Suspended councillors to be invited to briefings

Suspended Central Coast Councillors

Central Coast Council Administrator, Dick Persson, has organised two briefings for suspended councillors.

He says it is appropriate that steps be taken to transition back to an elected Council as the suspension expires on April 29.

The Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, is the person who will decide if the suspended councillors return.

Her other option is to sack them and call an Inquiry.

However, Persson says that if they return, he wants them to better understand their roles.

He has planned a financial briefing on Tuesday, March 30.

The briefing will be conducted in person only, to give the as yet still suspended councillors an overview of the financial situation and actions taken to date.

Councillors will be presented with examples of monthly reports that will be implemented for the information of councillors and the community.

Then all the councillors will be invited to a second meeting on April 15 to meet newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, David Farmer.

“A strong working relationship between Council and the CEO will be vital to the future of Central Coast Council and its success,” Persson said.

Only 13 councillors will return if the suspension is lifted as two Liberals, Troy Marquart and Rebecca Gale, resigned a couple of days before the suspension.

Persson said: “In my 30-day Interim Report I stated that Central Coast councillors had not come to terms with the fundamental role of their position and their functions under the Local Government Act.

“In my 3 Month Progress Report I noted that changes have been implemented to see Council return to a strong financial position over the next five years or so.

“It will be imperative that councillors, should they return to office, understand their role and also understand the systems that have been implemented to achieve good financial outcomes.”

The dates could change, if needs be, for logistical reasons, Persson said.

“I would expect those suspended councillors committed to the future of the Central Coast, and their role in it, to make all possible efforts to attend,” he said.

More than 20,000 residents signed an e-petition asking the State Government to hold a judicial inquiry into the Council’s financial problems.

That petition will be debated in the State Parliament on May 6, a week after the suspension ends.

Merilyn Vale

1 Comment on "Suspended councillors to be invited to briefings"

  1. Mark Foxton | March 24, 2021 at 10:11 am |

    Sack them all and start the enquiry. Constituents deserve answers. Where has all the money gone? Why are my rates going up?
    We are not willing to pay for incompetence any longer.

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