Archive for March 16th, 2012

Council Expenses Breakdown

- March 16th, 2012

It’s time to tally council’s year-end office budgets from 2011. I went through the numbers to get a sense of what council members spent their money on, and no surprise, staffing was generally the highest cost. I put together a breakdown of how their budgets were distributed across the categories used by the city.

The definitions:

Hosp is special events, community receptions and hospitality
Donations is donations, sponsorships and memberships
Travel is city-related business travel
Comms is constituent communications and web services, including web sites, printing, mailing and advertising
External is external services, including office assistance and consulting services
Materials is materials, office supplies and related services, including office, computer supplies and facility rentals
Staff is staffing costs for the office.

One category that interests me is donations and sponsorships. It’s an interesting category because taxpayers don’t get a say on where money should be donated, although the money does largely go to worthy causes. I added up how much money council members collectively spent on the category in December, when they could see how much is left in their annual budgets and donate accordingly. The number was roughly $85,000.