John So’s Casting Karma Lord Mayor Survives No-Confidence Vote by His Own Casting Vote

John So Narrowly survived a a vote of no-confidence in his leadership by using his casting vote.

The vote of no-Confidence was moved following John’s So’s inability to properly manage the City of Melbourne fiscal budget and his decision to introduce a deficit for the 2007-8 financial year.

The Melbourne City Council, in what was seen as another blow to John So was that he was forced to invite the Dalai Lama to visit the Town Hall on his trip to Melbourne next month. The Dalai Lama has previously been welcomed at Town Hall during his past visits but ever since John So has been at the helm Town Hall, acting on the instructions of the Chinese Government have refused to extend a cordial invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama in 1992 had officated at a planting of a Budhi Tree in the Council designed ‘Peace Garden’ located in Carlton Gardens. The original tree was attacked by Vandals and the City Council under Rob Adams has not reinstated the tree.

Mayor survives attacks, but loses Dalai Lama fight
Clay Lucas The Age May 30, 2007

LORD Mayor John So has been forced to use his casting vote to stop a vote of no confidence in his leadership — the first such vote in his six years at the helm of Melbourne City Council.

And at a special meeting of the council last night, the Lord Mayor was forced to invite the Dalai Lama to visit the Town Hall on his trip to Melbourne next month.

Cr So, who is closely aligned to Melbourne’s Chinese business community, came under fire two weeks ago for trying to ensure that no councillors met the Tibetan spiritual leader.

He came under renewed attack last night from four of the nine councillors, who confronted him on issues ranging from his failure to attend council committee meetings to accusations of economic mismanagement and claims that he ordered council spending without proper authority.

Cr So normally controls the numbers on the council, but with Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer in Europe, visiting the mayors of London and Milan, the Lord Mayor was forced to use his casting vote to defend himself from the attacks.

Shrugging off accusations from Cr Peter Clarke that his mayoral style was becoming reminiscent of former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen — because he “made decisions behind closed doors” — the Lord Mayor said: “Melbourne is doing very, very well.”

Last night’s meeting comes ahead of today’s announcement of the biggest shake-up at the council in 14 years.

Consultants Ernst & Young last month completed a $300,000 report on how the council could cut costs.

Chief executive David Pitchford, who deemed the report highly confidential, will give his recommendations to the council’s 1100 staff today.

The recommendations could could result in lay-offs at the council.

But the biggest news may have already been revealed inadvertently by the Lord Mayor.

Cr So last week appeared to break the confidentiality agreement surrounding the report when, under pressure from 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, he said: “Yes, we get some staff redundants. Yes, of course.”

Immediately after staff are told their fate today, the chief executive will hold talks with the Australian Services Union.

Other related coverage
Rare revolt on budget as So confirms job cuts ahead
Councillor to attend Dalai event, even if So doesn’t
Budget blow-out a ‘turn on’ for media man So
As you spend, So shall you reap?
Rudd’s Dalai Lama drama

John So’s Casting Karma Lord Mayor Survives No-Confidence Vote by His Own Casting Vote

John So Narrowly survived a a vote of no-confidence in his leadership by using his casting vote.

The vote of no-Confidence was moved following John’s So’s inability to properly manage the City of Melbourne fiscal budget and his decision to introduce a deficit for the 2007-8 financial year.

The Melbourne City Council, in what was seen as another blow to John So was that he was forced to invite the Dalai Lama to visit the Town Hall on his trip to Melbourne next month. The Dalai Lama has previously been welcomed at Town Hall during his past visits but ever since John So has been at the helm Town Hall, acting on the instructions of the Chinese Government have refused to extend a cordial invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama in 1992 had officated at a planting of a Budhi Tree in the Council designed ‘Peace Garden’ located in Carlton Gardens. The original tree was attacked by Vandals and the City Council under Rob Adams has not reinstated the tree.

Mayor survives attacks, but loses Dalai Lama fight
Clay Lucas The Age May 30, 2007

LORD Mayor John So has been forced to use his casting vote to stop a vote of no confidence in his leadership — the first such vote in his six years at the helm of Melbourne City Council.

And at a special meeting of the council last night, the Lord Mayor was forced to invite the Dalai Lama to visit the Town Hall on his trip to Melbourne next month.

Cr So, who is closely aligned to Melbourne’s Chinese business community, came under fire two weeks ago for trying to ensure that no councillors met the Tibetan spiritual leader.

