The Mayor's office hands over a small amount of information about their expenses
A while ago CityCaucus.com filed a Freedom of Information request to track down details regarding Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's discretionary expense account. This account is provided to the Mayor in order that he/she can support special initiatives, conduct research, host functions and travel when necessary. We originally asked for the names of the various contractors and consultants the Mayor had hired over the previous year, but were told this was going to take hours of staff time to track down.
As a result, we asked for the basic report which provides a high level overview of the expenses. However, upon review of the information they provided us, our research team simply can't understand why they couldn't also provide the names of contractors as well. We'll continue to dig on that front over the coming weeks.
As for what we found in the expense report...well, there isn't anything terribly exciting. The most interesting purchase seems to be a new $1,500 print for Chief of Staff Michael Magee's office by a local Vancouver artist. The print is called the Disappearing Alley. We're led to believe it was put up right next to the other print the Mayor recently purchased titled "Disappearing Budget Revenue".
During the reporting period, the Mayor spent $19,741.79 on consultants. As stated earlier, we weren't given access to a breakdown of who those consultants were...unless we were prepared to fork over big bucks to the City. Prior to his trip to Copenhagen with his Chief of Staff, the Mayor had also spent $14,192.90 on travel.
Despite delivering notoriously bad speeches, the Mayor also spent nearly $10,000 on "communications consultants" as per an agreement that was signed in September 2009. Let's hope his staff kept the receipt.
One other item popped up on March 23, 2009 which caught the eye of our researchers. That's when the Mayor picked up the tab for lunch with folks named "V. Geary, Solomon, Campbell, Green" for lunch at a cost of $277.20. Could that have been Vanessa Geary, Joel Solomon, Larry Campbell and Jim Green? If you're interested in some good bedtime reading, be sure to click above and have a peek for yourself at all the expense claims.