Former Councillor Hogan’s recall of how basic accounting information had been withheld or controlled by Council staff (Chronicle pg1 Apr 14) should instigate questions on the role of Council’s staff in its financial downfall.
Much attention has focussed on former councillors and the ex-CEO, but little scrutiny has been paid to this bureaucratic army of unelected officials which regulates what councillors can or cannot see, and in effect, steer Council spending and decisions away from accountability.
In a Council meeting on February 2020 prior to its dissolution, former Councillor Marquart conceded that it is the staff who should have primacy on deciding development applications, whilst disparaging any fellow councillor who would dutifully examine the staff’s recommendations.
“The staff have said, the applicant can do that.
“The staff have had a good look at this.
“They’ve got a lot more skin in the game than we do guys in regards to that.
“The staff have said that the applicant should be able to do so”.
When an unelected body of managers and directors can override community concerns and has incentives to conceal mismanagement from elected officials, it is little wonder that the runaway budget was beyond repair when it was finally uncovered.
Email, Apr 19
Tony Chu, Palmdale