I attended the South Gippsland Shire Council meeting on Wednesday, June 22. My faint hope to see at least a small improvement in performance was dashed as soon as the ‘voting bloc’ outvoted – again, the three other councillors on a motion related to council secrecy.
I think this type of behaviour is very destructive, detrimental to good governance and as such bad news for ratepayers.
What I found very painful to watch was the backslapping and self-congratulating in relation to the proposed 2016-17 Budget.
In my opinion this budget is just a slapped up re-hash of much earlier prepared figures that simply perpetuate, and indeed increase, the extravagant expenditure and exorbitant rates I have the misfortune to experience.
I also found it very difficult to listen to councillors congratulating themselves on the 2.5 per cent rate increase imposed by State Government.
And not once, not even a single word related to the fact that any increase is a disaster piling on top of what I consider already disastrously high rates in the first place.
Not one single word about cost reduction to help many ratepayers, pensioners in particular, who find it extremely difficult to scrape the money together to pay for rates I consider to be one of the highest in the state.
Councillors even congratulated the CEO on his performance which I find very disturbing considering all I see is a bloated bureaucracy with far too many fat-cats and the like and very high expenditure desperately in need of a substantial haircut.
In addition, I found it extremely disturbing to listen to the glossing over of the very bad (dis)satisfaction rating this council again was labelled with.
It was very painful to watch as I could not discover even a glimpse of ownership by any of the councillors for one of the lowest satisfaction ratings I have come across.
I hope that ratepayers will judge this voting bloc by not voting for any of these six councillors and indeed carefully consider contestants directing preference votes in their direction.
Gus Blaauw, Venus Bay