Gary Smith has no problem with the new statue of footballer Michael Weyman, but says he and others are still scratching their heads as to why it was installed in the middle of a busy Moruya pathway.
The Coila resident can’t understand why Eurobodalla Shire Council did not install it a few metres away, in the grassy park, instead of at the point where the path and cycleways merged.
“It is a fine statue, it was all handled by the community and I congratulate the sponsor and sculptor,” the Eurobodalla Ratepayers Association member said.
“All council had to do was erect it and they have put in the middle of the path, which is just crazy.
“You have to jump through hoops to put tables and chairs in front of a café, to put on signs on footpaths, but here council puts a big statue right in the pathway.
“The mystery to many locals is why? There are sharp edges, cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchairs must go around it, there is a huge grassy park next to it where a statue could safely sit.”
Mr Smith said the decision was symptomatic of a council “unable to get the little things right”.
A former senior council employee, he says his frustration has reached the point where he is considering running at the spring council elections.
“If council can’t manage these little things, how can they manage the big issues, for example the Local Environment Plan (LEP),” he said.
“I am a member of the ERA, and since I have been involved I have just been astounded by the number of people who have come forward with issues about council.
“I really think we need a change at the top. Even though we have good councillors, they are not effective as a team and we need better management systems in place.
“I was the coordinator of the environment unit at ESC for about 20 years. I know how things work. A lot of the councillors don’t appreciate how things work and they can be dissuaded from taking courses of action by certain staff.
“There are certainly staff who are very well appreciated, they are qualified, good people and they do a good job. My main concern is with the levels of senior management. There is no response to community wishes. It seems to be an us-and-them culture.”
Mr Smith said the council’s tussle with the Tuross community over the installation of a seat after funds were provided in a bequest also frustrated him.
“People are put through hoops to do something simple,” he said.
“It annoys me to see the drama about this simple seat. The South Head pathway to be named after Christopher Brice just went on and on. This is repeated all around the shire. Little things have grown into big issues, upsetting people and it need not happen with good management.
“After two years of looking seriously at it, the only change is going to be via the elections. If there is a good balance of power in council, we can get things moving. We need some fresh new faces on council, with some skills, wisdom and experience.”