What’s going to be the next “hit” to Clearview taxpayers’ pockets?
- $30,000 for “booty” – memory sticks and jackets for councillors, many of whom decided not run after only having those jackets for 6 months
- $40,000+ “management error” – the new building at the park in Creemore, where the contractor had to be replaced after taking their “down payment” and leaving a muddy hole in the ground for a second contractor to fix.
- $Who Knows – for the Stayner library building
To the senior staff at Clearview one of whom is paid in excess of $175,000 in salary and benefits, and with these issues not impacting their take home pay these wastes of tax dollars mean “diddley squat”.
To the average old age pensioner on a fixed income that combined amount of over $70,000 represents over 6 YEARS of income!
To the owner of a Clearview property its another $10.00 property tax increase for which they get NOTHING!
When are our elected officials going to start holding staff accountable for the wasting of our tax dollars?
Does council even understand just how much money is “hidden” from the budget discussion process?
I suspect never, and here’s WHY
Last year I used one of my “20 words or less, once a month” questions to CAO Sage asking for AODA compliant copies of the budget documents in Excel format with formulae. The response from CAO Sage was that “staff does not even give that information to council, so there’s no way YOU are going to get it.
When I filed a Freedom of Information request for those records, CAO Sage took it upon himself to reject my request and refund my $5.00 filing fee. This triggered an ongoing appeal where the Privacy Commissioner directed the township to provide me with the information after agreeing that CAO Sage had no authority to act and was impeding the lawful delivery of a requested record.
6 months later and the delegated head is now telling the Privacy Commissioner that she did not understand the request (the Act REQUIRES her to understand the request BEFORE responding) and that I’m increasing the scope of the request by asking for the ACTUAL amounts spent by staff last year (ending Dec 2018).
As best I can determine based on the refusal to disclose to me the requested records of ACTUAL spending , the FICTIONAL Budget to Budget (B2B) information made available to councillors for 2019 and the future the 2019 budget, failed to include the ACTUALS that would allow them to see just how much staff is escalating their requests for funding.
If councillors who are voting on spending taxpayers hard earned money are not allowed by CAO Sage and his staff to see HOW the staff generated an “award winning” budget (that seems to exclude ACTUAL spending values and the formulae) has been derived, then what hope do taxpayers have that their elected representatives will be able to hold costs in line?