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City auditor finds councillors all stayed under their allowances

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City councillors have received a stamp of approval for their spending in 2013.

A report from city auditor Brian Whiteside states a review of all councillors’ representation allowance spending has found that they complied with city policy.

Individual councillors had an allowance in 2013 of $115,924 to spend for office expenses, assistants and some ward expenses.

Each councillor’s monthly expenses are posted online and current records go back to 2007.

Whiteside noted that some councillors (not identified) were late in filing their expenses.

Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) spent the least – $59,065.55

Only two councillors spent close to the allowable limit: Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) -- $115,580.18; and Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski) -- $115,292.49.

In the past, funds not spend were returned to the city.

However, the governance committee is proposing that councillors be allowed to carry over their unspent portions to the following year, up to a maximum of 10 per cent of the allowance.

Coun. Devi Sharma, chairwoman of the committee and council speaker, said the carry-over move is designed to deal with last-minute expenditures in December and invoices filed late in relation to the city’s year-end closing procedures.

But, councillors will have less to spend this year. The 2014 budget reduced the individual councillors’ representation allowance by $37,000.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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