Councillors came at a cost

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By Andrew Cantwell

Casey councillors’ allowances and expenses were detailed in Casey City’s annual report released Tuesday, with a total cost to ratepayers approaching $323,000 from 1 July 2019 to the time of their sacking on 19 February this year.

Most councillors pocketted $18,870.38 in base allowance, the amount they were entitled to from performing their roles as councillors – or about $2800 per month.

Former mayors Susan Serey and Amanda Stapledon received about $42,156 and $36,988 respectively. Part of ex-councillor Stapledon’s mayoral year ran into the 2019-20 financial year, which accounted for the increased amount. The mayor was entitled to an allowance of about $9000 a month for the role.

Expenses contributed $73,665 to the total cost of councillors, with travel expenses being the most popular claim, at $44,347 in total.

IT and communications expenses swallowed up a further $12,111.

Training and education costs amounted to $5208.

In addition, carer expenses for ex-councillor Stapledon totalled almost $12,000.

This last amount contributed to ex-councillor Stapledon claiming the highest tally of expenses, at $22,522.

Over $12,000 each was claimed by ex-councillors Wayne Smith and Sam Aziz.

Other sums in the thousand were claimed by Susan Serey ($8812), Damian Rosario ($6052), Rosalie Crestani ($5211), Gary Rowe ($3260) and Rex Flannery ($1323).

Ex-councillors Geoff Ablett ($879), Timothy Jackson ($874) and Mila Gilic ($270) were frugal by comparison.

The annual report also detailed meeting attendances, with Rosalie Crestani attending all 17 possible meetings of the former council.

Following were ex-councillors Serey (16), Rowe (16), Flannery (16), Smith (15), Jackson (12), Ablett (10), Rosario (9), Gilic (6) and Aziz (4).

Included in the annual report were administrator allowances and attendance figures.

For the period from 20 February to 30 June, ratepayers have laid out about $94,776 for chief administrator Noelene Duff; and from 20 May to 30 June $12,411 each to fellow administrators Miguel Belmar and Cameron Boardman.

A total of $4 was claimed in that period by adminstrators for expenses relating to IT and communications.

The adminstrators also had a 100 per cent attendance record at meetings – being 10 for Ms Duff and four each for Mr Belmar and Mr Boardman.

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