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Putting Council to the Pub Test

Councillors might not appreciate being given what appears to be a FAIL in Innovation and Proactive Leadership in the latest report card on Council’s progress in implementing the community’s vision as per the Community Strategic Plan 2017 – One Community, the Delivery Program 2017-21 and Operational Plan 2018-19. The question on this is "Does the FAIL belong to the Councillors, the General Manager and her Executive Team, or all of them combined?" If it was a students report card we would expect a bit of discussion around the dining table to establish what the problem is and how we might be able to improve on this in the next quarter. The problem here is that there is no dining table, no apology or explanation given, and certainly no statement of how this FAIL might be improved on. Council relies on no-one reading these reports. Of interest below is that our Vibrant and Diverse Economy appears to be ON HOLD as is our Sustainable Living.

Councillors might also like to explain their internet use for the December Quarter figures below

The above Phone/Fax/Internet figures simply don't pass the Pub Test - please explain.

The Beagle, for example, is a phone and internet Super User - we use on average 300GB of data a month with NBN at a cost of $79 per month for 1000Gb and landline. The Beagle phone has a $20 per month contract with Telstra for unlimited calls and 3GB of data. All up $297 for three months (1 quarter) unlimited calls, 3000GB of NBN data and 9GB of phone data. By comparison with the September 2018 quarterly statement there appears to be a marked increase yet the considerable spike is given no explanation nor is there an explanation of the $6,739 of "other costs" for the Mayor in the December quarter.

In regards to the Training/Skills Development expenses for Councillor Brown the Beagle wrote to Council in November 2018 asking "Looking over the draft Annual report and the September review appears to reveal that an identical amount of $3460 is recorded in Clr L Brown’s expenses both for the 2017/18 FY and for the 2018/19 Sep Qtr., the former referred to as “professional development” and the latter “training/skill development”. Can Council please advise more details around what this training development is and why it is only Lindsay Brown who qualifies/undertakes the training and will this training be on going?

A Council spokesperson responded "The costs are for a course Clr Brown completed with the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. Due to an annual limit of $3,500 for professional development, the amount has been split over two financial years resulting in two equal amounts in 2017-18 and 2018-19." "The training involves the interpretation of financial statements, investment principles, risk, and general governance matters. Under the Local Government Act 1993, Section 232 (1) (g) all councillors are ‘to make all reasonable efforts to acquire and maintain skills necessary to perform the role of councillor’. All Eurobodalla councillors have the opportunity to avail themselves of such training and development, as the 2017-18 Annual Report indicates." the spokesperson said. With the above explanation comes the question that if $3460 is recorded in Clr L Brown’s expenses both for the 2017/18 FY and for the 2018/19 Sep Qtr and the fee has been split over two financial years resulting in two equal amounts in 2017-18 and 2018-19 why are we still seeing the fee in the December 2018 Quarterly Statement of Fees and Charges.

#latest #Council #LocalStateFederal

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