Mayor’s coffees grinds audit committee

Coffee invoices have prompted Alberni's audit committee to ask city staff to review policies around mayor and council’s spending.

Coffee invoices have prompted the city’s audit committee to ask city staff to review policies around mayor and council’s spending.

The request was made at the audit committee meeting on Feb 24.

The committee consists of chair Hira Chopra, and Couns. Dan Washington and Jack McLeman.

According to Chopra, council is concerned about accusations from members of the public  and other councillors that Mayor John Douglas is claiming every cup of coffee he buys when he meets with constituents, staff, or fellow council members.

In 2013, Douglas submitted more than a dozen invoices for as little as $1.67 for the javas.

The amounts are over and above mayor and councillors’ annual stipends. Councillors’ combined expense accounts amounted to $41,707 last year.

Douglas isn’t doing anything wrong, Chopra said. The expenses are already covered by councillors and the mayor in the expense portion of council stipends.

“We can only make recommendations, not set policy, so we want more clarity on this one,” Chopra said.

The audit committee’s concerns are news to Douglas, he said. “I haven’t heard any concerns like that from the audit committee,” he said.

Douglas said he spoke to a similar issue when it was raised at council a couple of months ago. “I said then that coffees or lunches I’ve bought with some people have resulted in a substantial investment in the community.”

Douglas would neither agree or disagree that the committee’s action was heavy handed, and that they could have just asked him not to submit anymore claims for coffee.

“I try to take the high road with these things,” he said. “If some people want to use this for their agenda, well, all I can do is continue to work for the betterment of the city and get things done.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

BCHL: Battle for Bulldogs’ roster spots heats up as main camp begins

Alberni Valley’s new head coach will get his first look at revamped Jr. A hockey team

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs add experience to blueline

Jimmy Rayhill commits to Bulldogs as main training camp set to start Aug. 19

Port Alberni cadet learns outdoor skills at Vernon camp

Outdoor skills some of leadership learning activities at annual summer camp

Vandals break windows in Port Alberni heritage train cars

Damage in the thousands of dollars, says Industrial Heritage Society

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read