SHIRE councillors voted 6-2 to raise shire rates by 2.5 per cent from 1 July 2019.
Without transparency, this increase is unsupported, contravenes information to the public and lacks acumen by all parties who voted for this increase, especially in light of last year’s increase and as revenues from that are apparently unaccounted for.
Question 1: Where do the inflowing revenues go? What is the spending scheme? When will we be given believable transparency of shire spending?
The Shire CEO receives a 2.5 per cent pay rise, yet he is, technically speaking, a replacement CEO.
The present CEO was to leave and an interim CEO take his place, thus the present CEO is a replacement and he is to be treated as ‘new’ in his job.
An interim CEO would not have had a pay rise, yet this interim CEO did receive one.
As he is interim, he didn’t prove he has done sufficient work to deserve such a pay rise.
Question 2: How far can hypocrisy go in our shire?
The council has publicly said it “may be suspended if a local government inquiry finds it unable to govern” (last month’s Herald, Page 3), so in light of this the revenue increase, pay rises and especially that of the CEO are unacceptable.
Question 3: Is the Toodyay Shire Council deaf, blind or what?
When will it realise that it is not operating well as a council and therefore its members need a reality-check?
A letter in last month’s Herald said the paper ignores Toodyay’s ‘silent majority’.
If there is a silent majority, the letter writers can have no idea what this invisible majority thinks because it is by definition – as pointed out – silent.
People not publicly voicing their opinions may be in total agreement with The Herald or against all that is done or not done by the shire council and not agree with the letter writers.
Question 4: How can these letter writers speak for people they don’t know, see, hear, have talked to, etc.?
They better not speak for me, for that matter.
Further, bold headlines create awareness of content information.
Keep it bold Herald – bold means important.
The CEO is the shire Complaints Officer.
A complaints officer should not be the CEO but an independent professional.
Therefore, the CEO should not exercise a position that can be biased against complaints and complainants.
Question 5: Will a professional complaints officer be hired who has a mandate independent of the CEO?
Raising shire rates would provide income for such a position.
Finally, it is hypocritical to ask Cr Ben Bell to apologise (July Herald Page 9) while the CEO and Shire President have shown a lack of public grace and, even after repeated encouragements, stubbornly refused to apologise for breaching the Shire Code of Conduct in the April 2018 Toodyay Community Newsletter.
Question 6: When will a public apology be given by the CEO and Shire President?
If that is not forthcoming, Cr Bell ought not to be pressured into any kind of an apology.