my two most recent submissions to council

July 28, 2017

I have been busy writing submissions and numerous other things, however one I didn’t post in the hope it wouldn’t fore warn some councillors that the Nursery Mattered… alas they voted down to actually supply the nursery and eco centre we  were promised when first asked to accept an environment levy. Alas I shouldn’t be surprised and am always hopeful that we can as a Council stick to our word to our community.  This has now happened on two major occasions, first when we were surveyed about the Special Rate Variation and now on the outcome from the Environment Levy you and I all pay to have our precious environment cared for. in the cast of the nursery, what was worst for me is  that a non resident councillor spoke so vehemently against it based on one attendance at a meeting that a number of us had been attending and supporting for 8-10 years.

So here are my last two submissions, sadly mine was the only one received by council for the Operations and delivery program draft and as today is the last day for the community halls one I can only hope I am not the only person attempting to save our community halls from sale or as they’re calling it rationalisation.

The Facilities submission is due today, I emailed mine last night and am hopeful we can achieve a good outcome on saving our halls. If you’ve not had a chance to look at it, log onto Liverpool LIstens, I know they will accept a late submission if you take the time to get one in. With the changes to Section 94 (developer) contributions, money from there can NO LONGER be used to build community centres and the like, so future buildings will all have to come from grants and rates. Some of our older buildings are on prime real estate and the reality that once they are sold they are gone forever should raise some interest.

here they are:

submission re council facilities 27.729.5.17

Delivery and Operational budget submission

Don’t forget the National Tree day planting is at Brownes Farm in Hoxton Park this sunday, council always throws a good BBQ and entertainment for the kids, so come along, plant a tree or three and have a lovely day out in what is being promised a pretty spectacular 26 degree day.

 

See you there


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.


what a weekend!

July 26, 2015

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)WOW what a weekend, I spent yesterday in the company of approximately 100 Greens colleagues discussing the upcoming council elections in 2016 and the ways in which we can best serve our communities. What thoroughly impresses me about my  Greens  colleagues is that even when there is a rare occasion where we don’t agree, we work through the options, discuss the alternatives and reach an amicable and appropriate outcome. Listening and sharing ideas, skills and best practice was uplifting.  As I was driving home it struck me that with a little effort and an open mind or two  councils could work the same. The only thing actually missing is the will to make it so. I sit through all the council meetings, on some occasions there are non controversial topics on which councillors really can’t find anything to disagree on, but most of the time its a matter of muscle flexing and bravado, even perhaps opposition for opposition sakes.

 

Today was National Tree day, I’ve only missed one in recent times and with this one being literally on my doorstep this was certainly not going to be another. I am thoroughly impressed with the professional and passionate way in which our staff work together, the organisation and the willingness to get in there and make things happen. I was equally impressed  that people with whom they work outside council feel comfortable enough to choose Liverpool as their National Tree day location, even when a family event still manage to come along and work alongside our community.  Congrats to all those who shared the morning, from the local scouts group to the amazing Lions volunteers who ensured a hot snag and cool drink were there for those planting. This made me reflect on a comment the Mayor made at another program recently where he said that the outdoor staff would soon be facing a similar proposal as that of the customer service staff and engage a private organisation to manage the staff., along the lines of Propel. I remember when the CEO was first engaged I received emails from his former staff who suggested that outsourcing was his preferred method of staff management, this too has me wonder why we need so many executives if we are going to progressively outsource the management. It also raises the question as to whether this is the preferred option for the community, do we need to give our hard earned rates money to organisations who only have an interest in outcomes not necessarily the long term health and viability of our community. our staff and the bottom line?

I’d like to quickly offer my best wishes to Eva Constantino (Manager of Customer service)  who sadly is said to no longer work at Liverpool council, after at least a decade and a half of service to Liverpool, it has been suggested that she has taken redundancy and left council employ. Eva if you happen to read my posts please get in touch, I’d like the opportunity to thank you for your years of dedication and wish you well. Her leaving does raise the question about no forced redundancies or sackings with the Propel proposal. Of course clarification would be nice however no one I’ve spoken with at council seems to know what actually happened. Change in an organisation as big as Liverpool council is inevitable, change of management styles and people is also inevitable but are we being fed a line or are our staff (so many of whom have left and still keep in touch as they are passionate about what happens in Liverpool) leaving for greener pastures or simply leaving because they no longer belong?

I’d best be off, I still have the finer detail of the Business papers to read for this weeks council meeting.

See you on Wednesday… it will be interesting to see if the Mayor mentions his latest foray in the papers or provides an explanation of sorts or not.

 

If you were planting today,  have a comment or view different to mine, please share. As always opinions differ and I’m happy to share yours if you’d like to share it with me.

