Numbers game over city coffers
DISPUTE OVER AMOUNT IN CASH RESERVES
STIRLING Mayor Giovanni Italiano has confirmed the City of Stirling holds $72.9 million in reserve funds despite a local government candidate claiming the City had reserves and surplus funds worth $2.84 billion at last month’s council meeting.
Osborne ward candidate Adam Spagnolo posted an image of the City’s Statement of Financial Position for the year ended June 2016 on his public Facebook page which showed the City had $2,844,681,918 in total equity worth, which included assets, reserves, liabilities and accumulated surplus.
Mr Spagnolo’s candidate profile on the City’s website said the council had $3 billion in reserve and surplus funds and he would move to allocate some of these funds to reduce future costs and council rates.
Mr Spagnolo said he stood by his figures because it was what the City made available on its website at the time of his post on September 27.
“Most level-headed people would know that is the way governmental accounting is translated,” he said.
At the meeting, Nollamara resident and rival Osborne ward candidate Frank Paolino asked how the City would address the incorrect figures that Mr Spagnolo had put in the public domain.
Acting corporate services director Ingrid Hawkins said information about the reserves could be found in the Statutory Budget document on the City’s website.
According to the City’s Statutory Budget, the council’s reserve funds included $17 million for waste development initiatives, $15.6 million for plant replacement and implementation of the paid parking strategy, $15.7 million for leave entitlements and provisions and workers compensation, $15.9 million for the major corporate projects, $2.7 million for payment in lieu of parking and $6 million for income generating projects and security services.
Stirling chief executive Stuart Jardine said the City received a complaint about the misleading information on Facebook and a candidate profile and passed it on to the WA Electoral Commission (WAEC).
A WAEC spokesperson said the complaint was raised directly with the Returning Officer, who in turn sought advice from the Commission.
“While the Commission does not comment on individual candidates or complaints, this matter has been addressed,” the spokesperson said.