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COUNCIL CRISIS: Cost to ratepayers pushing towards $1m

THE cold, hard financial costs of the ongoing crisis within the Rural City of Wangaratta council are continuing to rise.

A report from council’s acting chief executive officer Kelvin Spiller, prepared for tomorrow evening’s council meeting, puts, for the first time, a definitive cost to ratepayers for the 2012/2013 financial year.

And it’s not good.

The report says that $338,0000 of ratepayers’ funds will be forked out to cover the cost of the council conduct panel, director relief, legal expenses and the probity audit.

That is almost $250,000 more than the $90,000 which had previously been publicly divulged.

And with $500,000 allocated within the 2013/14 draft budget for ongoing ‘council crisis’ costs, some people fear the total costs will exceed $1 million.

The Wangaratta Chronicle understands that wage and associatied costs for replacement executive staff are costing ratepayers in excess of $25,000 a week.

That will continue while council CEO Doug Sharp, executive directors Ruth Tai, Ray Park and Andrew Close, and manager Graham Nickless remain on sick leave.

This post is part of the thread: Council Dramas – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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