Council review needed to flush out bureaucracy

in reply to the story “Council staff fear for their jobs” (January 25, 2013). Whether this review is external or internal, workers have every right to be concerned about their jobs and any potential job losses in a council that spends willy-nilly and contracts outside consultants instead of using its own resources. 

I see the review as an excellent way for ratepayers and the union to have input into the running of this council. I cannot see why three councillors should be included when the workers’ representative is not included from the initial conception of this review. 

Councillors as elected representatives of the people already have access for input of new ideas at any council meeting. 

The real crux of this review will be the selection of the independent chairperson and the two community members, which must be transparent, fair and above all impartial. As a ratepayer my concerns are that there are too many fat cat appointments into overpaid positions, causing superannuation contributions and other liabilities to ratepayers to climb. 

The other is the council’s service delivery to ratepayers, and the poor community engagement and communication over planning projects. For example, did the council and councillors consult fully with the residents of Golden Square, Long Gully and Kangaroo Flat over the proposed closure of their pools? And the claim “subject to funding” that the new indoor aquatic centre leisure centre could be completed by early 2013? 

Or is this just all wishful thinking and nice-sounding weasel words, as the superannuation contribution is somewhere in the vicinity of $11 million and could climb higher?

Citizens in Golden Square have revealed how misinformation, or lack of information, can form some councillors’ opinions and decision-making, which does not serve residents’ or ratepayers interests. 

After the experience of the Golden Square pool closure, I for one will be writing a submission to this review.

Bill Collier,

Golden Square

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