Election results are in

September 17, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Good news a week after the election day, we have a result and I am super delighted to say this is the best yet result for my local group.

As it turns out the voting got down to the wire, 20 counts before the final North ward member was clear and 26 counts before the south ward 5th member was clear. In north ward it ended up with myself, Sam Kayal and Gus Balloot (Libs) elected and in South with Lance (my husband) Phil Sim and Karress Rhodes (LCIT) elected neither were elected with a full quota and I’ve not yet drilled down to the actual difference but congrats to all 11 councillors on Liverpool Council. Saddest for me was that neither Cllrs Balloot nor Rhodes actually live in Liverpool, they earn an income from Liverpool but neither live here.

So here they are the team you selected to represent you for the Next 4 years. Mayor Wendy Waller (ALP)

North Ward:  Mazhar Hadid, (LIB) Ali Karnid (ALP), Peter Harle (LCIT), Nathan Hagarty (ALP) and Gus Balloot (LIB)

South ward: Tony Hadchiti (Lib) Geoff Shelton (ALP) Tina Ayyad (LIB aka Mrs Mannoun) Charishma Kaliyanda (ALP) Karess Rhodes (LCIT)

The real test will come over the coming weeks and years as to whether or not this group can work together, clearly the main protagonists are no longer on council but it will be interesting to see if the former #powermanmayor remains as a #puppetmaster and if there is any impact he has on both his family members still on council. I surely wonder sometimes, for 4 years I was unaware that Cllr Balloot was a cousin of the previous mayor, but it sure does account for all the glowing, incessant speeches he made throughout the term singing the praise of said mayor. Happy to stand corrected if this is untrue, my source was reliable but again always happy to add more information when it comes to hand. As you can see that is why when my husband and I ran we did so as an upfront, clearly stated partnership. We refuse to participate is skulduggery and partial information. I t will also be interesting to see how the former (I do love saying that) #Powermadmayor is going to manage all that extra family time he resigned for while his wife assumes a council role away from him. Then again it could become a family affair and everyone comes to council meetings.

I wish all the councillors well and trust they are truly there to represent the needs, hopes and dreams of our community. I await the ICAC reports and am hopeful that any wrongdoings of the past are highlighted and anyone caught and proven of using their position for personal gain is held to account. We now have an opportunity to move forward and with a little luck with a balanced, non aggressive and collegial approach to representing our city.

Lastly to my team, WOW you guys did so well and I’m so proud of each and every one of you. Sadly this time the people of Liverpool just missed out on seeing you in action and getting to know the passion in which you approach everything about Liverpool. We have a number of projects coming up and I know you will all put in 100% effort to ensure the residents of Liverpool get to see what we are really about,

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice || Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

 

To all our supporters who handed out for us, thank you… we came so close.

 

The next council meeting is on the 12th October, I am hopeful to be in attendance (however its Lance’s Birthday so I need to organise around that a bit) see you there, if not at the next for sure.

 

Sign off

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Only a few more sleeps

September 6, 2016

2016 Signe OutdoorsCouncil elections are this Saturday, there is still much to do and I’m very keen to get some more volunteers on polling places this week. (please let me know if you can spare a few hours to help hand out) The genuine warmth at the rail station this morning was great and the fact that around 400 people got to see a snapshot of what our ideas for council are is fabulous.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the Carnes Hill Pre Poll station, (albeit it tiring) and meeting residents. I expect in the coming days it will get busier and busier and of course Saturday is going to be huge. My colleague Andre has been a gun on the TAFE pre poll and with the backup of some amazing Greens from local groups.

I like many of you came home to a plethora of mail from the Liberals and one from LCIT. It saddens me that even now just days out from an election the nastiness prevails. Accusations and comments that only tell half a story and to know that the chances of  both of the existing councillors being back on council only convinces me more and more that there is a real place for me and my team on this council. It is also stunning how any change over the last 4 years has now been given ownership, with no regard to the fact that there are 11 councilors, not just two old tired teams and Peter. I know that if this is the case even while in campaign mode they are struggling to tell the absolute truth or play nice out of the playpen nothing will be better on council unless there is genuine new blood and a move away from the old parties and old guard independents. There seems to be significant confidence from the old guard of their reelection and my hope is that the community will give them the good shaking up they need.

