Junkets Away: Most Travelled 2008-2012

The Melbourne City Council – High Cost Travellers
(Above $10,000)
Dec-2008 to December 2012

Total amount spent:

 $      1,200,714.00
Interstate and Overseas Travel
Name Cost
Kathy Alexander $83,671.25
Jane Sharwood S66,423.46
Robert Doyle $55,254.80
Peter Clarke $50,736.55
Alister Paterson $39,768.80
Susan Riley $27,084.08
Brian Shanahan $25,010.37
Scott Chapman $24,836.87
Amelia Bitsis $23,271.23
Kevin Louey $22,715.35
David Campbell $21,683.73
Geoff Robinson $21,167.06
Martin Cutter $20,903.21
Fran Kerlin $20,872.83
Barry McGuren $19,730.73
Simon Spain $18,031.48
Rob Adams $16,229.47
Cathy Oke $15,917.67
Janey Chu $15,540.04
Geoff Lawler $14,641.91
Krista Milne $12,891.08
Ken Ong $12,829.19
Rob Moore $12,820.80
Ralf Pfleiderer $12,113.28
Janina Harding $11,685.78
Alex Fearnside $10,963.06
Ian Winter $10,800.52
Shane McIllory $10,300.73
Michelle Isles $10,153.39

Individual Trips costing over $10,000
Name Cost From To
Kathy Alexander $32,199.83 07-Jun-12 19-Jun-12
Scott Chapman $24,181.87 20-Mar-09 04-Apr-09
Peter Clarke $20,566.58 10-Oct-09 17-Oct-09
Peter Clarke $18,159.67 28-Sep-10 07-Oct-10
Fran Kerlin $17,994.00 19-Jul-12 03-Aug-12
Robert Doyle $17,264.62 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Amelia Bitsis $16,076.79 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Janey Chu $15,540.04 13-Oct-10 23-Oct-10
Alister Paterson $14,167.41 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Barry McGuren $14,127.15 23-Jul-12 29-Jul-12
Geoff Robinson $13,097.13 15-Mar-10 25-Mar-10
Brian Shanahan $12,676.53 12-Dec-10 18-Dec-10
Rob Moore $12,496.50 04-Apr-11 10-Apr-11
Jane Sharwood $12,254.89 11-Dec-10 18-Dec-10
Peter Clarke $11,431.66 05-Apr-11 09-Apr-11
Kevin Louey $11,313.63 17-Oct-10 27-Oct-10
Kathy Alexander $11,225.83 17-Oct-10 26-Oct-10
Susan Riley $11,157.38 17-Oct-10 26-Oct-10
Martin Cutter $11,134.51 13-Aug-11 20-Aug-11
Robert Doyle $10,782.34 08-Oct-11 14-Oct-11
Jane Sharwood $10,642.64 17-Oct-10 23-Oct-10
Jane Sharwood $10,519.00 19-Feb-12 27-Feb-12
Geoff Lawler $10,425.00 14-Nov-09 22-Nov-09
Alex Fearnside $10,092.49 12-Jun-09 26-Jun-09
Ralf Pfleiderer $10,000.00 07-May-12 29-May-12

 * Note: The City of Melbourne titles or departments as such we can not produce a High Cost Travelled Departments.  The Council goes out of its way to avoid disclosure and accountability 

Junkets Away: Councillors Overseas Travel

Five months late the City of Melbourne has finally published it’s Overseas and Interstate Travel costs for the term of the previous Council (Dec-2008 to Nov-2012)

Topping the bill of the most travelled Councillors is the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle

Interstate and Overseas Travel – Total
Councillor Cost
Robert Doyle $55,254.80
Peter Clarke $50,736.55
Susan Riley $27,084.08
Brian Shanahan $25,010.37
Kevin Louey $22,715.35
Cathy Oke $15,917.67
Ken Ong $12,829.19
Carl Jetter $3,956.08
Rob Adams $2,670.60
Jennifer Kanis $40.27

Strike while the iron is hot Peter Clarke pushes for electoral reform

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has moved a motion to kick start voter reform for the City of Melbourne in the wake of Melbourne’s non-spectacular flop of an election last month.

Whilst electoral reform review is long overdue and should have been canvassed by the previous Council the proposal put forward by Clarke is half backed and falls short of community expectations.

