Welcome to this week’s editorial, This week saw Eurobodalla Councillors go into a confidential session and return to announce that Dr Dale’s contract as General Manager has been extended for five years, commencing from 1 July 2017. Most residents and ratepayers would be indifferent to this announcement however to those who carefully follow Eurobodalla Council matters the announcement and the process are both disappointing. The Councillors voted 8 to 1 to extend the contract. The one voice against, Councillor Pat McGinlay, stood firm in his resolve that a new general manager might well illuminate an otherwise lacklustre performance to date by Council where little has been achieved during the Dale Years. In the press announcement Clr Liz Innes acknowledged Dr Dale’s outstanding achievements against the nine key performance indicators she was assessed on. Sadly those key performance indicators are confidential. We do know that they cover areas of governance, leadership, communications, financial sustainability, asset management, planning, business development and tourism, community services, and risk management. The Mayor also added “Dr Dale has a proven track record of sound financial and organisational management, driving cultural change and implementing efficiencies and robust processes.” One thing that folks aren’t aware of is that Council’s budget is driven by long term goals. If you want to put something new in place now it needed to be discussed, defined, prioritised and considered for funding several years ago. The big projects on the table, especially those with loans, were considered by one or two Councils ago and the role of Council staff including the GM is to see these through. While Dr Dale says she is looking forward to continuing to manage significant projects including the redevelopment of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct, the southern water storage facility, developing the Moruya Library as a centre of excellence for arts and culture, and the expansion of Moruya Airport none of those projects are new. So what has come to the table in Dale years by her initiative and drive? Not much. And is that her role? Councillors need to understand that they have to proactively seek to make change, to initiate new, to direct the budget . Presently all they can do is endorse a budget that was set in motion several years ago to projects that were envisioned by those before them. The community is become more and more vocal that they want Councillors to take more control. It is widely considered that under the Dr Dale, as general manager, she will continue to deliver mediocrity and challenge any variation from the line and direction that is set by State Government guidelines. It is more than apparent that at every Council meeting that goes by there is a LOSS OF OPPORTUNITY when Notice Of Motions time comes around. While it has been used, in most part, the opportunity to put forward a Notice of Motion on behalf of the community where debate can be heard and the public can address has gone by with Councillors seemingly content to simply rubber stamp the initiatives and direction staff want to present as agenda items. In his interview with Trevor Moore on June 1st Councillor McGinlay said “The administration is structured in a way that enables it to carry out the day to day operations of the Council. Our Councillors need to know how it works if they are to make a difference. “ Councillor McGinlay is now one man out. The others have now shown their allegiances and picked their captain. Until next week Lei
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