I still ask the same question, if they (those seeking your re election) have achieved little or are making enormous promises now, why weren’t they enacted upon during the 8 years these councillors have had your rates, your trust and your faith? From those we don’t know, they continue to make promises they have absolutely no knowledge they can actually keep. Neither are regulars at the council meetings and while one has attended once or twice not all is as it seems once elected.While I may not have been elected previously, I have attended all but 3 council meetings and my hope that while I’ve shared much over the last 9 years, there would be more information as a councillor available and the community would be far more informed than they are now.

One thing about elections is that it does allow you time to reflect on the things that are important and with the amazing talent of a couple of our members (Roxie and Rudge) I am delighted to be able to share with you a short video to showcase my passions for Liverpool.

More in a day or so, please let me know if you have a couple of hours on Saturday, we have t-shirts and those working over lunch will have it provided for them.  Please share the video widely, especially amongst your friends in Liverpool… we need their support and we need the genuine change in council.

 

See you at Holsworthy station in the morning.

 

Sign off


8 more sleeps

September 2, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)WOW…the time is going so fast. Only a little over a week to go in this election campaign and I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be in such a  privileged position as to be able to speak with residents each and every day. I can tell you how proud I am of the amazing team we are putting forward in this election. Each and every one of them would be a wonderful addition to Liverpool Council and its a priviledge to work alongside them.

Wednesday night was the final council meeting for this term, a good deal of time was spent electioneering for the 7 councillors who are seeking your vote again, a few good byes and a whole lot of ….leave it to the next lot. So it’s official, not only have they left the next term of councillors a pretty crap budget, undetermined asbestos problems, staff morale at an all time low  but this week they decided to leave a number of items  to the next group. Seriously while I am always the first and often the only voice calling for due diligence, holy crap a donation to Macedonia and Italy in their time of need was not that big a call. Over the past 8 years some councillors shuffled enormous amounts of money for all and sundry and not all as deserving.

The big winner of the night was when in the departing Mayor admitted he’d not been able to work with everyone. Well that was an understatement but at least an acknowledgement I guess. Cllr Ristevski  didn’t waste an opportunity to put in a final dagger or two before he was  missed off the ‘I’ve enjoyed working with you’ list of the Mayor. The whole Propel issues lives on, with the independent report being handed on to ICAC, another of the deferred decisions for the next council. Importantly most of the candidates seeking your vote will have no clue about the issues that have been on and off the agenda for so long other than what they’ve heard in the press. Today we’ve made the news yet again and the comparison between this disaster of a council and the one who had us put into administration had best not be the comparison used in the future because some of us actually know and have seen the happenings of this bunch.

Alas those seeking your vote who have been on council should be scrutinised quite aggressively, what have they actually contributed to the council over their tenure as councillors. If elected to council I will work to ensure that all voting information will be made publically available. Calling oneself independent doesn’t  necessarily mean candidates aren’t aligned. While Greens are sometimes seen in agreement of ALP policy we are not bound in any way to following blindly, our whole remit is to assess each piece of information on its own merit, we vote according to what is in the best interests of the whole community and stand proudly by our reputation to do exactly that when a matter is not in the line with our core beliefs.  (I will print them below so you can see the tenets by which our decisions are made) Council should be about caring for the community, creating services to fill the needs of that community and reduce costs wherever possible.  During the meeting our #powermadmayor (for not long now)  took to highlighting some of the issues in the budget, minus a detail or two  and taking credit for changes that he and his cohorts actually  obstructed which meant many of those projects were actually delayed in the first term.

