How funny, so much of what I predicted for the council meeting came to fruition, the tit-for-tat between Cllrs Mamone and Hadchiti, the lack-of-lib-love with Cllrs Ristevski and Mannoun. The wannabe Mayoral Jaunt was declined by all, even my comment regarding amalgamations was reiterated by the Mayor. The Budget was to be put on public exhibition and I can’t urge you enough to take the time to have a close look. A good hour was spent on Cllr Ristevski’s attempt to highlight some of the problems associated. Sadly, as is often his form, he failed to find genuine arguments and it became another battle of the egoes. The asbestos issue has put some incredible pressure on the budget, in the order of $5M and while I could ponder for hours at why we didn’t have some kind of protection/insurance to protect us from this kind of disaster the real issue now is to find a way to ensure we don’t leave ourselves further and further behind the eight ball and looking to the residents for even more money. While I think Cllr Ristevski started on a right track, his failure to research, investigate and then articulate his ideas left many wondering what the hell was or could be achieved.
Potentially we have less than a month to come up with ideas that will reduce our budget to allow savings that will not leave us in a precarious position and at risk of proving even less fit for the future than was originally thought. Initially my thoughts go along the lines of “last on first off” as expenses go, this might mean leaving some of the #powermadmayors wish list projects for when our budget is capable of handling the expense not so he can claim success for electioneering purposes. The whole budget debate will have us attending an extraordinary meeting on the 4th of May devoted solely to the budget and the draft delivery and operational plan. In the past there have been only a few of us who have made submissions in relation to the budget and how our rates should be used. This time it could prove even more important and may mean that a potential rate increase (yes another one) could be an unwanted outcome from poor management in the past. That said if this Councillor executive had made different, even better choices in relation to their CEO appointments, or found more efficient ways to work with the ones they chose, we might have been looking for even less based on the touted $M payouts we’ve been forced to fork out. I am still to go through the budget documents provided at the meeting and based on what might prove significant changes it will certainly ensure I attend whatever information events the CFO decides to provide. This is generally provided through the local community forums and I urge you to consider attending and do as I do, ask a lot of questions.
Once I get to the point where I can put forward a submission, I will do as I’ve done in the past and post it here. In the mean time, I’ll attend the meeting on Wednesday, absorb as much information as possible and then get my head down and try and make sense of it all. Not being an accountant would normally be my complaint/ concern however considering Cllr Ristevski is and his failure to do what was needed to articulate a clear path forward, I will deal with my lack of educated account knowledge and rely on my business management history and hope for the best.
As always more when I know more and if you’ve got additional information or a differing view please share it here.
On a more pleasant note I as the community rep on the Georges River combined council committee was delighted by the speakers who presented to our meeting last night. Finding out more about the Holsworthy Military area and all its hidden treasures was a true delight as was the presentation by the Werribee environmental area volunteer group reinforces the value of our council’s participation in this group and the immeasurable contribution to protecting the Georges River corridor.
til next time ………