Robert Doyle: What would you remove from the budget?

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, at last night’s Special Council meeting, asked “what would you remove from the Council’s budget to save money?”

Listen here (15min)

I would scrape the Lord Mayor’s Limo (Something Robert said he would do but hasn’t)

They could also scrape Lord Mayor’s Free Booze Bar, Free Councillor Car Parking and Staff Overseas Junkets.
 
“There is a $10.5 million shortfall in parking revenue basically caused by compliance, people are following the rules so our projected fines did not reach what we thought we were going to get,” Robert Doyle

Council’s Embarrassing Moment as it slugs ratepayers and City commuters

The Melbourne City Council has published its four year plan and 2013-1014 budget.  In an embarrassing oversight the Council nearly passed a recommendation approving the wrong City plan.

The recommendation outlined in the notice paper listed

Recommendation from management
8. That Council:
8.1.approves the draft Council Plan 2009–13
for release for public notice (Notice)
from 10 May to 7June 2013
Should have been the 2013-2017 draft Council plan
Thankfully a member of the public altered the Council to the administrative oversight and the Council was able to amend the recommendation before it was too late.  Had they not  done so they would have had to convene another meeting to pass the correct motion, costing ratepayers 10s of thousands of dollars.

As much as I would have been amused I could not sit by watch such a blatant oversight go unnoticed.  That’s our Council administration for you.

John So leaves office Having failed to deliver on promises leaving behind a mountain of debt and uncertainly

Council’s efforts fail despite extra $64m
by Kate Lahey The Age October 11, 2008

MELBOURNE City Council has failed to meet almost a third of its benchmarks for the past year, despite raking in an extra $64 million through rates, fines and grants, its annual report shows.

Of the 48 “deliverables” the council set for itself in 2007-08, only 30 were completed.

Among its disappointments are a review of heritage precincts that did not occur and a failure to compile and publish the results of the 2005-06 green building retrofit program.

Despite a memorandum of understanding between the city, State Government and the Seattle Trade Development Alliance, nothing has happened, the report says.

The council has also failed to secure a new site for the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market. The annual report says traders will be kicked out by the end of March, without any chance of a new home before late 2010.

The report, released last night, shows Cr Fiona Snedden claimed the highest amount of expenses, $37,000, of which $9000 was for child care and $18,000 for overseas travel. Lord Mayor John So claimed more than $20,000, of which $14,000 was for overseas travel.

As at June 30, the City of Melbourne employed 1139 people, more than 10% of them on more than $100,000 a year, excluding councillors and the chief executive.

The council’s total consolidated revenue was $425 million and its consolidated surplus for the financial year was $98 million.

John So leaves office Having failed to deliver on promises leaving behind a mountain of debt and uncertainly

Council’s efforts fail despite extra $64m
by Kate Lahey The Age October 11, 2008

MELBOURNE City Council has failed to meet almost a third of its benchmarks for the past year, despite raking in an extra $64 million through rates, fines and grants, its annual report shows.

Of the 48 “deliverables” the council set for itself in 2007-08, only 30 were completed.

Among its disappointments are a review of heritage precincts that did not occur and a failure to compile and publish the results of the 2005-06 green building retrofit program.

Despite a memorandum of understanding between the city, State Government and the Seattle Trade Development Alliance, nothing has happened, the report says.

The council has also failed to secure a new site for the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market. The annual report says traders will be kicked out by the end of March, without any chance of a new home before late 2010.

The report, released last night, shows Cr Fiona Snedden claimed the highest amount of expenses, $37,000, of which $9000 was for child care and $18,000 for overseas travel. Lord Mayor John So claimed more than $20,000, of which $14,000 was for overseas travel.

As at June 30, the City of Melbourne employed 1139 people, more than 10% of them on more than $100,000 a year, excluding councillors and the chief executive.

The council’s total consolidated revenue was $425 million and its consolidated surplus for the financial year was $98 million.

John So leaves office Having failed to deliver on promises leaving behind a mountain of debt and uncertainly

Council’s efforts fail despite extra $64m
by Kate Lahey The Age October 11, 2008

MELBOURNE City Council has failed to meet almost a third of its benchmarks for the past year, despite raking in an extra $64 million through rates, fines and grants, its annual report shows.

