Coldstream politicians defend their expenses

Mayor Jim Garlick and Coun. Maria Besso lead the pack for remuneration in 2011

Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso had remuneration and expenses of $17

Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso had remuneration and expenses of $17

Coldstream politicians insist it takes money to do the people’s business.

The 2011 annual report shows a total of $102,283 went towards remuneration and expenses for mayor and council.

At the top was Mayor Jim Garlick with $29,593 ($26,103 in wages and $3,489 in expenses).

Garlick says most of his expenses were a result of travelling to Victoria to meet with provincial officials.

“It’s developing relationships (for grants) and we were trying to move things forward on the water and parks issues,” he said.

In second was Coun. Maria Besso with $17,635 ($14,127 in wages and $3,507 in expenses).

“I’m the library board representative and on its policy and planning committee,” she said of her wages being linked to the number of meetings she attends.

While not an appointee to the Regional District of North Okanagan or the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, Besso also attends those sessions.

“If taxpayers want me to make informed decisions, they should be happy I am there,” she said.

For the rest of council, remuneration and expenses were $9,774 for Pat Cochrane, $12,223 for Doug Dirk, $9,948 for Richard Enns, $8,480 for Bill Firman, $13,869 for Gyula Kiss and $757 for Peter McClean (elected in November).