He came under renewed attack last night from four of the nine councillors, who confronted him on issues ranging from his failure to attend council committee meetings to accusations of economic mismanagement and claims that he ordered council spending without proper authority.

Cr So normally controls the numbers on the council, but with Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer in Europe, visiting the mayors of London and Milan, the Lord Mayor was forced to use his casting vote to defend himself from the attacks.

Shrugging off accusations from Cr Peter Clarke that his mayoral style was becoming reminiscent of former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen — because he “made decisions behind closed doors” — the Lord Mayor said: “Melbourne is doing very, very well.”

Last night’s meeting comes ahead of today’s announcement of the biggest shake-up at the council in 14 years.

Consultants Ernst & Young last month completed a $300,000 report on how the council could cut costs.

Chief executive David Pitchford, who deemed the report highly confidential, will give his recommendations to the council’s 1100 staff today.

The recommendations could could result in lay-offs at the council.

But the biggest news may have already been revealed inadvertently by the Lord Mayor.

Cr So last week appeared to break the confidentiality agreement surrounding the report when, under pressure from 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, he said: “Yes, we get some staff redundants. Yes, of course.”

Immediately after staff are told their fate today, the chief executive will hold talks with the Australian Services Union.

Other related coverage
Rare revolt on budget as So confirms job cuts ahead
Councillor to attend Dalai event, even if So doesn’t
Budget blow-out a ‘turn on’ for media man So
As you spend, So shall you reap?
Rudd’s Dalai Lama drama

Council Told to Cut the Fat

Following on from the $300,00 hidden Effeciency report The Age reports that the Melbourne City Council will axe a number of staff including controversol Spin Doctor Hayden Cock, Hayden Cock was goiven teh hard job of spending all of Council’s consolidated media revenue in what some have claimed to be John So’s political propoganda unit. Problem was Cok faield to deliver the goods and services as expecetd, Insxtead Melbourne sawe a blow out in the Council’s media expenditure with little gain in media exposure and benefit to the City.

In addition to the John So’s media unit Counil governnace is expecetd to also come under review.

The full costs of early termnination payout’s and redundancy has not been dislosed. It is expected that the City Council would be up for over 2 million dollars in early redundancy payouts.

Senior executives to go in council cull
Clay Lucas May 30, 2007 – 4:41PM

The Age

Melbourne City Council could cut up to 100 staff in a second round of redundancies, a report reveals.

The council is expected to save $1.5 million by sacking 26 people, including several senior executives, in the first round of redundancies, announced earlier today.

It would save a further $5.7 million in redundancies in the second round, the report says.

In the first round of redundancies, the Council will sack several senior executives, including its controversial spin doctor.

The council is set to reveal 26 redundancies as part of its biggest shake-up in 14 years, theage.com.au understands, with up to 100 more to go in the coming months.

Two directors, 10 executives and 14 staff are among those expected to be made redundant today.

Corporate affairs director Hayden Cock, whose package is worth $220,000, is believed to be among those to be made redundant.

Chief executive David Pitchford notified each of the 26 staff this morning.

The move follows the completion last month of a $300,000 report by consultants Ernst & Young on how the council could cut costs.

The report found a massive blowout in labour costs at the council, huge problems with its parking officers, a blowout in executives at the council on more than $100,000, and an explosion of spending on marketing.

Lord Mayor John So, who did not return calls, will come under immense pressure now the confidential report is public.

The report’s highly critical findings have found many problems at the council have emerged since 2002 – the year after Councillor So became Lord Mayor.

Council Told to Cut the Fat

Following on from the $300,00 hidden Effeciency report The Age reports that the Melbourne City Council will axe a number of staff including controversol Spin Doctor Hayden Cock, Hayden Cock was goiven teh hard job of spending all of Council’s consolidated media revenue in what some have claimed to be John So’s political propoganda unit. Problem was Cok faield to deliver the goods and services as expecetd, Insxtead Melbourne sawe a blow out in the Council’s media expenditure with little gain in media exposure and benefit to the City.

In addition to the John So’s media unit Counil governnace is expecetd to also come under review.

The full costs of early termnination payout’s and redundancy has not been dislosed. It is expected that the City Council would be up for over 2 million dollars in early redundancy payouts.