Of the 48 “deliverables” the council set for itself in 2007-08, only 30 were completed.

Among its disappointments are a review of heritage precincts that did not occur and a failure to compile and publish the results of the 2005-06 green building retrofit program.

Despite a memorandum of understanding between the city, State Government and the Seattle Trade Development Alliance, nothing has happened, the report says.

The council has also failed to secure a new site for the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market. The annual report says traders will be kicked out by the end of March, without any chance of a new home before late 2010.

The report, released last night, shows Cr Fiona Snedden claimed the highest amount of expenses, $37,000, of which $9000 was for child care and $18,000 for overseas travel. Lord Mayor John So claimed more than $20,000, of which $14,000 was for overseas travel.

As at June 30, the City of Melbourne employed 1139 people, more than 10% of them on more than $100,000 a year, excluding councillors and the chief executive.

The council’s total consolidated revenue was $425 million and its consolidated surplus for the financial year was $98 million.

Rate rise as sun sets on So Residents face hike in City Rates to pay for Johns Travels

The Melbourne City Council has published its budget which shows an eight percent increase in Council rates and income. With CPI recorded at 4% that’s a net 4% increase in Council rates.

BUT the council figures have been though the Council Finance laundry and the whites look whiter then white.

Here are some of the tricks they try

The budget comparison is based on the mid year review of last years budget. The Council underestimates the income and low and behold come mid year review there is more money received then they expected. The mid year budget is revised and the Council spends the win-fall which is then used to set the bench line in the following years budget.

In spite a recommendation by the Council Auditors the City Council has not listed a budget allocation for overseas trips and Council expenses. They have an open check as the costs of Councillors expenditure is concealed in the overall expenses.

Prior to the Kennet financial review the Council was required to publish a full detail budget./ Nowe they just published the minimum. Previously;y the Council cam under criticism for printing what was considered to be a City size telephone book budget. Many trees dies to publish this document. Now we have the Internet there is no real reason why the Council does not publish the full breakdown. It could be that with this information readily avail;able the Council does not really want it published.

NAV

The City of Melbourne operates on a NAV (Net Annual Value) as property values increase so does the Council’s take – A windfall in times of plenty. Many resident’s in the city will be faced with much higher rate bills as their property value has increased substantial above and beyond their income and CPI

Many residents might be seriously considering selling up and moving to less expensive rateable areas.

The Council is renowned for its over inflating costs and estimates. A recent quotation on air flights to China and accommodation was four to six times the going market rate. Our City fathers are big spenders with no expense spared in luxury or budget costs when it comes to overseas junkets. The council tried to provide Councillors with a per-diem payment when they travel. The Administration conviniently forgot that whilst Councillors are entitled to receive reimbursements for “Out of pocket expenses” they are not entitled to receive an allowance above and beyond the allowances set by the State Government. Question are still unanswered as to the legality of the Council’s decision to provide Outgoing Deputy Lord Mayor Garry Singer a fully paid Limousine, free petrol and running costs (Including a hefty repair bill). Garry Singer is a part time “employee of the Council. I appears that Cr Singer uses his Council funded vehicle for private non-council use and does not pay tax or reimburse the City for his non-out-of-pocket use of the car. The Government and auditor general appear to be turning a blind eye to this unauthorized additional allowance which is not available to other Councillors. It is understood that the City must also pick up the Fringe Benefit tax for these “questionable additional benefits” Of course it is not the Councillors and staff that foots the bill but the City ratepayer.

Our City Council shows no care and no responsibility when it comes to spending our money and increasing the costs of living in the city once claimed to be the worlds most livable city..

Unlike private businesses, who struggle to obtain an increase in Income, The Council income and expenditure is in reality another impost on the City ratepayers.

Artcle ABC news
Article Herald Sun

Rate rise as sun sets on So Residents face hike in City Rates to pay for Johns Travels

The Melbourne City Council has published its budget which shows an eight percent increase in Council rates and income. With CPI recorded at 4% that’s a net 4% increase in Council rates.

BUT the council figures have been though the Council Finance laundry and the whites look whiter then white.

Here are some of the tricks they try

The budget comparison is based on the mid year review of last years budget. The Council underestimates the income and low and behold come mid year review there is more money received then they expected. The mid year budget is revised and the Council spends the win-fall which is then used to set the bench line in the following years budget.

