POOF! Another million of ratepayers’ money gone under Commissioner

Poof! Originator: Richard Scott 33. Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Today’s Canning Times reveals employee load at Canning has blown out so much under Commissioner Reynolds the administration building, only built in 2006, can’t contain them.

Public servants are to be moved to a shop at Carousel for a minimum of two years.

It will not only house 18 staff unable to fit in our principal council offices, apparently moving them several hundred metres down the road will make their work on the Canning City Centre concept plan more effective.

Its a pity it will be a shop that looks out over the loading docks at Carousel!  (Next to Red Cross here)

Any truth to the rumour the staff going to Carousel are seeking to quarantine themselves off from reform implications?  See bottom of post!

The lease will start at $74,000 annually and fit out costs will be at least $80,000.

We shudder to think what the wine’n’dine budget for this group might be, as despite the Commissioner and his executives having lost the $700m Bentley Regeneration project’s Heads of Agreement deal, with the Dept of Housing, they continue to believe they are wheelers and dealers in real estate.

We were sent an email from someone who appeared to have some knowledge of the plans for the relocation, which explains a budgetary item we were surprised at in the adopted budget:

City Centre Reserve
City Centre – Town Square Place Activation $495,000

Activation is “pop up” shops and town squares, where currently scrub exists – years before actual development takes place.  It lasts as long as the money does – in this case half a million in ratepayers’ monies, to be actioned prior to local govt reform recommendations being announced.

We were told the executives at Canning believe that artificially stimulating what the City Centre could look like with even more people will affect developers’ decisions, ie, “Sporting groups and stadiums do deals/ generate interest on game days with full crowds & atmosphere”.

The only people more shrewd than bankers are property developers.  We doubt spending towards a million dollars on shops and pops is going to melt their hearts, and of course today’s developer isn’t required to comply with what councils want – they can simply bypass them and go to Development Assessment Panels and the State Administrative Tribunal to get projects through.

Spending money on shops and fit outs, hiring more staff, creating temporary structures and bringing across eastern states consultants to run $8000 workshops on how to do it all is, however, how you set fire to a big pile of ratepayers’ money.

What would make the critical difference here is if Commissioner Reynolds were to announce he has received confirmation from Gosnells (who are on track to take over Canning) that they will continue this level of speculative expenditure for the Canning City Centre plan.  At least then we would know if this upheaval and cost has a life beyond the next 10 months.

As for the staff who will be moved to Carousel, they comprise the City Futures division under Director Mike Mouritz.  Any truth to the rumour this division is seeking to separate itself off from the rest of Canning’s employees, in the hope they can quarantine themselves from any changes when the reform begins?  We are intrigued! 

(In case anyone hasn’t noticed, we are having a bit of a larff at all of this – what else can we do while people who don’t live here run our city and spend our money 🙂 )

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2 thoughts on “POOF! Another million of ratepayers’ money gone under Commissioner

  1. I like to know why so much wasted money goes in a call centre at the council whilst severe staff shortages are happening elsewhere. Riverton Library is severly understaffed stressing those having to make up the shortfall. To the point that staff retire and another sadly passed away yet these staff aren’t even replaced. But barely a week goes by when an email is put out “Welcome so and so to the team at the Canning offices”.

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