 

Sign off


Council meeting business papers link and the Mayors latest press foray.

July 22, 2015

http://liverpool.infocouncil.biz/Open/2015/07/CO_20150729_AGN_288_AT.PDF

Image0104For those interested in the agenda and items for discussion next Wednesday evening by councillors, please copy the above link into your browser and you should be able to access the entire agenda. I’m still working my way through them.

 

Of interest to me, despite the CEO’s  initial protestations about matters in confidence not being his preferred at his first council meeting… Liverpool councillors still consider numerous items in confidence/private While some are necessary to protect individuals the number continues to grow. This month 12 items are being considered in confidence… two being the inclusion of the community in Council committees, the Environment Advisory committee and the Economic and Events committee will be considered as confidential items. The recommendation that the EAC have a larger resident component will be debated without the community knowing who was for or against the inclusion of community members. I have concerns that with an election next year, debate of such items could be seen as politically motivated, who is included and who is not… alas, being done behind closed doors will leave us without knowledge of the debate. Although I don’t quite understand the need for debate, should we not embrace the community members who are prepared to give of their time freely to work along side council staff and councillors for better outcomes for our community and city? To be fair I declare I nominated for both these committees myself along with many others I’m sure and in the past the discussion around who was to be included was illuminating.

For those unaware the Mayor got some additional press this week also, seems the SMH did a story on a past election funding dinner and its outcome… seems my recollection of the much publicised event are somewhat different to those being reported. Here’s the link for anyone interested…

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/liverpool-mayor-ned-mannoun-and-the-case-of-the-missing-alarm-dividing-his-council-20150720-giffvh.

Don’t forget this coming Sunday is National Tree Day, please come along and celebrate Liverpools 20 yr involvement and help plant 3000 trees and shrubs, as I mentioned before this particular park is much frequented by many many birds species, they’ll very much appreciate the extra food source and habitat…  entry at the western end of Eureka Crescent Sadleir just around the bend from Edwin Wheeler sporting fields and play equipment. Follow the signs I’m sure they’ll make finding the park easy. See you there or Wednesday at the council meeting

 

til then……

Sign off


Just a quick reminder.

July 18, 2015

Hi all,

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)I need to quickly remind my readers that while I am delighted and happy to post your comments, on rare occasions I receive some that may be considered litigious. I received one today from “Cathy” and while I’d like to acknowledge her for taking the time to write and read these posts, her accusations were direct and from what I read opinion, and unsubstantiated and I’ve taken the decision not to  post them… I, on most occasions would like to post all comments  however as there were two people mentioned directly and accused of potential wrongdoing  I would encourage readers to seek advice from the legal profession before putting allegations in the public realm.  If you have proof of any illegal or questionable activity I strongly suggest contacting ICAC directly, the Division of Local Govt or of course the police.

Thanks heaps to all who take the time to read my posts, I’ve been quite busy of late and while I have continued to attend forums, meetings and local activities around my work schedule, my posts are not as uptodate as I’d like. Liverpool is a great place and I encourage all to get involved, make comment and have your say, even apply to be on different committees.

Of real importance IMO is on the 4th and 5th August there will be two public meetings to discuss the proposed reclassification and possible sale of local parks etc. Please consider attending and voicing your concerns…noting that once these  green spaces are sold they are gone forever…with the huge number of highrise and multi apartment developments, open space will be at a premium and we need to protect it. There is a council meeting coming up on the 29th July at 6pm (Business papers are available on line of the Friday Prior) and National Tree day is in Joshua Moore Park Eureka Crescent Sadleir on the 26th 9-12 noon. These are usually great days for all the family followed by a BBQ so I hope to see you all on the day. I live close to this site and can assure you that some pretty amazing bird life is resident  and they will very much appreciate the provision of 3000 more trees and shrubs in their park.

http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/whats-on/get-involved/national-tree-day

 

The community can expect  a rush of activity in the lead up to next years council elections, its important we keep a close eye on what is happening with our rates dollars,  other ways to find out what is happening with your rates dollars can be found on the Liverpool council website, the Liverpool Listens portal, and Liverpool council’s facebook page. Some additional info is also available in the Local papers if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets them delivered… of course I will endeavour to keep you informed as well, so keep checking in.

If I don’t see you before you’ll most certainly see me on the 26th, so please come up and say hi.

 

Sign off

 

 

 

 


time to check in

July 25, 2014

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Have you ever thought how not checking in would seem to others? There is so much running through my mind at the moment and because its been a while this will be a ‘brain dump’ of sorts, things that are playing on my mind and a little on what is happening. It is important however to know I’m never too busy to pay attention to good ol Livo but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do/see/participate in everything one wishes and of course write it all down.

