680News political affairs specialist John Stall on politics.See more blogs
A political stone in the shoe
City councillor Rob Ford certainly has had his moments of questionable conduct over the years, but I think he’s dead on with his claim that councillors don’t need the $53,000 office expense account that goes with the job. He’s been a stone in the shoe of his colleagues (including the mayor) by continuing to point out that “core” administrative office expenses like paper, pens, stationary, fax machines, computers, telephones, etc. , are provided by the clerks office, in addition to salary money for administrative staff. He reminded us on the air this morning that councillors make $100,000 a year, which translates into $4,800 a month in take-home pay and that all the business related to the city is done at City Hall, so there is no need to take taxis, limos or additional trips that have in the past been billed back to the tax payer as an “office expense.” He’s forced council (with help from the media) to come up with a new policy book that attempts to clarify what qualifies as an office expense, but all that it does is tell councillors how to claim the $53,000 within rules instead of without any. Fords point, and it’s one that we should all be considering, is whether or not the $53,000 that all councillors get as part of the job is actually necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the job.