Long live The Herald
THERE was a comment on the back page of last month’s Toodyay Herald by local real estate agent Tony Maddox stating that “A huge amount of our Locals have continually expressed their dismay at the local paper, printing such negative comments about the Shire of Toodyay …”
How many of that ‘huge amount’, signed the 2000-name petition last year opposing a rate increase which the shire totally ignored?
Local government is the start of the democratic process, before State and Federal Governments.
Not only were the 2000 names ignored but we ended up with a shire president who was elected unopposed and who now holds the casting vote when councillors’ votes are tied.Read more
Only in Toodyay can you get a husband (former shire president) and wife (current councillor) on council at the same time.
Being in real estate, Mr Maddox would know that with Toodyay’s population shrinking each year, the shire should be proactive and encourage more local employment opportunities, but what do we find?
The shire engages an employment agency from Perth to hire shire staff who reside in Perth and have the full use of ratepayer funded vehicles – 24/7 fuel/rego/licence – all at ratepayers’ expense.
We are not employing rocket scientists or brain surgeons so why should they be afforded such luxuries?
Mr Maddox criticises The Toodyay Herald but without The Herald we would be treated as mushrooms and kept totally in the dark because the shire’s own monthly Toodyay Community Newsletter contains only what the shire wants you to know.
The current State Government inquiry into the shire was well in advance long before it appeared in the shire newsletter.
The shire running advertisements in The West Australian and The Toodyay Herald censuring Cr Ben Bell for making his own personal comments on Facebook makes a total farce of democracy in Toodyay.
As does the council voting to not offer the Shire CEO a new contract one month and then the following month voting to extend it by a further 12 months.
A decision immediately prior behind closed doors on the casting vote of the Shire President confirms that democracy is not a high priority in Toodyay.
Without The Toodyay Herald and the Toodyay Progress Association we would never have known any of this.
Or that ratepayers lost at least $570,000 chasing former CEO Graham Merrick or that a further $36,500 was lost on another court case when the magistrate said she would order an acquittal because of a Shire CEO letter, or that thousands more were spent pursuing a $60 fine for an overseas visitor who parked facing the wrong way for a few minutes in Stirling Terrace.
I hope Mr Maddox’s “huge amount of our Locals” don’t mind paying huge amounts of rates to cover all of the above.
Long live The Toodyay Herald.