I very much doubt if this decision has its origins from within the councillors themselves. Most likely it has been ‘sold’ to them by our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tim Tamlin (TT). For confirmation of this viewpoint, look at how he jumped on Cr Don Hill after he said at the first October 2018 Korumburra meeting: “….and we are charging people higher rates than we need to”.
For councillors, the proposed increase is akin to shooting themselves in the foot – as far as their constituent base is concerned.
Methinks the administration does not want to forego the rates increase this year, because it then means the future rate rises are off a lower rates base. So, therefore, the rate take every year hereafter will be lower than it would otherwise be, if they slip in the 2.5% increase this year.
Not altogether an undesirable concept, if it wasn’t for the past commitments and the fact it increases the $ burden on every ratepayer forever after. If anyone was to explain this to the ratepayers, I expect they won’t be any too happy.
In contrast to their present proposed approach, the councillors have the opportunity to ingratiate themselves to the ratepayers, by honouring their earlier commitment to reducing the rates by 3% this year. This will mean the administration will have to cut expenditure hard – as was the commitment and expectation for this past year.
Council should fund any revenue shortfall for year ending 2019/20, from ‘CASH AND OTHER ASSETTS’. That’s a tough call – but it’s time to bite the bullet – we just can’t afford more of the ‘same old, same old’!
The councillors would need to fully embrace the Growth for Reduced Rates (GfRR) plan and quickly knuckle down to directing the administration to deliver whatever regulation/rule changes need to be made to ensure it is implemented in the quickest possible time. None of this is likely to happen unless and until a new CEO is installed.
Growing the number of ‘assessments’ quickly will; within a few years; regain any lost ground caused by the change of direction. This plan has the benefit of leaving the existing ratepayers financially better off (for the rest of their days), will also provide an improved rates look for the newbies and it might even save the jobs of the councillors.
There will need to be a change of mind-set within the administration. The old ways of delaying projects for years before achieving an outcome have to disappear. I read all sorts of documents prepared by the administration and almost without exception, find they leave me with the impression these strategies/plans/reports/etc. are designed to impede progress, rather than assist in achieving desirable outcomes.
One has to question the feasibility of ‘feasibility studies’ – costly and mostly so inaccurate as to be meaningless and the same might be said of a ‘Cost/Benefit Analysis’ – usually done by an ‘expert’ with little local knowledge.
History tells us around 50 per cent of studies don’t come within a ‘bull’s roar’ of their predictions. They get away with poor performance because nobody bothers to check back. Perhaps KPIs ought to be inserted into contracts. Little chance of getting our money back though – check the ‘escape’ clauses invariably present and you will understand why.
It’s time to end the ‘gang’ warfare and bring council back to a position where normality is almost all matters are debated in ‘open’ Council sessions. The ‘political’ grandstanding in Council Chambers needs to go too – leave that to other forums!
When was the last time anything positive and big enough to be of ‘game changing’ significance, occurred in SGS?
John McCombe, Leongatha.
Battlelines have been drawn