I attended the meeting of the South Gippsland Shire Council on Wednesday, April 27. I came home angry and disgusted.
If that is representative of the council’s governance, then on a scale of 10, I’ll give them a 1 and that is for turning up.
I have participated in hundreds of meetings in unusual circumstances and challenging environments but I have never experienced anything like this.
The one pleasant experience was the excellent performances of councillors McEwen, Kennedy and Hill who conducted themselves with impeccable professionalism.
The existence of the “voting bloc” was very obvious to me. I firmly believe that respect must be earned and cannot be commanded and as such my respect for this bloc is non-existent.
I call for the removal of Cr Bob Newton from both his position of Mayor and councillor. I regard his performance at the abovementioned council meeting incompatible with the requirements I can reasonably expect as a ratepayer and as a member of the community.
I also refer to the ‘Mayor’s message’ published on Wednesday, April 27.
I consider this article not only to be unacceptable but also inaccurate. As a ratepayer and shire resident I hope that I am entitled to expect that SGSC’s elected members represent me with common decency, propriety and respect for my interests.
I find this article offensive and adverse to those expectations and as such I wish no longer to be represented by this person.
In relation to the comments in this Mayor’s message about the proposed Municipal Building, I offer the following observations: Grant $2m plus borrowing $16m plus reserves of $7m plus estimated borrowing costs of $7m for a total estimate of $32m. Possibly more if estimated borrowing costs continue beyond the published time line.
In addition, I am unable to find any person in favour of this project and I have been all over the shire to discuss the council’s October 2016 election.
I strongly disagree with the assertion by Cr Bob Newton in his Mayor’s message that this project will be largely supported by government grants as I am unable to find any such information in the published documentation.
The Adopted Annual Budget 2015-2016 publication indicates only one grant of $2m. If further grants support the financing of this most unpopular project I cannot find them and would suggest this information is incorrect or incomplete, or both, and as such flawed.
And even if a more substantial portion of the $32m was going to be funded by government grants, I think it would be incorrect to conclude that this somehow is not derived from taxpayers’ money, one way or another.
Unless, of course, the tooth fairy decided to donate a few bucks.
Gus Blaauw, Venus Bay.