Election campaign finance reports hard to find on city web site

By Pepper Parr

April 15th, 2023



The words accountability and transparency get banged about like a ping pong ball – but little respect from some senior administrative staff and just about every member of Council. They mouth the words but there is little in the way of meat on the bones of their statements.

The swearing in of a new council is the process that transfers power to newly elected Council members. They swear to be accountable and transparent.

Elections are critical: they are actually a transaction between the public and those running for public office. The voters give the power they have – a ballot and use it to transfer their power to the people seeking public office.

The city administration, in this case the City Clerk overseen the elections, makes sure the ballot are properly counted and issues a statement declaring the winner for the Office of Mayo and the Council member for each ward.

Sometime after the election the City Clerk releases the financial statements each candidate is required to file. Those statements were due to be released on March 31st.

Detailed election finance reports are behind this file on the city web site. Go figure.

Try to find them on the city web site.  They are there but difficult to find – we had to work with the City Communications department to figure out just where the documents were posted.

Unfortunately, and unfairly the Communications people are taking the hits for this dumb situation. We believe it is the City Clerk’s responsibility to ensure that the information is made public and easy to find.

Executive Director Jackie Johnson

Both the City Clerk and the Director of Communications report to the city’s newest Executive Director Jackie Johnson; she might want to invite Kwab Ako-Adjei and Kevin Arjoon in for coffee and explain to them that they first have to cooperate and then exactly what she means by accountability, transparency and open government.

The Gazette is in the process of reviewing all the financial returns and doing an analysis of how much money each candidate raised and where the money came from.

Accountability, transparency and Open Government.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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4 comments to Election campaign finance reports hard to find on city web site

  • Syd

    Almost EVERYTHING is hard to find on the CoB website, let alone things that really matter that they choose to “bury”!

  • The Gazette is confirming the issue Anne ran on remains and indeed is worse. Never before have there been so many issues with obtaining information entitled to that tells the truth about who our Council are and how they spend our money.

    • Blair Smith

      I agree but it also speaks volumes about our City Clerk and how, under his hapless administration, open and transparent government has never been more constrained. Given the importance of his function and the ‘dignity’ of his role, what does it say that he describes himself on social media as a “Bon Vivant, Dandy, wannabie vegan,” with a handle of “Kevin Storytime Arjoon”. Time for a change; time to get down to business.