Administrator’s Column – Referendum and 3-month Progress Report - February 8

Date

Monday, 8 February 2021

Release

My first three months as Administrator for Central Coast Council has involved working out what had happened, who was responsible, and most importantly what we needed to do to return the Council to a positive financial position. My 30 Day Interim Report provided this detail.

Last week I released my 3-month Progress Report and I encourage you to read it. The report provides an update to the community on the necessary reforms and changes that have been implemented. 

A strong conclusion I have formed is that the merged council model of 15 Councillors has resulted in a dynamic more like a parliament, where the opposing forces rarely collaborate. There is no doubt in my mind this has contributed to the financial disaster of Central Coast Council. 

I am therefore proposing that a referendum be held at the next local government election seeking voter approval to reduce the number of Councillors from 15 to 9 and a change to the ward system. I believe the best option would be to abolish the wards altogether and have an ‘undivided’ council, this would then hopefully provide for a more collaborative approach in considering what is best for the area as a whole. The alternative would be reduce the wards from 5 to 3. 

I will be consulting with the community on this before shaping the referendum question. This is not a guarantee but would increase the likelihood of collaboration.

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Last updated : Mon 8 Feb 2021