The Beagle Editor
There seems to be some confusion by staff at our Council as to who is Council with a senior staff member even announcing "I am Council" to one of our councillors. Council is, for the benefit of this staff member and for benefit the nine elected councillors a body elected by the residents and funded by ratepayers and taxpayers where the STAFF are employed as public servants to assist the nine elected councillors advising, with their expertise, of the operations of the Council. The fact is that the Councillors, after elections, are given authority over their council by the State Government under a variety of Acts and Policies. The elected councillors then delegate what authority they choose to down to the General Manager, who re-delegates the councillors authority that originated from electors, down to staff who are employed by the public for their ability and expertise. The staff exist only to assist the councillors make fully informed decisions complying with the Act and policies for the public good. They are not able to make any decision on their own outside of their delegated authority. But what happens when your councillors give total authority and delegation to the staff? You end up with staff telling councillors that they are Council and they decide leaving the councillors with little if anything to do except rubberstamp what ever they are presented with having been advised that the staff know what they are doing as they are the experts "employed by the public for their ability and expertise." In the last two years this council has achieved nothing more than banning balloons at Council events and removing paid parking in Batemans Bay while reducing parking fines without any report at all of the financial cost of this decision to the community. The staff could have done that without any need for councillors to exist. It might be time to get rid of councillors if they continue to fail to represent the community and appear only to represent and support the staff. September 2020 is fast approaching.
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