Apologies for the lateness of the minutes, I have had the dreaded bug for a couple of weeks.
An update on last months (Sept) Council meeting. I have been attending these Council meetings for over 5 years now and missed probably only 2 or 3 during this time and I have to say at this stage I feel like not attending any more.
Let me explain, yes there were local issues that were dealt with on the night after much debating, however, mostly it seemed one sided. I have to say kudos to some of the Labor Councillors and definitely Peter for at least trying to convey their points across in an intelligent and knowledgeable way versus some others who simply waffled. At least Peter managed a good Notice of Motion on behalf of the community i.e., deferring Hotel at Casula (see Minutes) and a change to Child Care Centres to be addressed. Councillor participation for Committee’s were supposedly decided on the night, however, it appears that they had all been decided long before the meeting and I don’t know that the best people for the roles were chosen as it appeared in my opinion that certain Councillors were appointed for their own benefits. I am finding these meetings totally frustrating as I watch and listen to the blatant political point scoring, a lot of self-serving chest puffing, constant divisions, lack of harmony, low staff morale, a CEO who seems bored beyond belief and this is all at the cost of rate payers or as Council like to call us stakeholders. Let me tell you if I was a stakeholder in a Company that had total disregard for our money and directors that were only in there for what they could get out of it at any expense like this I would either sell my stocks as fast as possible or call for the sacking of the board and start again. However, we are stuck with what we have and have to make sure our voice is heard in any capacity we can.
I have never been in favour of politics in Local Government and this Council is a prime example of why there should be more Independent Councillors. I know we currently have a Liberal dominated Council and they are getting everything passed they want and whether it was Labor, Greens or any other Party it would be much the same. What I strongly object to is within the current Council you have at least 6 to 7 Councillors who are using our Council, our rates and local issues to promote their political aspirations. There are a couple of newcomers who have had no experience, no previous training or experience in Local Government and have never been involved in local issues before, there are even a couple of Councillors who don’t even live in the area. We need a more balanced Council with candidates worthy of the positions and not just there for party numbers, we need strong healthy debate on behalf of the residents, we need people who are genuinely interested in the betterment of the area for the areas sake and not their political career.
I watched as the new Deputy Mayor was appointed with pomp and ceremony with cameras flashing and whilst I don’t want to rain on his parade, I have some concerns. Here is a person who prior to 2012, I had never seen at any Council Meeting, any Intermodal rally, any IHAP’s, any JRPP’s, or anything related to Council, saying that he was proud to have lived in Liverpool his whole life and was looking forward to making a contribution to our City. Lo and behold he even found his way out to the rural area just recently and assisted with a clean-up day on one of our neglected rural roads and all the residents thought he was great. Funny, to date I have never seen him at a local rural forum (or any other Councillor other than Peter and Geoff Shelton) to listen to locals about their concerns. Call me cynical but looks like he could be one of the ones with political aspirations. This brings me to why wasn’t Peter a seasoned councillor with years of experience given the chance to be Deputy Mayor, a position he regularly fills in for at events that either the Mayor or the Deputy cannot or do not want to attend and has done so for over 6 years now.
Peter has represented all of Liverpool’s residents be it city, urban or rural on a regular basis, has attended more IHAP’s, JRPP’s, Community events, than all of the other Councillors combined, been on many Council Committees over the years that no one else would take on and yet just gets passed over for someone else’s political ambitions?
We would all be naive if we thought politics didn’t happen in Council. Councils are regularly used as a stepping stones to either State or Federal politics and I don’t really have a problem with people having ambitions to progress, but at least do your four years for the people first, learn your trade, learn the issues and try to do it for the right reason. So when the next election comes along folks check your candidates real reasons for running and ask them the pertinent questions such as what have you done for the community beforehand and most importantly what do you hope to achieve for Liverpool and its ratepayers as a Councillor ?
Well that’s my rant for the month and I would like to finish on a positive note.
As I travelled to this last Council Meeting I noticed that the CBD had planter boxes being placed around the city with an attempt to beautify Liverpool, now it may not be a big step but every little bit helps. I was informed by “someone in the know” that this was an initiative taken by a Council Manager, Gino Belsito to put these planters around and unfortunately people are crediting the wrong people for this action and Gino is not getting the kudo’s he deserves. So I made sure that I went out of my way to tell him they looked good, the same way I thank Raj when any roadwork gets done in my area that wasn’t scheduled and any other Council staff that does something good to ensure that any initiatives Council staff put forward to progress Liverpool is recognised so they continue to feel like they are making a difference.
Look forward to catching up with everyone at the meeting – Monday 13th October, 2014 – 7 pm Mill Road Liverpool.
Kind RegardsPauline Rowe Secretary Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: http://www.lcit.com.au