It is quite obvious that councillors in the 16 out of 18 failing amalgamated councils are not to blame for this financial hornet’s nest, however much they might appear to be at odds with each other.
They are very convenient scapegoats in a system doomed to failure.
State governments didn’t hand them Cartier watches but a poisoned chalice.
The State over estimated the savings to be made with amalgamation and under estimated not only the cost but the time that it would take to unite often two different systems.
Councillors are there to represent the electorate and be a conduit for requests, information and projects for the running of their ward.
They have very little insight or control over the workings of the departments which are responsible for the actual running of Council and indeed fiscal control.
Each Council needs to install a permanent auditor ensuring fiscal probity, but the failure of amalgamation should be firmly laid at the door of the State.
We can all point to inefficiencies and dubious practices in the operating of our councils, but they are a catastrophe waiting to happen if not properly funded.
(It’s) a law every household learns very quickly in a recession.
Email, Nov 5
Susan Zgraja, Fountaindale