While there was a lot of talk around Calgary city councillor security systems, there hasn’t been much action thus far.
Back in mid-January, city council approved the reimbursement of up to $8,000 for equipment and professional installation of home security systems for council members. Councillors also qualified for up to $100 per month for monitoring.
It was to be funded from corporate costs.
According to councillor expenses in Q1, there were no security system claims. According to the city, corporate security has provided two threat risk assessments to council members. These are the evaluations for potential security needs for their residence and circumstance.
They didn’t disclose who the councillors were.
“An assessment does not indicate the number of Councillors who are actually installing and claiming home security systems, as The City does not provide home security systems to Council,” the City said in an email statement.
“Information regarding costs and arrangements for home security systems would be held by Councillors who are actioning this as an expense, until claimed, at which point it becomes public information via the Office of the Councillors.”
Two public incidents involving Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra preceded the decision by Calgary city council.
Covid-19 freedom protesters gathered outside both of their homes.
Recently, according to a CTV Calgary story, a fake horse head was left outside Mayor Gondek’s home.
Surprised, not surprised: Coun. Dan McLean
Ward 13 Coun. Dan McLean opposed the expense back in January. At that time, he’d said that this should be something councillors pay for themselves.
On one hand, the lack of security activity surprised him.
“I am a little surprised because a lot of councillors, a few were quite vocal about the need for it. And again, my stance always was it should come out of your own pocket,” McLean told LiveWire Calgary.
But, then again, McLean maybe wasn’t that surprised – especially given how vocal some Calgarians were about the expense.
“I’m not aware of any of those (security) figures, but it doesn’t surprise me. I think the backlash was pretty huge,” he said.
“So maybe that’s the lesson learned. Don’t bring some of these foolish notices of motion before council. So, in this case, it was brought there first and then there was outrage, saying ‘what the heck are you doing.’”
The item was originally brought forward upon administration’s recommendation. It wasn’t a notice of motion.