Friday, May 26, 2023

City Council travel tid bits should expand to a more formal listing on the civic website

A few of points on the map where Mayor, Council or Senior Staff
have been so far in 2023 when it comes to civic travel

As we noted earlier today, Tuesday's City Council session provided for a travel update of sorts, with council members providing some notes on the recent NCLGA conference in Dawson Creek, as well as recently held meetings for Mayor Pond with Premier Eby.

Also relayed to the public on Tuesday, a journey to Ontario this week for Councillors Skelton Morven and Forster who are taking part in the Canadian Federation of Municipalities Conference and Trade Show.

A three day gathering of over more than 1,000 elected officials and Federation partners, designed to build connections, share notes on challenges facing municipal government and to seek out solutions from those who may offer the best path forward.

The updates from the Mayor and the volume of council sessions that are participated by remote methods since the start of the year, such as this week's session with participation by City Manager Rob Buchan from some undisclosed distant locale, all a testimony of sorts  towards the number of trips that have taken place for a range of reasons and circumstances since the start of this council's time in office.

And while the travel tidbits and asides are a welcome shift in focus on transparency on travel by Council, the trend towards travel declarations could be expanded on somewhat with a relatively easy project, that for City Council to put in place a Travel Archive of sorts for the Civic website.

A one stop review of past and current travel events and an advisory as to where Council and senior staff may be today, that as they pursue our civic interests in locales beyond the Port Edward turnoff.

The concept doesn't need to be elaborate, a simple listing of our Mayor, six council members and the Senior Staff members who may have cause to be out of town on civic business at any give time of the week or month. 

Residents shouldn't expect a listing of what was for breakfast and such, but at least some indication as to the cost for each transit once the full receipts come in.

The notes offering up a destination, a purpose for the travel, any cost to the city for the travels, or an indication that the travel was subsidized by a higher level of government.  Something Mayor Pond noted just a few weeks ago when it came to the discussions related to the Resource Benefits Alliance.

As the Mayor has suggested in recent months, there is a need for travel to secure funding for any number of civic endeavours; from infrastructure, to explore potential solutions for Prince Rupert found in other communities or to speak to those in power to the need for better funding for municipal purposes.

If the trips have a reasonable civic purpose, it's doubtful that the public will have a problem with the travel. It's when there's no advisory that anyone is gone, or no report when they have come back, where questions may be raised.

An easily accessible, easily read checklist prominent on the city website would serve to put the travel budget into perspective for civic purposes.

More notes related to City Council themes can be reviewed from our Council Discussion archive


  1. Anonymous blogger still doesn’t know how to use his two feet to go to a committee of the whole and ask questions directly and farts in the wind hoping someone will do his dirty work for him

    1. Such succinct insight! ... A true political observer for our times! NCR

    2. Should add, never thought that the concept of asking for transparency from civic office holders using public funds, would somehow be considered as 'dirty work' ... perhaps you have some past experiences in such you wish to share? NCR

    3. “If the trips have a reasonable civic purpose” … you are suggesting some civic officials are travelling for personal reasons on the public dime? That’s quite the inflammatory insinuation.

    4. There is an accounting of all elected official expenses published every year in the statement of financial information (SOFI). Legally required. Always illuminating.

      One cannot help but compare the cumulative total expenses for mayor and council in 2021 was a grand total of $801, while the PRPA chair and board expenses were $137,000.

      There is fat to be trimmed… but you’re looking in the wrong place

    5. Re: Reasonable civic purpose ... you are reading far too much into a common phrase, no inflammatory insinuation intended though to clarify for you. NCR

    6. Ah, so there’s such a thing as unreasonable civic purposes in your mind… such as FaceTime with the premier? Advocating for more money through the resource benefits Alliance? Lobbying for changes to the unfair port tax situation? Local/regional/provincial/national govt associations?

    7. Asking for transparency from a blogger who knows if people knew who he was would likely laugh in his face

  2. Would the money spent on travel help to open the closed stairway. The answer is yes. The administration asks the taxpayer to give up services that are expected. Perhaps the city administration could give up a bit.

  3. "One cannot help but compare the cumulative total expenses for mayor and council in 2021 was a grand total of $801 ...."

    2021 was hardly a typical year. Go back to pre-pandemic 2019 and the mayor and council expenses totalled $47,020. Go back to 2018 and the total was $42,681, of which $29,133 was for the mayor's expenses.

    1. Oh my goodness! Math!

    2. Yes math is what it is all about. Why send 2 councillors and an administrator. 3 -2=1 That’s it let’s send one. Money saved can go to Pucchi for my stairs.