There will be issues that need to be addressed by the new council, firstly there will have to be very close scrutiny of some of the budget decisions, a very, very close look at the Propel agreement and investigation into same and a serious discussion about the number of jobs that have been outsourced to consultants. Planning issues are a big part of any council and we will need to see what can be done to ensure social and affordable housing options can be set up to ensure our city’s homeless numbers reduce,not grow. Especially important will be to ensure that the community is privy to the actions and decisions of council. Transparency has not been the strong suit of this particular term. Council can and should be the first point of call for citizens needing advice about planning, the go to place for questions and a source of information in relation to many social issues, even those they cannot be directly responsible for, many don’t realise the lobbying ability of council and this needs to be explored. The days need to come to an end where the local member is only heard from in parliament when he/she can bash the council for poor decisions. More soon….

Sign off

 

 

 

 

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice

| Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

LASTLY. If you have some spare time anytime next week or on Saturday the 10th we are still looking for people to help us hand out at Pre-Poll and on Election day. We will provide a light lunch and a T-shirt just give me a call or email me at swesterberg@iinet.net.au.

Liverpool HTV 2016


Promises! Achievable or just vote catchers

August 18, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)I am delighted to be the Green’s Mayoral Candidate for Liverpool. I am equally delighted to have the opportunity to see the local papers providing the community with information in relation to the upcoming election. Of interest however is, on reading the details of the six (incl myself) candidates one thing became most clear. Three of them have had 8 years to achieve the things they are promising to do now, two have shown very little interest in the runnings of council previously and only one believed the job of Mayor was about bringing people together.

Let’s get some facts on the table:

The Mayor is not the sole decision maker in council,  I’m thinking this came as a bit of a shock to the #powermadmayor once his power base was lost with the #nolibloveinlivo events of recent months.

Click here for the Leader article on Page three  or

http://http://newslocal.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=GWTLFPAYJD71&linkid=6c5a3bf9-80ee-40d7-8014-c1b22e95480a&pdaffid=flTgD0N%2bsncNlRju4zoiMw%3d%3d

Cllr Hadchiti, is going to ‘pull the budget apart and identify areas of improvement’ Hey councillor you’ve had 8 years to do this, have you been sitting on your hands waiting for the opportunity to run for mayor, with the mess of this past budget you might have wanted to do this a bit earlier?

Cllr Harle wants ‘transparency and financial responsibility’ Again councillor you’ve been part of this council for 8 years what is it about being Mayor that will change  your ability to question the budget? While you have asked questions and been party to some change what will being Mayor change, in your opinion?

Cllr Waller didn’t make rash promises, she unfortunately has lived experience on what she cannot achieve as Mayor if the majority is intent on blocking every possible change until they assume office and claim those changes as their own. FYI Cllr Waller was Mayor for the first 4 years of this current,out of administration, 8 years and was quite hamstrung by a majority of Liberal/independent councillors who opposed much on what appeared political/ideological grounds more oft than not.

Ms Mishra and Mr Sims  seem to be under the impression that the Mayor has special powers/abilities, they can just stop things like rates in their tracks, again this is not the case… the Mayor is the spokesperson/ designated representative (until the majority choose otherwise) he/she is the convenor of a meeting, he/she can add ideas, suggest items and everything else every other councillor can do, with one exception, IF there is a need for a deciding vote in a drawn vote, the Mayor has a casting vote…. rarely if ever actually declared, and used often by the #powermadmayor however available to break tied situations and allow a decision to be made.

There is no magic wand attached to the Mayoral role, as Cllr Waller could tell you I’m sure how frustrating and difficult it can be if the councillors elected by the public have a greater agenda than that of serving the people. So the question should be, who amongst the candidates has the goal or desire to bring together the mishmash of councillors the community see fit to elect? The community decides who they want to represent it and in  Liverpool they also decide who will be the best front person for our city as well as the person who could possibly work with all to bring a cohesive council together. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be easy but it’s not a magic wand and simply promising to do this or that is tantamount to ludicracy. Populism isn’t governance, it’s about promising what you think your community wants to hear in order to get their vote. Four of the candidates on offer have been regularly involved in council matters, two have shown up at election time with what appears to be little to no knowledge of how a council works. While I am sure they will disagree, this is an important job. Moreover  it’s also an amazing opportunity to tell the NSW Govt that council amalgamations is not on our agenda. The Greens have opposed amalgamations at State and local level and electing a Green to the position of Mayor would be one almighty reminder to Mr Baird et al.

