Summerside discloses entertainment expenditures

Mike Carson
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Figures for Jan.to June 2013 total $33,788

SUMMERSIDE – Expenses at Credit Union Place skyboxes and meals and refreshments for city council and committee meetings accounted for a major portion of hospitality expenses for the City of Summerside for the first six months of 2013.

 

Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDopugall

The city has disclosed its expenditures for this time period for hospitality expenses and figures show that for the first six months of 2013, the city spent $33,788 on entertainment, tickets and other events and meetings.

Entertainment at Credit Union Place for games involving the Summerside Western Capitals and the former Summerside Storm of the National Basketball League of Canada totalled $4,918 for food and beverages. Added to that is the $3,000 rental fee for the skybox bringing the total entertainment cost for the two teams to $7,918 for the period rom Jan. 1 to June 30, 2013.

The highest individual line item under hospitality expenses is meals and refreshment for council and committee meetings.

From Jan. 1 to June 30, 2013, $5,999 was spent on meals and refreshment for city council.

Another top expenditure was the Mayor’s New Year’s Levee at $6,778.

Given that the figures are only those for the first six months of 2013 an estimate for the entire year could be double that amount, given the Summerside Storm are no longer in the city.

Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall, chairman of the city’s finance committee, said the city has made the figures available to the public as it moves towards a more open and transparent government.

“I think we’re probably one of the most open council’s in the Maritimes, at least,” he said.

MacDougall said that the figures from Credit Union Place are in large part an effort by the city to entertain prospective business and investors looking to come to Summerside.

He said the economic development department will showcase the facility and the city to potential clients or to entertain dignitaries visiting the city.

The deputy mayor had no problems peaking to the issue of meals and refreshments supplied to councilors during the course of the year.

“Sometimes I’m at work at 7 a.m. and I go right from work to a city council meeting that night,” he said. “Would I prefer to be home having dinner with my wife? Yes.”

He said oftentimes the issues of the day cannot be decided in a short period of time and on many occasions these meetings go late into the evening.

Another factor that affects the costs of the hospitality budget are events that are not foreseen or budgeted for.

MacDougall pointed to the arrival of the Yorktown cruise ship in June and the reception for gold medalist Heather Moyse as two examples of events that needed to be addressed that were not included in the budget.

“There are things that you have to do whether it be supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation or those types of things, you have to support them,” he said. “If we don’t support them it doesn’t look good for your city. The Yorktown, that was something that we didn’t expect to happen. We had to try and host those people to sell our city. We’re hoping there’s going to be something come out of that. Will it benefit us down the road? Yes, hopefully.”

MacDougall said the city is taking on a new way of doing things by making these figures public.

He said in doing so, council is examining where the money is spent and reassessing how dollars are allocated.

 

Figures

Hospitality Expenses for January 1, 2013 to March 31, 2013

 

 

 

 

Date(s)

Event

*Total Cost

2013-01-01

   New Year's Levee                                                                      $6,778.96

 

2013-01-01 to 2013-03-31

Summerside Western Capitals Hockey Games                                       1,276.13

    

