ted and nancy 

They have yet to announce their intentions to run in the November municipal election but Councillors Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and Ted Milner look ready to go to the voters. Wilhelm-Morden came just short of accusing Milner of campaigning Monday during Milner’s questioning of staff with regard to the municipality’s investment portfolio. "All of this smacks to me of grandstanding for production purposes," Wilhelm-Morden said. Milner raised concerns following acting director of finance John Nelson’s report on the municipality’s investment holdings, as of Sept. 20. The report shows the municipality has more than $51 million invested in short- and long-term deposits, bonds and accounts. "I think for that amount we should have an investment board review the portfolio," Milner said. A financial analyst was hired by the municipality this year to oversee its investments and Milner played an important role in writing the municipality’s investment policy. Milner said he expected an overall analysis of the investment portfolio each month and that one of the intents of the policy was to invest with local institutions. The report shows investments with a number of institutions which do not have local branches, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of America and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The $8 million invested with the CIBC, as of Sept. 20, was greater than the $5.6 million invested in the North Shore Credit Union. Milner’s wife Jane is president and CEO of the NSCU. Wilhelm-Morden said an advisory committee was discussed when the investment policy was being formulated. "If council doesn’t think the portfolio is well managed then maybe we should consider hiring an outside advisor. "I’m not aware that investing in local institutions was part of the policy," Wilhelm-Morden continued. "It’s late in this council’s mandate to form new committees." Councillor Kristi Wells said she too was taken aback by Milner’s comments and suggested staff had acted on the policy laid down by council. "Now is not the right time for reforming policy," Wells said. Milner replied that the fact Wells and Wilhelm-Morden were not concerned about the investment portfolio "tells me something." He said the municipality is not at great risk now but if it continues on the present course it may be. "We’ve taken a much more aggressive stance than the municipal finance authority. I think that’s incorrect," Milner said. "I’m just asking staff to review it." Wilhelm-Morden said she thought Milner wanted a review of the investment policy to see if there was a piece missing, and then suggested he was grandstanding. Milner declined to respond to the charge but said: "The policy is fine, but the portfolio has risks. I don’t know how else to put it." Municipal staff will review the investment portfolio, as well as review how other municipalities invest.

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