To give myself a little plug while I can, I also have a proven record of wanting transparency, did you know, on nearly every agenda there are confidential items and at times in this council 12 or more items have been ‘in confidence”  Rarely has there been a meeting where all items on the agenda have been open to the public, while I understand privacy issues, you also know that I believe when it involves our rates money we are entitled to the detail… regulations and statutory requirements have privacy as a core protection however, as I’ve stated previously if a shareholder can know the details why can’t the residents?

I, if elected as Mayor or councillor will continue to write about it, I have a reasonable  knowledge of what I can legally share and what I can’t but I know that I will be privy to more facts as a councillor than I do now as a resident who sits in the gallery every month listening to the councillors. I do this now without the detail they have and with a desire to ensure our residents know exactly what is happening with their rates money.

Before you vote for your next Mayor, ask some questions, find out more, simply wanting the job is not enough, our city is too important, the financial status of  our council is too unknown and the future impacts of much still to be made available to the community to impactful to just want the job. While the candidates for the most part seem like decent people, is that enough? A number of them have operated successful businesses, some are academics, some completely unknown to anyone outside their social circle, so investigate, I even invite them to write a response to my comments here and I will post them for you to read, as is.

Most of all, look at all the candidates you elect, not just the parties, Mr Sims is a registered Liberal (according to his nomination form), campaigning/presenting as an independent, Cllr Harle has been in council for 8 years see where his votes have gone, especially in the early days, Cllr Hadchiti has been on council 8 years as well, his allegiance to the outgoing #Powermadmayor has been solid. Me, well I’ve been writing about this for all of those years, just check back anywhere through here, you’ll see I’ve always had an opinion, and I believe once elected the party you represent falls well behind the community who elected you albeit with those values.

 

THIS ELECTION PUT LIVERPOOL FIRST.

 

more soon and again I invite other candidates to share their views, all opinions welcomed.

 

Sign off

 

 

 


Council teams announced

August 11, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsI am thrilled to be able to introduce our amazing team for this September’s council elections. I’ve read through all the candidate profiles and it appears only two are non residents, Mr Balloot (Bexley) and Ms Rhodes (Lansvale). North Ward is the lesser contested of the two wards, we have in ballot order: LCIT, Liberals, Labor and the Greens with one single independent while the South ward seems a bit more popular, again in ballot order. Liberals, LCIT The Greens Labor and 1 x Liberal Independent party followed by 1 x Animal Justice Party candidate and a single Independent.

As always I took the time to read through the comments, reasons why candidates have put themselves forward, alas there isn’t much to read. LCIT have a few and our Greens team leads have a full and detailed statements.

I won’t be commenting on the decision of the former #powermadmayor not to run or his endorsement of deputy mayor, all I can say is I genuinely hope voters do more than take an endorsement as enough reason to vote for someone and they look closely at the field of candidates for themselves. Mr Sim has run in the past only last time from memory he only ran as the Mayoral Candidate, this time he has a team for south ward and is running as the Mayoral candidates as well.

Most importantly I’d like to introduce our Greens team:

South Ward Lead: Lance Westerberg

My Man

Andre Bosch

Maria George

Stephen Wilkinson

Thomas Gough

North Ward Lead and Mayoral Candidate – (Me) Signe Westerberg

Maurice George

Jared Price

Christopher Garvin

Craig Reedy.

All are fabulous contributing members of the Fairfield Liverpool Greens and anyone of them would be an amazing asset to Liverpool  Council. It is such a pleasure to be associated with candidates who have such passion for their city, who aren’t developers or real estate agents and who genuinely offer different perspectives, ideas and talents. Over the coming weeks I will share with you information about our key issues etc.

http://http://candidates.elections.nsw.gov.au/    This link will take you to the page, scroll down to Liverpool City council and click either North ward or South ward to read about each of the candidates.

I found searching by Area quicker in both the Wards and Mayoral but there are options so click around and learn a bit about your candidates. Sadly as I mentioned above, very few provided a candidate statement or indication that they have or have not been on council in the last term.

