Snedden Smeared Council avoids accountability and responsibility in providing free booze to Councillors

Melbourne City Council have indicated that Cr Snedden is under notice following recent events of unacceptable social behavior and drunkenness whilst performing duties as a Councillor Councillor – The Age March 10 – Snedden on Notice

No accountability and no responsibility.

WHOEVER The Council continues to deny and avoid accountability and responsibility for the provision of supplying Councillors and senior Staff Free booze.

We have written to to the Council on many occasions seeking publication of details of internal catering costs including the costs associated with the free supply of alcohol but the Council continue to go to extra-ordinary efforts to avoid disclosure of the full costs estimated to be over one million dollars a year.

There is no justification or need for the Council to provide free alcoholic drinks funded by ratepayers for Councillors and senior administration and it is about time Council put a stop to this activity.

– Extract from the Age newspaper March 10. –

MELBOURNE city councillor Fiona Snedden could be stripped of her role as a committee chair if she repeats this week’s drunken behaviour at the Town Hall.

But she is unlikely to be ousted as a councillor, as local government legislation does not refer to alcohol or drug use.

Cr Snedden, daughter of former federal Liberal Party leader Sir Billy Snedden, is under pressure after Tuesday’s business committee meeting, which she attempted to chair when drunk. She has since apologised and said her conduct was out of character.

Municipal Association of Victoria president Geoff Lake said yesterday that councillor conduct codes and the Local Government Act should not have to deal with alcohol use among councillors.

“It is a no-brainer. It is common sense that you should not be intoxicated when you are performing official duties,” Cr Lake said. “This is the only time I can recall … where (a councillor’s) public duties have been impeded because of intoxication.”

He said Cr Snedden’s apology and the community’s response proved it was unacceptable behaviour.

The Age believes other Melbourne councillors will raise the issue with Cr Snedden when they meet before Tuesday’s full council meeting. They will not push for her to resign at this stage. But one councillor told The Age yesterday that she would be removed as a committee chair if there was a repeat performance.

Other media reported yesterday that Cr Snedden was suffering from depression and taking medication. But she refused to discuss the issue further when contacted by The Age yesterday.

Collins Street precinct association president Don Parsons yesterday sent a letter of complaint to the council about Cr Snedden’s behaviour. Privately, some councillors expressed disbelief over Cr Snedden’s comments that the incident was a one-off.

Cr Snedden next month will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court for refusing a breath test. If found guilty, she could lose her driving licence for two years.

The Local Government Act says a councillor can only be disqualified for reasons including bankruptcy, being of unsound mind, having certain serious criminal convictions, or if they are otherwise incapable of becoming or continuing to be a councillor under the act.

In 15 months as a councillor, Cr Snedden has incurred $23,400 in expenses, more than any other councillor except the Lord Mayor ($28,000) and Deputy Lord Mayor ($42,400).

Her claims included $1200 for conferences and functions, $9180 for overseas travel and $6800 for child care. Cr Carl Jetter claimed $18,200, Cr Catherine Ng $7900, Cr Peter Clarke $5400, Cr David Wilson $3400 and Cr Fraser Brindley $2500.

Snedden Smeared Council avoids accountability and responsibility in providing free booze to Councillors

Melbourne City Council have indicated that Cr Snedden is under notice following recent events of unacceptable social behavior and drunkenness whilst performing duties as a Councillor Councillor – The Age March 10 – Snedden on Notice

No accountability and no responsibility.

WHOEVER The Council continues to deny and avoid accountability and responsibility for the provision of supplying Councillors and senior Staff Free booze.

We have written to to the Council on many occasions seeking publication of details of internal catering costs including the costs associated with the free supply of alcohol but the Council continue to go to extra-ordinary efforts to avoid disclosure of the full costs estimated to be over one million dollars a year.

There is no justification or need for the Council to provide free alcoholic drinks funded by ratepayers for Councillors and senior administration and it is about time Council put a stop to this activity.

– Extract from the Age newspaper March 10. –

MELBOURNE city councillor Fiona Snedden could be stripped of her role as a committee chair if she repeats this week’s drunken behaviour at the Town Hall.

But she is unlikely to be ousted as a councillor, as local government legislation does not refer to alcohol or drug use.

Cr Snedden, daughter of former federal Liberal Party leader Sir Billy Snedden, is under pressure after Tuesday’s business committee meeting, which she attempted to chair when drunk. She has since apologised and said her conduct was out of character.

Municipal Association of Victoria president Geoff Lake said yesterday that councillor conduct codes and the Local Government Act should not have to deal with alcohol use among councillors.

