Slush fund worth $30,000 kept for mayor

Story appeared in: Review | April 11th, 2018

LABELLED a 'slush fund' by one councillor, mayors in Cumberland will be able to hand out up to $30,000 a year after the adoption of guidelines for an annual Mayoral Fund.
Through the fund, the mayor of the day will be able to approve one-off requests for financial assistance of up to $5,000 from individuals, charities and not-for-profit organisations which don't meet other council funding guidelines.
An amendment which would have left the final approval to the full council was narrowly defeated on the casting vote of Deputy Mayor Eddy Sarkis, as the acting meeting chair.
Cr Lisa Lake, who moved the amendment with Cr Glenn Elmore, said there was a question over the fund's legality, however Cr George Campbell said the real question was whether or not it was desirable.
"What's wrong with the council approving that expenditure?" he said.
Arguing in favour of leaving fund in the hands of the Mayor, Cr Paul Garrard said councillors spent "too much time tied up in legal debate on policies that are obvious".
Cr Ross Grove also said he was happy to support the policy which he described as "a continuation of a practice that was not questioned under the former Holroyd Council".
"It's a low risk scenario, everyone knows this is going to be audited like there is no tomorrow," he said.

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Publication: Review | Section: News | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 136205 | Viewcount: 4835