Expenses for Princeton council members were up considerably in 2019, according to the Statement of Financial Information released recently by the municipality.
The mayor and four councillors were reimbursed for $25,879 in expenses, most of which were associated with conferences, according to director of finance James Graham.
In 2018, the combined expenses of two councils — with the election falling in October — was $8,239.
In 2017 councillors expensed $19,672.
“If you really want to get the business of the community done you need to go to some of these (meetings),” said Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne.
Coyne filed the largest expense report. In addition to a salary of $22,701, he was reimbursed for $8,358 in travel costs.
Like all members of council he attended the week-long 2019 UBCM conference.
He participated in the annual meetings of the South Interior Local Government Association, the Local Government Management Association, and a forestry organization.
Coyne receives further remuneration from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
He noted there are numerous groups that he chooses to join by telephone to save time and money, for example the Highway 3 mayors’ coalition.
Other members of council received pay of $11,350 in 2019.
George Elliott claimed $5,867 in expenses, while Barb Gould, Tyler Willis and Randy McLean were reimbursed for $4,727, $3,699 and $3,199 respectively.
According to the town’s travel and conference expense policy members receive 52 cents per kilometre for mileage.
When travel requires an absence of over 24 hours, a per day allowance of $70 is paid to cover meals, gratuities and parking. Receipts are not required.
For trips completed in less than a day meal expenses afforded are $15 for breakfast, $20 for lunch and $25 for dinner.
Council members are not reimbursed for expenses attached to a spouse or companion, and they cannot expense alcohol.
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