Kyudos has to go to David Johnston of the midweek Xpress for his piece on concerns by the Victorian Auditor General and local residents and buisiness-people alike about wodonga council’s ability to service their current level of debt.
Wodonga buisinessman Eric Pietila has called for an independant audit of the city’s finances in the wake of Peter Marshall’s resignation as council chief executive officer after 13 years.
Concerned at the high level of debt being carried by Wodonga council, Mr Pietila said the replacement CEO and a new council to be elected in November were entitled to know the true picture of the city’s finances.
Earlier this year, Victorian Auditor General Des Pearson raised concerns about Wodonga’s $26 million in borrowings and it’s ability to service the debt.
Wodonga was listed by Mr Pearson among 18 councils at moderate risk.
“whoever fills his shoes needs to know the true picture as to what liabilities the council has” Mr Pietila said.
“I think they (council) have been a bit secretive because there is a lot of debt out there.”
“He (Marshall) was certainly pro-development but whether it is the role of council to be out there developing and being the umpire and player at the same time is the big question I have”.
Ratepayer’s association spokesperson Geoff Burton said he was also concerned about the level of debt being carried by Wodonga.
“He (Marshall) has done a lot of good for Wodonga, let’s not deny that, but it has been at huge cost”.
In stark contrast, the Border Mail ran what can best be described as a glowing review of the outgoing CEO.
It’ll be interesting to see if Peter Marshall is so fondly remembered when the bill arrives I guess. Given the rising interest rates that seems to be foremost in a lot of people’s minds. This could be a sign of trouble ahead.