The luxury cars that the previous Logan City Council Mayor and councillors indulged in may have been recently scrapped by Interim Administrator Tamara O’Shea, however I have strong concerns that voters could unknowingly elect Councillors and a Mayor who will bring back the snout in the trough mentality and the luxury Council vehicles; I am still the only Mayoral candidate to declare that luxury cars and excessive fuel budgets will cease as part of my policy platform.
We still have to wonder what had infected the Logan Councillors the day they decided to go shopping for their council-funded luxury vehicles, some even fitted with ski racks and other accessories. Was a previous Councillor planning on taking their family to the ski slopes or have they already done so, at ratepayers’ expense?
Figures just released show ratepayers paid over $1 million for luxury cars, priced from $48,000 up to $108,000. Some were V8’s in direct violation of Council policy. You paid for this and received NO benefit at all for this excessive cost.
On that day, more than any other, there must have been a collective rush of selfish entitlement, and an early Christmas as they forgot about Council’s rules regarding cars and their responsibilities to ratepayers. No doubt buying hand-picked luxury vehicles was one issue they could all agree on when they decided to spend $1 million of ratepayers money to massage their egos and self-importance.
In Logan City Council’s case the risk of being discovered was harder to hide as this impressive fleet of luxury cars were lined up outside the Council’s buildings for all to see.
As ratepayers drove by in cars that cost a quarter of those leased by council, they must have noticed the extravagance, but did they ever think that the Council had diverted the rates collected from approximately 1,100 homes in Logan? The minimum general rates of $267 per quarter amount to $1,068pa. Think about it from that perspective – 1,100 ratepayers funded this indulgence.
There are 119,000 rate able properties in Logan. 1,100 of them had their rates diverted to councillors who broke council’s own rules regarding car purchases. In doing this, the money for providing your essential services was diverted to the ‘entitled’ group of councillors.
Think of that display of ‘entitlement’ as being money that could be spent on roads, sporting fields and publicly accessible services that the ratepayers could use or benefit from. Logan Council provides a range of services to ratepayers every day, such as roads and footpaths, rubbish collection, libraries and community centres, water and sewerage services, planning, infrastructure and recreational facilities. While the companies that sold these cars rejoiced, only one of them was located in the Logan area.
A few weeks ago, I announced my satisfaction and offered my congratulations to Ms O’Shea for her strong stance against this extravagance. The Council policy as it stands now is that Councillors will be given a base annual $21,702.44 allowance, with and extra $2000 given to the 3 Councillors in the outer Divisions. The council’s chief executive will get a $33,721 annual car allowance and the Mayor will get $30,349.27.
I have already made it publicly known that my first act as Mayor, if elected, will be to ensure this abuse of ratepayer’s money stops. Many ratepayers struggle to pay their ever increasing rates, yet Councillors seem to have no problem putting their snouts in the trough, and this must stop.
I implore all voters to do their research, for the upcoming March Local Government Elections and ask all candidates to pledge to not bring back the extravagance (including luxury cars), if they are elected.
If you place your #1 vote with me, Paul Taylor, for Logan Mayor, I will guarantee that I will lead a council that does not indulge at your expense.