So why did John quit? Talk around town points to Ngp>

With the Spring Carnival Circus event coming to a close we are left to ponder why John So decided to not run for a third term? Surely if he stood he would have been elected? So why did he not stand again?

John is a likeable person, you can not help but smile and enjoy a conversation with him.

The answer to the question “Why did john not stand for a third term?” lies with Catherine Ng, John So’s lead candidate in 2001 and 2004.

Take a walk down China Town and you will see just how divided they are. Peter McMullin with the support of John So and Kevin Louey have been actively campaigning within the Chinese Community. McMullin’s poster’s are on display, but as is often the case in the Chinese community, the real decisions are made in quite on the street and in the Chinese community newspapers where Catherine Ng has not been doing so well. Peter McMullin/Keven Louey have been doing extremely well in China Town, just how well will not be known until the weekend when the ballot is counted

Talk around Town Hall has it that John could no longer work with Catherine Ng, which explains why John had not openly supported Catherine Ng’s bid to succeed him. Instead he has backed Peter McMullin and Gary Singer to be he replacement as Melbourne’s next Lord Mayor.

There is no doubt that many of the negative issues surrounding John So’s leadership are connected back to Catherine Ng. If this election is close as most expect it will be then it is the Chinese community that will decide which direction Melbourne will head.

The Melbourne Chinese community, which represents around 13% of the electorate, is divided.

The Chinese community is well aware of the fallout between John So and Catherine Ng. It is ear as daylight as John has not embraced Cathrine’s campaign. John So is reported and having said that he and his wife can not get on with Catherine. They no longer talk to each other. It would have been wrong for John and Catherine to be publicly seen to be at odds with each other. Rather then try and force her out John decided to not contest the next election.
Catherine Ng has been the subject of a number of complaints within the town hall of harassment and abuse staff. Catherine is on the nose with many from the Chinese community she can not count on the level of support that was given to John So.

If Catherine can manage to secure more votes then Peter McMullin then yes she has a chance of becoming Melbourne’s second Chinese born Lord Mayor. Catherine Ng is best placed in terms of the various preference deals that are on the table, she collects preferences from just about everyone, but I would not throw the IChing dice just yet.

So why did John quit? Talk around town points to Ngp>

With the Spring Carnival Circus event coming to a close we are left to ponder why John So decided to not run for a third term? Surely if he stood he would have been elected? So why did he not stand again?

John is a likeable person, you can not help but smile and enjoy a conversation with him.

The answer to the question “Why did john not stand for a third term?” lies with Catherine Ng, John So’s lead candidate in 2001 and 2004.

Take a walk down China Town and you will see just how divided they are. Peter McMullin with the support of John So and Kevin Louey have been actively campaigning within the Chinese Community. McMullin’s poster’s are on display, but as is often the case in the Chinese community, the real decisions are made in quite on the street and in the Chinese community newspapers where Catherine Ng has not been doing so well. Peter McMullin/Keven Louey have been doing extremely well in China Town, just how well will not be known until the weekend when the ballot is counted

Talk around Town Hall has it that John could no longer work with Catherine Ng, which explains why John had not openly supported Catherine Ng’s bid to succeed him. Instead he has backed Peter McMullin and Gary Singer to be he replacement as Melbourne’s next Lord Mayor.

There is no doubt that many of the negative issues surrounding John So’s leadership are connected back to Catherine Ng. If this election is close as most expect it will be then it is the Chinese community that will decide which direction Melbourne will head.

The Melbourne Chinese community, which represents around 13% of the electorate, is divided.

The Chinese community is well aware of the fallout between John So and Catherine Ng. It is ear as daylight as John has not embraced Cathrine’s campaign. John So is reported and having said that he and his wife can not get on with Catherine. They no longer talk to each other. It would have been wrong for John and Catherine to be publicly seen to be at odds with each other. Rather then try and force her out John decided to not contest the next election.
Catherine Ng has been the subject of a number of complaints within the town hall of harassment and abuse staff. Catherine is on the nose with many from the Chinese community she can not count on the level of support that was given to John So.

If Catherine can manage to secure more votes then Peter McMullin then yes she has a chance of becoming Melbourne’s second Chinese born Lord Mayor. Catherine Ng is best placed in terms of the various preference deals that are on the table, she collects preferences from just about everyone, but I would not throw the IChing dice just yet.

So why did John quit? Talk around town points to Ngp>

With the Spring Carnival Circus event coming to a close we are left to ponder why John So decided to not run for a third term? Surely if he stood he would have been elected? So why did he not stand again?

John is a likeable person, you can not help but smile and enjoy a conversation with him.

The answer to the question “Why did john not stand for a third term?” lies with Catherine Ng, John So’s lead candidate in 2001 and 2004.

