A new policy sets out a plain picture of what Bruderheim's elected officials can and can't expense to the town.
 
The policy details what kind of reimbursement councillors can receive for their time and travel to go to events and meetings for the town, among other things.
 
"If the mayor so chooses, the town can supply him a phone and that would be for town work," explained mayor Karl Hauch. "Or he has a choice of using his own phone and being reimbursed or not being reimbursed."
 
A lengthy debate was held after councillor Shelley Ross proposed the town move from a group purse to individual councillor budgets.
 
Currently, elected officials in Bruderheim are given a single budget allotment for travel expenses, educational opportunities and conference expenses. Ross proposed moving to individual budgets, giving each councillor $2,000 per year for expenses they encounter as elected officials.
 
While some liked the idea, most opposed it, saying the group purse allowed those who travel far for their assigned boards and committees to still expense them as it would eat up a majority of the proposed $2,000 budget. Those who don't travel as far wouldn't use as much of the allotted amount. The group purse evens this out and allows equal opportunities to expense attending functions and partaking in important events for all, no matter the distance for boards and committees.
 
"There's some pros where you have particular needs that need to be addressed that you see, you have a budget and you have to manage how you look after that," said Hauch. "When you have a group, then the whole group shepherds that money and then it's a group decision, not an individual decision."

The idea of abandoning the $25 in-town meeting allowance was also tossed around to save money but was ultimately struck down.
 
Council approved the new expense policy, setting the foundation for a better understanding for the next council of how and what they can be reimbursed for while representing the town.

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