As you know, City Council (and Calgarians) are furious about Ward 2 Councillor Joe Magliocca's expenses from the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City.
Councillor Magliocca spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on hospitality expenses with people who deny they ever wined and dined with him. Some even denied being in the same province as him when the supposed meals and drinks took place.
Despite his apology and commitment to repay a portion of those expenses, it's definitely not a good look for this Councillor, or for those who support fiscal responsibility down at City Hall, and we're deeply disappointed in his actions.
But it turns out that Councillor Magliocca is far from the only culprit in filing questionable expense claims.
Save Calgary has spent the last few days pouring through more than 300 pages of Councillor expense disclosure reports, and we've found some stunning examples of how our tax dollars were used.
We'll be rolling those out over social media in the coming days as part of our Councillors Gone Wild series - make sure to follow us Facebook and Twitter to see just how some City Councillors used your tax dollars.
Clearly, City Councillors have been showing questionable judgement when it comes to how our tax dollars are being spent.
In fact, we would support the audit going back to when they were all elected in 2017 because, as you'll see in the coming days, there are some truly questionable uses of taxpayer dollars dating back to when this Council first took office.
With all of that said, Save Calgary did discover one thing when reviewing City Council expense disclosures which we thought was significant enough that it warranted bringing it to your attention right away.
It's something called the "Ward 7 and 9 Civic Engagement Workshop."
Here's what we know:
Ward 7 is represented by tax-and-spend climate change fanatic Councillor Druh Farrell.
Ward 9 is represented by tax-and-spend urban buzzword fan Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra.
They are both on the left-wing fringe of City Council's mostly lefty government.
In July 2019, they jointly sponsored an event called the "Ward 7 and 9 Civic Engagement Workshop."
We know from the disclosures that 40 guests attended. However, we don't know who these people were, how they were chosen, or what happened at the workshop.
We do know that from all available evidence that it wasn't an event open to the public.
There's no mention of it on Councillors Farrell's Facebook page, Twitter feed, or in her newsletters to constituents.
There's also no mention of it on Councillor Carra's Facebook page, Twitter feed, or in his newsletters to constituents.
A Google search for the event returns no results. There was no media coverage of the event when it happened.
It very much appears that this was an invitation-only private event.
Between both Councillors' budgets, they expensed $1,106 in food and hosting costs for the workshop.
They also hired Mistri Consulting Inc. to provide "facilitation and communication" services.
So, who is Mistri Consulting Inc.?
Robertson's Twitter feed contains some anti-United Conservative tweets, and his interests include issues like climate change, cycling, and city infill.
Mistri Consulting was paid $3,334 for the workshop, mostly from Councillor Farrell's budget.
In total, $4,440 was spent on the "Ward 7 and 9 Civic Engagement Workshop."
This leaves several important questions, especially: what, exactly, was the purpose of this workshop?
To outsiders, it would strongly suggest that it was a secret activism school hosted by two left-wing City Councillors and paid for by taxpayers.
Save Calgary would like Councillors Farrell and Carra to disclose the following:
The purpose of the workshop and what was discussed at it.
The identities of the 40 people who attended and how they were chosen.
The names and occupations of those who presented at the workshop.
What action items/takeaways came from the workshop.
Tax dollars are to be used to provide quality services to voters, not to fund secret activism sessions that push the agendas of big-spending, high-taxing City Councillors.
It's time for Druh Farrell and Gian-Carlo Carra to come clean on just what happened last summer.