To the 400-plus ratepayers who took the time and trouble to sign my petition requesting the council honour (in this budget) the commitment to a 3% rate reduction.
The first hurdle was that the Administration staff didn’t find the request clear enough and requested clarification. Yep, that’s right!
That was explained and eventually a second proposed budget prepared for council consideration.
The old elected council were in the process of backing the second effort. It may be stale news, but they got ousted. The three new Administrators, who say they gave the proposed 3% reduction fair consideration, decided against honouring the reduction and adopted the earlier budget (with a couple of minor adjustments).
One reason offered for their decision is that it would have made only a dollar or two a week difference to most ratepayers anyway.
That’s ‘fat cat’ mentality at work – not at all what those struggling at the bottom end of the food chain needed to hear.
Here’s the irony of their reasoning for rejecting the 3% reduction, given the now proposed budget surplus far exceeds what the 3% would have cost.
That’s right – the budget would have remained in surplus!
Therefore, it could be interpreted that if the 3% reduction wasn’t big enough to matter, we could have, and perhaps should have, requested more.
Go figure!
John McCombe, Leongatha.