With the local government elections in September, it is most important that all citizens give considered thought to their vote in Eurobodalla Shire.
In 2010 at an important community forum (Twyford) a majority of participants doubted whether council was making efficient use of existing income and resources and called for an independent external review of council’s management and financial efficiency.
Since then, council’s management has shown little interest in finding alternatives to ever-increasing rates, fees and charges and, in the absence of leadership from the mayor and councillors, management has continued its wasteful agendas without baselines for controls on spending.
Community consultation is deemed relevant only when it can be manipulated to endorse the view of council management.
State Government Ministers’ responses to several representations have been disappointing.
My concern is that local government has been allowed to grow into an unco-ordinated, uncontrolled bureaucracy with wide-ranging activities which extend far beyond the responsibility of ratepayers and certainly well beyond the capacity of councillors to provide guidance and business-like oversight.
Far from directing and controlling council’s affairs, councillors appear subservient to the dictates of staff and, on the other hand, they ignore the concerns of those they are supposed to represent.
When the general manager’s employment contract came up for review recently, it was suggested that councillors would be wise to leave any commitment for renewal until the new council is installed.
The mayor thumbed his nose at this suggestion and took the view that new councillors would be too inexperienced to deal responsibly with renewal of the contract.
It will pay to spend time searching out, questioning the policies and looking critically at the credentials of candidates well ahead of voting day.
Frank Milner, North Batemans Bay