A CHANGED GREATER SHEPPARTON CITY COUNCIL
Shepparton News columnist, Lisa McKenzie, recently called for “innovative leaders with new perspectives” to launch into the forthcoming council electoral ring, pointing out the need to ensure that our “social, environmental and economic outcomes are optimised” into the future.
Ms Mckenzie, as usual, is spot on – she, incidentally, epitomises the very calibre of candidate we need – but the candidate qualification she used that captured my stand-out endorsement was “vision”!
However altruistic all other optional qualities are, and there are stacks, the three real imperatives are vision, vision and vision. Without those you’ve got mere seat-warmers – from uselessly magniloquent through to equally useless reactive sheep-like mediocrity.
In the unlikely event that all current incumbents renominate, up to half deserve a return ticket. Recent electoral analysis indicates 40% of primary votes now favour fresh blood. Hence we’ll see two or three new high-profile candidates almost guaranteed berths, although a wise long-serving alderman used to warn that it is easy to stand for council but much more difficult to end up sitting.
Already there are two such well-knowns toying with the prospect of a four-year term at Welsford St – a focussed world-class sharp-shooter and a popular purveyor of piscatorial paraphernalia. Others are kicking tyres. Who can predict the field? What is for certain is that prospectives need to get themselves highly-profiled right now – not just hope from nomination day on.
Having established what we want (vision, vision, vision), here’s what we don’t want – baggage, baggage, baggage. Single issue malcontents, grudge-against-council malcontents, Grumpy Old Men’s Club malcontents and the “I’ve never been involved in community service before but I’ve a huge ego” aspirants all need to find something else to do. We don’t need them.
What’s the talent pool like out there? There are literally dozens of good prospects and most of us could quite readily compile a list of 20 or 30 sound potentials. You might be one yourself. If so hook into it – if not why not approach someone whom you think has the objective vision Greater Shepparton so desperately needs!
NOTHING ORDINARY ABOUT IT
I attended the ORDINARY GENERAL MEETING of the Greater Shepparton City Council at Council Chambers on December 20, 2011. There was nothing ORDINARY about:
- The verbose 43 typewritten pages Agenda.
- The speed with which each recommendation was put to Council members and passed.
- The obvious animosity among six Councillors towards one Councillor.
- The obvious “Do not question any motion” attitude by six Councillors towards one Councillor.
This last fact was most evident with the Council recommendation to borrow an extra $3,000,000.
Councillor Muto spoke against the recommendation. He noted (much to the interest of some public gallery members) Council had approximately $20,000,000 invested in 19 different accounts earning between 4 and 5% interest. Majority were in General Accounts. He questioned the need to therefore borrow another $3,000,000 from NAB at 8% interest.
There was nothing ORDINARY about the loud laughter that ensued from ALL other Councillors. Words like mockery, ridicule, sarcasm all sprang to my mind. Not to mention amazement!!
I do not pay my rates (which have risen) to subsidize such behaviour.
As one (of many), who manages a strict budget, I felt Councillor Muto’s suggestion held a lot of merit. I understand Council must have funds invested to cover unforseen financial circumstances that may arise. Nevertheless, I suggest our Council climb down a step or two from their high up in the air financial world and come down to reality where we ratepayers live.
I re-iterate, this was NO ORDINARY meeting, it was most EXTRA ORDINARY.
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