Snippets – Questionable spending?

Rates are rising across the country, with a recent economist’s report showing an average expected rise of 15%. This is the largest rise the country has seen since 2003, which begs the question, where is all the money going?

Inflated construction costs and widening responsibilities take the majority of the blame, but one can’t help but wonder if there might be an element of ‘questionable’ spending involved.

Across the world there are some compelling examples of spending that would be considered less than palatable to the ratepayer. The Gold Coast city council spent $2 million on an art installation consisting of street lights painted to spell the letters ‘Gold Coast’. The catch is, passing motorists couldn’t even make out what the lights were supposed to say. A vote to remove the lights has recently been passed, with an estimated removal cost in excess of $250,000.

Further afield, in Illinois, $98 million was allocated to a project to research and apply a solution for trains making noise as they come to a stop, after complaints were made from two former clients of the Illinois House Speaker. The city of San Francisco spent four years testing various trash can prototypes, some of which ranged in price from $11,000 to $20,000 each. The city of Liverpool spent over £300,000 on three public art installations depicting an elephant in a Viking boat, a tree with a giant frisbee in it, and a large chair with bird wings attached to the back of it.

Are there any similar examples in your city?

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