When Joe Fontana decided to resign from his position as MP for London North Centre in order to take a run at the mayoralty race in London in 2006, he announced that he would “put London on the map.”
Welcome to London Civic Watch
"Ever wonder if City Council is as contentious and chaotic as it is sometimes portrayed? Here you can get a progressive perspective on some of the issues from someone who spent four years in the trenches. Totally unbiased, though! Feel free to comment but keep it respectful, just like they do at council."
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
It was ironic: first, the Corporate Services Committee at the urging of the mayor voting unanimously to support retaining an integrity commissioner to enforce a new and improved code of conduct and then, an hour or so later, a ruling by a federal court judge that that same mayor's charity should not receive a stay of execution in losing its charitable status.
Posted by Gina Barber at 2:10 AM
Saturday, April 20, 2013
On Thursday, the mayor's charity, Trinity Global Support Foundation, had its day in court to explain to a federal judge why it should not suffer the same fate as its predecessors that aligned themselves with tax shelters, i.e. to lose the ability to issue tax receipts. After all, there appears to be a demand for those receipts. In fact, Trinity had issued $152M worth of them in 2011, a significant increase over the $72K issued when Fontana joined the board of directors only three years earlier.
Posted by Gina Barber at 2:13 PM
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Although I had planned to continue with a ward by ward analysis of the spending profile of our councillors, the statement on Wednesday by Councillor Stephen Orser that he has prepared a motion to present to council to fire Andre Marin, the Ontario Ombudsman has to take precedence.
Posted by Gina Barber at 1:28 AM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
As I said a few days ago, you can learn some interesting things when perusing people's expense accounts. How councillors spend the money entrusted to them by the taxpayers says a lot about how they approach their responsibilities. What follows is the profiles than can be drawn from the spending of our current council.
Posted by Gina Barber at 11:15 PM
As I noted in the previous post, it is not always easy to compare the use of expense accounts by the various councillors since the descriptions of the items or services purchased tend not to be standardized and the categories may overlap. In this analysis, I've done my best to cover all the basis and not to double count, but slip ups do occur.
Such is the case with a couple of entries I failed to describe yesterday. I had indicated that Branscombe had made no donations out of her expense account but in fact upon closer examination I noted that she had made one for $35. Likewise I has stated that VanMeerbergen purchased no advertising, but he in fact did pay for a $60 ad in a student play programme. In my defence, I must point out that there are 28 pages of spreadsheets to contend with, none of them electronic.
But let me move on.
Posted by Gina Barber at 12:00 AM
Monday, March 18, 2013
You can learn some interesting things when examining our city councillors' use of their expense accounts funded by you, the taxpayer.
At first glance it may not be all that obvious. There are a lot of numbers to deal with. After all, there are 14 councillors, and they don't all use exactly the same approach to their use of the money that we have given them to represent us. And since the current council has taken office, despite its preoccupation with keeping other parts of the city departments at a zero increase, it has been very successful garnering more dollars for itself. But since they have nearly tripled their allotment over the last few years, we may well ask what are they doing with the money? Are we getting a reasonable deal?
I will leave the issue of the mayor's expenses for another day. But what about councillors? How are they using the money that we give them?
Posted by Gina Barber at 2:57 AM