A motion by new councillors Cameron Keoetsch (Ward Two) and Alex Wilson (Dundas Ward 13), that would increase Councillors’ office budgets by 30 percent was defeated at an at times confusing meeting Wednesday. Kroetsch defended the motion saying the public wanted to see better service from its council and that would require more staff. The motion calling for the Ward office budgets to be hiked to $375,000 which would have added $1.3 Million to the Ward Budgets.
Kroetsch in presenting the motion wanted the increase to take effect immediately (actually retroactive to November 15), and said that staff could find the money.
Councillor Brad Clark disagreed, saying the increase sends a bad message to staff who are being asked to hold the line on expenditures. He suggested the increase might be justified, but that councillors should get in line with all the other city departments submitting budgets.
A motion by Clark to have the matter sent to the budget process for consideration was defeated but when the motion to increase the councillor’s office budget came up, it too was defeated 8-6.