Councillor's Xmas cards cost taxpayers $4208.40 plus postage

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

3 comments

christmas cards
Next year city councillors should try homemade holiday cards

Last Christmas was just brutal for Vancouver City employees. There were rumours of layoffs swirling around 12th and Cambie and the place resembled a morgue more days than not. Everyone was on pins and needles waiting for the Vision council to announce how big the budget cuts would be and who would be impacted. Meanwhile City Manager Penny Ballem was telling the media that no stone would be left unturned when it came to saving costs. Everything was under review.

Well...a CityCaucus.com FOI reveals that while City employees were busy fretting over whether they would keep their jobs, elected officials were busy stuffing thousands of envelopes full of taxpayer funded Christmas cards. That's right, just as the Mayor was telling everyone the City was cutting all discretionary costs, city councillors were ordering $4,208.40 dollars worth of Christmas cards to send to friends and family. A total of 5,776 cards were printed by a company called Allegra Printers. Councillors were then entitled to mail each of those cards with the postage paid by the City.

Although the City Clerk's office could not tell us the exact amount of cards that actually had paid postage on them, they did confirm that 1600 of them were postmarked through the City Hall mail room. As for the remainder of the cards, that remains a mystery. It is likely the cards either didn't get sent out, or the councillors paid for the postage themselves.

Vision councillor Raymond Louie ordered the most cards of any councillor at 1000, followed closely behind by NPA councillor Suzanne Anton.  It would appear Councillor Chow wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit or he decided to buy his own cards as he only requested staff to print a paltry 100 cards. We can confirm that Vision councillor Jang used up 270 postage stamps to send out part of his 500 cards allotment, while Anton charged the city for 800 stamps.

In the context of spending $377,000 dollars on Olympic tickets for elected officials and dignitaries, this story pales in comparison. But for the staff who just received their layoff notices last week, it's just another reason to be ticked off.

- post by Daniel

3 Comments

These Councillors don't give a hoot about spending the tax payers money, why not just get one of those Christmas card packages that you can buy at Walmart, they're just as good.

First I read I'm buying tickets for the councillors and their spouses to the Olympics and now this. Can someone please tell me why we elected these baffoons to city hall? Okay, let me be the first to admit I voted for them and made a mistake. That won't happen again. But what are the alternatives? Look at NPA's Anton, she's at the trough too.

Remarkable waste of taxpayers dollars and no doubt the cost grossly understated because the high wage CUPE labour would have taken time to process these cards though mailroom. Odd that the green hornet mayor would be resposnible for this...has he not heard of e.cards??? No waste paper, carbon free delivery, and dirt cheap.

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