Letter: Scary behaviour from councillors

Pamela Frost’s report, Row over GM’s pay deal (Bay Post/Moruya Examiner, January 16), must frighten thousands of residents and business owners who have attempted to tell councillors that increasing rates to maximum allowable limits, at every opportunity, is not sustainable.

Not so long ago those residents sent desperate petitions to the NSW Government. The (former) Minister for Local Government urged council to show care.

Council’s old guard continues to ignore residents and our shire’s shrinking economy.

An alarming number of local businesses are closing forever, livelihoods are lost, many residents chase employment outside the shire, families are moving out and money is tight.

Growing forests of For Sale signs are partly fertilised by ever-increasing council rates and charges.

Air-filled arguments from councillors to inflate the general manager’s salary relied heavily on recommendations from their consultant and the Local Government Association. That is as predictable as asking unions if members deserve greater rewards.

Flimsy justification came from the same councillors who become embarrassed if asked to explain a balance sheet or details of council’s ever-expanding expenditures.

If compelling reasons for the increase were evident, approval should have been subject to off-setting savings from council’s grossly outsized expenditure on salaries and on-costs.

Absence of significant managerial or financial qualifications or experience among the dominant, big-spending councillors is all too evident.

Residents must ultimately leave, or pay, for that lack of financial discipline.

Don Burns, Tuross Head

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