Mayor Rod Marti has taken a razor to the TRC
At last week’s first ordinary meeting for the new TRC, Mayor Rod Marti wasted no time in cost-cutting.
In an unprecedented move, Mayor Marti knocked back a mayoral car and cash payment.
The former TRC policy was that the mayor was provided with a car or a $13,500 payment in lieu in the car.
Mr Marti said taking the car wasn’t something he was comfortable doing during the current economic climate “I made that decision pretty early on, in the preparations for our first council meeting.” he said
“This is something I wasn’t comfortable with from the outset, taking the car or the money.
“If I need to drive far for a council meeting, I will just take one of the council’s pool vehicles.”
Mr Marti also introduced a mayoral minute into the proceedings.
According to the TRC, a Mayoral minute is:
“The means by which the Mayor can bring an item of business to Council for consideration, it can be either listed on the public agenda or simply tabled.
Unlike other motions, a Mayoral Minute does not need to be seconded to be considered by Council.
Once the Mayoral Minute is placed on the table, there can be discussion/debate on the Mayoral Minute and it is then put to the vote – with Council either supporting the Mayoral Minute or voting it down.”
Mr Marti says he used the legal tool to get some cost-cutting done quickly.
“The mayoral minute gives you the capacity to do something quickly without asking officers to prepare a report,” he said
“Otherwise I’ve got to ask officers to prepare a report on why they shouldn’t be allowed to recruit.
“I wanted to get it done sooner rather than later, we want to make changes now, not in 6 months.”
Mayor Marti said he was sending a clear message that he wanted to do things differently.
“We wanted to make the statement early on that we will do things differently to the previous council and this is the first step.” Mayor Marti said
“This council was elected on a fairly strong platform of reducing costs.
Part of the mayoral minute was a moratorium on recruitment.
Mr Marti said that even if someone resigns or leaves that position can’t be filled unless it’s approved by either the mayor or the deputy mayor.
“We brought that in to pull the reins on spending; basically council has been increasing rates unjustifiably over the last 4 years,” he said
“This is the start of pulling in the reins on council; we can’t just keep on employing people.
In the meeting, there was also a moratorium placed on the TRC enterprise fund which was set up several years ago with the aim of boosting economic development within the TRC.
“All we have done is spend over $300,000 dollars and we don’t have much to show for it, so I put a freeze on it,” Mr Marti said
“I also asked for reports on corporate cards, there’s a lot of credit cards in our organisation.
“We need to make sure that people with a corporate credit card really need them.”
The next TRC meeting is planned for Thursday 28 May.