did you hear?

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Seems I was correct in stating that the extraordinary meeting would go into closed session …do we know the outcome…? Please let me know if you do…’cause I certainly don’t…wonder how much this cost us? If the outcome is it is safe for those of  us who work in no33 maybe it will be worth it… Love the transparency don’t you?


Let’s see how many of this weeks council agenda items will require closed sessions, so far I’ve seen a couple and curiously some of the committees have confidential meeting minutes? What’s that, so now if you want to know what happened in a committee meeting you’re excluded. I guess thats one way the council can keep secret who actually showed up and who didn’t, what happened etc.

Back to transparency -WHAT TRANSPARENCY?


If you have the answers please let me know, I’m sure there are many of us here who are curious.

Sign offhappy weekend 🙂


6 Responses to did you hear?

  1. Peter Harle says:

    Hi Signe,
    With regard to the extraordinary Council Meeting; the meeting was called to allow the choosing of a tender for the urgent installation of the upgrade to the Fire System in 33 Moore Street. I countersigned the call for the extraordinary meeting. Yes, it could have waited for another week, but that would have delayed the urgently needed works and unnecessarily inconvenienced several hundred staff for an additional week. The Mayor has limited emergency powers to act on such matters; in this case the tender amount was above that limit, hence the majority of Councillors needed to make that decision, most Councillors did attend despite the short notice. Unfortunately such meetings are closed to the public, primarily to keep confidential the information contained in the tender documents. The public must be notified of the outcome of the meeting at its conclusion, although the actual tender documents must remain confidential, there are very good legal reasons for that, beyond the space of this column. Clr Peter Harle

    • Signe says:

      Yes Peter I understand that there was some pressure for the Mayor to act alone on this and to his credit it was called…perhaps if better due diligence was done when the building was purchased Grosvenor fire would not be receiving $660,000 dollars of our rates money and the staff and tenants of the building would not be so dreadfully affected and left at risk and for that matter now inconvenienced for the coming 6 months (albeit I note work will be done overnight). I hope this is a question one of the Councillors had raised as there were, well known to many tenants,many issues the council has now had to deal with that may in time render the building not such a cheap purchase….lifts air con etc etc. Perhaps Insurances may cover this although on that I’m guessing.

      • Peter Harle says:

        Hi Signe,
        Depending on your point of view, the $660,000 does not come directly from ratepayers, it is derived from various income producing aspects of the building itself. Councillors knew there were maintenance issues when they purchased the building. To the best of my knowledge Council had always intended to use the income producing aspects of the building to offset its operational costs. I believe that has occurred and so far at no cost to ratepayers. Another aspect is that any improvements to the building will increase its value in the long term. Personally I believe the decision to purchase the building shortly after fire destroyed Councils previous home was a wise one. That decision resulted in an income producing asset that ratepayers won’t have to pay for to maintain. In contrast, had Council rebuilt on the previous site, and unless it was substantially increased in size (at extra cost to Council), Council would not have been able to use it as an income producing asset. All operational costs of a new building would be borne by ratepayers, to me that was not the best outcome, despite the fact that it would have been a more modern building. Let’s be realistic, Council needs facilities to carry out its ratepayer obligations, hence a building that meets those basic requirements and appropriate standards is all that is needed. I don’t believe in the Iconic buildings and monuments that Politicians tend to advocate for them selves and posterity, we have far more important community facility commitments to consider, but that’s only my view. Clr Peter Harle

      • Signe says:

        Peter you are preaching to the choir…days after the fire on 15th August, (out of the ashes) I too said this was an opportunity to make some significant changes, my post is there for all to read and I’ve been in favour of a CBD location contrary to the crap I’ve heard other Councillors espouse. Having now realised that tenancy of others outside council is short term, where will these funds come from in the future if in fact they are covered now? Short term leases are all that is available to present tenants of which I was one. I am cautious in saying that I think at times you Councillors are being fed a load and acknowledge you act on the information given but not all is at it appears I fear. Building an iconic facility may relate to many things and the eventual development of a taj mahal at 48-52 may not be exactly what the community envisages as ironic and may in fact be exactly what you fear a monument to another aspiring politician. We are not all stupid, ill informed or naive. As always I appreciate your comments.
        A final thought, an incoming producing asset yes, but if its only used in supporting the building itself what other than the long term sale-ability is the value of the asset?

        regards Signe

  2. Peter Harle says:

    Signe, I will be asking Council relevant questions of operational costs. However, at a budget briefing sessions I was informed that the operational costs of the building are being met by its income as is its planned maintenance and refurbishment. That in my view is a saving that ratepayers would otherwise have to meet. Leasing the vacant space within the building, subject to renovation work, has the potential for increased income. However as you state it depends on Council obtaining tenants, for now the Police will remain for several years ensuring an income. Council’s newly formed Economic Development Committee is intent on improving business opportunities within Liverpool, that may improve the tenancy prospects of 33 Moore Street as well. Sorry if anything I stated previously implied being naive, stupid or ill-informed. Clr Peter Harle

    • Signe says:

      Hi Peter, yes I believe the Police have signed another 2 year lease with 6 mth options, tenants here are on short un-optioned leases for the most part, at least those I know of. I hope you are right to some extent but under my present circumstances I don’t have the same faith as you do… but am glad to be wrong if that is how it turns out.

      regards, Signe

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