Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke's travel expenses are twice that of his Halifax

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke's travel expenses are twice that of his Halifax counterpart. (CBC)

The mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says he'll resign if he hasn't seen positive community development in a year amid questions about the amount of travel expenses he's been claiming.

Cecil Clarke said it's necessary for him to travel and speak with members of other levels of government to raise funding for important projects and grow Cape Breton's economy.

"If you're going to be in the business of trying to create business, if you're going to want to try and fill the potholes that are there, you've got to have economic growth," he said.

"As far as the overarching aspects of port and overall community economic development, I'm very clear. I'll be judged by what the outcomes are and the amount of money that is invested will have to be balanced by the outcomes that have been achieved and how much we've been able to deliver for the community."

In the last fiscal year, Clarke's travel expenses totalled about $40,000. That was twice the amount claimed by Mike Savage, the mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Clarke said it is not surprising his expenses are higher given he has to travel to meet with members of the provincial government, unlike Savage. Most of Clarke's trips were to Halifax and Ottawa.

"Not every individual trip can be measured in the short term on its value," said Clarke.

He added that the public will make the final decision on his contributions to the community's economic development.

"There are some stark realities we have to deal with," he said.

"If I have not been able to change that, I would do the honourable thing and resign."

Clarke plans to start posting his expenses on the Cape Breton Regional Municipality's website, which is something Savage already does.