Administrator's Column - Rate increases are never popular - February 1

Date

Monday, 1 February 2021

Release

Recently I explained why I was proposing a rate increase. unsurprisingly it drew considerable opposition. No-one wants a rate increase, particularly when it’s a result of their own Council’s mismanagement.

“Why should we pay, it had nothing to do with us?” many replied.

My column mentioned that “you did vote them in”.

Many felt I was blaming ratepayers. Not my intention. My 30-Day report very clearly laid the blame with the previous CEO, CFO and the elected councillors. 

They all fell well short of their job requirements. The CEO and CFO have gone, and the elected representatives have been suspended by the Minister.

While anger is understandable, I need to find real solutions to the massive budget shortfall and ballooning debt.

Mr Hart and I collectively have over 70 years’ experience in this space. Warringah Council, where I recruited Mr Hart as CEO, went on to win the prestigious Bluett Award - the Best Council in NSW.

Please read my report and enter the discussion with realistic proposals.

Our main focus is on cutting costs.

We are reducing staff by around 300, and managers by 30%. We are reducing spending on capital works and contractors.

But we also believe an increase in revenue is necessary.

If IPART don’t approve a rate increase, then even deeper service cuts and closures will be needed.

We really don’t have many choices.
 

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Last updated : Mon 1 Feb 2021