Fort St. Johnâ€™s mayor came under scrutiny after discussions about his previous spending habits, on Monday.
Councillors passed two separate recommendations, one of which would permit city officials to claim valet parking if there are â€œno other reasonable parking options.â€
The recommendations stemmed from a report presented at a closed council meeting in March about certain items Mayor Bruce Lantz had charged to the Mayorâ€™s Visa as well as his expense statements from 2009 onwards. An audit was then conducted and presented at two separate closed council meetings in July.
Some of the charges included $128 for valet parking as well as charges for a rental car – $563.26 + 37.25 fuel – that was not pre-approved by the City Manager.
City Manager Dianne Hunter told Council that the mayor had reimbursed the City for all non-allowable expenses.
Councillor Lori Ackerman says that it was not the fact that the Mayor reimbursed the City, but rather the time that was put into auditing his expenses. She added that this is the first time in the Cityâ€™s history that the Mayorâ€™s expenses have ever had to be audited.
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Ackerman says the Mayor is the only member of Council to have a city credit card. She also says that the fact that a check of the Mayorâ€™s expenses had to be done more than once was unacceptable.
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Lantz says he feels the issue of the audit should now be left behind so that everyone at council can move forward.
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Lantz also inferred that councillors had also been misusing funds and not properly filling out required forms. However, both Councillor Bruce Christensen and Councillor Dan Davies raised objections to the inference.
A decision was eventually made to move on from the discussions after all concerns were brought forward.