There was considerable discussion around the vote to be taken by Eurobodalla Councillors at yesterday's Council meeting as to whether they should vote themselves a pay rise.
While the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal had set the mayoral and councillor fees for the 2019-20 financial year, with effect from 1 July 2019, and determined that a maximum increase of 2.5% could apply Councillors were asked by a speaker during Public Forum as to whether they should vote themselves a fee increase in light of their poor performances, the concerns around their lack of communication with the community and the fact that the region was doing it tough. While some of the councillors bumbled though with some odd analogy trying to compare their hourly rate to a proposed Information booth volunteer and saying that the amount of work put in by a Councillor made the increase justified tit did little to convince the gallery watching the debate. Further south the Mayor of Bega, Kristy McBain had already stated her opinion of the availability of the fee increase saying that, in her opinion, Councillors should not be voting for their own pay rise. Bega Councillors voted for the third year in a row not to accept the increase. In the end for Eurobodalla Council they voted 8 against 1 to accept the maximum. Both Councillor Lindsay Brown and Councillor Anthony Mayne spoke well on the counterpoints of a fee increase with Clr Brown saying that the fee basically covers the "running costs" of being a councillor covering travelling costs up and down the shire citing that one year it had personally cost him to be a councillor rather than having benefited from the annual fee. Clr Brown also spoke well on the fact that a reasonable fee would assist in attracting those interested in becoming Councillors who might need to have staff or assistance step in to fill any gap left by their absence as they attended meetings.
AUDIO: Councillor Anthony Mayne speaks with Daniel Doody of ABC South East Radio
June 26th, 2019 Recorded under Fair Dealing All copy right remains with ABC