Any unspent funds from a councillor's discretionary ward budget can be returned at the end of the year, a city committee said this afternoon.
Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) told council's governance committee she would like to return the additional $40,000 allocated to her discretionary ward budget this year. Havixbeck said she returned about $9,000 in unspent funds in 2012 and does not need the additional funds, saying the increase has become a "lightning rod" for public criticism.
This year, councillors will have $114,000 to spend in their annual ward budgets after city council approved a $40,000 increase.
Governance chairman Coun. Grant Nordman said the current policy is for councillors to return any unspent funds at the end of the year.
Other members of the committee accused Havixbeck of trying to make a statement, including Coun. Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre) who said it seems Havixbeck is just trying to keep the issue in the news and create a news story.