The current system of representation has failed to deliver good governance and the newly elected council shows little sign of improvement more of a back slide into a council of ridicule and rip-off. Missing in Clarke’s proposal is a review of the City of Melbourne’s external boundaries and the need to consider a Greater Melbourne option.

The Clarke proposal failed to mention a review of the direct election of Lord Mayor and the leadership team structure.

The motion put forward by Clarke needs further review,consideration and direction.

For example: Who is going to conduct this review? Will it be the City Council itself or the morally corrupt and incompetent Victorian Electoral Commission? Neither body is capable of delivering the level of review and independence that the city requires.

Without a well spelt out, all encompassing ,terms of reference we can not expect any review to deliver on expectations.

You can not resolve the problems facing the City of Melbourne in isolation.

In the end it is the State Government that must take responsibility for any review. The Council needs to call on the State Government to show leadership and governance (something that has been remiss when it comes to the City of Melbourne).

The City Council needs to outline in more detail its proposed terms of reference and call on the State Government to commit to a wide review that involves all Melbourne’s inner City municipalities. The Council needs seek a commitment for the State Government to a time frame and method of a review and in doing so needs to make sure that the review addresses all the real issues and is not just window dressing.

The other issue of concern is Clarke’s proposed reintroduction of exhaustive preferential ballots. This must be rejected outright as it is undemocratic and a back slide into the past where 50%+1 elected three or more Councillors. If we are to re-embrace multi-member wards then it must be on the basis of proportional representation.

Clarke’s motion , whilst a small step in the right direction, needs more work and serious consideration not just quick fix ideas, a slap them up, half baked proposal dreamt up between Christmas cocktails and celebratory drinks, designed to fill the blank pages of the council’s agenda.

C O U N C I L M E E T I N G
Agenda Item 6.2 – 16 December 2008

NOTICE OF MOTION:
CR CLARKE, ELECTORAL REVIEW, CITY OF MELBOURNE

Motion
1. That the City of Melbourne request the Minister for Local Government to immediately
commence a review of the provisions of the City of Melbourne Electoral Act, including
but not limited to:
1.1. governance processes;
1.2. voting system (is exhaustive preferential and proportional);
1.3. the number of Councillors and possible re-introduction of wards; and
1.4. other matters the community may wish to consider.
Background
2. The previous Council agreed to a review post the 2008 election. During the 2008 election
campaign, all elected councillors agreed to support a review of the current system.
3. The community via CORBA – Coalition of Resident and Business Associations – has
pressed the urgency of the need for an electoral review. We must respond and act
decisively whilst the election is fresh in our consciousness.

Moved: Cr Clarke

Strike while the iron is hot Peter Clarke pushes for electoral reform

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has moved a motion to kick start voter reform for the City of Melbourne in the wake of Melbourne’s non-spectacular flop of an election last month.

Whilst electoral reform review is long overdue and should have been canvassed by the previous Council the proposal put forward by Clarke is half backed and falls short of community expectations.

The current system of representation has failed to deliver good governance and the newly elected council shows little sign of improvement more of a back slide into a council of ridicule and rip-off. Missing in Clarke’s proposal is a review of the City of Melbourne’s external boundaries and the need to consider a Greater Melbourne option.

The Clarke proposal failed to mention a review of the direct election of Lord Mayor and the leadership team structure.

The motion put forward by Clarke needs further review,consideration and direction.

For example: Who is going to conduct this review? Will it be the City Council itself or the morally corrupt and incompetent Victorian Electoral Commission? Neither body is capable of delivering the level of review and independence that the city requires.

Without a well spelt out, all encompassing ,terms of reference we can not expect any review to deliver on expectations.

You can not resolve the problems facing the City of Melbourne in isolation.

In the end it is the State Government that must take responsibility for any review. The Council needs to call on the State Government to show leadership and governance (something that has been remiss when it comes to the City of Melbourne).

The City Council needs to outline in more detail its proposed terms of reference and call on the State Government to commit to a wide review that involves all Melbourne’s inner City municipalities. The Council needs seek a commitment for the State Government to a time frame and method of a review and in doing so needs to make sure that the review addresses all the real issues and is not just window dressing.