Senior executives to go in council cull
Clay Lucas May 30, 2007 – 4:41PM

The Age

Melbourne City Council could cut up to 100 staff in a second round of redundancies, a report reveals.

The council is expected to save $1.5 million by sacking 26 people, including several senior executives, in the first round of redundancies, announced earlier today.

It would save a further $5.7 million in redundancies in the second round, the report says.

In the first round of redundancies, the Council will sack several senior executives, including its controversial spin doctor.

The council is set to reveal 26 redundancies as part of its biggest shake-up in 14 years, theage.com.au understands, with up to 100 more to go in the coming months.

Two directors, 10 executives and 14 staff are among those expected to be made redundant today.

Corporate affairs director Hayden Cock, whose package is worth $220,000, is believed to be among those to be made redundant.

Chief executive David Pitchford notified each of the 26 staff this morning.

The move follows the completion last month of a $300,000 report by consultants Ernst & Young on how the council could cut costs.

The report found a massive blowout in labour costs at the council, huge problems with its parking officers, a blowout in executives at the council on more than $100,000, and an explosion of spending on marketing.

Lord Mayor John So, who did not return calls, will come under immense pressure now the confidential report is public.

The report’s highly critical findings have found many problems at the council have emerged since 2002 – the year after Councillor So became Lord Mayor.

John So’s Casting Karma Lord Mayor Survives No-Confidence Vote by His Own Casting Vote

John So Narrowly survived a a vote of no-confidence in his leadership by using his casting vote.

The vote of no-Confidence was moved following John’s So’s inability to properly manage the City of Melbourne fiscal budget and his decision to introduce a deficit for the 2007-8 financial year.

The Melbourne City Council, in what was seen as another blow to John So was that he was forced to invite the Dalai Lama to visit the Town Hall on his trip to Melbourne next month. The Dalai Lama has previously been welcomed at Town Hall during his past visits but ever since John So has been at the helm Town Hall, acting on the instructions of the Chinese Government have refused to extend a cordial invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama in 1992 had officated at a planting of a Budhi Tree in the Council designed ‘Peace Garden’ located in Carlton Gardens. The original tree was attacked by Vandals and the City Council under Rob Adams has not reinstated the tree.

Mayor survives attacks, but loses Dalai Lama fight
Clay Lucas The Age May 30, 2007

LORD Mayor John So has been forced to use his casting vote to stop a vote of no confidence in his leadership — the first such vote in his six years at the helm of Melbourne City Council.

And at a special meeting of the council last night, the Lord Mayor was forced to invite the Dalai Lama to visit the Town Hall on his trip to Melbourne next month.

Cr So, who is closely aligned to Melbourne’s Chinese business community, came under fire two weeks ago for trying to ensure that no councillors met the Tibetan spiritual leader.

He came under renewed attack last night from four of the nine councillors, who confronted him on issues ranging from his failure to attend council committee meetings to accusations of economic mismanagement and claims that he ordered council spending without proper authority.

Cr So normally controls the numbers on the council, but with Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer in Europe, visiting the mayors of London and Milan, the Lord Mayor was forced to use his casting vote to defend himself from the attacks.

Shrugging off accusations from Cr Peter Clarke that his mayoral style was becoming reminiscent of former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen — because he “made decisions behind closed doors” — the Lord Mayor said: “Melbourne is doing very, very well.”

Last night’s meeting comes ahead of today’s announcement of the biggest shake-up at the council in 14 years.

Consultants Ernst & Young last month completed a $300,000 report on how the council could cut costs.

Chief executive David Pitchford, who deemed the report highly confidential, will give his recommendations to the council’s 1100 staff today.

The recommendations could could result in lay-offs at the council.

But the biggest news may have already been revealed inadvertently by the Lord Mayor.

Cr So last week appeared to break the confidentiality agreement surrounding the report when, under pressure from 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, he said: “Yes, we get some staff redundants. Yes, of course.”

Immediately after staff are told their fate today, the chief executive will hold talks with the Australian Services Union.

Other related coverage
Rare revolt on budget as So confirms job cuts ahead
Councillor to attend Dalai event, even if So doesn’t
Budget blow-out a ‘turn on’ for media man So
As you spend, So shall you reap?
Rudd’s Dalai Lama drama

Council Told to Cut the Fat

Following on from the $300,00 hidden Effeciency report The Age reports that the Melbourne City Council will axe a number of staff including controversol Spin Doctor Hayden Cock, Hayden Cock was goiven teh hard job of spending all of Council’s consolidated media revenue in what some have claimed to be John So’s political propoganda unit. Problem was Cok faield to deliver the goods and services as expecetd, Insxtead Melbourne sawe a blow out in the Council’s media expenditure with little gain in media exposure and benefit to the City.

