Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Money well spent. You be the judge

Every year we the taxpayers of the Crowsnest Pass spend a minimum of $20,000 to send our elected officials to conventions put on by various organizations that lobby on behalf of the municipalities.
Some people (usually politicians that want to justify going to these conventions) contend that they are an excellent opportunity to network with other municipalities, to attend various courses offered by the province and the host organizations and to have an opportunity to meet with ministers and other various government officials.
Having attended a couple of conventions during my two terms on council, I determined and that is why I stopped going to them that they are a waste of taxpayers money. We should call a spade a spade, they are a perk for politicians.
You have approximately 450 municipalities in this province who will send somewhere between 2-3000 politicians to these events at an average cost of $600 plus per day.
Our municipality similar to many others meets and networks with their neighbor municipalities on a regular basis, they do not need to go to Edmonton or Calgary to do that.
The various courses and information that are offered at these functions could easily in this day and age of the internet be provided to interested elected officials in seconds.
The last justification made is the opportunity to meet with ministers, well let me tell you what that is like. If your lucky you will get a half a hour with a minister, you will be ushered into a room where the minister and a couple of his assistants will shake your hands, smile at you and listen very intently to your concerns. Then they will shake your hands again kick you out of the room and march in the next group then repeat that process 15-20 times.
In six years of being on council I can not remember one thing that this municipality gained by attending the various conventions.  

What as it cost us to send our elected officials to these conventions over the last three years?

Mayor Decoux $14,312
Gallant $11,593
Sage $14,672
Gail $12,671
Londsbury $3654
Mitchell $6652
Saindon $2328

Total $65,882

Now I know some people will argue that is an insignificant amount in the grand scheme of running a municipality. This is a prime example of what is wrong with big government today that attitude. Every politician and I know they all will at least until October 21st must understand that they are spending the taxpayers dollars. This may only be a $66,000 issue, but where is the line on how much taxpayers dollars is it all right to waste?  

Looking forward to my readers comments.   


Anonymous said...

It seems they had no problems in dealing with the Reeve and councilors of Ranchlands without going to any conventions.

Anonymous said...

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is a proverb. It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring.

Seems our mayor and Councillors achieved this despite going to conventions. A double whammy for the taxpayers here, it would seem.

Anonymous said...

Well you just might be surprised. I have been talking to several people about the election, who have come to the conclusion that yes council did a few weird things, but so has every other one; and another will also do weird things that some like and some don't. And, on and on and on. I also am starting to not care one way or the other. Does not matter who is in.

Anonymous said...

6:26 The real weird things will come if and after these guys get a new mandate. What is different about this group is they are very arrogant and crafty. You do not think they will rip this community even further apart if they are given the opportunity.
Nice to see that Saindon obviously realized very quickly that these conventions are a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

Is this just "conventions", not including other kinds of meetings, events and courses?

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Yes 10:11 this is just conventions

Anonymous said...

If this council showed at least a bit of common sense in some areas of operations, we could have forgiven them a few weird decisions. However, they give us one dissapointmt after another, and not a bit of common sense. You can't learn common sense this late in life. We need an entirely new council.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how, besides the mayor, the two biggest spenders are the two councillors with the poorest attendance rates - one of whom is off most of the boards and committees he had signed on for (this is my understanding, I'm more than willing to be corrected).

Dean - any idea how this type of spending compares to previous years, council(s), or a neighbouring community?

I'm of the mind that this type of professional development can be a good thing, as long as the learning acquired at the convention is brought back, shared and applied when applicable.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. All that money spent, when all they really needed was someone to slap some sense into them. I'm sure there are a few people who would have done that for free!