The other issue of concern is Clarke’s proposed reintroduction of exhaustive preferential ballots. This must be rejected outright as it is undemocratic and a back slide into the past where 50%+1 elected three or more Councillors. If we are to re-embrace multi-member wards then it must be on the basis of proportional representation.

Clarke’s motion , whilst a small step in the right direction, needs more work and serious consideration not just quick fix ideas, a slap them up, half baked proposal dreamt up between Christmas cocktails and celebratory drinks, designed to fill the blank pages of the council’s agenda.

C O U N C I L M E E T I N G
Agenda Item 6.2 – 16 December 2008

NOTICE OF MOTION:
CR CLARKE, ELECTORAL REVIEW, CITY OF MELBOURNE

Motion
1. That the City of Melbourne request the Minister for Local Government to immediately
commence a review of the provisions of the City of Melbourne Electoral Act, including
but not limited to:
1.1. governance processes;
1.2. voting system (is exhaustive preferential and proportional);
1.3. the number of Councillors and possible re-introduction of wards; and
1.4. other matters the community may wish to consider.
Background
2. The previous Council agreed to a review post the 2008 election. During the 2008 election
campaign, all elected councillors agreed to support a review of the current system.
3. The community via CORBA – Coalition of Resident and Business Associations – has
pressed the urgency of the need for an electoral review. We must respond and act
decisively whilst the election is fresh in our consciousness.

Moved: Cr Clarke

Strike while the iron is hot Peter Clarke pushes for electoral reform

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has moved a motion to kick start voter reform for the City of Melbourne in the wake of Melbourne’s non-spectacular flop of an election last month.

Whilst electoral reform review is long overdue and should have been canvassed by the previous Council the proposal put forward by Clarke is half backed and falls short of community expectations.

The current system of representation has failed to deliver good governance and the newly elected council shows little sign of improvement more of a back slide into a council of ridicule and rip-off. Missing in Clarke’s proposal is a review of the City of Melbourne’s external boundaries and the need to consider a Greater Melbourne option.

The Clarke proposal failed to mention a review of the direct election of Lord Mayor and the leadership team structure.

The motion put forward by Clarke needs further review,consideration and direction.

For example: Who is going to conduct this review? Will it be the City Council itself or the morally corrupt and incompetent Victorian Electoral Commission? Neither body is capable of delivering the level of review and independence that the city requires.

Without a well spelt out, all encompassing ,terms of reference we can not expect any review to deliver on expectations.

You can not resolve the problems facing the City of Melbourne in isolation.

In the end it is the State Government that must take responsibility for any review. The Council needs to call on the State Government to show leadership and governance (something that has been remiss when it comes to the City of Melbourne).

The City Council needs to outline in more detail its proposed terms of reference and call on the State Government to commit to a wide review that involves all Melbourne’s inner City municipalities. The Council needs seek a commitment for the State Government to a time frame and method of a review and in doing so needs to make sure that the review addresses all the real issues and is not just window dressing.

The other issue of concern is Clarke’s proposed reintroduction of exhaustive preferential ballots. This must be rejected outright as it is undemocratic and a back slide into the past where 50%+1 elected three or more Councillors. If we are to re-embrace multi-member wards then it must be on the basis of proportional representation.

Clarke’s motion , whilst a small step in the right direction, needs more work and serious consideration not just quick fix ideas, a slap them up, half baked proposal dreamt up between Christmas cocktails and celebratory drinks, designed to fill the blank pages of the council’s agenda.

C O U N C I L M E E T I N G
Agenda Item 6.2 – 16 December 2008

NOTICE OF MOTION:
CR CLARKE, ELECTORAL REVIEW, CITY OF MELBOURNE

Motion
1. That the City of Melbourne request the Minister for Local Government to immediately
commence a review of the provisions of the City of Melbourne Electoral Act, including
but not limited to:
1.1. governance processes;
1.2. voting system (is exhaustive preferential and proportional);
1.3. the number of Councillors and possible re-introduction of wards; and
1.4. other matters the community may wish to consider.
Background
2. The previous Council agreed to a review post the 2008 election. During the 2008 election
campaign, all elected councillors agreed to support a review of the current system.
3. The community via CORBA – Coalition of Resident and Business Associations – has
pressed the urgency of the need for an electoral review. We must respond and act
decisively whilst the election is fresh in our consciousness.

