Mayoral candidate Sylvia Bishop is pledging to take the city’s financial accountability online if elected.
Bishop, who is running on the Team Delta slate with fellow councillor Robert Campbell and newcomers Kim Kendall, Joan Hansen and Simran Walia, made the platform announcement at a press conference in Ladner on Tuesday, July 3.
“It is long past time for our city to provide local residents and taxpayers, potential investors and others, with the most up-to-date financial information about Delta’s financial payments to council members, employees and suppliers,” Bishop said in a release about the announcement.
“Our city has a laudable and enviable financial record, and it is important that we move forward to make that information available to the widest-possible audience.”
Each year, Delta releases its Statements of Financial Information, in accordance with B.C.’s Financial Information Act. These statements include things like the city’s assets and liabilities, an operational statement, a schedule of debts and a indemnity agreements. The statements also include detailed listings of remuneration paid to elected officials and un-elected staff, as well as payments to vendors.
Some of this financial information is available online through Delta’s Civic Web portal, which hosts reports brought forward to council and other committees. Notably, the Schedule of Remuneration, Expenses and Payments (which outlines the salaries for employees making more than $75,000 and elected officials, as well as vendor payments) is not. Interested parties can request it from the finance department during business hours.
Currently, the majority of B.C. municipalities make their Statements of Financial Information available online, including cities such as Surrey, Vancouver and Richmond, as well as smaller communities like Williams Lake, Grand Forks and the village of Pouce Coupe.
“If nearly every city, town and village in B.C. can do it, regardless of their size or population, so can we,” Bishop said in the release. “If I win election as the Mayor on October 20, I pledge that the City of Delta’s financial information statements will be made available on-line within a matter of days.”
Bishop, who currently sits on Delta council, is one of three mayoral candidates who have announced their intention to run in the October election. Up against her are former Delta city manager George Harvie, under the Achieving for Delta banner, and former Delta police chief Jim Cessford, with the Independents Working for You slate.