In addition to the John So’s media unit Counil governnace is expecetd to also come under review.

The full costs of early termnination payout’s and redundancy has not been dislosed. It is expected that the City Council would be up for over 2 million dollars in early redundancy payouts.

Senior executives to go in council cull
Clay Lucas May 30, 2007 – 4:41PM

The Age

Melbourne City Council could cut up to 100 staff in a second round of redundancies, a report reveals.

The council is expected to save $1.5 million by sacking 26 people, including several senior executives, in the first round of redundancies, announced earlier today.

It would save a further $5.7 million in redundancies in the second round, the report says.

In the first round of redundancies, the Council will sack several senior executives, including its controversial spin doctor.

The council is set to reveal 26 redundancies as part of its biggest shake-up in 14 years, theage.com.au understands, with up to 100 more to go in the coming months.

Two directors, 10 executives and 14 staff are among those expected to be made redundant today.

Corporate affairs director Hayden Cock, whose package is worth $220,000, is believed to be among those to be made redundant.

Chief executive David Pitchford notified each of the 26 staff this morning.

The move follows the completion last month of a $300,000 report by consultants Ernst & Young on how the council could cut costs.

The report found a massive blowout in labour costs at the council, huge problems with its parking officers, a blowout in executives at the council on more than $100,000, and an explosion of spending on marketing.

Lord Mayor John So, who did not return calls, will come under immense pressure now the confidential report is public.

The report’s highly critical findings have found many problems at the council have emerged since 2002 – the year after Councillor So became Lord Mayor.

Scrap the Limos Budget Cuts driving your dollar further

The Editorial in the Herald Sun ends with a very very good idea in how to save on the City Council’s Budget…. John So can save over $250,000 dollars in annual costs just by Scraping the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Limos …. Great idea.

Not so marvellous
Herald Sun May 24, 2007 12:00am
Editorial

GOLD rushes aside, Melbourne has rarely been as marvellous as it is now.

Pulsing with life, it’s attracting visitors and new inhabitants in growing numbers. So why are the city’s finances in such disarray?

Melbourne City Council, which in the coming year will pocket almost $300 million from its various revenue streams, is in financial difficulties. It faces a budget deficit of more than $4 million and is searching for ways to fill the black hole.

The process will play out behind closed doors, but already council has flagged one measure: extending parking meter hours to 7.30pm weekdays and adding Saturday afternoons.

That ought to do wonders for one of the reasons cited for the revenue shortfall – fewer drivers coming to the city because of rising petrol prices.

Chief executive David Pitchford says cost reduction could include job cutting. But, curiously, the Herald Sun has learned that the council is actually putting on staff.

Here’s another potential starting point: Lord Mayor John So should consider parting with the Lord Mayoral limo which is estimated to cost $100,000 a year. Or else park it at one of his meters.

Scrap the Limos Budget Cuts driving your dollar further

The Editorial in the Herald Sun ends with a very very good idea in how to save on the City Council’s Budget…. John So can save over $250,000 dollars in annual costs just by Scraping the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Limos …. Great idea.

Not so marvellous
Herald Sun May 24, 2007 12:00am
Editorial

GOLD rushes aside, Melbourne has rarely been as marvellous as it is now.

Pulsing with life, it’s attracting visitors and new inhabitants in growing numbers. So why are the city’s finances in such disarray?

Melbourne City Council, which in the coming year will pocket almost $300 million from its various revenue streams, is in financial difficulties. It faces a budget deficit of more than $4 million and is searching for ways to fill the black hole.

The process will play out behind closed doors, but already council has flagged one measure: extending parking meter hours to 7.30pm weekdays and adding Saturday afternoons.

That ought to do wonders for one of the reasons cited for the revenue shortfall – fewer drivers coming to the city because of rising petrol prices.

Chief executive David Pitchford says cost reduction could include job cutting. But, curiously, the Herald Sun has learned that the council is actually putting on staff.

Here’s another potential starting point: Lord Mayor John So should consider parting with the Lord Mayoral limo which is estimated to cost $100,000 a year. Or else park it at one of his meters.