Never has so much damaging material been dumped on one person. It’s the Latham Liverpool files.
Haven’t read this account of ex-Mayor Latham’s record at City Hall thoroughly yet, but here’s a damning sample:
Tripling the 1992 cost of Council Officers to prepare Local Environment Plans for rezoning (from $600 to $2,000 for one applicant and from $700 to $2,500 for more than one owner and from $900 to $3,000 if the application required an environmental study);
Introducing new building inspection fees ranging from $50 for properties valued at under $20,000 to $500 for properties valued over $2 million;
Increasing the fee to use the council’s swimming pool by 10c for adults and 10c per waterslide ride, 20c for children, parents accompanying children to learn to swim lessons or attending school carnivals and non officiating parents on club swim nights, 80c for widow pensioners, $3.00 per hour for school carnivals;
Increasing the licence fee for undertakers (from $50 to $54), public entertainment (from $160 to $200) and Introducing a $10 licence fee for buskers;
Introducing a charge on water-cooled air conditioning systems — $80 for water cooling and warm water systems and $60 for evaporative systems65.
Increasing the cost of childcare, from $115 a week to $135 a week for longcare (this meant childcare fees had increased $25, or 23% in just two years);
Increasing parking fees by 60% at the Northumberland Street Car Park, 54% at the Bathurst Street Car Park and increases ranging from 25% to 50% for more than two hours at the Plaza Car Park;
Increasing the fees for sporting field hire by 50%;
Doubling the cost of hiring tennis courts ;
Further increasing swimming pool admissions by 25% for all age and concession categories. 66
Crazy? Bully? You decide:
Calling the police to help control Council meetings…
On Monday 23 March 1992 Mayor Mark Latham reportedly called the police to evict Cr Tony Pascale from a Council meeting after asking a question about rorting by truck contractors78.
Reportedly, all Cr Pascale had wanted to do was ask a question of town clerk David Mead (as other Councillors had been allowed to do in the past). Mr Latham however ruled it out of order. After a 15 minute adjournment, Mr Latham said Pascale would be allowed to sit at the meeting if he apologised. After Mr Pascale refused, Mr Latham called the police to forcibly evict him79.
According to the local Chamber of Commerce President, John Henshaw, “the spectacle of police being called to a council meeting at the behest of a political faction is no different from past performances where former aldermen publicly settled differences with fist fights or offers to do so outside” and that “it is a shame sixth-rate politicians pretending to be business managers are effectively doing the same thing to the multi million dollar corporation of Liverpool City Council.”
The question now is, how will the media treat this?
Judging from early responses, with kid gloves.
AAP has just announced the release of the dossier without including any of the claims in detail. It gives equal coverage to a letter from the commissioner of inquiry into Liverpool who said there was no evidence of mismanagement during Mr Latham’s time at the helm, from 1991 to 1994.
Time to go to work, bloggers.