“It is a no-brainer. It is common sense that you should not be intoxicated when you are performing official duties,” Cr Lake said. “This is the only time I can recall … where (a councillor’s) public duties have been impeded because of intoxication.”

He said Cr Snedden’s apology and the community’s response proved it was unacceptable behaviour.

The Age believes other Melbourne councillors will raise the issue with Cr Snedden when they meet before Tuesday’s full council meeting. They will not push for her to resign at this stage. But one councillor told The Age yesterday that she would be removed as a committee chair if there was a repeat performance.

Other media reported yesterday that Cr Snedden was suffering from depression and taking medication. But she refused to discuss the issue further when contacted by The Age yesterday.

Collins Street precinct association president Don Parsons yesterday sent a letter of complaint to the council about Cr Snedden’s behaviour. Privately, some councillors expressed disbelief over Cr Snedden’s comments that the incident was a one-off.

Cr Snedden next month will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court for refusing a breath test. If found guilty, she could lose her driving licence for two years.

The Local Government Act says a councillor can only be disqualified for reasons including bankruptcy, being of unsound mind, having certain serious criminal convictions, or if they are otherwise incapable of becoming or continuing to be a councillor under the act.

In 15 months as a councillor, Cr Snedden has incurred $23,400 in expenses, more than any other councillor except the Lord Mayor ($28,000) and Deputy Lord Mayor ($42,400).

Her claims included $1200 for conferences and functions, $9180 for overseas travel and $6800 for child care. Cr Carl Jetter claimed $18,200, Cr Catherine Ng $7900, Cr Peter Clarke $5400, Cr David Wilson $3400 and Cr Fraser Brindley $2500.

Snedden Smeared Council avoids accountability and responsibility in providing free booze to Councillors

Melbourne City Council have indicated that Cr Snedden is under notice following recent events of unacceptable social behavior and drunkenness whilst performing duties as a Councillor Councillor – The Age March 10 – Snedden on Notice

No accountability and no responsibility.

WHOEVER The Council continues to deny and avoid accountability and responsibility for the provision of supplying Councillors and senior Staff Free booze.

We have written to to the Council on many occasions seeking publication of details of internal catering costs including the costs associated with the free supply of alcohol but the Council continue to go to extra-ordinary efforts to avoid disclosure of the full costs estimated to be over one million dollars a year.

There is no justification or need for the Council to provide free alcoholic drinks funded by ratepayers for Councillors and senior administration and it is about time Council put a stop to this activity.

– Extract from the Age newspaper March 10. –

MELBOURNE city councillor Fiona Snedden could be stripped of her role as a committee chair if she repeats this week’s drunken behaviour at the Town Hall.

But she is unlikely to be ousted as a councillor, as local government legislation does not refer to alcohol or drug use.

Cr Snedden, daughter of former federal Liberal Party leader Sir Billy Snedden, is under pressure after Tuesday’s business committee meeting, which she attempted to chair when drunk. She has since apologised and said her conduct was out of character.

Municipal Association of Victoria president Geoff Lake said yesterday that councillor conduct codes and the Local Government Act should not have to deal with alcohol use among councillors.

“It is a no-brainer. It is common sense that you should not be intoxicated when you are performing official duties,” Cr Lake said. “This is the only time I can recall … where (a councillor’s) public duties have been impeded because of intoxication.”

He said Cr Snedden’s apology and the community’s response proved it was unacceptable behaviour.

The Age believes other Melbourne councillors will raise the issue with Cr Snedden when they meet before Tuesday’s full council meeting. They will not push for her to resign at this stage. But one councillor told The Age yesterday that she would be removed as a committee chair if there was a repeat performance.

Other media reported yesterday that Cr Snedden was suffering from depression and taking medication. But she refused to discuss the issue further when contacted by The Age yesterday.

Collins Street precinct association president Don Parsons yesterday sent a letter of complaint to the council about Cr Snedden’s behaviour. Privately, some councillors expressed disbelief over Cr Snedden’s comments that the incident was a one-off.

Cr Snedden next month will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court for refusing a breath test. If found guilty, she could lose her driving licence for two years.

The Local Government Act says a councillor can only be disqualified for reasons including bankruptcy, being of unsound mind, having certain serious criminal convictions, or if they are otherwise incapable of becoming or continuing to be a councillor under the act.

In 15 months as a councillor, Cr Snedden has incurred $23,400 in expenses, more than any other councillor except the Lord Mayor ($28,000) and Deputy Lord Mayor ($42,400).

