It’s history now that the South Gippsland Shire Council (SGSC) chose to not honour the earlier commitment to the 3% rate reduction that could have laid the foundation for the sought-after return of confidence in the administration.
You haven’t been told, that for many, the rate bill this year will significantly surpass previous assessments.
Those doing it tough financially were again brushed aside despite a strong ratepayer petition requesting the commitment be honoured.
Yes, I know the Council put in ‘process’ a review of the ‘Hardship Policy’. Too bad those getting paid to make decisions couldn’t actually do so. Fobbing it off ensures their hardship continues for another year. That’s real ‘Fat Cat’ thinking!
To me, it looks like more time went into trying to justify this rate decision than was spent on the decision itself. Nice try, but I am not convinced it worked.
See what you think? On one hand, the Administrators claimed the dollar amount of the 3% reduction was too small to benefit the average ratepayer – $1 or $2 per week – not worthwhile. On the other hand, they claimed reduced revenue by honouring the 3% reduction, would so damage the Budget projections going forward, they could not, on balance honour the commitment. They can’t have it both ways!
Council’s position was so out of touch with the ‘grassroots’ that Administrator Rick Brown spent 6½ minutes espousing a complex ‘explanation’ (July 31, 2019) in an unrealistic attempt to get away with it. He commenced with two ratepayers in the Public Gallery and within 30 seconds his audience was cut by 50%.
The Administrators need to understand they aren’t here on a public relations exercise. Even if they do that well, ultimately it doesn’t work unless backed up by decent decisions – not for long anyway.
If we accept the premise civilisation is judged by how we treat our weakest members, SGSC is not doing too well.
John McCombe, Leongatha.