Letter should have been headed: “Increased rates due to Council incompetence”

Acting CEO, Rik Hart

Forum –

It was extremely disappointing to read the letter dated January 13 to ratepayers from Acting CEO of Central Coast Council, Rik Hart.

The heading “Securing Your Future” has no relevance to the body of the letter.

“Increased rates due to Council incompetence” perhaps would be a more appropriate heading.

Yes, we all know 2020 was a difficult year with drought, bushfire and so on, but the standout of 2020 for ratepayers was the unlawful access and mismanagement of Council funds, an obscene amount of funds that we are expected to recover in order for Council to continue to operate, by way of a 15 percent increase.

Please, Mr Hart, do not threaten us with the fact that if Council does not receive a substantial increase in the total rate income, then services will be reduced or eliminated.

We want to hear that competent Council members have been appointed and have now replaced “acting” or “interim” management.

Ratepayers would like to receive a plan from Council, forget the glossy what-we-have-done brochures, more a financial forecast which would include what Council proposes to “sell off” and to what value.

As mentioned in Mr Hart’s letter, the rise will be tough on pensioners; that’s stating the obvious.

Council needs to review the pensioner rebates, an increase is in order.

Mr Hart wants to hear from us via an online survey?

No, we want to hear from you, that we can look forward to newly appointed Council members with innovative and cost-effective plans for the future.

I agree with other contributors that Council’s online survey about rate increases does not let ratepayers have a say.

Just ticking boxes and agreeing to either a 10 percent or 15 percent is not giving anyone an option.

It just allows them to say “well the survey says X percent of ratepayers are happy to pay X”.

Ratepayers deserve something better than this “Securing Your Future” blurb.

A reminder: Council acts on behalf of its ratepayers.

Email, Jan 22
Jean Parlane, Buff Point