Her claims included $1200 for conferences and functions, $9180 for overseas travel and $6800 for child care. Cr Carl Jetter claimed $18,200, Cr Catherine Ng $7900, Cr Peter Clarke $5400, Cr David Wilson $3400 and Cr Fraser Brindley $2500.

Drunk on duty Melbourne City Council Free alcohol under review

Guilty of chairing a public meeting whilst drunk.

Call to put an end to free piss ups and free booze for Councillors and Staff and adopt a “No drinking whilst on the job” policy.

Reports in the Age Newspaper and Herald Sun March 9, 2006 about Councilllor Snedden being too drink to chair a meeting comes as no surprise and confirm our concern and need for the City of Melbourne to review its free booze policy. This situation confronts all Councillors and senior staff who have access to the booze cabinet.

Melbourne City Councillors this month are more concerned about the fun and freebies in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games then they are with issues of governance and administration.

Councillor Snedd0n was not the first and sadly will not be the last as long as the Council continue to provide free booze top senior staff and Councillors.

Whilst Cr Fiona Snedden must accept responsibility for he own actions the City Council must also share some responsibility for the situation that Cr Snedden found herself in after last Tuesday’s Council meeting. There are questions as to the Council’s overall legal liability and duty of care.

The City of Melbourne continue to provide free on tap booze to councillors who often find themselves in the situation where they drink too much free booze. Te cost of this free booze fountain is all paid for by the ratepayer.

Hopefully we will not see a repeat of this sort of behaviour and the Councillors will not need to undergo a breathalyzer test before taking to the stage or handed the gavel.

The City Council must put an end to the free bar tab and restrict the supply of alcohol to staff and councillors.

Drunk on duty Melbourne City Council Free alcohol under review

Guilty of chairing a public meeting whilst drunk.

Call to put an end to free piss ups and free booze for Councillors and Staff and adopt a “No drinking whilst on the job” policy.

Reports in the Age Newspaper and Herald Sun March 9, 2006 about Councilllor Snedden being too drink to chair a meeting comes as no surprise and confirm our concern and need for the City of Melbourne to review its free booze policy. This situation confronts all Councillors and senior staff who have access to the booze cabinet.

Melbourne City Councillors this month are more concerned about the fun and freebies in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games then they are with issues of governance and administration.

Councillor Snedd0n was not the first and sadly will not be the last as long as the Council continue to provide free booze top senior staff and Councillors.

Whilst Cr Fiona Snedden must accept responsibility for he own actions the City Council must also share some responsibility for the situation that Cr Snedden found herself in after last Tuesday’s Council meeting. There are questions as to the Council’s overall legal liability and duty of care.

The City of Melbourne continue to provide free on tap booze to councillors who often find themselves in the situation where they drink too much free booze. Te cost of this free booze fountain is all paid for by the ratepayer.

Hopefully we will not see a repeat of this sort of behaviour and the Councillors will not need to undergo a breathalyzer test before taking to the stage or handed the gavel.

The City Council must put an end to the free bar tab and restrict the supply of alcohol to staff and councillors.

Drunk on duty Melbourne City Council Free alcohol under review

Guilty of chairing a public meeting whilst drunk.

Call to put an end to free piss ups and free booze for Councillors and Staff and adopt a “No drinking whilst on the job” policy.

Reports in the Age Newspaper and Herald Sun March 9, 2006 about Councilllor Snedden being too drink to chair a meeting comes as no surprise and confirm our concern and need for the City of Melbourne to review its free booze policy. This situation confronts all Councillors and senior staff who have access to the booze cabinet.

Melbourne City Councillors this month are more concerned about the fun and freebies in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games then they are with issues of governance and administration.

Councillor Snedd0n was not the first and sadly will not be the last as long as the Council continue to provide free booze top senior staff and Councillors.

Whilst Cr Fiona Snedden must accept responsibility for he own actions the City Council must also share some responsibility for the situation that Cr Snedden found herself in after last Tuesday’s Council meeting. There are questions as to the Council’s overall legal liability and duty of care.

The City of Melbourne continue to provide free on tap booze to councillors who often find themselves in the situation where they drink too much free booze. Te cost of this free booze fountain is all paid for by the ratepayer.

Hopefully we will not see a repeat of this sort of behaviour and the Councillors will not need to undergo a breathalyzer test before taking to the stage or handed the gavel.

The City Council must put an end to the free bar tab and restrict the supply of alcohol to staff and councillors.