Moved: Cr Clarke

New Clowns Selected for new season performance

Melbourne City Council has elected the best of the best – new Clowns and some of our favorite clowns returned to office

Starring:

Leadership Team
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle (2008-)
Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley (2001-2004, 2008-

Councillors:
Peter Clarke (2004-)
Carl Jetter (2004-)
Jennifer Kanis (2008-)
Kevin Louey (2008)
Cathy Oke (2008-)
Ken Ong (2008-)
Brian Shanahan (2004-)

New Clowns Selected for new season performance

Melbourne City Council has elected the best of the best – new Clowns and some of our favorite clowns returned to office

Starring:

Leadership Team
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle (2008-)
Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley (2001-2004, 2008-

Councillors:
Peter Clarke (2004-)
Carl Jetter (2004-)
Jennifer Kanis (2008-)
Kevin Louey (2008)
Cathy Oke (2008-)
Ken Ong (2008-)
Brian Shanahan (2004-)

New Clowns Selected for new season performance

Melbourne City Council has elected the best of the best – new Clowns and some of our favorite clowns returned to office

Starring:

Leadership Team
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle (2008-)
Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley (2001-2004, 2008-

Councillors:
Peter Clarke (2004-)
Carl Jetter (2004-)
Jennifer Kanis (2008-)
Kevin Louey (2008)
Cathy Oke (2008-)
Ken Ong (2008-)
Brian Shanahan (2004-)

Grand Prix promotion So spends ratepayers money in race for reelection next year

John So came under fire for what is seen as misuse of council funds to help promote John So in the lead to next years Lord Mayor Race.

Two weeks ago John So unilaterally authorised the expenditure of $100,000 of un-budgeted funding. It was only after complaints from fellow councillors that john So was forced to hold a special council meeting to seek approval of the extraordinary payment.

Cr Clarke has come out criticizing the deal struck between the Lord Mayor and the Grand Prix corporation as a means of John So securing a prominent role in this years Grand prix event in return for the City Council agreeing to foot the $100,000 bill for the extravaganza promo.

Jon So reputation as “the man that can not say No” continues unabated.

Council funds used to promote So, say critics
Clay Lucas, The Age
February 27, 2007

LORD Mayor John So used council money to buy a prominent media role in this week’s Grand Prix warm-up in Carlton, according to his Town Hall critics.

A draft contract between Melbourne City Council and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, obtained yesterday by The Age, shows a condition of the council’s $100,000 sponsorship of Saturday’s Ferrari Festival was that the Lord Mayor be guaranteed a prominent role.

“Is sponsorship of an event like this meant to be about promoting the City of Melbourne or the Lord Mayor?” said Cr Fraser Brindley.

“The State Government sponsors plenty of events, but does Steve Bracks get a guarantee to speak?” he said.

On Saturday, 60 vintage Ferraris and a Formula One car will drive down Lygon Street, to promote the Grand Prix on March 18.

Leaked internal emails show that council officers demanded in December that Cr So be given a role in Saturday’s event if it were to go ahead.

The council also requested that, as part of the sponsorship deal, the Lord Mayor and his chief executive, David Pitchford, get tickets to the Grand Prix’s $2970-a-head Paddock Club — touted on the event’s website as “the ultimate in corporate hospitality”.

The deal was drafted in January — a month before councillors other than Cr So or his deputy, Gary Singer, were told about the event. The contract also guarantees Cr Singer “an official role at the launch”.

Cr Peter Clarke said the sponsorship was proof council funds were being used to promote John So. “This smacks of buying media opportunities,” Cr Clarke said.

Cr So and his embattled chief executive, whose contract is up for negotiation, earlier this month decreed that Melbourne City Council sponsor the event — despite internal advice that the council could not afford it.

No other councillors were told about the deal until February 6, despite Cr So and his chief executive having agreed to it in December.

The Lord Mayor last night said he had not “bought” media opportunities, arguing that officers must have negotiated media opportunities for him without consulting him.

“I am passionate about promoting Melbourne — I have no other motives,” Cr So said.

The internal council emails also reveal that it was negotiating with VicRoads over a 100 km/h drive-through for the Formula One car in the event.

Grand Prix chief executive Tim Bamford and Cr Singer have repeatedly denied their organisations had discussed a speed limit of 100 km/h for the Formula One car.

