As a Bass Coast resident and ratepayer I have been reading with rising frustration the many but not varied cries of outrage directed towards the current council.
Frustrating because so many letters and comments demonstrate a lack of understanding of both the mechanisms of local government and the complexity of the issues under scrutiny.
“If only Executive Management wasn’t paid so much…”; “If only council consulted more…”; “If only council didn’t pay all those consultants…”. And so on, ad nauseam. Comments include dodgy generalisations, emotive, illogical statements, offensive personal attacks, factual errors.
Very rarely (fingers of one hand) do I read about the positives: the community consultations, the turnaround in financial management, the improved infrastructure maintenance, the plans for new infrastructure; the time and support provided to the Bass Children’s Centre in their quest for a state of the art facility, the extended bike path onto Phillip Island.
Even rarer are thoughtful solutions, beyond the kneejerk ‘get rid of consultants’; ‘reduce the CEO’s salary’ and so on.
And so to the forthcoming election. I had hoped to read about candidates’ visions for the shire and how these might be brought to fruition.
That is the councillors’ role after all. I would like to hear councillors articulate how they see our region progressing socially, economically, environmentally, culturally. Certainly, they should consult with community and collaborate with one another in developing their ideas and opinions.
It is then for councillors to work with shire officers to implement strategies to achieve these goals. This is their role as community leaders.
How depressing then, the dearth of ideas and absence of vision for Bass Coast.
Judging from their comments, too few of the candidates appear to have much idea about how to tackle the complex problems confronting them should they be successful or to have a view much beyond winning a seat at the table.
Despite the large number of candidates, I would hardly say we electors are spoilt for choice. Oh well, I guess that makes my task easier…
Maddy Harford, West Creek.
Ideas, not outrage