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Bowman says he will cut city severance packages

Mayoral candidate Brian Bowman calls for the elimination of severance packages, his latest proposed cost-cutting measure.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mayoral candidate Brian Bowman calls for the elimination of severance packages, his latest proposed cost-cutting measure.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/10/2014 (1891 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Brian Bowman would cut city council’s severance packages for politicians if he’s elected mayor of Winnipeg.

The mayoral candidate made the announcement in a policy statement as part of a series of cost-cutting measures that largely target the political end of city hall.

"I think many Winnipeggers were surprised to learn that members of council who are choosing not to seek re-election are receiving some very generous payouts," Bowman told a news conference. "We need to phase that out and commit that money back toward our infrastructure."

In an interview later Saturday, Bowman said he hasn’t seen how much money this measure would save but the matter was not just about the money. It’s about setting the right example.

"By news reports, I would expect it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if the mayor is entitled to just under $100,000 and we see other councilors who are entitled to $40, $50,000 plus. For me, I think most Winnipeggers don’t have severance packages when they decide to leave a job. . . I’d want to look at phasing it out," Bowman said.

He said if he’s elected he won’t be taking anything away with him when he goes.

"I certainly won’t want to be accepting a severance package should I win and decide to leave or get voted out. Politicians should be doing what Winnipeggers do. It’s to let people know you respect their money." Bowman said.

Bowman, running second in opinion polls behind former MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis, has proposed cost-cutting measures throughout the campaign.

A major issue in the Oct. 22 vote is the state of the city’s finances and its infrastructure – particularly crumbling roads, endless water main ruptures and last winter’s broken pipes that left thousands without running water for days or weeks on end.

Severance packages for outgoing city politicians range from $20,000 to $80,000, according to media reports.

Bowman had previously pledged to restrict ward budgets, create a new pension and benefits plan for new city workers,  dissolve the office of policy development and communications and eliminate the city’s campaign subsidy.

Bowman would also replace the city’s alternative services delivery, which he says is rarely used, with another committee to determine from other jurisdictions the best ways of providing services and technology that could be used in Winnipeg.

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History

Updated on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 6:35 PM CDT: headline corrected

7:02 PM: spelling mistake corrected

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