For instance NAIDOC week is all done and dusted and I missed nearly everything (ceremoniously that is)… except the fact I regularly ponder the past, present and future of our indigenous brothers and sisters and the less than acceptable way in which they are treated. I pay my respects to their long and rich history, their turbulent past and wish that things could be different. Then out of the blue I hear the comment  ” I don’t know what I’m supposed to be sorry for it wasn’t me who did all the wrong things to the aborigines’ and then I want to scream. This narrow self serving attitude is clearly part of the reason so little is done to improve the status of our indigenous and the poor and disgraceful way in which governments even today treat them with contempt, especially when you hear the tripe from the present minister for indigenous affairs the  Prime Moron. Okay I accept that sounds disrespectful, however my daughter constantly reminded me during her formative years, one has to earn respect and while I have more than enough respect for the office of Prime Minister the person wearing the title is none the less required to earn or at least maintain the role with some dignity and grace, I felt his comments during NAIDOC week were less than acceptable. This same person is treating the Office of Women with the same disdain and really I think we deserve better as a nation. I WANT MORE FROM OUR ELECTED….MORE I TELL YOU and if you agree with that, we could spend a whole posts on asylum seekers, the poor, the lesser abled, single parents,  the young,(the list goes on)…why do we settle for so little and trust so much? Ok rant over for now…. 😛

All that aside, what has been happening in Liverpool? Radio 702 ABC broadcast from Macquarie mall earlier today and Linda Mottram really did share the joy today, I managed to hear most of the show and was delighted with the people who spoke.. well mostly, clearly the Mayor wasn’t scripted and it showed…  however listening to Uncle Steve Williams was a joy and I really liked that Linda has asked him to talk with her again…we have some amazing people in Liverpool and its nice to see them showcased in such a positive way…. well done Livo.

Very locally I should share a question that has been asked of me lately, Edwin Wheeler Reserve is very close to my home, as is Maxwells Avenue – Maxwells is a main thoroughfare and where it meets Cartwright Avenue is particularly busy as intersections go. So with council spending lots of money fixing roads, (not either of those mentioned however) why in the name of sanity did council spread tar over the car park of said Edwin Wheeler reserve and leave so many potholes on the abovementioned intersection? If we have spare road surface material and people to spread it why didn’t they fix this busy intersection? To the person who asked, I really don’t know, I  don’t have the answer, but as a  shoddy use of rates money goes, this is perplexing. The surface in the car park didn’t even appear as if it were formed up etc, it looks like someone just spread out left overs hmmmm and while that will last for about as long as a good downpour couldn’t we have done something more substantial, most especially as roads so close need some serious attention?

Council meeting is next week, the business papers should have been posted today, however my busy schedule hasn’t allowed me to check them out yet, I will let you know if I see anything  you should look  at… if you see something you can let me know too. Sunday is National Tree day so I hope many of you head over to Chipping Norton and help out… I’m working on being there even if only for a short time as I have another appt. Sad there just isn’t enough hours in a week but we do what we can.

Lastly, the sadness of the past week breaks my heart, the loss of life, the blatant cruelty and the loss and heartbreak happening all over the world makes one pause and count ones blessings. I send my heartfelt wishes for all those suffering now and hoping that sometime soon the world wakes up and says enough is enough and decides to live in peace…
more soon……… feel free to disagree, agree or whatever, opinions are free and I’ll happily post yours here.

Sign off

 

BTW you still have time to recognise the Police Officer of the year….below is the form… go for it

 

 

Police officer of the year formPolice Officer of the Year Page 2

 

 


29.7.12 National Tree Day

July 30, 2012

What a glorious morning, numbers were down from the past however approx.. 50 locals gathered to plant many, many shrubs and trees in the lovely Helles Park. While not sure why the numbers were down it was nice to see Cllrs, Lucas, Hadid, Hadchiti and Mannoun in attendance, some even did some planting.

An ideal location right on the Georges River, the ever fabulous Lions club catering,  the River Keeper, the emergency services team, the ever helpful and diligent council staff and perhaps my fav from the local fauna man and his gorgeous creatures. This Beautiful lace monitor is celebrating her 12th birthday as she hatched on the day of the opening of the Sydney Olympics… seriously exciting to hold one, they aren’t known for their sweet nature but she is hand raised and about 5 kgs.

These truly fabulous family events are well worth the time and effort. I love spending time with my young grandson who enjoys planting a few trees and then monitoring their growth over ensuing years.

Liverpool Council holds a number of community based events throughout the year and I encourage you to become part of these and as a side benefit get to know our fabulous Liverpool from another perspective. The lovely lady from Sita made sure we had some potting mix to plant some of the saplings and plants residents were encouraged to take home, I grabbed an edible violet plant and was fascinated by the ‘chocolate’ Lilly… I’ll let you know how they grow.