Fix this mess

Community issue: Leongatha Business Association vice president Anthony Walls and member Peter Watchorn urge the  public to attend the councillor crisis meeting this Thursday, March 14, at Leongatha Memorial Hall.

THE SOUTH Gippsland community is finally fed up with the ongoing dysfunction of its shire councillors.

A public meeting about internal fighting within council has been called by the Leongatha Business Association (LBA) for this Thursday, March 14, at the Leongatha Memorial Hall starting at 7pm.

LBA president Brenton Williams said the group held a meeting last week and it was decided the time was right for the community to have its say.

“We believe the ongoing problems with this council are becoming a distraction and have resulted in our region being overlooked for large grant funding,” Mr Williams said.

“Take a look at the Bair Street re-development; this project is ready to go and yet while other towns have got grants for very similar projects we have missed out.

“I can only think that State and Federal governments have been ignoring us while we have this infighting going on.

“This meeting is not just for Leongatha residents; we welcome people from any parts of the shire in to hear what is going to be said and what will come out of the evening.”

Organisers would like to see at least 500 at the meeting to show people are really concerned about the current situation while it is believed most councillors, present and past, will be in attendance.

Leongatha’s Glenn Wright, who has acted at similar events, will be moderator for the night and will make sure the focus is on just the one issue: the current state of council.

He made it clear the evening won’t be about rates, garbage collection and roads; it will be about the current state within council.

These include allegations of bullying, poor governance, abuse of process, poor behavior, attempts to overturn council decisions, threats of legal action between councillors; the list goes on.

South Gippsland Shire Council currently has a municipal monitor appointed to keep an eye on governance issues at council meetings.

He is Peter Stephenson and he reports directly to the Victorian Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek who can ultimately force the dismissal of council through an Act of Parliament.

There have been four councillors resign during this term alone: former councillors Maxine Kiel and Meg Edwards, while Cr Jim Fawcett and Cr Lorraine Brunt have resigned, with their terms coming to an end at the end of March.

In a surprise move to some, the current CEO Tim Tamlin’s future in South Gippsland Shire looks uncertain with council deciding to advertise for his position rather than re-appoint him. According to mayor Cr Don Hill, this is to move the shire in a “new direction”.

The Star has conducted a Facebook poll on whether voters wished to stay with the current council or sack them and the vast majority have supported the sacking with a minority wishing to keep the status quo.

A motion to sack this Council may be made at the public meeting this Thursday night. All are welcome.

Mayor Cr Don Hill said he would not attend the meeting.

Cr Lorraine Brunt said she would attend the councillor crisis meeting.

“All councillors should be going to listen to the community’s thoughts,” she said.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27801

Posted by on Mar 13 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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