Below are the links directly to our Greens lead candidate statements. I am sure over the coming weeks there will be plenty of stories in the local press about who is running. etc. Remember this is your council, your rates money and your vote, use it wisely. With a bit of planning we will have a diverse 11 councillors who will work for our city, our families, our businesses and our environment and are not dominated by one party or another.

 

http://file:///C:/Users/Signe/Downloads/WESTERBERG_Lance-CIS%20(2).pdf

http://file:///C:/Users/Signe/Downloads/WESTERBERG_Signe-CIS%20(2).pdf

https://file:///C:/Users/Signe/Downloads/WESTERBERG_Signe-CIS%20(4).pdf

Fairfield council candidates have been announced also I’ll post them here if you are interested, just let me know. My friend and colleague Bill Cashman is running for Mayor and Lead candidate in Parks and has a team of 12 covering every ward in Fairfield. Not bad for a small local group to be able to field 22 amazing candidates in two council areas. 🙂

 

For now, happy reading,

Sign off

 

 

 

If you would like to host one of our posters, help hand out flyers or even better hand out for us on Election day or at pre poll please email me at swesterberg@iinet.net.au we, as I mentioned before are a small group and without your help we will have to concentrate on a few booths, with your help we can cover more. So please give me a call or email me, there is a booth with your name on it in Liverpool (& Fairfield)


Greens Noms lodged…

August 8, 2016

Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV  (78 of 102)The full announcement of our Council team  and the Fairfield council team is only days away, I am so excited that we’ve reached the council elections as many of you who read my posts regularly will know I think we can do better than what we’ve had in the past.

Having had a few more important issues over the last few days I’m not in any real position to advise who is running for the other parties, who is running as an independent etc etc. I am sure we will see some of the same old faces that election times brings forward and I am hopeful there are some new faces as well. What I am most delighted by is the people we greens have gathered together and their amazing passion for all things local.

 

That said…..Come Wednesday this week all will be revealed so watch this space.

 

Sign off


Where there is smoke, is there fire?

July 31, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsI started this blog about a week ago, clearly with upcoming elections for council I and my colleagues have been focusing on bringing you the Liverpool community the best possible team for September 10th.

The following two paragraphs are what I wrote back then, they are still relevant so I will leave them for your informaton

Many will be aware that recently Liverpool has found its way back into the press. Regrettably it’s not for the good reasons AGAIN. Our #powermadmayor seems to have invited ICAC in… I’ve asked around and from what I can understand that’s not quite how that works. Over the last 4 years numerous letters have been sent to ICAC I’ve even made reports myself based on what I’ve seen and I’ve had back a response and that in no way indicated they were waiting on an invitation from the Mayor. Plus according to the news reports I’ve read, if you were invited in, why did they raid the office, force entry etc.?

While I am not privy to the workings or goings on of the #powermadmayor and his cohorts it’s not brain surgery to note that at some point throughout his entire term as Mayor he has at one time or another been at odds with his own Liberal party members, with the possible exception of Mr Balloot, I actually don’t recall a time when he wasn’t singing the praise of the #powermadmayor but as a non resident imo  I think his tenure is too shaky to create too many waves. That cannot be said of Councillor Ristevski, seems he likes the waves and is determined to highlight what I can only assume is more detailed information than those of us in the gallery are privy to. I do hope it is a genuine need to highlight misdeeds or inaccuracies not just self promotion in the lead up to the council elections.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/knives-out-for-mayors-as-preselection-battles-heat-up-20160722-gqbxaq.html

 

As  I said above this is just as relevant today, however in the meantime we have had a council meeting and a grand opening. The council meeting had a fair bit of grandstanding by Cllr Hadid, he on a number of occasions waved around a piece of paper calling for the figures paid out to two sacked/dismissed/left CEO’s. The irony for me was that he was calling for THEIR decisions to be made public, inferring he was not party to those same decisions. Alas, that is not true the Liberal majority of which he is a key player signed off on both terminations and I can only assume that of the latest executive position where I understand the payout was in the vicinity of $175K. In that case the position being ‘made up’ in the first place sure got a nice pay off according to some staff members who are livid and who also saw the same executive member handing out for the Liberal party at the recent Federal election. I am not suggesting any wrong doing, what staff do in their own time is entirely their prerogative I support that 100% however the question asked of me why was this person’s job created in the first place and if so why such a hefty payout if it was no longer required? I don’t have answers i’m afraid if I do I will share.