Sustaining Dinners City of Melbourne asked to fund migrating dinner at $45,000

Geoff Lawler, City of Melbourne Sustainability (sic) Director, is proposing that the City of Melbourne spend $45,000 on a dinner for up to 500 Migration conference delegates, to be held in October 2007,and if that is too steep then an alternative proposal suggest the Council spend $18,000 for a piss-up cocktail drinks night.

There is no wonder the City of Melbourne does not want to publish the costs of its internal catering bill. The conference according to Joe Groher, Manager Financial Services, will be funded via normal budget processes. (Which 2007/8 budget Item in would that be Joe?)

The conference is consistent with Council’s policy aims expressed in City Plan 2010 for the
City of Melbourne to be an inclusive, engaging, innovative and connected city and society. (I guess just about any event would be deemed consistent the aims of City Plan 2010)

The cost of any piss-up or state dinner should be paid for by the Event organisers or if it is considered necessary by the State or Federal Government who are also sponsoring this event.

Mind you the City of Melbourne appears not taken into consideration that some of the delegates may be from Islamic Countries or other cultures that don’t drink alcohol.

The City of Melbourne if anything should put on a BBQ sizzle/Meat-pie spread and something light for vegetarians (budget $2-3,000) and stop wasting ratepayers money picking up the tab for every circus or event that comes to town. (The cost to the environment for this event approx 5,000 trees worth of Co2 emissions).

The $45,000 proposed expenditure could be better spent on more sustainable events and needs.

UPDATE:

Pigs with snouts in the trough. Ratepayers money to burn

Melbourne City Council without debate appoved $45,000 direct subsidy for a conference dinner. This sets a precidnets wheer every circus that comes to town and every event ofanisier can excpect Coucnil to fork out up to $90 a head for a free meal. We will have great insterest in reminding the community of theextent of Council’s generousity when it comes to requests for assistance and subsidies.

Up until now Cr Clarke had a reasonable record of spending Council’s funds wisely. Shame Council Shame.

5.4. International Metropolis Conference, Melbourne, 8-12 October 2007

The purpose of this report was to recommend that Council agree to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Resolved:

That the Community and Culture Committee recommend to Council that it resolve to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Moved: Cr Clarke
Seconded: Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer
Carried unanimously

Sustaining Dinners City of Melbourne asked to fund migrating dinner at $45,000

Geoff Lawler, City of Melbourne Sustainability (sic) Director, is proposing that the City of Melbourne spend $45,000 on a dinner for up to 500 Migration conference delegates, to be held in October 2007,and if that is too steep then an alternative proposal suggest the Council spend $18,000 for a piss-up cocktail drinks night.

There is no wonder the City of Melbourne does not want to publish the costs of its internal catering bill. The conference according to Joe Groher, Manager Financial Services, will be funded via normal budget processes. (Which 2007/8 budget Item in would that be Joe?)

The conference is consistent with Council’s policy aims expressed in City Plan 2010 for the
City of Melbourne to be an inclusive, engaging, innovative and connected city and society. (I guess just about any event would be deemed consistent the aims of City Plan 2010)

The cost of any piss-up or state dinner should be paid for by the Event organisers or if it is considered necessary by the State or Federal Government who are also sponsoring this event.

Mind you the City of Melbourne appears not taken into consideration that some of the delegates may be from Islamic Countries or other cultures that don’t drink alcohol.

The City of Melbourne if anything should put on a BBQ sizzle/Meat-pie spread and something light for vegetarians (budget $2-3,000) and stop wasting ratepayers money picking up the tab for every circus or event that comes to town. (The cost to the environment for this event approx 5,000 trees worth of Co2 emissions).

The $45,000 proposed expenditure could be better spent on more sustainable events and needs.

UPDATE:

Pigs with snouts in the trough. Ratepayers money to burn

Melbourne City Council without debate appoved $45,000 direct subsidy for a conference dinner. This sets a precidnets wheer every circus that comes to town and every event ofanisier can excpect Coucnil to fork out up to $90 a head for a free meal. We will have great insterest in reminding the community of theextent of Council’s generousity when it comes to requests for assistance and subsidies.

Up until now Cr Clarke had a reasonable record of spending Council’s funds wisely. Shame Council Shame.

5.4. International Metropolis Conference, Melbourne, 8-12 October 2007

The purpose of this report was to recommend that Council agree to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Resolved:

That the Community and Culture Committee recommend to Council that it resolve to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Moved: Cr Clarke
Seconded: Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer
Carried unanimously

Sustaining Dinners City of Melbourne asked to fund migrating dinner at $45,000

Geoff Lawler, City of Melbourne Sustainability (sic) Director, is proposing that the City of Melbourne spend $45,000 on a dinner for up to 500 Migration conference delegates, to be held in October 2007,and if that is too steep then an alternative proposal suggest the Council spend $18,000 for a piss-up cocktail drinks night.

