The costly car allowance — gone.
Medical and dental benefits — no more.
Tighter controls on trustee expenses — on the way.
Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees last night approved or endorsed more than 20 recommendations to fix their spending mess as suggested by a provincial adviser and they even went a step further by approving, in principle, the creation of the position of integrity commissioner as suggested by newly appointed trustee Rob Davis.
It was the first step at getting past many embarrassing weeks of allegations of misspending, from meals with alcohol, hotel minibars and a trip to the Dominican Republic — all charged to taxpayers.
Trustees had until last night to come up with a plan after a report by a provincial adviser found their expenses to be excessive, and, in some cases, improper. It took them about an hour and a half to get to the vote.
They have until the end of June to work with provincial adviser Norbert Hartmann and implement the plan.
In a searing report, Hartmann chronicled years of overspending by trustees, late-night meals including trips to the Dairy Queen, double-dipping on restaurant bills and large cellphone charges that made them among the biggest spenders in the province — at about $100,000 each per year.
Before voting, trustee Maria Rizzo dropped a bombshell on the audience when she stood up and said she felt the spending controversy was a “Machiavellian plan to target a number of trustees” — herself included — by at least one other trustee.