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

 

 

 

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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