You know there are times when being wrong is better … for many months now I’ve highlighted the expenses, the trips etc of councillors…and in yesterdays Daily Telegraph (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/money/money-matters/councils-live-it-up-at-our-expense/story-fn300aev-1225818573561) we get the dubious honour of being one of the councils with the highest expense account for councillors. Now until the budget comes out (& possible not even then) we won’t have any idea of what it costs us to support our councillors but some things need to be looked at. Let’s start at the obvious, conferences, time to pull your heads in guys, send the Mayor (or her delegate) and one new councillor… preferably someone who’s not attended before (for the experience) .. expect them to do a complete brief to council on their return and save huge dollars after all it isn’t a holiday. As for the kind of expenses in addition to these trips let’s hope when the budget is released later this year we can see who and where the money is being spent and lets expect a complete accountability, it is after all our money…we trust these councillors and expect them to be compensated for out of pocket stuff….but TO A POINT. Indulgences and fancy electronics aren’t really necessary to do the job… look at the strife the Mayor is in for telling off her ‘friend’ on the council mobile phone. I understand in business sometimes you have to spend money to make money, but to date we’ve not seen any of those dollars roll in compliments of our councillors and their contacts or expenses.
When the administrator was in charge of council these same people hammered the topic of her cost to the community… we can’t now just turn a blind eye to the costs just because we elected them.
Mr Portelli, come budget time we would like to know where our hard earned rates are going. I’m thinking this has just made your job even harder… but we are entitled to know.