Hotel accommodations, conferences, workshops and industrial paint were just some of the expenses claimed by Lantzville employees last year.
Purchase card statements provided by the District of Lantzville to the News Bulletin show that five employees spent a combined total of $50,232 last year.
According to the statements, Trudy Coates, the district’s director of corporate administration, was the district’s highest spending employee, expensing $19,679 on her purchase card last year.
Coates’s card was mainly used to pay conference registration fees and hotel expenses for councillors and staff. Her most expensive transaction was a $1,405 charge at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver for annual the Union of Municipalities of British Columbia conference.
Other expenses include a $893 charge at the Penticton Lakeside Resort for a conference, a $649 licensing fee for Vimeo, the video player and program used to playback and host recorded Lantzville council meetings, and $475 for blinds for the district hall.
Jeannie Beauchamp, director of financial services, was the second highest spender, expensing $16,613 last year. Similar to Coates, the majority of expenses made by Beauchamp were for conferences, certification renewals and supplies, according to the statements.
The largest expense was $2,258 for software support, while the second highest expense was the purchase of $1,972 for the same software program. There were also a charge amounting to $1,003 at the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria as well as a $145 charge for kitchenware from the Real Canadian Superstore and a $122 expense on Etsy.com.
Beauchamp’s purchase card was also used to cover $3,284 in hotels expenses for councillors Mark Swain, Bob Colclough, John Coulson and Denise Haime last year, according to the statements.
Fred Spears, the director of public works, spent just over $8,100 last year according to the statements, which show that the majority of his expenses were related to attending conferences and workshops. His largest single expense was a $1,122 purchase to attend a course on chlorine handling. Other expenses include $1,050 for industrial paint and $994 at Apple Auto Glass for work on a district-owned pickup truck.
Lantzville’s former fire chief, Rob Chatton, spent just under $4,000 last year according to the statements. Expenses for Chatton include a $680 charge at hotel in Vernon, $630 to attend the Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia conference, $312 for a printer toner. He also spent $88 over the course of six months at Busy Bubbles, a laundromat and dry cleaning service.
Meanwhile, Neil Rukus, the district’s current fire chief, spent $1,826 in 2017.
Beauchamp said an e-mail to the News Bulletin that there were no “unusual” credit card purchases in 2017 and that purchase card expenses in 2016 were $53,747. She said Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, reviews and signs off on all transactions, adding that he does not carry a purchase card himself.
The district receives all GST payments back, according to Beauchamp.