Letter: Candidate of choice

With the by-election to elect a mayor due, I have a few issues that ratepayers may, may not know, or have forgotten about. 

The cost to us the ratepayer to elect Peter Besseling was around $500,000 plus individual ratepayer time to go to the polls on that Saturday. At an average rate per household of $2500 that brunt 160 property rates up in smoke. Thank you Mr Besseling you cost us $50,000 per month for stepping down without achieving too much at all. Now we are back at the polls spending another $400,000 plus your time.  

The first and most important point is we have three current councillors Griffiths, Intermann and Turner polling for the mayor’s position. If one of these candidates is elected, we then have to go back to the polls to elect a replacement councillor. This comes at cost to the rates payer of another $400,000 and the personal time individuals need to vote again, keeping in mind this will be three Saturdays tied up attending polling booths within one year. 

Here lies another issue “why can’t we vote online” for local government? It cannot be that important to mayors or councillors if they can walk away any time they like. Now that is food for thought to be presented to the NSW Electoral Commission if we had good representation. Now these three councillors have been in their positions for some time without doing anything outstanding other than business as usual. We also have a candidate backed by the Greens, Edwards. I’m sorry but it is all “too soon too late’. 

Development has now joined the town centre through to the highway and east to Bonny Hills without any forethought to habitat or planning. The Greens have backing this candidate as a political venture.

We are one of the highest rated councils in NSW with the largest rural growth outside the metropolitan area. This now arises the question of why do we need rate increases when there are so many new rateable homes being approved weekly. Who does the council forecasting? Developers and homebuilder pay for the roads, services and contribute to infrastructure.

This council needs to held to account by independent assessors to set financial and performance KPIs on all staff from the CEO through to the men on the mowers. The council needs to run as any large business, we the ratepayers are the stakeholders.

There is a solution but it needs to be driven by a strong leader. Council need to replace several key senior positions with experienced business minded people that can get the job done to remove the personality and attitudes from all decision making.

For me there is only one candidate that I am putting my support behind that has business acumen and drive accountability.            

Phillip Rummery

Port Macquarie