It is painfully evident that the Bass Coast Shire Council is in serious financial trouble.
Not surprising when their CEO publicly stated that they were making profits while in reality they are accumulating underlying losses.
Without doubt, the underlying losses are what matters, not the above line surpluses trumped up by this CEO as nothing to worry about.
The consequences are for all to see.
These losses mean loss of money and as a consequence, borrowings are a disastrous $13.7 million increasing to $16.8 million in the next financial year.
With an unbelievable spending culture, an employee establishment of 316 FTE, a payroll nudging $30 million and rate capping in force, this council has very little chance of reducing borrowings, or of applying for grants because they have no money.
Not surprising, in desperation this council found a little family silver and is going to cash that in.
The big question is if this sell-out of a Long Service Leave Reserve of $4.5 million gives a worse problem immediately or a bigger disaster sometime in the not too distant future.
And there’s a very good chance the payroll will increase substantially.
This Bass Coast Shire Council is in desperate trouble and unless they immediately reduce their operating costs, those nasty problems will increase.
Obviously, ratepayers’ requests for desperately needed cost cutting will be refused and invariably accompanied by the usual scaremongering threats that services will be cut.
History suggests this council does not have the capabilities or the will to reduce costs and improve services at the same time. A grim situation indeed!
Unfortunately the South Gippsland Shire Council is firmly entrenched on the same slippery slope.
Total underlying losses are forecast for this year and the next to be a disastrous $3.1 million Loss.
We expect that the surplus of $18.3 million at June 30, 2016, including $15.3 million in bank deposits, is reduced severely or disappears altogether.
Obsessive secrecy and refusal to reduce costs, in particular unsustainably high employee costs, combined with an inability to improve services, is painfully evident.
When put to the test, we receive the same pathetic threats and inevitable worn out scare tactics of cuts in services.
The recent Residents Satisfaction Survey statistics showed an all-time low satisfaction rating and we consider it high time this provides the deciding KPI factor to dismiss the CEO and ensure a suitable replacement to arrest this disastrous governance.
Our close observations, detailed investigations and in-depth perusal of financial results have provided sufficient information for us to express our deep dissatisfaction with the performance of this CEO and hereby express our total lack of confidence in this employee.
In addition, in my opinion, councillors who supported the motion put at the council meeting of July 26 that staff reductions most likely lead to a reduction in services, are out of touch with reality and will be held responsible for the consequences of the slippery slope this council has embarked upon.
Gus Blaauw, treasurer, South Gippsland Action Group.