Grand Prix promotion So spends ratepayers money in race for reelection next year

John So came under fire for what is seen as misuse of council funds to help promote John So in the lead to next years Lord Mayor Race.

Two weeks ago John So unilaterally authorised the expenditure of $100,000 of un-budgeted funding. It was only after complaints from fellow councillors that john So was forced to hold a special council meeting to seek approval of the extraordinary payment.

Cr Clarke has come out criticizing the deal struck between the Lord Mayor and the Grand Prix corporation as a means of John So securing a prominent role in this years Grand prix event in return for the City Council agreeing to foot the $100,000 bill for the extravaganza promo.

Jon So reputation as “the man that can not say No” continues unabated.

Council funds used to promote So, say critics
Clay Lucas, The Age
February 27, 2007

LORD Mayor John So used council money to buy a prominent media role in this week’s Grand Prix warm-up in Carlton, according to his Town Hall critics.

A draft contract between Melbourne City Council and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, obtained yesterday by The Age, shows a condition of the council’s $100,000 sponsorship of Saturday’s Ferrari Festival was that the Lord Mayor be guaranteed a prominent role.

“Is sponsorship of an event like this meant to be about promoting the City of Melbourne or the Lord Mayor?” said Cr Fraser Brindley.

“The State Government sponsors plenty of events, but does Steve Bracks get a guarantee to speak?” he said.

On Saturday, 60 vintage Ferraris and a Formula One car will drive down Lygon Street, to promote the Grand Prix on March 18.

Leaked internal emails show that council officers demanded in December that Cr So be given a role in Saturday’s event if it were to go ahead.

The council also requested that, as part of the sponsorship deal, the Lord Mayor and his chief executive, David Pitchford, get tickets to the Grand Prix’s $2970-a-head Paddock Club — touted on the event’s website as “the ultimate in corporate hospitality”.

The deal was drafted in January — a month before councillors other than Cr So or his deputy, Gary Singer, were told about the event. The contract also guarantees Cr Singer “an official role at the launch”.

Cr Peter Clarke said the sponsorship was proof council funds were being used to promote John So. “This smacks of buying media opportunities,” Cr Clarke said.

Cr So and his embattled chief executive, whose contract is up for negotiation, earlier this month decreed that Melbourne City Council sponsor the event — despite internal advice that the council could not afford it.

No other councillors were told about the deal until February 6, despite Cr So and his chief executive having agreed to it in December.

The Lord Mayor last night said he had not “bought” media opportunities, arguing that officers must have negotiated media opportunities for him without consulting him.

“I am passionate about promoting Melbourne — I have no other motives,” Cr So said.

The internal council emails also reveal that it was negotiating with VicRoads over a 100 km/h drive-through for the Formula One car in the event.

Grand Prix chief executive Tim Bamford and Cr Singer have repeatedly denied their organisations had discussed a speed limit of 100 km/h for the Formula One car.

Grand Prix promotion So spends ratepayers money in race for reelection next year

John So came under fire for what is seen as misuse of council funds to help promote John So in the lead to next years Lord Mayor Race.

Two weeks ago John So unilaterally authorised the expenditure of $100,000 of un-budgeted funding. It was only after complaints from fellow councillors that john So was forced to hold a special council meeting to seek approval of the extraordinary payment.

Cr Clarke has come out criticizing the deal struck between the Lord Mayor and the Grand Prix corporation as a means of John So securing a prominent role in this years Grand prix event in return for the City Council agreeing to foot the $100,000 bill for the extravaganza promo.

Jon So reputation as “the man that can not say No” continues unabated.

Council funds used to promote So, say critics
Clay Lucas, The Age
February 27, 2007

LORD Mayor John So used council money to buy a prominent media role in this week’s Grand Prix warm-up in Carlton, according to his Town Hall critics.

A draft contract between Melbourne City Council and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, obtained yesterday by The Age, shows a condition of the council’s $100,000 sponsorship of Saturday’s Ferrari Festival was that the Lord Mayor be guaranteed a prominent role.

“Is sponsorship of an event like this meant to be about promoting the City of Melbourne or the Lord Mayor?” said Cr Fraser Brindley.

“The State Government sponsors plenty of events, but does Steve Bracks get a guarantee to speak?” he said.

