The Municipal Monitor’s Report is a blatant attack on democracy.
Our Councillors – the good and the not so good, were elected by us, the voters of South Gippsland Shire.
Some were not our first choice; however; the electoral system we are governed by is the preferential voting system.
Like it or not, that is the system of determining our representatives we choose to live under. If you don’t like it, you perhaps ought to be living in The People’s Republic of China!
The key to why this ‘Report’ misses the mark badly, is in understanding this fundamental statement (refer page 9): “The Council administration is responsible for implementing Council decisions”.
The Tim Tamlin led administration failed miserably – in this most basic of requirements – yet receives no criticism whatsoever.
I have little doubt this led to a huge amount of the disputation that undoubtedly occurred between the elected Councillors and administration staff.
CEO Tamlin repeatedly wasted ratepayer money on his ‘Priority’ projects – especially when prematurely advancing projects involving land which Council didn’t control (then or now).
He embroiled ratepayers in apparently endless litigation far too many times. Some aren’t yet resolved!
He seemingly ignored a Supreme Court Order. He ‘misunderstood’ the Local Government Act, 1989 at times and had to issue a written apology for doing so, at least twice in the last eight months – this from a CEO in the role for 10 years.
Why no mention of any of this Municipal Monitor?
Why support your report by relying on the Memorial Hall Meeting vote – a ‘stacked’ meeting of about 400 people, where only one side got a hearing before the meeting was abruptly closed with plenty of time left?
Why did you ignore the equally strong 400+ signatories to the Council accepted petition demanding the 3 per cent rate reduction this year? No ‘stacking’ there – just people on the street.
The majority of Councillors are trying to pass the 3 per cent reduction and the Administration is attempting to block it.
Let’s see if the new regime works for the paying customers, or not!
So far it doesn’t look good – the Shire has a guarantee of responding to communications within 10 days – the office of the Minister works on 28 days.
Let’s hope this is not the benchmark for the standard of excellence we can come to expect.
John McCombe, Leongatha.