05/01/2012 03:40 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Toronto Councillors Expense $117K In First Quarter


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, spent nearly $1,500 of their own money to create a webpage for their “Cut the Waist” challenge that launched in January.

On Tuesday, the city released figures on the first-quarter spending of the 44 city councillors and the mayor, including the personal funds that the Fords spent on their website.

In terms of public funds, the city councillors and the mayor together spent $117,034.01 of taxpayer money on their office, constituency and other expenses. That works out to an average of $2,600.76 per elected representative.

About 28 per cent of the total expenditures related to communication costs.

According to the figures released by the city, Coun. Doug Ford did not spend any city money in the first quarter. He was the only councillor to not to do so. The mayor's office spent $3,822.98, with $2,222.60 going to office equipment and supplies.

Coun. Michelle Berardinetti had the highest expenses during the first quarter, which amounted to $11,060.91.

Berardinetti told the Toronto Sun that the costs were related to literature and magnets she sent out to constituents, though she had high school students deliver them to save money.

The mayor and his brother also disclosed the personal funds they had spent during the quarter.

They paid the Toronto-based Thirdeye Technologies Inc. $1,124.99, to build a website for their weight-loss challenge, as well as a $99.99 fee for web hosting and maintenance. With tax, their website bill came to $1,384.24.

And they paid the Mississauga-based Eyemagine Graphics Inc. $90 to create a banner for the website. That bill totalled $101.70, after tax.

Because the Fords split the costs equally, their individual share came to $742.97 each.

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