Two local councillors claim no expenses
Local ward councillors Cr Troy Marquart and Cr Richard Mehrtens have not claimed any expenses in the seven months from October 2018 to the end of April this year.
The third local councillor, Cr Chris Holstein, has claimed general travel expenses of $2928 and professional development expenses of $220.
The highest claimant was Gosford East Ward Cr Rebecca Gale Collins who claimed more than $8000 in total across seven categories including home office expenses, internet services and carer expenses.
Cr Mehrtens said he made the personal decision at this time not to seek expenses for costs he had incurred during his official duties.
Cr Marquart said the listed expenses for each councillor had been claimed and provided within the current rules.
"Each councillor has different needs, different lifestyles and very different expense claims,'' he said.
"I do not personally think that any issue exists within the current expense claim clarification table."
Cr Holstein said his general travel expenses were in accordance with council policy and related to his attendance at council meetings, briefings, advisory committee meetings, representing the mayor in his role as deputy and community events.
He said in the last 11months this had included 188 meetings/briefings /committees and 178 events including council events such as listening posts, cultural exhibitions or services.
"I record all my travel (vehicle travel log) for council, private and my part time employment.
"Since the start of this financial year I have travelled a total of nearly 17,000kms of which 57 per cent has been private or work related (NOT claimed), while 43 per cent of my travel is directly attributed to my role as councillor and deputy mayor (which is my claimed travel)," he said.
It states in the council papers that the report is published to "communicate openly and honestly with the community to build a relationship based on transparency, understanding, trust and respect".
Councillors can claim up to $12,500 a year in general travel expenses and another $15,000 per year for long distance travel expenses and another $500 per night for meals and accommodation.
They can claim for professional development of $12,000 per year and carer expenses of $8,000 per year as well as home office and internet expenses.
Central Coast Council agenda 5.2, 11 June 2019
Media Statements, 4 June 2019
Chris Holstein, Central Coast Council
Richard Mehrtens, Central Coast Council