You don’t know it, but the Warrnambool City Council voted to give its CEO, Bruce Anson, a pay rise last week and he now earns a salary package of somewhere between $309,999 and $319,000.
I can’t tell you exactly how much the pay rise is, because the WCC refuses to acknowledge that it even happened.
This is because, as happens in most local councils, it is all negotiated behind closed doors, voted on behind closed doors and the results kept confidential. And because it is confidential, our elected councillors can’t talk about it.
But I can tell you that since Bruce Anson became CEO in 2007, his salary package has increased by 50%, or around $100,000.
This is big money when you live in a place like Warrnambool.
It is the equivalent of around $6000 a week.
$6000 a week…in Warrnambool.
When you think about it, about 300 households in Warrnambool are paying their annual rates just to cover the CEO’s salary package.
The Premier, Daniel Andrews, is paid around $377,000.
In the scheme of things, our CEO is actually not that far behind the Premier.
Maybe our CEO deserves every penny of that package, but who would know? We aren’t allowed to ask how his job skills are measured because that, too, is confidential.
Again, this is how most local councils operate – apart from a few who opt for transparency, like Melbourne City Council.
And, just for the record, Fun4Kids, which was supposed to end two years ago when WCC staff warned it was bleeding money and would continue to do so, has cost us more than $7 million to keep afloat.
In just the past two years – when it should have been cut – it soaked up around another $1 million.
The WCC knew this festival was dead in the water, and finally dropped the axe this month.
But where was the succession plan? What did it think could happen in its place?
Apparently not only are we partly at fault for the festival’s failure because not enough locals attended, we now have to come up with ideas for its replacement.
$7 million….and $6000 a week.
Just some figures for you to ponder as we pay more for parking and more in parking fines and more to get a dog out of the pound and…
[Mr Anson’s contract is due to expire in January 2019. In the 10 years of his tenure, the position has never been advertised.]