There is no wonder the City of Melbourne does not want to publish the costs of its internal catering bill. The conference according to Joe Groher, Manager Financial Services, will be funded via normal budget processes. (Which 2007/8 budget Item in would that be Joe?)

The conference is consistent with Council’s policy aims expressed in City Plan 2010 for the
City of Melbourne to be an inclusive, engaging, innovative and connected city and society. (I guess just about any event would be deemed consistent the aims of City Plan 2010)

The cost of any piss-up or state dinner should be paid for by the Event organisers or if it is considered necessary by the State or Federal Government who are also sponsoring this event.

Mind you the City of Melbourne appears not taken into consideration that some of the delegates may be from Islamic Countries or other cultures that don’t drink alcohol.

The City of Melbourne if anything should put on a BBQ sizzle/Meat-pie spread and something light for vegetarians (budget $2-3,000) and stop wasting ratepayers money picking up the tab for every circus or event that comes to town. (The cost to the environment for this event approx 5,000 trees worth of Co2 emissions).

The $45,000 proposed expenditure could be better spent on more sustainable events and needs.

UPDATE:

Pigs with snouts in the trough. Ratepayers money to burn

Melbourne City Council without debate appoved $45,000 direct subsidy for a conference dinner. This sets a precidnets wheer every circus that comes to town and every event ofanisier can excpect Coucnil to fork out up to $90 a head for a free meal. We will have great insterest in reminding the community of theextent of Council’s generousity when it comes to requests for assistance and subsidies.

Up until now Cr Clarke had a reasonable record of spending Council’s funds wisely. Shame Council Shame.

5.4. International Metropolis Conference, Melbourne, 8-12 October 2007

The purpose of this report was to recommend that Council agree to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Resolved:

That the Community and Culture Committee recommend to Council that it resolve to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Moved: Cr Clarke
Seconded: Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer
Carried unanimously

Free Booze, Food and no expense City Council refuses to disclose cost of Council’s wining and dining at ratepayers’ expense

Melbourne City Council on Tuesday, February 7, failed to consider a report calling on the City council to provide a financial breakdown of departmental costs for in-house catering (food, beverages and free alcohol) which is believed to cost ratepayers’ around one million dollars.

City of Melbourne private club – free food and booze paid for by the ratepayer. No acountability required.

The City of Melbourne provides Councillor’s and Senior Staff with a fully-stocked top shelf bar, free snacks and regular 3 course meals. Whilst some Councillors regular report on the poor quality and standard of food served by the City Council’s caterers the costs for this service are not cheap but remain hidden.

Censorship and ongoing avoidance of disclosure

The City Council is so keen to protect their fringe benefits that they refused to consider or even make copies of the report available for public scrutiny. The report was listed for consideration on Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) meeting, chaired by Labor Councilor Brian Shanahan. The report called on the City Council to publish a break down of the financial cost of in-house catering and the provision of alcohol as well as the costs asscoiated with the Lord Maypr and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded Limousine.

Ignorance is bliss

In previous years this information was readily available and published in the monthly financial statements. The Council no longer provides this information. It is understood that not even the elected Council are aware of the full extent of costs of in-house catering and the cost of the Limousines.

The City of Melbourne maintain a multimillion dollar accounting system and we understand that a break-down of in-house catering and transport cost is readily available but the Council continue to go to extraordinary levels to prevent this information being made public. WHY? Councillors are unaware of the full extent of costs. (One Councilor was reported as saying they were not aware as to full the extent of costs associated with Council’s staff overseas and interstate travel – over $400,000 in the last 12 months – having only just found out when the Council finally published its Travel Register last week)

Too Drunk to Govern

The Alcohol bill alone is in the 10’s of thousands of dollars as Councillors and Senior staff help themselves to a free drink or two or more.

We fail to see why ratepayers’ should be paying for Councillors and staff drink tab. It certainly is not part of their duties. Were not saying that the Council should not host the occasional Town Hall dinner/function where alcohol is served but Council certainly should not be providing a fee bar – all you can drink service during the working day. There are questions of responsibility, liability and legalities. There are numerous regular reports of Councillors being too drunk to fulfill their duties or even drive home as a result of a day at the office.

Our City Council should stop trying to avoid accountability and inform the public of the true cost of in-house catering and Council’s alcohol expenses.