On Saturday, 60 vintage Ferraris and a Formula One car will drive down Lygon Street, to promote the Grand Prix on March 18.

Leaked internal emails show that council officers demanded in December that Cr So be given a role in Saturday’s event if it were to go ahead.

The council also requested that, as part of the sponsorship deal, the Lord Mayor and his chief executive, David Pitchford, get tickets to the Grand Prix’s $2970-a-head Paddock Club — touted on the event’s website as “the ultimate in corporate hospitality”.

The deal was drafted in January — a month before councillors other than Cr So or his deputy, Gary Singer, were told about the event. The contract also guarantees Cr Singer “an official role at the launch”.

Cr Peter Clarke said the sponsorship was proof council funds were being used to promote John So. “This smacks of buying media opportunities,” Cr Clarke said.

Cr So and his embattled chief executive, whose contract is up for negotiation, earlier this month decreed that Melbourne City Council sponsor the event — despite internal advice that the council could not afford it.

No other councillors were told about the deal until February 6, despite Cr So and his chief executive having agreed to it in December.

The Lord Mayor last night said he had not “bought” media opportunities, arguing that officers must have negotiated media opportunities for him without consulting him.

“I am passionate about promoting Melbourne — I have no other motives,” Cr So said.

The internal council emails also reveal that it was negotiating with VicRoads over a 100 km/h drive-through for the Formula One car in the event.

Grand Prix chief executive Tim Bamford and Cr Singer have repeatedly denied their organisations had discussed a speed limit of 100 km/h for the Formula One car.

John So $100,000.00 bankrupt fast ride Ron Walker extracts ratepayers’ money from Lord Mayor without authority

Extraordinary revelations John So has on his own volition without approval from the City Council allocated $100,000 to fund Ron Walker’s Grand Prix extravaganza.

Deal done behind closed doors without City Council approval

There is ongoing concern as to the legality of John So – “Who can not say No” deal. Issues such as permission to close off public streets, security and public liability are still unresolved.

City Council offers in December last year had rejected approaches made by the Grand Prix Organization for the City Council to fund the $100,000 John So extravaganza.

John So has overstepped his authority. The State Government, the State Ombudsman and State Auditor General must investigate to reassure ratepayers that the Lord Mayor’s has acted within the terms of his authority. Calls by Cr Clarke and other City Councillors must not fall on death ears.

All ready the City Council’s projected income is $4 Million Dollars below expected revenue.

The allocation of 100,000 for this event is not included in the City Council’s budget. Other programs and events seeking public funding will have to be sacrificed to make ends meet.

If it turns out John So has acted improper then he should resign forthwith.

The City Council meets tomorrow to consider this issue. It is unclear if this matter will be discussed on open public session.

So $100,000 Grand Prix deal riles council
Sourek: The Age
Clay Lucas
February 12, 2007

JOHN So has reinforced his reputation as the Lord Mayor who cannot say no, especially when Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker pays a visit to Town Hall.

A report into Melbourne City Council’s deal to sponsor next month’s Grand Prix warm-up in Lygon Street has found that the Lord Mayor unilaterally decreed that $100,000 in funding be found for the event.

Cr So’s decision to use public funds to pay for the Ferrari promotion came despite council officers having already rejected the Grand Prix Corporation’s overtures for funding.

The Lord Mayor pledged the sponsorship after a meeting with Mr Walker and Grand Prix boss Tim Bamford on January 23.

But council officers told the Grand Prix Corporation in December that the council could not afford to fund the Lygon Street Ferrari Festival.

No other councillors were consulted before Cr So told chief executive David Pitchford — whose $300,000 contract is up for renewal next month — to find $100,000 in funding for the event.

“This is a deal done behind closed doors,” said Cr Peter Clarke, who yesterday called for an Ombudsman investigation into the sponsorship.

“There is only one place to allocate public money like this: in a public forum. How many other times has public money has been allocated in this way?”

Finance chairman Brian Shanahan was also dismayed that council money was being spent on an event for the Grand Prix Corporation. “We are around $4 million down on our expected parking revenue. We should be avoiding expenditures like this, especially when the Grand Prix can pay for it,” he said.

Cr So, who is overseas, did not comment yesterday. But Mr Pitchford issued a statement saying there had been “no abuse of power”.

