By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Council fees, benefits and expenses were released Feb. 28 as part of a fourth quarter report on the Town’s finances, fines and other statistics. The report also revealed the fees and benefits Mayor and Council received in 2011.
Among the seven-member Council, Mayor Lloyd Bertschi received the highest fees and benefits at $36,496. Bertschi was followed by Councillor Lisa Holmes at $20,208, Councillor Paul Krauskopf at $19,290, Councillor Nicole Boutestein at $18,438, Councillor Gordon Boddez at $18,292, Councillor David Pattison at $17,608, and Councillor Ben Van de Walle at $14,303.
The report also details Council’s expenses for 2011, including professional development, mileage and subsistence, membership fees, telecommunications, and public relations. Those figures, ranked from highest to lowest were as follows:
Mayor Lloyd Bertschi = $10,896.29
Councillor Lisa Holmes = $8,962.19
Councillor Nicole Boutestein = $6,223.86
Councillor David Pattison = $8,454.85
Councillor Paul Krauskopf = $6,070.06
Councillor Gordon Boddez = $5,615.28
Councillor Ben Van de Walle = $3,560.59
Professional development spending varied widely among members of Morinville Town Council. Councillor Lisa Holmes spent the most in professional development courses and programs at $3,604; Councillor Gordon Boddez spent the least in training at $1,381. Each member of Council was allotted $1,800 in 2011 for courses and professional development related to their role as councillors.
Mileage and subsistence expenses, the money Council receives for travel and meals while away on Town business, also varied considerably among councillors, although the majority were close to the $4,200 budgeted for each member.
Mayor Lloyd Bertschi was reimbursed $6,415 in expenses for 39 items, including expenses incurred at out of town events, conferences, parades, and other mayoral trips. Councillor Ben van de Walle was reimbursed $1,459 for the three conferences he attended in 2011.
Of the seven members of Council, only Mayor Bertschi and Councillor David Pattison claimed memberships in their expenses. The mayor claimed $571.45 for his 2011 and 2012 North Alberta Mayor’s annual fees. Councillor David Pattison claimed $875 for his memberships in the Alberta Professional Planners Institute, Economic Developers Alberta, and Economic Developers Association of Canada. Each member of Council was allowed $1,200 for membership fees in 2011.
In addition to individual expenses, Council collectively spent $8,032.07 on public relations in Morinville’s centennial year, $3,767.93 less than had been allocated in their budget. Council’s total budget in 2011 was $241,209.30, $27,290.70 less than projected.