In spite a recommendation by the Council Auditors the City Council has not listed a budget allocation for overseas trips and Council expenses. They have an open check as the costs of Councillors expenditure is concealed in the overall expenses.

Prior to the Kennet financial review the Council was required to publish a full detail budget./ Nowe they just published the minimum. Previously;y the Council cam under criticism for printing what was considered to be a City size telephone book budget. Many trees dies to publish this document. Now we have the Internet there is no real reason why the Council does not publish the full breakdown. It could be that with this information readily avail;able the Council does not really want it published.

NAV

The City of Melbourne operates on a NAV (Net Annual Value) as property values increase so does the Council’s take – A windfall in times of plenty. Many resident’s in the city will be faced with much higher rate bills as their property value has increased substantial above and beyond their income and CPI

Many residents might be seriously considering selling up and moving to less expensive rateable areas.

The Council is renowned for its over inflating costs and estimates. A recent quotation on air flights to China and accommodation was four to six times the going market rate. Our City fathers are big spenders with no expense spared in luxury or budget costs when it comes to overseas junkets. The council tried to provide Councillors with a per-diem payment when they travel. The Administration conviniently forgot that whilst Councillors are entitled to receive reimbursements for “Out of pocket expenses” they are not entitled to receive an allowance above and beyond the allowances set by the State Government. Question are still unanswered as to the legality of the Council’s decision to provide Outgoing Deputy Lord Mayor Garry Singer a fully paid Limousine, free petrol and running costs (Including a hefty repair bill). Garry Singer is a part time “employee of the Council. I appears that Cr Singer uses his Council funded vehicle for private non-council use and does not pay tax or reimburse the City for his non-out-of-pocket use of the car. The Government and auditor general appear to be turning a blind eye to this unauthorized additional allowance which is not available to other Councillors. It is understood that the City must also pick up the Fringe Benefit tax for these “questionable additional benefits” Of course it is not the Councillors and staff that foots the bill but the City ratepayer.

Our City Council shows no care and no responsibility when it comes to spending our money and increasing the costs of living in the city once claimed to be the worlds most livable city..

Unlike private businesses, who struggle to obtain an increase in Income, The Council income and expenditure is in reality another impost on the City ratepayers.

Artcle ABC news
Article Herald Sun

Rate rise as sun sets on So Residents face hike in City Rates to pay for Johns Travels

The Melbourne City Council has published its budget which shows an eight percent increase in Council rates and income. With CPI recorded at 4% that’s a net 4% increase in Council rates.

BUT the council figures have been though the Council Finance laundry and the whites look whiter then white.

Here are some of the tricks they try

The budget comparison is based on the mid year review of last years budget. The Council underestimates the income and low and behold come mid year review there is more money received then they expected. The mid year budget is revised and the Council spends the win-fall which is then used to set the bench line in the following years budget.

In spite a recommendation by the Council Auditors the City Council has not listed a budget allocation for overseas trips and Council expenses. They have an open check as the costs of Councillors expenditure is concealed in the overall expenses.

Prior to the Kennet financial review the Council was required to publish a full detail budget./ Nowe they just published the minimum. Previously;y the Council cam under criticism for printing what was considered to be a City size telephone book budget. Many trees dies to publish this document. Now we have the Internet there is no real reason why the Council does not publish the full breakdown. It could be that with this information readily avail;able the Council does not really want it published.

NAV

The City of Melbourne operates on a NAV (Net Annual Value) as property values increase so does the Council’s take – A windfall in times of plenty. Many resident’s in the city will be faced with much higher rate bills as their property value has increased substantial above and beyond their income and CPI

Many residents might be seriously considering selling up and moving to less expensive rateable areas.

The Council is renowned for its over inflating costs and estimates. A recent quotation on air flights to China and accommodation was four to six times the going market rate. Our City fathers are big spenders with no expense spared in luxury or budget costs when it comes to overseas junkets. The council tried to provide Councillors with a per-diem payment when they travel. The Administration conviniently forgot that whilst Councillors are entitled to receive reimbursements for “Out of pocket expenses” they are not entitled to receive an allowance above and beyond the allowances set by the State Government. Question are still unanswered as to the legality of the Council’s decision to provide Outgoing Deputy Lord Mayor Garry Singer a fully paid Limousine, free petrol and running costs (Including a hefty repair bill). Garry Singer is a part time “employee of the Council. I appears that Cr Singer uses his Council funded vehicle for private non-council use and does not pay tax or reimburse the City for his non-out-of-pocket use of the car. The Government and auditor general appear to be turning a blind eye to this unauthorized additional allowance which is not available to other Councillors. It is understood that the City must also pick up the Fringe Benefit tax for these “questionable additional benefits” Of course it is not the Councillors and staff that foots the bill but the City ratepayer.

