Mosman Park mid-year budget review includes extra payments

Mosman Park mid-year budget review includes extra payments

LEGAL costs from an alleged defamation, paying for planning advice and building new public barbecues are in the mid-year budget review at Mosman Park council.

At its March meeting, council agreed to take $50,000 from its legal contingency reserve, leaving $74,953 for any future advice and payments to lawyers.

Chief executive Mark Goodlet said $35,000 was for planning decisions.

“The Town needed legal support for SAT cases in the 2015-16 financial year for which the bills only came through at the beginning of this financial year,” Mr Goodlet said.

He said “most” of the remainder related to a “one off insurance excess” for a defamation claim by former Bridgetown and Busselton councils chief executive Andrew Macnish.

Mr Macnish claimed his reputation was tarnished by the alleged reversal of a job offer for the top administrative job at Mosman Park in April last year.

Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris and councillors were named by Mr Macnish’s subsequent civil action at the Supreme Court, which will next hear the complaint on April 19.

Councillors also agreed to take $114,000 from the infrastructure reserve to use for projects around the town in the mid-year review.

The change allows $60,000 to be spent on new public barbecues and $44,000 on drains at the Harvey Street and Jabe Dodd car parks before winter, and $20,000 to resurface courts at the Mosman Park Tennis Club.

This left $950,100 in the Town’s infrastructure reserve, and notes for the review said unrestricted cash reserves now comprised $5.534 million, up from $4.695m at the same time in 2015-16.

Reserves were heavily used for work on public buildings considered vital before eventually failed council mergers several years ago.

Mr Goodlet said the council was now reviewing its long-term financial plan, which would address restoring reserves.