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2010 grade: C
2009 grade: C+
2008 grade: B-
2007 grade: B

In March, Sue Uteck’s dog, a 135-pound bullmastiff named Homer, jumped on a woman in Point Pleasant Park and broke both the woman’s arms. The story was spun in the Chronicle-Herald to portray Uteck as caring and quick-witted, going to extra lengths to help the woman get medical aid. Go figure.

I only bring the issue up because Uteck seems to have taken a page out of Homer’s book in her approach to the city budget; she threw her entire self into analyzing the budget, and to her credit was able to break staff into coughing up the line item details of the budget, which I then put live on thecoast.ca, the first time such deets were made generally available to the public. Moreover, Uteck challenged a lot of the specifics in the line items, and uncovered a budget catch-all account---line item #6999---that looks like a way to obscure and cover up inappropriate expenditures. Good on her.

Additionally, at Uteck’s initiative council has cleaned up how it meets secretly, and now requires that a lawyer be in the room.

But those big pluses are counterbalanced by Uteck’s continuing attempt to insert “tax reform” into city policies, most recently by trying to re-jig transit taxes. Big minus.

How to improve: Give it up on “tax reform” already.

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