2013-01-01 to 2013-03-31

Summerside Storm Basketball Games                   

    2,337.55

2013-01-01 to 2013-03-31

Credit Union Place Skybox                                  

    1,500.00

2013-01-04

Welcome Reception                                                     

          43.43

2013-01-19

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada                  

       300.00

2013-01-23

Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce          

       297.12

2013-01-29

Chamber Lunch Meeting                                            

          87.19

2013-01-01 to 2013-01-31

Meals/Refreshments for Council Meetings               

       927.27

2013-02-06

Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce            

       904.78

2013-02-07

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal Presentation           

       901.65

2013-02-22

Mayor's Heritage Tea                                               

       471.76

2013-02-22

Slemon Park Plex                                                      

       200.00

2013-02-22

Egmont Conservative Association                             

       750.00

2013-02-22 to 2013-03-31

Western Capital Tickets                                               

          31.53

2013-02-01 to 2013-02-28

Meals/Refreshments for Council Meetings                   

       636.17

2013-03-05

Developers Summit                                                   

       352.24

2013-03-10

Community Fusion                                                    

       331.50

2013-03-12

Lunch Meeting                                                                       

       189.18

2013-03-13

Junior Mayor & Council                                            

       647.98

2013-03-13

Summerside Storm Tickets                                          

       168.80

2013-03-17 to 2013-03-21

Western Capital Tickets                                            

       396.19

2013-03-21

Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club                            

          90.00

2013-03-22

Harlem Globetrotters                                                 

          36.08

2013-03-25

City of Summerside Annual Meeting                       

       750.49

2013-03-28

Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce           

       188.55

2013-03-01 to 2013-03-31

Meals/Refreshments for Council Meetings              

    1,403.31

 

 

 

 

 

Hospitality Expenses for April 1,  2013 to June 30, 2013

 

 

Date(s)

Event

*Total Cost

2013-04-01

Mayor's Good Neighbor Award                                                        $   642.88                 

2013-04-09

Summerside Storm Ticket                                          

          16.32

2013-04-13

Prince County Horsemen's Club                                  

       150.00

2013-04-16 to 2013-04-22

Summerside Western Capital Tickets 3                         

          23.69

2013-04-01 to 2013-06-30

Summerside Western Capitals Hockey Games              

          78.31

2013-04-01 to 2013-06-30

Summerside Storm Basketball Games                        

    1,232.94

2013-04-01 to 2013-04-30

Meals/Refreshments for Council Meetings                   

    1,160.21

2013-04-01 to 2013-06-30

Credit Union Place Skybox                                        

    1,500.00

2013-05-01

Fred Page Cup Tickets                                                      

          24.00

2013-05-06

The Prince Edward Island Liberal Association Inc.       

       500.00

2013-05-06

Alan Jackson Concert                                                      

       251.34

2013-05-09 to 2013-05-19

Royal Bank Cup                                                           

    1,417.95

2013-05-11 to 2013-05-19

Royal Bank Cup                                                           

    1,995.00

2013-05-23

Business Mixer                                                                 

       488.72

2013-05-30

Junior Achievement of PEI                                              

       380.00

2013-05-31

PC Island Fund                                                                

       500.00

2013-05-01 to 2013-05-31

Meals/Refreshments for Council Meetings                    

    1,471.58

2013-06-17

Yorktown Cruise Ship Luncheon                                      

       393.60

2013-06-19

Welcome Reception                                                         

       157.15

2013-06-24

Sting Concert                                                                     

       291.79

2013-06-25

Special Olympics Prince Edward Island                          

       415.00

2013-06-25

Special Olympics Prince Edward Island                           

       200.00

2013-06-27

Holland College Alumni Barbeque                                   

       430.81

2013-06-01 to 2013-06-30

Meals/Refreshments for Council Meetings                       

       401.11

 

 

 

*Total is net of HST recovered.

 

 

 

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Holland College, Union Place, Summerside Western Capitals National Basketball League of Canada Heart and Stroke Foundation Queen's Egmont Conservative Association Silver Fox Junior Achievement Island Fund

Geographic location: Summerside Western, Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Rob Lindsay
    March 21, 2014 - 10:54

    In more cases than not, you have to spend money to make money. There are lots of big businesses that are forward thinking (your city is no different), and have expenses that not all are going to agree with. It is of my opinion that your city and community are well recognized throughout the globe for forward thinking and hospitality which sometimes comes with an expense, and at timea appear costly to those not privy to all elements of the overall strategy; I assure you it is a mere factor of the overall value it brings. Looking a head to what is best for the community has always been near and dear to your mayor and any constituent that I have had the pleasure in knowing. You would be amazed at the dividends your money invested will return, and has over the epic length in leadership. (Great job Basil Stewart and peers.) That being said, "The people" must keep a mindful eye, hold positions accountable, but don't cut your nose off to spite your face. Be proud that your council are willing to disclose this information so openly, and ponder what, if anything, they might be hiding. :-) In the end diplomacy will be the governing body.Tthey were voted into position, and can exit the same way. To be honest I secretly wish I could get a tug and tow/push your city and province to the Bay of Fundy joining by a bridge to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. Great ppl, great times... And my cottage would be closer.