Jeffrey’s snout back in the trough

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PiggiesLast Monday The Block snuck a motion into the meeting without putting it on the agenda: to allow Councillor Jeffrey to pursue her personal political goals at taxpayer expense, and chase another seat on the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) board – even though she failed to win re-election to the board in May, 2017. At the upcoming FCM meeting in Halifax she can wine and dine on your dollar.

Of course The Block didn’t want it publicized beforehand because they knew it would arouse community ire. After all, The Block have raised your taxes THREE times in three years, given themselves a pay hike every time, while handing Jeffrey a free ticket to fly all over the country without even requiring her to report back to the public.

And what did we get after paying all this money? A comedy-duo skit presentation.

Taxpayers are once again paying for her to stick her nose in the trough but when she was on the board, we didn’t received as much as a nod and a wink from FCM. You have to wonder what our councillor was doing on our behalf… aside from wining and dining that is.

At 2:52:12 in the council video, Deputy Mayor Saunderson made a big deal about the town getting grant money from FCM as if she had anything to do with it. That grant came in Dec. 2017 – seven months after she was lost her election bid to stay on the board. And the money wasn’t from FCM – it came from the feds but was distributed by FCM. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, eh, Brian?

But Jeffrey claimed she advocated for it. When and where and why didn’t she speak about it in all that time after she got turfed from the FCM board? Maybe we got the money because she WASN’T on the board! Jeffrey didn’t even know how much the town got! Some advocate.

I’ve written about the Stench of Entitlement around Jeffrey in the past. She’s our own Senator Ruth: deeply concerned about her own entitlements, and whinging about cold camembert. She doesn’t give a damn about the taxpayers who have to pay for her jaunts.

Her Block buddies – especially Councillor Doherty – have always unanimously supported Jeffrey, first voting her an EXTRA $10,000 a year to party at FCM meetings (on top of the $4,500 expense allowance councilors already receive). When that proved insufficient (you know how much caviar costs these days?), The Block voted her an UNLIMITED expense account. Yep: no restrictions on her spending.

And even having all your money to burn, she still couldn’t get re-elected. But that won’t stop her from rushing to the trough one more time. Even though she’s not likely to get re-elected here in Collingwood (remember her role in blocking the hospital’s redevelopment plans), so it will all have been another waste of our tax dollars by a group that thinks money grows on trees (except Doherty, who has a Magic Money fairy).

Doherty asked for council to waive notice of motion – in effect sneaking it under the radar of public scrutiny – because, she snivelled, the deadline for the nominations was a few days away. As if she and Jeffrey hadn’t been aware of this date every day for the past year. But do you think they’d raise it before the eleventh hour? Of course not? That would be open and transparent, two words not in the Block’s ideology.

Suddenly it HAD to get passed. Right away. Kathy was flying to Halifax and needed to start campaigning. And wining and dining and doing the reception room circuit while taxpayers at home foot the bill. And, of course, all of this is outside the budget process. Entitlements usually are.

Doherty’s motion was preceded by a bloviation so saccharine you’d think a lawyer wrote it. But at 2:48:30 comes the kicker: “Council assumes ALL costs…” so if Jeffery wins the campaign, the town is committed to once again funding her personal agenda. Once again: an unlimited expense account. my, that trough is full these days.

And get this: Jeffrey sat in the meeting and – as she has done in the past – spoke in favour of the motion (2:50:26) and added a rider: if she doesn’t get elected to the board, that the taxpayers STILL pay for her to go to non-voting FCM committee meetings.

Yes: Jeffrey herself made an amendment to the motion. L’etat c’est moi, eh, Kathy? Only Councillor Lloyd asked whether this was procedurally correct. It wasn’t. So instead, it got passed back to Councillor Doherty who jumped at the chance to ease her BFF’s way to the trough.

AND Jeffrey voted on it. Yes, that’s right: she voted on the motion to give herself money! Money without any limits or checks or even reporting requirements. Whatever she claims; no restrictions.

Anyone else see this as an egregious conflict of interest? As an unethical, self-aggrandizing gesture? Anyone else think she should have stepped away from the table and declared a conflict when her own entitlements were discussed and voted on? Yes, I know, I know: that’s how The Block always operate, and they do it openly and brazenly because they can get away with it. These are the people who whine to the Integrity Commissioner about the behaviour of others. Maybe someone should file a complaint about them for a change.

This corruption won’t stop until we can kick them all out of office and replace them with people who are moral, ethical, and care more about the community than their own entitlements.

Collingwood deserves better.

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