Vision for new Council unlikely to be met

Letter to the editor ForumLetter to the editor Forum

Mr David Abrahams’ letter on the upcoming Council election (“Future councillor’s role will be more demanding than ever”, Coast Community News, 27/1/17) is a vision of perfection that is likely to have little effect in the community at large.
“Encouraging quality local candidates” is easy to say, but how does he suggest that these candidates be found, funded and supported in their campaigns?
Unless they are supported by established political parties (perhaps, the last thing we need), few candidates will have the resources to undertake the range of activities that he suggests should make up the campaign.
One wonders, anyway, how many individuals have the ability to engage in “high quality discussions around transport, employment, education, development, investment and culture.”
I have three degrees and 40 years of professional experience, but I would feel daunted to develop such an ambitious manifesto.
It is near to a certainty that all the old councillors will stand again in the new election, and it would be no surprise to see all 15 seats going to these re-treads, given the general apathy towards local elections and the disadvantages that new candidates always have in challenging the status quo.
This is apart from the fact that any highly qualified candidates might not have the capacity to devote the time required for the management of a new, enlarged Council, whereas it is clear that all the existing councillors do have this time on their hands.
Since there appears to be no local Donald Trump on the horizon to galvanize the disaffected, I expect a campaign of platitudes and self-aggrandisement, and a new council very much in the mould of the two Councils that most people were glad to see the last of.
Incidentally, Mr Abrahams excuses the Administrator’s lack-lustre performance over the past nine months on the grounds that he has been fully taken up with resetting the administrative structure to a higher-performance standard.
If this is the case, the improvement is not evident to me, even though this was one of the high hopes that I had of the Administrator when he took office.
Furthermore, even if such a task was a priority, it provides no excuse for the nine months of policy drift, when crucial decisions could have been made to set the new Council a reinvigorated agenda.
Heaven help us, we might even see Mr Chris (never-lost-a-cent) Holstein back on the Council, bearing the tattered banner of the Central Coast Task Force.

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Feb 14, 2017
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy

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