Welcome to this week's Editor's Choice At a time when there are performance reviews happening around the globe; with Trump's first 100 days under the spotlight and Turnbull's budget being scrutinised; so too we can turn the spot light onto the latest version ofEurobodalla Council and The Beagle in its first six months. This week saw Eurobodalla Council announce "Eurobodalla Council has been judged the top council in Australia for customer service general enquiries in a quarterly national benchmarking report." The Beagle, whilst happy to celebrate such accomplishments, did what it had to and looked under the bonnet of the announcement. As it turns out Eurobodalla Council was judged, by a company that undertakes Mystery Shopper reports. Council commissioned this company to Mystery shop its counter staff on general enquiries. The company ONLY has 60 council clients. Of its clients Eurobodalla was best. However 60 councils represents only 11% of the local governments found in Australia. The headline, as you can see, is deceptive. Is Eurobodalla Top Council in Australia? - well NOT SO, in context. Whilst The Beagle published Council's media release it also added that, on this occasion, it did not agree with the spin. The Beagle, in its first six months has delivered over 2000 articles of news, reviews and in between. One primary area of The Beagle is its Letters and Opinions page. Here you will mainly find the BORING stuff to many... local politics. But boring it is not, as it serves to spotlight the doings of Council and often brings them to task. In a perfect world it would be good to have such as a forum to give accolades to Council, however there is much ratepayer discontent in how the Council Executive and Councillors are performing in their duties and The Beagle Letters and Opinions section offers an opportunity and avenue for those who wish to raise issues and voice opinions. Some might ask "Has this been effective?". The clear answer is YES. Councillors and Council Executive Staff are very much aware of these pages and monitor The Beagle daily. Councillors are equally aware that they are being watched and that their performance, or lack of performance where observed, is being measured and commented on. The Beagle readers have an expectation of service delivery from the Council Executive and from the councillors and their score card to date for most is not as rosy as the one for the Customer Service staff. The Beagle does applaud the Customer Council staff on their professionalism and no doubt the Mystery Shopper Number One was well deserved in regards to GENERAL enquiries. Sadly this good news report is embroiled in the timing of the General Manager's performance review. The news that such a report costs the ratepayer $46,000 per year came as a surprise to Councillors and also to those watching on live streaming and in the public gallery who only found out because Councillor Pat McGinlay, always wanting to see transparency, asked in an open public Council meeting that the costs be revealed. Of interest is that the Council media release of The Win chose NOT to reveal the costs to the general public. The Beagle welcomes the 2000 plus regular daily readers we now have to our Beagle many news and community pages. We do encourage readers to visit the Letters and Opinions page to discover a little more of the issues that the community are raising and learn more of Council and what it is doing - such as proposing to put up your rates. Until next week Lei
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