Traffic, Transit, Transparency, Vibrant Downtown, Victoria Park, Voter Turnout, Where's Frank | Leave a comment