Cock’s Tender Up as Cull begins John So under pressure to make ends meet

Melbourne City Council begins to implement some of the recommendation contained in the $300,000 efficiency report as the Council begins to prune the bush and cut back on John So uncontrolled expenditure.

If anything John So has demonstrated that he has no idea of strategic investment. Wasted investments such as the Tourist Bus and lighting the Tan are just two examples of how out of touch with reality John So is from the day to day management of the Council.

John So last week faced a no-confidence motion amidst claims that he was a hands-off, removed from the coal-face, Lord Mayor.

This is one of the main problems identified with the populist direct election models. If Melbourne was sincere about good governance then it would scrape the hybrid direct election model, expand the city boundaries and the size of the elected City Council. The Lord Mayor, or at least the chairman of the Council, should be apointed from and by the elected Councillors.

There still is a long way to go and more cut backs can be expected. Still unknown is the extent of redundancy and breach of contract payouts the Council has to fork out. Again pointing to further stuff-ups and blow-outs in the City Council’s Finance.

Finance Committee Chairperson Brian Shanahan has been the one that has had to take the flack and the task of doing all the hard work. Last week Shanahan voted no-confidence in John So as the Council’s leader. Shanahan also voted against the Council’s budget. Shanahan now needs to consider whether he will continue to prop up John So and remain his silent puppet or resign from being Chairman of the Council’s the Finance Committee.


Senior executives to go in council cull
Clay Lucas, The Age May 30, 2007

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.

Other related coverage Links from the Age
Mayor survives attacks, but loses Dalai Lama fight
Big-spending mayor goes for broke
Rare revolt on budget as So confirms job cuts ahead
Budget blow-out a ‘turn on’ for media man So

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