Splashes of vibrant colour celebrate National Tidy Town win

Morangup artists Nicola Cowie (above left) and Katherine Ferguson with Toodyay’s first street mural which they completed last month on a new shire public toilet block in Charcoal Lane to mark Toodyay’s 2015 National Tidy Towns win. The Shire of Toodyay plans to install a nearby plaque to record the remarkable achievement by local Tidy Town volunteers (see Letters).

2.5 per cent rates hike on the cards

Increase more than double 12-month rise in household cost of living

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

RATEPAYERS face a 2.5 per cent rates hike this financial year after Toodyay shire councillors voted 6-1 at last month’s council meeting (Cr Bill Manning against, Cr Ben Bell overseas on Australian Government trade mission) to advertise the proposed new increase for public comment.

The rise is more than double the 1.1 per cent cost of living increase in the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index for the 12 months to March 31.

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Duke Street footbridge set to reopen by November

TOODYAY’S Duke Street footbridge over the east-west freight railway line that bisects the town near the Alma Beard Medical Centre is expected to reopen by November.

The Toodyay Shire Council agreed last month to take over maintaining the bridge later this year after the State Government spends $145,000 on a safety upgrade and the shire contributes $56,000 for repairs.

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Shire CEO scores 2.5 per cent pay rise

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY Shire CEO Stan Scott has gone from losing his current job on July 22 to scoring a 2.5 per cent pay rise for another year after a secret council backflip in May.

Mr Scott will get a total of $243,000 in a new salary package, including payment of 14.5 per cent shire-funded superannuation.

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Toodyay gets new community bus

TOODYAY is to get a new 12-seater community bus after shire councillors voted 6-0 (Cr Judy Dow declared an interest through a family member and left the chamber) to spend $54,500 on a new vehicle from Avon Valley Toyota in Northam.

Shire launches legal bid to sack Cr Bell

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY Shire CEO Stan Scott has launched legal action in Perth to disqualify Cr Ben Bell from being a councillor for up to five years.

Mr Scott has claimed to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) on behalf of the shire that Cr Bell failed to publicly apologise for five minor breaches of local government rules of conduct for comments posted on Facebook.

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Shire faces grilling from investigators

THE SHIRE of Toodyay has said publicly that the council may be suspended if a local government inquiry finds it unable to govern.

The unprompted remark by CEO Stan Scott at last month’s council meeting followed a question by Cr Eric Twine about whether the shire would have to pay for new elections if any sitting members re-elected in October had to resign for “wrongdoing”.

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Councillor resigns on principle as elections loom

 

CR BILL MANNING has given notice that he will resign his seat on September 30 because Toodyay has abolished ward boundaries for the October shire elections.

In an email to all councillors last month, Cr Manning – whose four-year term does not expire until October 2021 – said he believed that all councillors should put themselves up for re-election this October.

“This will mean that all councillors have been chosen by the entire electorate and ensure greater legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate,” Cr Manning said.

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Public meeting turns ugly

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A SHIRE of Toodyay public meeting (pictured above) turned ugly last month when one of 24 members of the public present was allowed by civic leaders to call a fellow elected member sitting next to them a “cancer on the council”.

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