Finding fault with technocrats

New Central Coast Administrator, Rik Hart (left) and former Administrator, Dick Persson

Forum –

Administrator Rick Hart’s suggestion that some Councillors should be appointed by bureaucrats rather than elected is closer to the system imposed on Hong Kong by China than the ideals of Western liberal democracy (CCN318).

The Council already has more than enough technocrats among its highly-paid senior managers.

How does appointing even more address the root cause of the Council’s problems which lies in managerial performance?

At the recent Public Inquiry, a significant number of Councillors testified they were bluntly told by Council executives to “keep out of operational matters.”

Yet, when operational matters were mismanaged, it was the Councillors not the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) who lost their jobs.

The executives who kept their jobs despite the financial collapse have been treated like a protected species, while both Administrators have sought to pin all the blame on democratic processes.

The Administrator’s initial proposal, a pointless referendum costing $1.8M to reduce the number of Councillors, would make Central Coast the most under-represented Council in NSW by some distance with one Councillor per 38,219 residents compared with a NSW average of one per 6,254.

This referendum has since been postponed – but not before our infallible technocrats had wasted $300,000 on unrecoverable costs.

Democracy isn’t perfect and sometimes leads to bad decisions.

But, as Churchill once famously quipped, it is “the worst system of Government except for all the others that have ever been tried”.

I think that would include Mr Hart’s government by unelected and unaccountable technocrats.

Mr Hart would be better off seeking to improve the performance and productivity of the Council’s existing technocrats rather than suggesting that Central Coast residents cannot be trusted with the same system of representative democracy that works perfectly well elsewhere.

Email, Nov 15
Kevin Brooks, Kincumber

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