Our City Council shows no care and no responsibility when it comes to spending our money and increasing the costs of living in the city once claimed to be the worlds most livable city..

Unlike private businesses, who struggle to obtain an increase in Income, The Council income and expenditure is in reality another impost on the City ratepayers.

Artcle ABC news
Article Herald Sun

So Financially Challenged Melbourne goes into deficit for second year running

Melbourne City Council expected to go into deficit for a second year running as rates soar in order to pay the exhorbanent costs of the City Council .

Meanwhile John So, Melbourne Million Dollar a year Lord Mayor who hardly ever attends Council’s finance and governance meetings, will take leave when the City Council brings down its budget that will see in the election of a new Council,

Property values in the City have soared in the ;last two years and as a result the amount of money paid in rates has increased substantially, providing a win-fall for the city. Melbourne City Council works on a NAV (Net Annual Value) rating system based on the valuation of rateable property in the City. As property values increase size does the amount of rates paid top the extravagant financially irresponsible city council.

On top of the rate increase that Council is also expected to gain a windfall in funding thought secondary incomes streams such as the Road Congestion tax and additional service fees that have crept in under John So’s watch.

Asset rich income poor. The hardest hit in the rate increase will be pensioners and residents on a low income. Many ratepayers and residents of the city will soon find it too expensive to live within the City boundaries will be forced to sell up and move to a cheaper place to live outside the city.

Deficit budget is not good for Melbourne.

A deficit budget would see Melbourne’s financial position worsen yet again as John So continues his high spend fest, minimal care over Melbourne’s future.

Melbourne City Council and John So faces re-election in November and it is unclear if John So will run for a third term as Melbourne’s Lord Mayor. John So has become Melbourne Most travelled lord Mayor has he and his staff continue to milk the City’s treasury to funds John So’s Chinese adventures. A deficit budget will add further financial pressure on the new City Council.

If the new Council does not come to terms with Melbourne high cost big spending administration it will soon face bankruptcy adding further to the financial pressure and possible future devaluation of property which will further diminish the City’s financial stability.

So Financially Challenged Melbourne goes into deficit for second year running

Melbourne City Council expected to go into deficit for a second year running as rates soar in order to pay the exhorbanent costs of the City Council .

Meanwhile John So, Melbourne Million Dollar a year Lord Mayor who hardly ever attends Council’s finance and governance meetings, will take leave when the City Council brings down its budget that will see in the election of a new Council,

Property values in the City have soared in the ;last two years and as a result the amount of money paid in rates has increased substantially, providing a win-fall for the city. Melbourne City Council works on a NAV (Net Annual Value) rating system based on the valuation of rateable property in the City. As property values increase size does the amount of rates paid top the extravagant financially irresponsible city council.

On top of the rate increase that Council is also expected to gain a windfall in funding thought secondary incomes streams such as the Road Congestion tax and additional service fees that have crept in under John So’s watch.

Asset rich income poor. The hardest hit in the rate increase will be pensioners and residents on a low income. Many ratepayers and residents of the city will soon find it too expensive to live within the City boundaries will be forced to sell up and move to a cheaper place to live outside the city.

Deficit budget is not good for Melbourne.

A deficit budget would see Melbourne’s financial position worsen yet again as John So continues his high spend fest, minimal care over Melbourne’s future.

Melbourne City Council and John So faces re-election in November and it is unclear if John So will run for a third term as Melbourne’s Lord Mayor. John So has become Melbourne Most travelled lord Mayor has he and his staff continue to milk the City’s treasury to funds John So’s Chinese adventures. A deficit budget will add further financial pressure on the new City Council.

If the new Council does not come to terms with Melbourne high cost big spending administration it will soon face bankruptcy adding further to the financial pressure and possible future devaluation of property which will further diminish the City’s financial stability.