As is always the case I like to up date you on what happens at council meetings, it sometimes takes me a few days as I need to cool down and/or gather my thoughts before I write, however I am bamboozled, a little angry and a lot disappointed – okay so the behaviour of the Councillors towards each other was a little better than usual however the antics of a couple in relation to DA’s was disturbing.
An obvious omission was the CEO who is on stress/sickness leave, I guess after being harangued by the Councillors over some weeks and his job situation tenuous this now looks a lot like history being repeated. It appears this is what happens when some Councillors no longer want a GM around for what ever reason. While I have my issues with Mr Portelli and in my opinion his failings I don’t think there is a place in our council for bullying. Alas this is one of those situations where I believe we will remain in the dark until he is either dismissed, the issue sorted (unlikely) or he leaves. As I’ve mentioned before, if he is sacked he has over $200,000 in severance pay due him unless dismissal is for some kind of corruption or mismanagement (also unlikely) plus any outstanding moneys owed to him for holidays etc, if he quits well there’d only be the outstanding. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to determine which option anyone in that position would take especially if the issues between an employee and the #powermadmayor and the liberal members cannot be sorted.
Not all things went as the #powermadmayor would have liked on Tuesday night, a couple of his minions didn’t play nice and didn’t vote with the majority, oh no independent thought (lol) . Cllr Balloot was not in attendance and Cllr Hadchiti was in form trying against rationale to get one particular DA approved…this is the one I’ve now mentioned on three occasions, he tried everything he could to sway both his fellow Councillors and the staff who had recommended not to approve the motion, to the point of insisting his persistence be noted in the minutes even though deemed illegal, immoral and some other thing. My question who is he trying to impress? Who would need to see his protestations, who would need proof that he had tried every angle to get an inappropriate DA passed….? it is not to my knowledge normal procedure for such a motion to be included in the minutes in its entirety, yet this one will be and with his name firmly attached. Refer my two previous posts for more detail. Legal advice from now senior staff member(fmr Cllr) Nadia Napolitano in her capacity of councils legal officer was adamant the amendment he was trying to have pushed through was illegal, the staff who had had dealings with the developer were not to be swayed (they of course only offer advice (not opinion) based on the information given to them by all those involved) and while he did manage to confuse other Councillors for a while the final decision from the Mayor that the motion was illegal had it stopped in its tracks. Clearly if the residents of Lachlan Street are keen to get into the apartments they need to be talking to the developer, councils hands are tied until all the issues with the Section 96 and S79c are attended to and all are correct and ultimately safe. This by the way is what we pay our council staff to do, ensure safety and all the ‘i’s dotted and ‘t’s crossed.
Another DA issue came to the fore as well, one about the work wanted by a resident of Newbridge Road, and some he’d done without consent, in the Voluntary Acquisition Zone along the Georges River. The resident spoke at length about previous DA’s that had been approved under this council and as I’ve said before, some decisions are going to come back and bite and in this case some have…when will some Cllrs learn that this job of theirs requires consistency, that the staff are the professionals and overriding recommendations will have a cost… because none of them are qualified in planning matters, even though Cllr Hadid did proffer a comment that he was.
As I am still unaware of the urgency in which this meeting had to be held, I can only guess what the reasoning was and who’s insistence it was to bring it forward…. but what ever it was meant that the inordinate time spent on the Lachlan St DA meant closing the meeting at 9.30 was never going to happen and they were most certainly not planning on coming back.. so the meeting was extended by another hour.
Other issues discussed were as in the business papers and there are some you might be interested in. The minutes themselves will be online by this today ( Friday) … possibly earlier considering the day being Tuesday not the usual Wednesday.
Last night I attended the GRCCC, I, as many of you know, am a community representative on the Georges River Combined Councils committee. Last night there were two presentations, one by the CEO of Moorebank Intermodal Company (another from Sydney Water) . I’ve been to a couple of these MIC presentations before but this was the first time for many on the committee to hear anything about the proposed Intermodal, and through their ignorance of the issues facing the residents of Liverpool got a big tick of approval from at least one Councillor from Hurstville, and as Cllr Ristevski wasn’t in attendance (again) and with the new format Councillors get to speak/ask questions first, then staff and if time permits community reps, no one was on hand to put some local perspective to the issue in the time allocated. 😦 What is the point of having Councillors appointed to committees if they are regularly ‘no show’s’ and let’s face it too many of ours have little to no commitment to attend the committees they are on. On a positive note, some of the suggestions, I and other residents have put forward to the MIC have been addressed and some included in the proposals and they will be on display on the website some time soon, including the water, air and sound monitoring that I and no doubt others asked to be posted on the MIC website…real base line figures that will allow the monitoring and changes to be recorded and compared if the need arises. The comment from MIC that possibility of moving the Moorebank Intermodal to Badgerys Creek will not be happening, although he didn’t rule out that another Intermodal could be built in Badgerys Creek and another at Rooty Hill just to accommodate the influx of the ever increasing imports and their distribution to west and south western Sydney. Clearly we import too much… perhaps we should focus our dollars on buying Aussie product ?
I have to say, I am tired of promises and wishes, I really would like to see some genuine representation and commitment other than how to be re-elected in 2016… having our #powermadmayor’s face plastered over anything and everything, lots of promises and credit being taken for things that were set in place before this term of council might be blinding those who don’t pay attention but for those of us who do its just too much. From what I’m seeing and hearing this Liberal majority is re irecting funds and borrowings that will leave future Councillors bound and unable to address issues as they occur in coming years. TIF (Town improvement funds) money being committed for up to 10 years so that any new council elected will not be able to change, adjust or direct money to needs as they occur, so I hope we end up happy with the commitments of this council because they are making changes no one will be able to undo or have the money to change and that is just the CBD. All the while over $6 million dollars sits in a bank account – (Iconic building fund) waiting waiting waiting… for some kind of memorial/testament/whatever, all the while basic infrastructure needs are being left waiting, rates are increased (that request was sent to IPART on Monday) and safety issues such as the new road in Warwick Farm go begging. Interestingly, many of the complaints I’ve heard in the past about Labor Councillors of old are being repeated by Liberal Councillors of now…is it that nothing really changes, people are people and everything stays the same or worse, we really don’t learn from the past?
Clearly there will be some who disagree, and that’s fine,some of these things have been nagging at me for days, I am happy for your opinions to be added to mine, just send them to me and I’ll include them.
ps…don’t forget to send your comments regarding the items on exhibition on the council pages… it’s your council, your rates money, have a say.