Jobs for the Boys.
I believe that Councillors and ex-Councillors should be ineligible for employment by Council and associated organisations. We need Councillors who are doing it with the best interests of the community… not people who become career “hangers on” to the public purse. We must curb the Mountains’ “Mates Club”. No more special favours and deals
The senior staff salaries at BMCC are kept confidential. The word going around is that the General Manager earns as much as the Premier of NSW. I contacted the GM to find out if this was true but got no response. These salaries should be on the public record. No more secret pay deals.
To cut back on costs BMCC has changed the street chipping to a “on demand” service. What concerns me here is that there is now no incentive to have a yard clean up prior to the Bushfire season. Previously, having set dates prior to summer meant that there was a strong incentive for people to clean up their yards…and prepare for the fire season. I think that this possibly should be re-introduced so that there is a spring chipping service which is run in conjunction with a “Prepare for the Fire Season” campaign.
Public Register of External Contractors.
I believe that one of the biggest opportunities for corruption in Government is the misuse of payments to contractors. Sadly, in all levels of Government we regularly hear about the “Mates Club” being awarded lucrative contracts. I believe all BMCC contractors need to be listed in an on-line public register and at the end of every financial year a public report published of all contractors who have been paid over $3000. We need transparency and accountability. My experience with BMCC’s lack of scrutiny of a contractor is detailed in my page on their Failed Investment Advisor Oakvale Capital
Noxious Weed Management
With BMCC being in such a poor financial state noxious weeds are not being sufficiently attended to and are escaping in large numbers to the National Park. I need to consult more with environmental groups as to the best way to handle this problem. One good suggestion has been for BMCC to resource and encourage “Street Groups” where we all take responsibility for the weeds in our area. Lots more to come on this one – it is a big and complicated issue.
Development application assessment times need to be made public including any reasons for delays.
Development applications are taking too long to assess. We need more transparency and I believe that any applications that take more than 40 days to assess should be published on-line with full diary details as to why delays are occurring. We also need an independent “DA Ombudsman” who can look at cases where the delays are going on for an unacceptably long amount of time.
Public submissions to BMCC must not be “buried”
A number of people I have spoken to believe that their communications to Council on policy and planning issues are being “buried” and that the staff are only providing Councillors a restricted selection of these that support the staff’s viewpoint and agenda.
I believe there should be a public on-line register all incoming “policy” correspondence so the public can be assured that their views are genuinely being made available to Councillors.
Councillor information requests must not be stalled or delayed by staff
Out going Councillor Robert Stock was quoted on the front page of the Gazette lamenting how long it took for staff to respond to his information requests. I believe that a Councillors request for information should be responded to in 20 days – the same time as a freedom of information (GIPA) request. It also should be subject to the same rules as a GIPA application.
Staff not involving Councillors in important Development Applications.
Council staff are allowed to assess an application under “delegation” without referring it to Councillors if it is fairly commonplace. Any application that involves important issues or policy should go to a meeting of Councillors. The Aboriginal Culture Centre mistake is a classic example of how staff planners assessed an extremely important application under delegation and they messed it up. The public and Councillors should be provided with an on-line summary of DAs with an explanation as to why it is OK to assess under delegation.