Friday, March 30, 2007

Eat hearty, it's only tax money

From today's Star article on Weekly Meetings:

In 2006 there were 44 council meetings, which occurred weekly, with the exception of the summer months, when meetings take place every other week. The bi-weekly approach adopted for the entire year would result in a cost savings of $46,500.

Here's how it would break down:

Closed Captioning, $10,000

Catering, $28,000

Council services staff overtime, $2,000

Information Technology staff overtime, $3,500

Agenda delivery, $3,000
Anyone besides me still amazed at what the single biggest cost is? The savings in catering from changing to bi-weekly meetings is more than every other category listed.

From a comment on Alan Halberstadt's site, I learned that unionized employees are entitled to a $12.00 meal allowance when required to work over. What wrong with Council actually leading by example for a change?

$12.00 x 30 (10 Councillors, 1 Mayor, 19 staff) = $360.00 per Monday night. 44 meetings x $360 = $15,840.00 for the entire year. Hell - increase it to $15.00 and we'd still have a bargain.

In case anyone has forgotten or didn't hear, right about the same time as the story came out about Windsor's catering budget Toronto Council had a similar dilemma. The Mayor and 49 Councillors voted for a $20,000.00 catering budget for City Council in Toronto and the media and people went crazy.

It really makes me wonder what the taxpayer is paying for catering at other public institutions like Hospital Boards, Local Health Networks and EnWin to think of just a few.