envelope-budgetI write in support of a letter to the editor written by Cr Don Hill which appeared in the Sentinel-Times on February 10.
Having been, in the past, the chairman of the Audit Committee of the South Gippsland Shire Council for six years and an elected councillor for three years, I do well understand the frustration felt by Cr Hill as he tries to grapple with the bureaucratic system at the shire office.
I agree with him that it is time to halt the lazy method of just jacking up the rates each year to cover increased expenses.
There is no reason why the rates should be increase by more than CPI.
I urge the other elected councillors to support Cr Hill and to demand that administration expenses be reduced.
There are many savings which can be achieved by looking at the duplication of administration services.
Each year councillors are asked what external services they are prepared to cut such as libraries, swimming pools, home help etc. etc.
They are told that there is no chance of reducing some the office staff that may not really be required.
Our local councillors are hoodwinked and are not allowed to touch the bureaucracy led by the CEO.
The CEO should be put on the line and asked to reduce expenditure at the shire office and offered a bonus for achieving this goal.
He should not be just given an annual pay rise whether or not he brings about efficiencies in the management.
Each year the budget is set by councillors who have their hands tied behind their backs.
Suggestions from the ratepayers are rarely listened to until it is too late.
Statutory deadlines must be met and these are used as an excuse to not materially change the budget drawn up by the bureaucrats with a promise to look into the savings “next year”.
Councillors, please wake up and listen to your ratepayers.
We cannot afford to have yet another rate rise which is higher than the CPI.
Clyde Paterson, Korumburra.