With the Bass Coast Council elections in October this year, surely a major item the candidates need to be aware of is how they will improve the performance of the council.
Over the past four years the council’s performance is seen by many as being on a slippery slide.
Therefore, a lot of hard work is necessary to repair the damage that has been done.
We will need new councillors bringing fresh attitudes and ideas.
Most of the existing councillors have failed residents and ratepayers.
The new councillors will need to increase the performance level of the Bass Coast Shire to a community satisfaction level of at least 80 per cent by the end of their term.
This figure can be achieved but will need councillors to step up to their task with a very positive drive for the residents and ratepayers who trusted them by voting for them.
An enhancement in council performance can come from knowledge of the Local Government Act that is framed to ensure councils deliver the help and service that the community expect and deserve.
Would it be reasonable to expect that performance is also related to lifting the profile of the shire, for example, organising additional annual major events similar to the Inverloch Jazz Festival?
This type of event attracts many people from outside the shire and indirectly promotes the Bass Coast as a good place for retirees to relocate.
Even those in the workforce may find it attractive to live on the Bass Coast and make the road trip to the outer suburbs of Melbourne for work.
A definite performance enhancer is to improve the communication skills of councillors and council staff.
Over the past few years answers to emails or getting a return phone call has been below par.
Furthermore, would it not make an appreciable difference if all councillors were subjected to a performance rating?
Would not an 8 on a scale of 10 be a reasonable expectation?
Assessments can be via media community surveys and council community surveys, which could coincide with the timing of the State Government annual council satisfaction survey.
The performance assessment should demonstrate how a councillor rates in the categories of honesty, openness and willingness to talk to all residents who may need their help.
Perhaps some community Q&A forums, in local areas, bi-monthly or monthly, should be promoted.
Those would go a long way in building the consultation and communication processes.
The Mayor’s report in the local papers would be better received as a report on Bass Coast, not world events.
The better the performance we can get with some new councillors the bigger the positive outcomes – a direction that the Bass Coast Shire must take to earn back some respect from the ratepayers.
Current “street talk” is anti-BCSC performance.
Wastage of money, budget fragility, poor animal management, excessive use of consultants and lack of proper consultation are the hot topics requiring an uplift in performance.
Robert Scott, Inverloch.