One of the lesser observed news items in political circles today is that the WA State Government has suspended the City of Perth, popularly known as Perth City Council and a Commissioner is to be appointed.
It has been reported in the Government News that WA Local Government Minister David Templeman announced the suspension leaving the option open of dismissing the council altogether. Perth City Council is a small council in terms of population With 20,000 residents it is smaller than Eurobodalla Shire. Apparently the last ten years under the Lord Mayor has been marked by controversy. In the October 2017 WA local government elections Lord Mayor lost her majority on the Council, with the election of a group of new councillors opposed to her policies. The Council recently appointed its third CEO in two weeks. Let’s bring this home to Eurobodalla.
For the last year there has been a continued frustration that the Councillors that were voted in have become little more than rubber stamps for staff. There are claims that they have divested all their delegated powers to the General Manager and have little if any role at all in the day to day operations of Council other than to endorse the recommendations of the General Manager and her staff. There have been many comments made that the Mayor, overly reliant on the General Manager, has also succumbed to the allure of bureaucratic double-speak and has all but lost the Mandate that she stood for in her electioneering of representing the people. The Councillors also have been accused of having forgotten their promises to strive for openness and transparency, to carry out audits and to have Council held more accountable for its expenditures and practices. With such mediocrity and the disappointment that the councilors are now seen as spineless puppets kowtowing to the system there have been calls to “sack them all !”. But alas, if, as is the case in Perth, the council is sacked then the bureaucracy remain to continue with the back room secrecy, the flaunting of the Local Government Act, the self agenda policy re-writes and all the things that everyone was hoping the Councillors might stand watch-dog over. We have witnessed Councillors Constable and McGinlay stand up and question the Mayor and her Consorts as a team of two against The Seven however last week we saw a new defiance in Anthony Mayne who, though slapped down, pressed his point and dared to question the Bench. So let’s not dispense with our Councillors too early and maybe show by example that they are simply under the spell of Sauron in the “Dark Tower” and can be led by a new leader guiding them on the right path. The public turnout to the meeting last week and the week before indicates the Council is being watched and is now on notice that mediocrity, deception or bone laziness won’t wash any longer.