Under John So's leadership expenditure in the City Council has sored with the City Council's working capital ratio declining to an all time low.
John So's financial management of the City Council is now faced with reality of having to pay for his spending spree.
The City Council at a cost of $300,000 has commissioned an efficiency report. the details of the report are secret and the public kept in the dark. it is understood that the report recommends a major reduction in staffing levels and reorganisation of the councils administration. The City Council has seen a blowout in staffing and administration costs since 1996.
The City Council now faces a 4 million dollar short fall in his recurrent budget and current levels of expenditure are unsustainable.
John So is has the reputation as being the man that an not say No has been the biggest spender in the Council's history. The council has got away with this high level of expenditure in the past due to significant increases in property values and inner city development which has generated substantial income for the city council. having access to more funds the city council went on a spending spree. Councillors and staff regularly travel overseas on junkets staying in five star accommodation with all expensive paid holidays.
It understood that the efficiency report was critical of Council's governance and financial reporting which the consultants claimed mislead the council as to the level of expenditure. one such example was the attainment by Ms Linda Weatherstation when asked why costs associated with former City Councillor Anthony Nicholson had not been reported. Ms Weatherson responded by saying that the costs had not been acquitted therefore had not been reported.
The efficiency report has identified savings of upto 10 million dollars in Council's current expenditure. It is time to cut the fat from the dim Sims - Question is John So up to it..
Melbourne council considers cuts for balanced Budget
Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 18:16 (AEST)
The Melbourne City Council is considering cuts in staff and services to balance its $354 million Budget.
The council needs an extra $4.2 million to pay for its budget initiatives.
An efficiency review is due to be completed next week.
The extra funds are likely to come from cuts to jobs and services or extra sponsorship and grant money.
Chief executive David Pitchford denies the council is spending money it does not have.
"The council preference is for a balanced Budget so the only way that we can balance the Budget is to work out how we will deliver those savings across the year," he said.
The city's parks and gardens, including new drought initiatives, have been allocated $6.4 million.
Almost $30 million will go towards promoting events and $22.2 million will be spent on new capital works.
Melbourne drivers will have to pay for an extra hour of parking in the city from July, with plans to increase parking times in the city from 6.30pm until 7.30pm released today.
The increase in restrictions is part of a number of changes to parking expected to provide council with an extra $1 million in revenue.
The council has already seen an increase in parking revenue.
Melbourne city drivers paid more than $70 million in parking fees and fines this financial year, an increase of $5 million on 2005-2006.
But a reduction in street parking places in the city is expected to cost the council more than $500,000.
Meanwhile, Melbourne's newest inner city suburb will cost Town Hall more than a $1 million over the next 12 months.
The urban development will be transferred to the council from Vic Urban in July, and it is the first time the financial impact of the inner city area has been taken into account by the council.
Residents and businesses moving to the new suburb are expected to pay a total of nearly $10 million in rates next financial year.
But the impact of depreciation on the $204 million development will cost council $3.5 million initially.
The council's three-year vision for the Docklands is expected to be released early next month.