It's about time
TIME IS MONEY and – as everybodyknows – how you spend it is vital to how you measure success or failure.
This fact seems to have been lost on the Shire of Toodyay which, by its own admission, kept no record of how much time it wasted on an ill-fated court case that cost ratepayers more than $570,000.
Wasted because the result appears to be a net return of just $60,000 after four years’ WA Supreme Court litigation involving “119 pieces of correspondence” with Perth lawyers Civic Legal.
That adds up to one lawyers’ letter or email to and fro’ every fortnight for four years, and countless shire hours spent trying to figure out what to do next.
To add insult to injury, nobody in charge at shire headquarters bothered to record how much staff time and energy was squandered.
How could this be?
Maybe we don’t take enough interest in how our shire works or who we elect to run it, as perhaps evidenced by the low voter turn-out at the last shire elections in 2015.
Maybe it’s uncontested elections where you get the job without a single vote cast.
Maybe it’s because voters are so disillusioned with governments at all levels that they’ve lost interest.
Some say they’ve had enough stories about the shire, it’s been done to death and it’s “getting very tedious”.
Others call it “lies” and joke about how much they look forward to having a good laugh at the next instalment.
So be it, but we don’t think it’s funny and neither do many of our readers.
Councillors have a chance to redeem themselves before the October shire elections by switching to postal ballots.
Not only is it likely to increase the turnout but also means voters won’t have to run the gauntlet of those in power and their cronies outside the council chamber polling station on election day.
If our elected representatives truly believe in democratic values, they will spend the extra $10,000 and ask the State – not the shire – to run the next election.
It’s about time.