December 18, 2015 - 9:30 AM
PENTICTON - Penticton city councillors have taken exception with the name of a budget item they feel is misleading to taxpayers.
City staff have a budget line called "mayor and council" worth $11,000.
The expense is for the operation and maintenance of SUVs owned by the city for use by some employees and council.
Chief financial officer Colin Fisher clarified the matter, describing the category as pooled vehicles for use by all city hall staff on a book-out basis.
“Mayor and council obviously have use of those vehicles as well, but they are not exclusively for mayor and council,” Fisher said.
Mayor Jakubeit said it was one cost that may need to be adjusted to better reflect the mayor and council’s use, while Coun. Martin asked if a cost analysis had been done to see if the city would be better off without the vehicles and let staff charge for mileage.
Fisher said an analysis could be done, but a quick comparison of costs charged to the city for staff to use their own vehicles is very expensive.
“The fleet department is very good at keeping costs under control, when supplying these things at $5,500 a year is cheap,” Fisher said.
Communicatioins officer Simone Blais said in an email the two vehicles are booked most days for use by Penticton city staff and council.
"Back in the day it was referred to as mayor and council's car, but that hasn't been in effect for about 10 years," she said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015