A decision made at a special city council meeting last week about which councillors will attend the upcoming Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference will likely use up council’s travel budget for the rest of the year.
At the meeting a decision was made to send three councillors to the meeting at the city’s expense. Mayor Bruno Tassone will also travel to the meeting, but his expenses will be paid for by the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
The expense for sending three councillors to the conference would actually go over budget by several thousand dollars.
However, since the council meeting, councillor Florio Vassilakakis has changed his plans and will not be attending the conference, leaving just two councillors — Cherryl MacLeod and Dan Rye — to represent the city.
The city’s annual budget for council travel is $38,000. There is about $7,650 left in the budget, not counting the UBCM expenses.
A major expense out of the travel budget this year was paying for five councillors to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference in Quebec.
Spending all of the travel budget by August is a concern for councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff.
“My question is, if we need extra money where is it going to come from?” she asked. “If you take from another pot, that initiative or project is impacted — you have to be fiscally responsible.”
Travel expenses so far this year include:
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (Quebec): Cherryl MacLeod, Maria McFaddin, Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff, Dan Rye, Florio Vassilakakis
Meeting with Air Canada in Montreal: Mayor Bruno Tassone
Local Government Leadership Academy new council orientation: Tassone, MacLeod, McFaddin
Victoria minister meetings: Tassone, Rye, Vassilakakis
RCMP policing meeting (Kelowna): MacLeod
Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments (Castlegar): Tassone, MacLeod, McFaddin, Heaton-Sherstobitoff
Economic development session (Castlegar): Heaton-Sherstobitoff, Bergen Price
UBCM: MacLeod, Rye (costs not incurred yet)