Take a walk down China Town and you will see just how divided they are. Peter McMullin with the support of John So and Kevin Louey have been actively campaigning within the Chinese Community. McMullin’s poster’s are on display, but as is often the case in the Chinese community, the real decisions are made in quite on the street and in the Chinese community newspapers where Catherine Ng has not been doing so well. Peter McMullin/Keven Louey have been doing extremely well in China Town, just how well will not be known until the weekend when the ballot is counted

Talk around Town Hall has it that John could no longer work with Catherine Ng, which explains why John had not openly supported Catherine Ng’s bid to succeed him. Instead he has backed Peter McMullin and Gary Singer to be he replacement as Melbourne’s next Lord Mayor.

There is no doubt that many of the negative issues surrounding John So’s leadership are connected back to Catherine Ng. If this election is close as most expect it will be then it is the Chinese community that will decide which direction Melbourne will head.

The Melbourne Chinese community, which represents around 13% of the electorate, is divided.

The Chinese community is well aware of the fallout between John So and Catherine Ng. It is ear as daylight as John has not embraced Cathrine’s campaign. John So is reported and having said that he and his wife can not get on with Catherine. They no longer talk to each other. It would have been wrong for John and Catherine to be publicly seen to be at odds with each other. Rather then try and force her out John decided to not contest the next election.
Catherine Ng has been the subject of a number of complaints within the town hall of harassment and abuse staff. Catherine is on the nose with many from the Chinese community she can not count on the level of support that was given to John So.

If Catherine can manage to secure more votes then Peter McMullin then yes she has a chance of becoming Melbourne’s second Chinese born Lord Mayor. Catherine Ng is best placed in terms of the various preference deals that are on the table, she collects preferences from just about everyone, but I would not throw the IChing dice just yet.

So and Bracks – Lord Mayor’s Endorsement McMullins bid for the Lord Mayor’s gold chains receives a boost

IN a bold statement of support former ALP Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, and outgoing Lord Mayor, John So, have teamed up to support Peter McMullin’s bid for the keys to the Limo and Melbourne’s Gold Chains and Mayoralty Robes.

John So’s tacit endorsement has placed at odds Catherine Ng and Garry Singer’s chances of winning. Both Singer and Ng were key players in John So’s Team.

Garry singer was John So’s running mate and Deputy Lord Mayor in 2004 and Catherine Ng was So’s number one “Lead Candidate” for the Council.

John So’s support for Peter McMullin is a slap in the face and a final act of betrayal. It has been common knowledge around Clown Hall that John So could no longer work with Catherine Ng and that she had played a pivotal role in John So’s decision to retire and not to seek a third term of office as Melbourne’s “Favorite” Lord Mayor.

Backs and So’s endorsement has added fuel and fire to McMullin’s campaign which got off to a poor start when McMullin preferenced his main opponent Robert Doyle ahead of the pack. (See McMullin reconsiders preference recomendation)

Steve Brack’s clearly places the ALP stamp of approval on McMullin’s bid for office ahead of young Will Fowles’ fresh and green team. John So’s approval has given him that extra edge over his other rivals Catherine Ng and Garry Singer putting McMullin back into contention for a possible win.

So and Bracks – Lord Mayor’s Endorsement McMullins bid for the Lord Mayor’s gold chains receives a boost

IN a bold statement of support former ALP Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, and outgoing Lord Mayor, John So, have teamed up to support Peter McMullin’s bid for the keys to the Limo and Melbourne’s Gold Chains and Mayoralty Robes.

John So’s tacit endorsement has placed at odds Catherine Ng and Garry Singer’s chances of winning. Both Singer and Ng were key players in John So’s Team.

Garry singer was John So’s running mate and Deputy Lord Mayor in 2004 and Catherine Ng was So’s number one “Lead Candidate” for the Council.

John So’s support for Peter McMullin is a slap in the face and a final act of betrayal. It has been common knowledge around Clown Hall that John So could no longer work with Catherine Ng and that she had played a pivotal role in John So’s decision to retire and not to seek a third term of office as Melbourne’s “Favorite” Lord Mayor.

Backs and So’s endorsement has added fuel and fire to McMullin’s campaign which got off to a poor start when McMullin preferenced his main opponent Robert Doyle ahead of the pack. (See McMullin reconsiders preference recomendation)

Steve Brack’s clearly places the ALP stamp of approval on McMullin’s bid for office ahead of young Will Fowles’ fresh and green team. John So’s approval has given him that extra edge over his other rivals Catherine Ng and Garry Singer putting McMullin back into contention for a possible win.

So and Bracks – Lord Mayor’s Endorsement McMullins bid for the Lord Mayor’s gold chains receives a boost

IN a bold statement of support former ALP Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, and outgoing Lord Mayor, John So, have teamed up to support Peter McMullin’s bid for the keys to the Limo and Melbourne’s Gold Chains and Mayoralty Robes.

