Over $112,000 spent on five-member council in Wellington North

It is considered part of the price of government at the local level.
As Wellington North councillors adopted their 2008 bud­get, council received the statement of council pay and ex­penses for 2007.
Last year, council exceeded its budget primarily because of convention expenses – which doubled the budgeted amount by several thousand dollars
While council’s base salary plus per diems came slightly under the $100,000 budgeted amount at $97,575, convention (workshop) costs came in at $15,386 – several thousand above the budgeted amount of $7,250.
Those boiled down to only a few conventions and workshops: the Ontario Good Roads Asso­ciation (OGRA), Ameri­can Water Works Association (AWWA), Economic Devel­opers Association of Canada (EDAC), Association of Muni­cipal Clerks and Treasurers Association (AMCTO), and one workshop about environmental compliance.
Pay for councillors includes a base salary, meeting per diem payments, mileage, and conventions and workshops.
For Mayor Mike Broom­head that amounted to a base salary of $15,300, $15,300 for attending council and com­mittee meetings, $1,081 for mileage and conventions, and workshops costing $1,334 (OGRA), $2,166.91 (AWWA), $1,960 (EDAC), and $250 (for an environmental workshop). Those figures do not include his pay for being a county councillor.
Councillor Ross Chaulk –  base salary of $10,200 plus a $4,275 per diem, $771for mileage, and conventions and workshops at $1,072 (OGRA), $250 (environmental), and $305 (AMCTO course).
Councillor Bob Mason –  base salary of $10,200, plus a $6,675 per diem, $772 for mileage, and conventions and workshops at $1,286 (OGRA), and $1,893 (AWWA).
Councillor John  Matusinec –  base salary of $10,200 plus a $5,025 per diem, $707 for mileage, and conventions and workshops at $1,303 (OGRA), $2,002 (AWWA), and $250 (environmental workshop).
Councillor Dan Yake –  base salary of $10,200 plus a $10,200 per diem, $707 for mileage, and conventions and workshops at $1,310 (OGRA).
In defense of the costs, Mayor Mike Broomhead some of the convention and workshop costs are a result of mandated levels of certification not only for staff members, but for members of council.
On the per diem side, where in some instances the per diem payment were equal to base salaries, Broomhead said there was a significantly higher number of meetings relating to pro­jects such as the new Mount Forest arena, the medical centre, and day care centres. Those projects are worth over $32-million, he said.
Works Superintendent Gary Williamson added that this was the first year the American Water Works Association was held in Canada. He contended that because most of the waterworks information comes from the United States, it was worthwhile to get an idea of what changes are coming.
Broomhead said the doubl­ed convention expenses “was just one of those things … we needed to get the training.”
As for the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treas­urers Association course, Chaulk stated that even though he is an accountant, he believed it was important to know what is expected in the realm of municipal finances – especially since he chairs the township’s finance committee.
In the 2008 budget, council approved raising that part of the budget to run council by another $10,650 (9%).