Voters Look For A New AG At City Hall

The hiring of an auditor general in Windsor is proving to be a key election issue for some in Windsor.

The VoteAG campaign has nine council candidates pledging to bring back an auditor general to city hall after Todd Langlois was fired in January 2012.

Erie St. watering hole Kurley's AC served as a more casual setting for the campaign's first 'meet and greet' event held on Tuesday evening bringing in about 30 people in all.

"If we can get enough councillors to agree and put the pressure on the mayor's office to allow the auditor general to do his job, not like what happened the first time — he tried to do his job and he got fired," says Beverley Vansickle Holmes.

She attended then VoteAG event and supports the hiring of an auditor general because she feels the auditing services the city uses now don't go far enough.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers didn't have anything to do with deciding whether we were going to spend all that money on renovating a trolley," says Vansickle Holmes, referencing the up to $750,000 the city is spending to restore a streetcar that was in service in Windsor up until the late 1930s.

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The VoteAG campaign holds its first candidates meet and greet at Kurley's AC bar on Erie St. in Windsor on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

On the issue of creating an auditor general's office, council rejected the idea early in its current term of spending the $286,000 administration reported it would cost when it already spends $300,000 a year to auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Adele Steinberg says she was floored to find out Windsor didn't have an auditor general when she first moved to the city.

"I was in Toronto for 45 years before I came here, I've been here for seven years, and I couldn't believe when [VoteAG organizer] Howard [Weeks] said we don't have one, I said, 'What?'"

Steinberg feels an auditor general will keep councillors honest.

"Because we don't know where the money is going," she says. "You need somebody to follow the money and the only way to do that is to have an AG."

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The VoteAG campaign holds its first candidates meet and greet at Kurley's AC bar on Erie St. in Windsor on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Vansickle Holmes agrees, pointing to greater transparency and accountability as some of the key benefits of hiring an in-house auditor general.

"An auditor general is going to make sure a plan is made so that money is effectively spent for the benefit of the taxpayers, not for the benefit of just things that look pretty and look nice," says Vansickle Holmes.

Voters head to the ballot box on October 22.

CLICK HERE for a list of the VoteAG candidates.