John So’s tacit endorsement has placed at odds Catherine Ng and Garry Singer’s chances of winning. Both Singer and Ng were key players in John So’s Team.

Garry singer was John So’s running mate and Deputy Lord Mayor in 2004 and Catherine Ng was So’s number one “Lead Candidate” for the Council.

John So’s support for Peter McMullin is a slap in the face and a final act of betrayal. It has been common knowledge around Clown Hall that John So could no longer work with Catherine Ng and that she had played a pivotal role in John So’s decision to retire and not to seek a third term of office as Melbourne’s “Favorite” Lord Mayor.

Backs and So’s endorsement has added fuel and fire to McMullin’s campaign which got off to a poor start when McMullin preferenced his main opponent Robert Doyle ahead of the pack. (See McMullin reconsiders preference recomendation)

Steve Brack’s clearly places the ALP stamp of approval on McMullin’s bid for office ahead of young Will Fowles’ fresh and green team. John So’s approval has given him that extra edge over his other rivals Catherine Ng and Garry Singer putting McMullin back into contention for a possible win.

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.

So Long, Fair Well So sings his last hit as he announces his long overdue departure from Office

LORD Mayor John So won’t stand for re-election. (unedited)

John So Lord mayor of Melebourne 2001 to 2008
Transcript of John So'[s Farewell speech

“Good morning, thank you for joining me.

It has been 17 years since I entered the doors of Melbourne Town Hall as a Councillor.

Those years have been a period of transformation; of new beginnings for Council and the city it represents.

Melbourne has become the city the world and Australia talks about – a place where people from all nations and all backgrounds are invited to contribute.

In environmental management, urban planning and cultural expression we have become a model for capital cities once considered our superior.

We set ourselves a goal of becoming one of the world’s most liveable cities – we succeeded three times in under a decade.

This year we set ourselves a goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable cities – just four weeks ago, we were recognised as being in the top ten sustainable cities globally.

Growth of the city’s businesses and residents has brought life back to the city centre.

Melbourne is forecast to be Australia’s largest city within 20 years.

These are achievements that define a city and build a sense of pride among citizens.

They are achievements that require courage of conviction and a steady approach to leadership.

The Melbourne Living team has brought stability back to capital city governance.

We’ve maintained the focus on achieving outcomes for the community and business in Melbourne.

We’ve regained the trust of governments and voters.

One of my personal goals has been recognition of the vital role capital cities play in securing quality of life for the majority of Australians.

The City of Melbourne now enjoys strong partnerships not only with the State but Canberra as well.

Effective policy is something my team has never lost sight of.

We have achieved the vision and most of our policy commitments made at every election.

Among them are some of history’s defining moments:
• The Commonwealth Games will be remembered as one of the greatest and most seamless events ever staged in this city;
• Integration of Docklands has created one of the world’s most exciting waterfront domains;
• And multi million dollar investment in services and infrastructure has made the city of Melbourne a fantastic place to live, work and enjoy.

While busy achieving the vision we set ourselves, we’ve kept focus on the horizon.

The City has completed the most ambitious community consultation project ever undertaken in its history – Future Melbourne, which was endorsed by the Council last night.

Drawing on the collective intelligence and ambitions of 15,000 individuals, businesses and organisations, we now have a vision ‘for the people by the people’.

That vision is backed by a Government in such good financial shape: it has a AAA credit rating, is debt free and has strong cash reserves.

After integrating Docklands into the city, building CH2, Australia’s first 6-star green office building, contributing $43 million to the Convention Centre precinct, and staging the Commonwealth Games – all while delivering the lowest rate increases in Victoria in the past 8 years – we have a balance sheet that is the envy of governments Australia-wide.

I have called you here today to make this announcement.

After deep consideration, I have decided not to stand for re-election.

This decision has been one of the most difficult I have ever made.

I’ve given almost a quarter of my life to public service and, in return, it has given me many of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

You cannot work at 110% forever, and that’s what this job requires.

I am confident this is the right decision – it’s time to pass the baton.

The future Council inherits a solid foundation to drive the city forward.

And I still have keen interests I wish to pursue.

This city has a lot to gain from the connections it holds with the region.

I’m looking forward to the new possibilities presented by Australia’s increasing international engagement.

There are many people I must thank for the opportunities afforded me.

I wish to thank my Deputy, Gary Singer, former Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley and the Councillors on my team who have given so much to the city they represent.

Together, we ensured the people of Melbourne have always come first.

I want to thank City of Melbourne management and staff, particularly my Chief of Staff Kevin Louey.

To my supportive family, my children Nat, Alex, Eva and John, and my wife Wendy, what can I say? I love you all.

Finally, I want to thank the people of this great city.

Thank you for the faith, trust and encouragement you have given me.

Thank you for the privilege and opportunity.

Thank you Melbourne.’’