There was an attempt to overturn some of the decisions made at the previous council meeting in relation to the budget. I have to say in my view the whole representation of this budget has been nightmarish and if we had better transparency in Liverpool especially in line with what happens with our rates dollars many of us would feel much more confident. I do think the next  bunch of councillors will be faced with a whole bunch of financial issues they are not expecting, however if they aren’t involved now and aren’t seeing what is happening I guess that’s just bad luck. This of course goes back to my oft touted line of careful who you vote for, especially if they only raise their heads at election time. I would like to see so much more clarity on decisions being made with our rates money. I was not (I either missed it or it was discussed in confidence) aware that council had sold the site presently being used by the Men’s Shed, after so much work and money had been put into setting it up, I would have spoken against it or ensured the funding was organised to accommodate a move. Better still I wouldn’t have approved that site in the first place and found the Mens shed a permanent location from the get go.

It is election time, much is going to be bandied about regarding this election, the one thing  I want from our next set of councillors is to have more information made public. Hiding behind in confidence matters in Liverpool has gotten out of  control in my view. If a company is in dealings with our rates money and the same company has to declare the dealings with their shareholders, WHY ARE WE NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON?

Yesterday I attended the opening of the Carnes Hill recreational/Library facility. I would like to say a big thank you to the many many staff who over many many years have worked on this venue. While the present Liberal councillors will gladly accept the accolades it was in fact on the drawing board for many years, $40M worth of investment doesn’t happen overnight and people like Paul Scully, Albert Galletta and the 100s of staff who have worked on this facility over such a long time deserve congratulations. It was interesting that the police were required to handle the pedestrian traffic yesterday, the irony there was they actually wrote a submission against the location for the exact same reasons they were working for hours yesterday managing foot traffic on what  is now a major road extension.  I was also aghast to hear the #powermadmayor made promises yesterday that he would ensure a pool was added to the rec centre if he is re-elected… where is all this money coming from, we have debt in the vicinity of $40M we have an unknown debt for the removal remediation of asbestos that could reach $20M and our rates are already rising. Then of course there is the proposed new civic centre costs, the Bigge park plans and so much more. Did it rain money recently and I had my umbrella up the wrong way???? More on this when I hear more.

It was lovely to see some of our previous staff in attendance to check out the finished project. It would also be remiss of me not to mention the many staff who were in attendance yesterday. For the record, my grandson gives the new skate park a BIG thumbs up. It was lovely to see so many people checking out the new facility and I’ve taken a bunch of pictures I’ll share with you below.  The skate park does feature but I am a Grandmother and one of the scooterers is a special favourite of mine.

Happy snaps from the Carnes Hill Rec Centre/Library opening

Happy snaps from the Carnes Hill Rec Centre/Library opening

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I need to go and get ready for National Tree day, I hope I get to see your there. Of course there was more to the council meeting and when I get an opportunity I will share with you, if you are interested the actual meeting notes will be available on the council website. You won’t get the joy of detail concerning Cllr Hadids outbursts, or the wrangling and to and fro of Cllr Ristevski’s interactions with the #powermadmayor or the CFO. You won’t see the one time I actually agreed with Cllr Hadchiti, ftr I am against this whole new trend of all Cllrs having to pay for their travel/attendance at functions directly related to their job as councillors, this will greatly affect anyone who puts their hand up in the community to represent the ratepayers who is not independently financial enough to pay airfares etc. This imo will mean only the wealthy will be able to represent Liverpool and the around $23,000 they receive for being councillors is not why one puts their hand up in the first place. I will cover this more at a later time.

 

Looks like I’ll be running late for National Tree day so I’ll sign off for now. See you there 🙂

 

Sign off

These views are my own based on what I’ve seen and heard, if you see things differently please share, the more the merrier I say.