Mr Walker yesterday said it had been “right and proper” for him to pay a visit to the Lord Mayor. “When there are issues to be sorted out, the chairman of the (Grand Prix) corporation and the Lord Mayor sit down and try to work it out,” Mr Walker, said heaping praise on Cr So. “He is one of the best lord mayors we have ever had.”

The Ferrari Festival will feature a parade of vintage Ferrari cars and a formula one racing car.

At a special meeting of council tomorrow to decide whether the event will go ahead, the father of Damian Cooper — who died last month after being struck down by a car on Lygon Street — will attend to plead with councillors to lower the Ferrari parade’s 60 km/h speed limit.

John So $100,000.00 bankrupt fast ride Ron Walker extracts ratepayers’ money from Lord Mayor without authority

Extraordinary revelations John So has on his own volition without approval from the City Council allocated $100,000 to fund Ron Walker’s Grand Prix extravaganza.

Deal done behind closed doors without City Council approval

There is ongoing concern as to the legality of John So – “Who can not say No” deal. Issues such as permission to close off public streets, security and public liability are still unresolved.

City Council offers in December last year had rejected approaches made by the Grand Prix Organization for the City Council to fund the $100,000 John So extravaganza.

John So has overstepped his authority. The State Government, the State Ombudsman and State Auditor General must investigate to reassure ratepayers that the Lord Mayor’s has acted within the terms of his authority. Calls by Cr Clarke and other City Councillors must not fall on death ears.

All ready the City Council’s projected income is $4 Million Dollars below expected revenue.

The allocation of 100,000 for this event is not included in the City Council’s budget. Other programs and events seeking public funding will have to be sacrificed to make ends meet.

If it turns out John So has acted improper then he should resign forthwith.

The City Council meets tomorrow to consider this issue. It is unclear if this matter will be discussed on open public session.

So $100,000 Grand Prix deal riles council
Sourek: The Age
Clay Lucas
February 12, 2007

JOHN So has reinforced his reputation as the Lord Mayor who cannot say no, especially when Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker pays a visit to Town Hall.

A report into Melbourne City Council’s deal to sponsor next month’s Grand Prix warm-up in Lygon Street has found that the Lord Mayor unilaterally decreed that $100,000 in funding be found for the event.

Cr So’s decision to use public funds to pay for the Ferrari promotion came despite council officers having already rejected the Grand Prix Corporation’s overtures for funding.

The Lord Mayor pledged the sponsorship after a meeting with Mr Walker and Grand Prix boss Tim Bamford on January 23.

But council officers told the Grand Prix Corporation in December that the council could not afford to fund the Lygon Street Ferrari Festival.

No other councillors were consulted before Cr So told chief executive David Pitchford — whose $300,000 contract is up for renewal next month — to find $100,000 in funding for the event.

“This is a deal done behind closed doors,” said Cr Peter Clarke, who yesterday called for an Ombudsman investigation into the sponsorship.

“There is only one place to allocate public money like this: in a public forum. How many other times has public money has been allocated in this way?”

Finance chairman Brian Shanahan was also dismayed that council money was being spent on an event for the Grand Prix Corporation. “We are around $4 million down on our expected parking revenue. We should be avoiding expenditures like this, especially when the Grand Prix can pay for it,” he said.

Cr So, who is overseas, did not comment yesterday. But Mr Pitchford issued a statement saying there had been “no abuse of power”.

Mr Walker yesterday said it had been “right and proper” for him to pay a visit to the Lord Mayor. “When there are issues to be sorted out, the chairman of the (Grand Prix) corporation and the Lord Mayor sit down and try to work it out,” Mr Walker, said heaping praise on Cr So. “He is one of the best lord mayors we have ever had.”

The Ferrari Festival will feature a parade of vintage Ferrari cars and a formula one racing car.

At a special meeting of council tomorrow to decide whether the event will go ahead, the father of Damian Cooper — who died last month after being struck down by a car on Lygon Street — will attend to plead with councillors to lower the Ferrari parade’s 60 km/h speed limit.

John So $100,000.00 bankrupt fast ride Ron Walker extracts ratepayers’ money from Lord Mayor without authority

Extraordinary revelations John So has on his own volition without approval from the City Council allocated $100,000 to fund Ron Walker’s Grand Prix extravaganza.

