To follow the recent upheaval in the South Gippsland Shire Council continues to be a most interesting and revealing exercise.
I have followed proceedings closely and attended most Council meetings over the last five years. Many times I could not believe the pathetic shenanigans by – I called them the gang of six – grown up men and women of the previous Council. Not surprisingly, six were dumped by the electorate at the last elections.
For present councillors to deal with and provide sensible directions benefiting all ratepayers and residents with the mess left by the previous councillors – the ‘Voting Block’ in particular – continues to be a very difficult and demanding task. I have been critical on occasion. That is how it should be, and I am aware there is a process of continuous improvement, albeit slow.
I believe that the culture, direction and disconnect I observe by the top echelon of the bureaucracy is decidedly unhelpful. This belief is reinforced by the well-known report about the Ipswich City Council which shows how an unhealthy culture and unsound practices, once established and never corrected, can derail the efficient operation of a council.
How convenient for two councillors to resign almost in unison. I have followed both councillors when present at Council meetings over some five years and am decidedly unimpressed. In general, to express dissatisfaction is one thing, but to leave ratepayers and residents in the lurch is something totally different.
I believe that such action is a perfect example of the practices I observed in the previous Council by the ‘Voting Block’. I think that as a ratepayer and resident I am entitled to be treated with more respect than that.
I believe that dismissal of an elected Council by installing an unelected administrator is unacceptable in the present circumstances and as such detrimental to our interests.
If actions by the two councillors are designed to facilitate and accelerate this is a matter for ratepayers and residents to consider. And judge.
I urge all councillors to continue and concentrate on their efforts to bring good governance to this shire council. These are difficult times but I am convinced that the vast majority of ratepayers and residents support you. Please be not distracted by those I believe have through their actions demonstrated little interest and very little respect for us.
I look forward to a fresh approach, a new direction and much improvement to provide for a culture much more in tune with the requirements of us ratepayers and residents.
Gus Blaauw, Venus Bay.