District 8 Councillor looks for review of council spending policies

By Lois Ann Dort    

CANSO – Last week when news of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough’s spending on business trips was revealed by a Freedom of Information request by the CBC, District Councillor Fin Armsworthy knew none of the receipts would be his. Armsworthy has been effectively banned from travel since he voted against the municipal budget in April of 2014. He has not attended out-of-province conferences and told The Journal last week that his lack of travel has not interfered with his ability to represent his constituents and do his work as a councillor.

While Armsworthy believes that useful information and contacts are being made at out-of-province conferences, he questions if the municipality is spending money wisely. “There’s lots of information at these conferences but do you get your bang for your buck? Whose to tell how many delegates should go or shouldn’t go? I know we have policies but maybe the policies and procedures should be looked at again.”

Armsworthy said the people in his district are wondering about the circumstances behind spending on travel for council. “They are wondering what the circumstances are? What are the rules and regulations of council...They are very frustrated when they see money being spent. It is all about the ratepayers. They are the ones we are supposed to be representing and spending our money wisely.”

The council of the day makes the policies and procedures and Armsworthy suggests that it could be beneficial to have staff review these rules.