Good to see Cr Hill and Cr McEwen continuing to highlight the unacceptable practices adopted by the South Gippsland Shire Council.
This council exists to serve ratepayers and not its own interests, deploying a bloated, overpaid bureaucracy including 24 fat cats.
And stop spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants and glossy advertising in a pathetic attempt to raise the disastrous satisfaction rating.
Satisfied ratepayers result from good management and not from advertisements.
Cr Hill refers to obsessive secrecy surrounding the Budget.
I am deeply disturbed by the process where the administration dictates Budgets with no input from councillors.
SGSC Budgets are prepared using previous spending dollars, adding some calculations and some ‘explanations’.
A percentage is added arriving at the final result. This practice is not used by any reputable entity I know of.
Unfortunately Budgets are not subject to official audit and thus a free for all.
This provides a huge encouragement to spend as much money as possible providing more money in future Budgets.
In my opinion SGSC rates are far too high and must be reduced by 33 per cent.
The current unacceptable budget formulation and lack of modern management techniques spells disaster for a small municipality of less than 20,000 ratepayers.
And everywhere I see spin, drivel, claptrap and self-serving rubble masquerading as governance. And secrecy all around.
Modern Budget preparation builds Budgets from the ground-up using best practice.
Management must constantly monitor this process and routinely modifies. Decision makers – and not hired hands – must be constantly informed about progress.
Then Budget meetings are held to approve the final Budget, or not.
SGSC needs a drastic change from a toxic, out-dated culture.
I consider the preparation of Budgets based on previous year(s) spending to which a percentage is added as Mickey Mouse stuff and totally unacceptable.
To allow bureaucratic fat cats to dictate Budgets and thus rates I find beyond contempt.
This out-dated practice has no place in modern management.
I think it might be a good idea to remind the CEO that he is the hired help, not an elected official and must refrain from public comments on policy decisions.
He is lucky to receive salary increases totalling about $60,000 in the last two years and the question which councillor promoted this outrage remains unanswered. Transparency? Sure.
It’s time for the minister to step in and select a professional management company to provide administration services to fully satisfy ratepayers’ expectations.
The current system with municipal councils at severe odds with each other and ratepayers is inefficient, out of touch and desperately in need of modernisation.
Gus Blaauw, Venus Bay.