Councillors, mayor spent more than $57K on travel in 2016

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Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and city councillors spent more than $57,000 on travel in 2016 with the mayor accounting for nearly half of the spending.

City councillors spent a total of $29,197.93 attending conferences across Canada and the world, traveling to destinations including Rome and Germany.

Dilkens embarked on 15 trips for a cost of $28,125.27. Those expenses do not include about $3,000 in registration costs that were picked up by Your Quick Gateway, the city-owned entity in charge of Windsor Airport.

Dilkens' travel tab included four trips to Toronto, three to Ottawa and one to Budapest and New Delhi for a FINA meeting, which cost taxpayers $8,610.52. 

Among the listed visits were trips to Halifax and Red Deer to see the public library and attend a Memorial cup event ($3,307.03), an Ontario Good Roads Association Conference in Toronto ($2,24.55) and a journey to Ottawa to attend an ultimately successful Supreme Court appeal over boarded up homes owned by the Canadian Transit Company ($1,265.29).

Councillors see Rome, Germany in 2016

City councillors are allowed two expensed trips to approved destinations each year — one of them must be to either the FCM or the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario meeting.

Ward 10 councillor Paul Borrelli recorded the single most expensive trip among his council colleagues — $4,652.91 — traveling to Rome for a Making Cities Liveable conference. He also billed, as did several other councillors, $875.75 for the AMO conference held in Windsor.

When it comes to combined cost, Ward 3 councillor Rino Bortolin was the biggest spender, with a trip to Halifax for the Canadian Urban Transit Association Conference ($2,784.27) Winnipeg for the FCM Annual Conference ($2,518.38) and Windsor for the AMO gathering ($875.75).

Besides Borrelli, only John Elliott and Fred Francis traveled internationally in 2016. Both attended the Urban Thinkers Campus in Mannenheim, Germany on behalf of the mayor.

John Elliott billed $427.85 for the trip, while Francis's travel was reimbursed by the "Twin City," according to Windsor's financial department.

Travel costs claimed by the municipal officials are included in a financial accounting report that will be presented to council during their Monday meeting.