Letter to the Editor – Brian Lynch not Happy with Council Personal Expenses – Cornwall Ontario – September 15, 2010

Dear Editor:

I am disappointed that Cornwall City Council at its meeting on September 13, with the exception of Councillor Mark MacDonald, voted to maintain the controversial council members’ personal expense accounts of $2515.  They have been used primarily as a slush fund to make donations to local charities and community organizations.  Taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on a variety of events such as fundraising golf tournaments, concerts, dinners, dances, galas, and political party fundraisers.

The council members’ personal expense accounts are not necessary because there is already a separate budget of $30,000 for council as a whole including the Mayor for travel, conferences, workshops, and seminars related to city business.  There is also a separate public relations budget of $10,000 for council as a whole including the Mayor.  It should also be noted that council members’ remuneration is 1/3 tax free to defray out of pocket expenses for council members in the performance of their duties.

I strongly believe that the council members’ personal expense accounts of $2515 should be eliminated. I also believe that Mayor Bob Kilger’s very generous personal expense account should be reduced from $15,000 to $8,000 where it was in 2007 before being raised to $15,000 in 2008.  At the same time in 2008, a separate budget of $25,000 was also established for the Mayor and city councillors for travel, conferences, workshops, and seminars related to city business and then increased to $30,000 for 2010.  A close examination of the Mayor’s personal expense account over the past four years shows spending on donations to various community organizations, fundraising dinners and golf tournaments, political party fundraisers, and most recently $919.98 to attend a funeral in Windsor Ontario.

It is time for the Mayor & city council to show restraint in their personal spending of taxpayers’ dollars.

Yours truly,

Brian Lynch, Cornwall Ontario

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

Mark McDonald Cornwall Lighting & Electrical Centre Schnitzels

15 Responses to "Letter to the Editor – Brian Lynch not Happy with Council Personal Expenses – Cornwall Ontario – September 15, 2010"

  1. Grimalot   September 15, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    Hear hear!!

  2. smee   September 16, 2010 at 6:34 AM

    Brian
    Do you also believe the Ontario Teachers Plan should reduce its pay out rates to what it use to be? Would that make your lifestyle better? I know it would reduce the 1 billion payouts of tax dollars to the OTTP. That makes more sense tome then $2,000

    So long as the money is accounted for and properly spent it should remain the same.
    Your ideas are contributing to unnecessary conflict.
    I read an amazing post by Grimalot regarding Brockville. Do you think Brockville council has such a low budget or restriction that you are suggesting?
    Brian in short we get what we pay for you pay crap wages and benefits you get crap council. Look at the city and compare it to what is outside the box and you can see what I am saying is true. Cornwall fails due to the ideas you are promoting.

  3. willie191   September 16, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    But will council listen. Thank you Brian for making the citizens of Cornwall aware.

  4. smee   September 16, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    willie
    They do not care nor are they capable of caring,
    How can a man that wants not, truly have the a clear understanding of those in need? Let alone the deisre to do what is best for them.

    Politicians in government should be changed regularly, like diapers, for the same reason.
    Richard Davies (c. 1505 – 1581)

    My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.
    Harry Truman (1884 – 1972)

  5. Stan   September 16, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    I had occasion to be talking to the City of Brockville earlier this morning and casually asked what the mayor and councillors earn there. I was told the mayor earns $22,298.50 per annum and the councillors earn $19,798,50 per annum. How does that compare to Cornwall? I took a chance and asked about an off-leash dog park and they replied there was one on Broadway. You can use it if your dog is licensed and you must pick-up the poo.

  6. destructo   September 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    I don’t believe that the point of this letter is to address council salaries, per se. Mr. Lynch is concernes about the usage of personal expense accounts. So am I. While I do agree that councillors should have some money set aside to attend conferences and seminars, etc., I don’t believe they should be spending my tax dollars to support political parties, or charities. If a councillor, or the mayor, should choose to contribute to one of the above they can do it it out of pocket. It shouldn’t be done with my money.

  7. smee   September 16, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    True destructo, but if they do not use our tax dollars or expence accounts to buy votes, how would they get elected?

  8. Grimalot   September 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    smee said “True destructo, but if they do not use our tax dollars or expence accounts to buy votes, how would they get elected?”

    To which I respond, “By their merits!”

    Fact is, they do not need these expense accounts if they are not using them for expenses and then blowing them on charities afterwards just so they can get the same account or more for the following year! What a sham for them to do.. I applaud councillors like Mark MacDonald who posted some of the least use of these accounts!

    THEY ARE NOT FOR CHARITIES OR BALLS!

    As well, if they end up keeping these accounts, they certainly DO NOT NEED A RAISE, ESPECIALLY NOT A STUPID AMOUNT LIKE 38%!!! WHAT ARE THEY IDIOTS??

    Stan, per capita, the mayor and council of Brockville make more money per capita then the mayor and council do here in Cornwall.. compare a Cornwall population of 46 thousand versus the Brockville population of 22000 or so.. then you see where Im coming from.. you also happen to see by their backwards logic where councillors like Andre Rivette and Syd Gardener come from when they want their 38% raises.. and even tried to have it voted in.. Fact is, put your money where your mouths are if you want a raise, and do something for the city before you get it!! Not this crap going on now!!

  9. Stan   September 18, 2010 at 6:09 AM

    Yes Grimalot, in comparison with Cornwall, the city council in Brockville get more money for doing less. But look at what they’ve done with Brockville! Our city council couldn’t hold a candle to Brockville. All we seem to be getting is NOTHING! Thats why they earn less. Listen to and do something for the citizens of Cornwall and you shall be paid!

  10. Grimalot   September 18, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Thank you! 😉

  11. Grimalot   September 18, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    btw Stan, that 46000 population here hasn’t changed in about what? 20 years? Brockville was a hole in the wall back then, and look at the difference now, go for a visit, I challenge you to do so and then return with your experiences.. 😉

  12. smee   September 21, 2010 at 6:24 AM

    that was sarcasm gentlemen just sarcasm, I agree with what you are saying. Especially the fact that Cornwall has anb inept council

  13. admin   September 21, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    Nice seeing you at PAC last night Smee 🙂

  14. Jim Marshall   September 24, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    The Cornwall Standard-Freeholder has been quite liberal with their “we regret the errors” lately.

    She we hold our breath until Claude MacIntosh retracts his column’s thinly veiled praise for Bob Kilger a while back, and his seemingly selfless driving back and forth for funerals?

  15. Cornwall Harry   September 24, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Gotta spend that expense money somewhere….

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