This weeks City Hall column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Regional politicians deserve more scrutiny

If you’ve ever played roulette, you might have heard the old phrase describing the popular game of chance: “Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.”

It also describes how I feel when I look at the many ways local governments go about spending the hard-earned tax dollars we all contribute. In last week’s column, Chris Campbell wrote about how the never–ending antics of TransLink really take the heat off the activities of other local governments — including the regional body known as Metro Vancouver.

Formerly known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Metro Vancouver manages and delivers services for the entire region. Comprised of four separate corporate entities, regional essentials like drinking water, waste-water treatment and air quality monitoring are included in their mandate.

The 2015 budget estimates expenditures of $657 million, and some of this money comes from you. The cost to the average household in the region is estimated at $427 a year, so it only makes sense that you should be paying as much attention to Metro Vancouver as you do TransLink because the two are similar in terms of governance.

In fact, Metro Vancouver is yet another reason you really need to pay attention to candidates and who you vote for in your municipal elections — the board of 38 directors are all elected officials, appointed to their positions by local councils.

It’s anything but democratic, and there is little accountability to the public in terms of oversight. Starting at the top, the pay and expenses are enough to raise eyebrows. Board chair Greg Moore, mayor of Port Coquitlam, makes $71,858 and has $2,412 of expenses reported for 2015 — this is in addition to his mayor’s salary of $91,148.

Vice-chair Raymond Louie — a Vancouver councillor whose city pay is $68,552 — brings in an extra $35,929. It’s only July but he’s already racked up $8,841 on conferences and workshops since November of last year…

Read the rest of this weeks column, HERE: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2015/07/01/regional-politicians-deserve-our-scrutiny

 

2014 expenses for the board: http://www.metrovancouver.org/boards/BoardPublications/BoardCommitteeExpenseReport2015.pdf

2015 expenses for the board: http://www.metrovancouver.org/boards/BoardPublications/BoardCommitteeExpenseReport2014.pdf 

5 thoughts on “This weeks City Hall column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Regional politicians deserve more scrutiny

  1. And ANOTHER thing: why are the transit advocates looking to tax everyone? Why not a user-pay system like everything else? Why toll a road to force a guy onto transit when clearly transit is not doing the job for that guy? The answer, of course, is that transit does not work for anyone carrying more than a briefcase. So, if that is true, why not concentrate their route plans on crossing Burrard Inlet? Those NS people are living two miles (under water) from the offices they work at. Transit would work profitably there. The NS is closer to downtown than Kerrisdale.

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