People on the street of Vancouver unimpressed with the travel habits of some Vancouver councillors
On Sunday, CityCaucus.com was first off the mark in helping to shed a bit of light on two separate requests from Vancouver Councillors Tim Stevenson and David 'Carbon' Cadman to have their out-of-country travel expenses covered by taxpayers. Cadman wanted money to fly to Europe while Stevenson asked for funds to cover a trip to California.
We can now report that subsequent to our Sunday post and a bit of heat from the media (see video above), both of the councillors have withdrawn their request for funding. First Stevenson pulled back on Monday, then Cadman did a 180 flip flop today and withdrew his request. He cited the fact Stevenson had pulled his funding request as the reason he no longer felt the need to seek funding himself.
All of this couldn't have come at a worse time for Vision who were busily convincing the media today that they played no part in the decision making process regarding the Olympic Village. This despite the fact Vision Councillors Stevenson, Louie, Deal and Chow were at the Boardroom table when all of the critical decisions regarding the Olympic Village financing were made. A minor fact conveniently forgotten by the Mayor and his cohort Geoff Meggs.
As we stated earlier, given all the "sky is falling" talk from the Mayor about the City's finances, you'd think Stevenson and Cadman would have realized the bad optics of asking taxpayers to fund their junkets.
It would appear that Councillor Stevenson (who should realize he is actually in government now), has been somewhat asleep at the switch when it comes to the so-called severity of the City's looming financial "crisis". Here is an excerpt from the Vancouver Courier whereby they asked Stevenson to comment on his travel funding request:
"I called in first thing Monday morning," Stevenson said, adding he wished he'd known about the budget shortfall earlier because he wouldn't have submitted the request at all. Stevenson said he'd put the request in "some time ago" but chose to remove it because of the $61.3 million shortfall for 2010 that the city is facing.
Clearly nobody in the Mayor's office is keeping Stevenson, the most senior member of his caucus, in the loop about dropping development permit revenues. Or increased labour costs due to CUPE's collective agreement. Or the fact the City may have to lay off employees due to a budget squeeze.
Really now...does the good councillor want the public/media to believe that he only found out about the City's budget pressures over the weekend? Kudos to CTV's Leah Hendry for her excellent reporting on this issue over the last couple of days.
Both councillors are going to quickly come to realization that every penny they spend from this point forward is going to come under a lot more scrutiny thanks to Mayor Robertson's pronouncements about a pending financial Armageddon. In other words, they can both unpack their bags and expect to collect a lot fewer airline reward points over the next two years.
Check out our new poll on this subject and have your say.