Let ratepay­ers elect mayor

Southern Telegraph - - OPINION - Mal McFetridge Safety Bay

There is grow­ing sup­port for the elec­tion of the mayor by the com­mu­nity. Face­book polls, which are now closed, re­flected this — 464 in favour of the com­mu­nity elect­ing the mayor to 22 against.

Al­though some coun­cil­lors have ex­pressed their opin­ions, some have been very quiet. This goes against the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment ( Rules of Con­duct) Reg­u­la­tions 2007, which states they have to be “open and ac­count­able to the pub­lic; and base de­ci­sions on rel­e­vant and fac­tu­ally cor­rect in­for­ma­tion”.

Coun­cil­lors have stead­fastly re­fused to poll their wards to gauge the sup­port for a mayor elected by the com­mu­nity.

This is­sue is prac­ti­cally the same as the cam­paign to open the stand­ing com­mit­tees to the pub­lic back in 2005/ 2006; the coun­cil­lors ini­tially re­fus­ing to sup­port the mo­tion ( three times) and putting no cred­i­ble ar­gu­ment against it, then do­ing a 180- de­gree turn­around and sup­port­ing al­most the same mo­tion that had been put for­ward 12 months ear­lier.

To have the stand­ing com­mit­tees open to the pub­lic was an is­sue that had plenty of sup­port which the coun­cil ig­nored un­til they ran out of ex­cuses not to open them.

So far there has been no rel­e­vant or con­struc­tive ar­gu­ment against let­ting the com­mu­nity elect their mayor, and in my opin­ion, the egos and am­bi­tions of some coun­cil­lors who see them­selves as a fu­ture mayor are prej­u­dic­ing the sup­port for this ini­tia­tive and get­ting in the way of “the right thing to do”.

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