Can the Administrator trust his staff?

Former Council Administrator, Dick Persson

Forum –

Coast Community News on November 27 leads with an article flagging that a rate rise is on the cards.

Low lying fruit is always the easiest to pick.

(Administrator Dick) Persson seems to have formed the decision that the $89M deficit is the responsibility of the ratepayers.

Clearly there are some questionable financial policies in place and some seriously questionable governance issues at the Council.

Speaking of governance, I note from your paper (“Report on Council finances due next week”) Mr Persson made a “captain’s pick” of Mr Malcolm Ryan to assist him.

Is (he) suggesting that not a single person at the Central Coast Council is trustworthy or capable of the task of assisting him with the “possible merging of the LEPs”?

This conclusion is inescapable and a great worry – does it mean that anything Mr Persson tries to implement will be derailed or disregarded?

If this is such an important task, why was the position not advertised in the media and at large so the recruitment process is transparent and the people of the Central Coast (it is the people’s Council as you point out Mr Persson) are assured the best possible person is awarded the position?

It may be that Mr Ryan would be awarded the position after going through a transparent and rigorous recruitment process; I am not suggesting otherwise.

Clearly Mr Ryan has demonstrated expertise and clearly Mr Ryan and Mr Persson have a good working relationship.

However, that is not the issue.

The Central Coast Council must be a basket case of toxicity: no one is taking responsibility for the $89M deficit that will burden rate payers for years to come.

It also appears none of the staff are trustworthy enough to work with Mr Persson on “important issues”.

The culture needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom and sadly, Mr Persson’s captain’s pick of Mr Ryan does not bode well for the implementation of any plan to change the culture at this sad and sorry place.

Email, Nov 30
Jennifer Berry, Copacabana