It will take $180 bucks to open the vault containing Mayor Robertson's financial records
As we near the one year mark of Vancouver's Vision government, our research team thought it might be time to take a peek into the Mayor's books and provide our readers with that information. That's why we recently filed a Freedom of Information request asking for a breakdown of how the Mayor's office discretionary fund was spent.
What we received back from Mayor Robertson and City Hall was a terse letter stating that our request to obtain a breakdown of his expenses would cost us $180 bucks. The response was surprising given the fact Robertson campaigned on making Vancouver City Hall more open and transparent.
Unfortunately for our readers, the bean counters on the 37th floor have told Mike and I that we don't have the money in the bank to cover this expense. Thanks to the generosity of our loyal readers, we previously raised enough money to cover the cost of several large FOIs and other minor research related expenses. Those funds have now been exhausted and we're making a new appeal to our readers to help us raise the $180 dollars we need to obtain the budget documents we've requested. The other option is for the Mayor to waive the fees and provide this information to us at no cost. Are you reading this Gregor?
If you want to make a contribution to our FOI/Research fund, please do so by clicking the button below, or the PayPal button on the top right of our web page. We accept credit card payments directly through PayPal, so if you can spare a few dollars, it's as easy as a mouse click away. Any amount you can provide would help us reach our goal.
According to the letter we received, the Mayor's staff are trying to get us to believe that it will take seven hours of labour to photocopy a few excel spreadsheets and invoices. If that's really the case, perhaps City Manager Penny Ballem is truly on to something with her Vancouver Services Review. Seven hours to photocopy invoices and print out a few excel spreadsheets?
Thanks again to all of you who helped us in the past when we needed you. As you know, this blog is run by volunteers, but we rely on your generosity to keep our FOI research alive. We look forward to continuing our efforts at covering the stories at Vancouver City Hall that no one else will touch.