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Vacancies: Eurobodalla Council

One position as Popularly Elected Mayor $61,430 per year and 8 positions for councillor receiving $19,310 per year. In addition to the annual allowance, Council also covers some of the expenses incurred by councillors in the performance of their official duties. These expenses include the provision of iPads and mobile telephones, travel and accommodation, catering and other items and activities directly related to Council business. If you are fortunate to get the nod from the Mayor you might also attend a range of conferences throughout the year at the community expense. As a Councillor you are expected to attend the In the alternate weeks to Council meetings, councillors attend briefing sessions with the General Manager and Executive Leadership Team Regular weekly Councillor newsletters and briefing sessions provide Councillors with assistance to undertake their civic roles. Not available for the whole year? No problems... Councillors are often granted a leave of absence to Council meetings to take vacation in France or on the high seas. You still get paid. In 2018 Council held 18 meetings - at just over $1000 per meeting with the other freebies the role of Councillor would be perfect for someone who could do with a fiscal top-up to their income without much in the way of expectation and no KPI's or annual reviews except for those that might be expected from the community who voted them in. Two of our present councillors were voted in to their lucrative roles with just four votes and fourteen votes so everything is possible if you find yourself on the right ticket with trickle down preferences.

The role of Councillor requires very little commitment as the briefing sessions are optional, attendance to the Public Access and Public Forum sessions to hear the community present on issues is not mandatory, and verbal participation in council meetings is not required if you want to sit through them offering, however you can lift your profile by either asking Dorothy Dix questions of staff or even providing hilarity for the gallery with left of field questions of speakers about the fecundity of penguins. Job Description: As one of nine elected councillors, which includes the popularly elected Mayor, you will be required to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers. You will be required to provide community leadership and guidance, channel communication between the community and Council, and consider the issues facing Eurobodalla, ensuring that ratepayers’ money is allocated in the most effective way. This will mean balancing the needs of the community and the needs of individuals, taking into account the long and short term implications of decisions. Before you make too many election promises it is important to remember that while individual councillors are able to consult with their constituents and advocate on their behalf, it is only as a collective that they can make decisions affecting Eurobodalla. Just 11 months out from the 2020 Local Government Election Into the last year of this current four year term there is movement among the present lot of councillors as they begin their electioneering. While the voting block has been a constant seven against on with Innes, Brown, Pollock, Tait, Constable, Thomson and Nathan voting down Mayne and McGinlay at every opportunity the Gang of Seven will now need to consider how they will return to Council in light of having achieved very little indeed. While McGinlay and Mayne have honestly represented the community, choosing to challenge staff recommendations rather than rubber stamping, bringing to the chamber discussions that had been made between councillors in closed back room briefing sessions, daring to question the Mayor, General Manager or Executives and actually engaging with the community to present their questions the Gang of Seven have little to be proud of in accomplishment. The Mayor has failed to deliver the much promised Rural Lands Strategy, the LEP remains unsigned seven years after it was first drafted reflecting the strong opposition to it. Only now, and under State guidance might it come to be adopted in full. The dismal handling of the Mackay Park project, the secrecy around sunset committees and foreshore committees, the relentless battle between the Council and the Batemans Bay Chamber that was hung out publicly for all to see revealing Council's determination not to be questioned and its demands to be 'in charge' of matters well outside its capacity. With the exception of the excellent work put in by the Council staff going about their duties to develop Operational Plans, Policy renewals, Submissions for grants, Submissions on State projects and all the warp and weft that is required to keep the services of Council going the current term with our batch of councillors has actually not achieved much at all. The Mayor might claim removing paid parking in Batemans Bay however Council has still not been able to advise where the loss of an estimated $150,000 a year will now come from nor has there been any followup to establish if there were any of the perceived benefits achieved. The has been some good environment initiatives put through The Cat Bib, disallowing balloons on Council reserves, writing to lots of people suggesting controlling plastic bags and changing the investment portfolio to be more green. Nathan did have a win with extending discretion to overstay parking if the car had a temporary disabled persons notice for those who were temporarily disabled for one reason or another. Responsibility: It is fortunate that as a councillor the first thing you do is pass on the authority delegated to you by the State Government to the General Manager who then passes it on down the line. You can not be found responsible for any decision you make either, so long as it was the staffs' recommendation. A General Manager is employed by Councillors. They review the GM's performance, award bonuses and vote to reinstate at contract end. By giving the GM all of their delegated authority it enables the GM and staff to do what is required. Basically it renders the Councillors little more than rubber-stamps to adopt anything put before them. So for $1000 per meeting with the freebies of the role running for council in 2020 should prove inviting to those who enjoy a taste of politics, the opportunity to high-horse and sup at the trough however there will be room also for those who have a tenacity, a willingness and determination to represent their community and ensure that what Council are doing is above-board and in the best interests of the community at large.

The current councillors of Eurobodalla. Who will be there and who will be gone in 2020? Photo ESC

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