March 8, 2012
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker spent a pile of money on a small mountain of compost last year.
The Scarborough councillor handed out $5,500 worth of compost to constituents, helping drive up his 2011 council office budget spending to a total of $31,077.34.
According to a draft of 2011 office expense budget totals obtained by the Toronto Sun, De Baeremaeker was the biggest office budget spender on council last year and the only councillor to spend beyond the $30,000 budget limit. In all, councillors spent a total of $952,880.51 on office budget expenses last year.
The totals and accompanying receipts are expected to be made public Friday.
“It’s a fabulous use (of taxpayers’ dollars),” De Baeremaeker said of the compost expenditure. “It educates people in a very, very inexpensive way. We educated thousands of people and say, ‘Keep using your green bin, keep putting stuff in yard waste, don’t put it in the garbage because that costs us a lot of money at the landfill and this (compost) is what comes of it.’”
De Baeremaeker handed out up to 10 truckloads of compost at eight separate events last year with an average of 200 residents at each event.
As for maxing out his office budget? De Baeremaeker said he would have been $4,000 under the limit had the integrity commissioner not turned down a $5,000 donation from RBC for a children’s skating event.
The top 10 spenders came from across all political spectrums and include veteran councillors and some council rookies.
Rounding out the top 10 with De Baeremaeker were Councillors Anthony Perruzza, Joe Mihevc, Gary Crawford, Ron Moeser, Michael Thompson, Michelle Berardinetti, Mike Layton, James Pasternak and Pam McConnell.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said the 2011 totals show councillors didn’t really need the $50,000 office budgets they once had. Holyday and Mayor Rob Ford led council in voting to slash the office budgets shortly after the 2010 election.
“What this shows is that they could have lived with $30,000 all along, whatever number you pick they are going to spend up to it — most of them are anyway,” Holyday said. “It just shows I guess over the years how much money we’ve really wasted.”
Councillor Doug Ford topped the list of lowest spenders, using none of his office budget. The mayor’s brother indicated he used $2,016.68 of personal funds.
Holyday and Councillors Frances Nunziata, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Vince Crisanti, Jaye Robinson, Gord Perks, John Parker, Mark Grimes and Josh Matlow were also among the ranks of the lowest spenders.
Mayor Ford spent little of the mayor’s office budget, racking up only $44,995.30 in expenses last year. By comparison, in 2010, then-Mayor David Miller’s office budget from January to the end of November was $171,485.24.
Here’s the draft city councillor 2011 office budget totals (ranked from biggest to smallest spender):
- Glenn De Baeremaeker $31,077.34
- Anthony Perruzza $29,791.16
- Joe Mihevc $29,685.00
- Gary Crawford $29,590.30
- Ron Moeser $29,567.48
- Michael Thompson $28,968.22
- Michelle Berardinetti $28,217.83
- Mike Layton $28,021.43
- James Pasternak $27,371.28
- Pam McConnell $27,356.44
- Ana Bailao $27,018.39
- Janet Davis $26,248.61
- Paula Fletcher $26,189.30
- John Filion $25,729.99
- Raymond Cho $25,657.15
- Mary Fragedakis $25,577.99
- Adam Vaughan $25,219.31
- Cesar Palacio $25,165.23
- Kristyn Wong-Tam $24,936.57
- Chin Lee $24,068.40
- Norm Kelly $22,561.20
- Mary-Margaret McMahon $22,527.30
- Denzil Minnan-Wong $22,058.99
- Karen Stintz $21,972.04
- Paul Ainslie $21,801.60
- Giorgio Mammoliti $21,785.23
- Sarah Doucette $21,708.62
- Peter Milczyn $21,582.96
- Maria Augimeri $21,019.51
- Josh Colle $20,417.80
- Frank Di Giorgio $20,218.71
- David Shiner $19,452.63
- Shelley Carroll $18,826.19
- Mike Del Grande $17,427.35
- Josh Matlow $16,772.31
- Mark Grimes $16,193.24
- John Parker $15,987.48
- Gord Perks $15,434.40
- Jaye Robinson $15,267.84
- Vince Crisanti $15,161.90
- Gloria Lindsay Luby $12,217.34
- Frances Nunziata $4,311.15
- Doug Holyday $2,717.30
- Doug Ford $0.00 ($2,016.68 reimbursed)
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