Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mr. Smith's ads hit a hole

  • Print

Coun. Harvey Smith has provided yet one more example why city councillors have too much discretionary money to spend.

The councillor says he spent $1,600 of taxpayers' money to erect a series of street signs in back lanes in his inner-city ward last month to draw attention to their poor condition. The signs were named after the mayor and six other members of executive policy committee.

Coun. Smith says the expenditure was advertising, which is allowed under the terms of council's ward representation allowance, which this year rose to $114,000 from $74,000. In fact, the signs were just a political gimmick that probably played well in his ward, but which should not be funded by taxpayers.

Mr. Smith says he has referred the expenditure to council's governance committee, of which he is a member, for adjudication, but the committee has no authority to overturn expenses under $5,000. Ultimately, it will be up to the city auditor to pass judgment on the expense, but the councillor should do the right thing and cover it out of his own pocket.

Coun. Grant Nordman, council speaker and chairman of the governance committee, says he will be recommending more stringent regulations on how councillors can spend their cash. He said the increase in funding was intended for research, policy development and better staff, but many councillors have found other purposes, including doling out generous grants to community groups.

Council should rescind the increase in their ward budgets until a third party reviews the process and determines what they really need to serve the public. This should also be done before next year's fall election, so the public can cast the final vote on the subject.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2013 A8

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 7:35 AM CDT: adds image

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.
  • Aerial view of Portage and Main, The Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge over the Red River, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks near the Assiniboine River, October 21st, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) CMHR

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google