Deal done behind closed doors without City Council approval

There is ongoing concern as to the legality of John So – “Who can not say No” deal. Issues such as permission to close off public streets, security and public liability are still unresolved.

City Council offers in December last year had rejected approaches made by the Grand Prix Organization for the City Council to fund the $100,000 John So extravaganza.

John So has overstepped his authority. The State Government, the State Ombudsman and State Auditor General must investigate to reassure ratepayers that the Lord Mayor’s has acted within the terms of his authority. Calls by Cr Clarke and other City Councillors must not fall on death ears.

All ready the City Council’s projected income is $4 Million Dollars below expected revenue.

The allocation of 100,000 for this event is not included in the City Council’s budget. Other programs and events seeking public funding will have to be sacrificed to make ends meet.

If it turns out John So has acted improper then he should resign forthwith.

The City Council meets tomorrow to consider this issue. It is unclear if this matter will be discussed on open public session.

So $100,000 Grand Prix deal riles council
Sourek: The Age
Clay Lucas
February 12, 2007

JOHN So has reinforced his reputation as the Lord Mayor who cannot say no, especially when Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker pays a visit to Town Hall.

A report into Melbourne City Council’s deal to sponsor next month’s Grand Prix warm-up in Lygon Street has found that the Lord Mayor unilaterally decreed that $100,000 in funding be found for the event.

Cr So’s decision to use public funds to pay for the Ferrari promotion came despite council officers having already rejected the Grand Prix Corporation’s overtures for funding.

The Lord Mayor pledged the sponsorship after a meeting with Mr Walker and Grand Prix boss Tim Bamford on January 23.

But council officers told the Grand Prix Corporation in December that the council could not afford to fund the Lygon Street Ferrari Festival.

No other councillors were consulted before Cr So told chief executive David Pitchford — whose $300,000 contract is up for renewal next month — to find $100,000 in funding for the event.

“This is a deal done behind closed doors,” said Cr Peter Clarke, who yesterday called for an Ombudsman investigation into the sponsorship.

“There is only one place to allocate public money like this: in a public forum. How many other times has public money has been allocated in this way?”

Finance chairman Brian Shanahan was also dismayed that council money was being spent on an event for the Grand Prix Corporation. “We are around $4 million down on our expected parking revenue. We should be avoiding expenditures like this, especially when the Grand Prix can pay for it,” he said.

Cr So, who is overseas, did not comment yesterday. But Mr Pitchford issued a statement saying there had been “no abuse of power”.

Mr Walker yesterday said it had been “right and proper” for him to pay a visit to the Lord Mayor. “When there are issues to be sorted out, the chairman of the (Grand Prix) corporation and the Lord Mayor sit down and try to work it out,” Mr Walker, said heaping praise on Cr So. “He is one of the best lord mayors we have ever had.”

The Ferrari Festival will feature a parade of vintage Ferrari cars and a formula one racing car.

At a special meeting of council tomorrow to decide whether the event will go ahead, the father of Damian Cooper — who died last month after being struck down by a car on Lygon Street — will attend to plead with councillors to lower the Ferrari parade’s 60 km/h speed limit.

Silence of the lambs Do nothing John So casts vote to prevent debate and discussion

Melbourne City Council on Tuesday night under the “leadership of John So” voted down a motion to consider options for a possible expansion of Melbourne City Council’s boundaries.

Cr Peter Clark had proposed that the City Council enter into dialog with its neighbouring municipalities about the possibility of a merger and creation of a Greater City of Melbourne. A move that would have seen the Kensington, Carlton and Prahran,South Yarra communities united under one Council.

So much for cummmunity particpation and debate.

The motion (which received 4 votes in favor and 4 votes against) was voted down by John So using his casting vote to silence debate.

John So continues to display a real lack of vision and wiliness to consider the hard issues. Instead he continues to spend-up big in an effort of self promotion. John So was recently voted Number one World Lord Mayor. The talk around the City Council by senior officers is that John went all out, a bit like being a beauty contestant, to try and win the acclaimed recognition.

“If only he had a real view or vision instead of wanting to be a mascot”

Full brownie points for Cr Shanahan who second the motion supported by Councillors Brindely and Snedden.