Monday, 12 December 2016
The Daily Examiner, editorial, 6 December 2016, p. 12:
These are interesting times inside the walls of Clarence Valley Council, with Wednesday's meeting regarding the Fit for the Future response exposing the fault lines.
There are differences between the elected councillors and also between some of those councillors and the council staff.
As a result, the proposed plan of action to become fit for the future was torn up and a new set of guidelines put forward.
Questions will be asked as to whether the councillors and staff can join forces to make the new approach work, but the real people who should be questioned regarding problems in local government throughout the state are Premier Mike Baird and his ruling Coalition.
Their attitude towards councils is nothing short of antagonistic.
There has been the series of forced amalgamations that have produced plenty of angst. Part of the amalgamation push was the Fit for the Future process, and to require councils like Clarence Valley's to submit their Fit for the Future response just a couple of days after the announcement of a miserly rate-pegging rise is harsh. Such decisions are being made by councils elected less than three months ago.
It begs the question: are councils being set up to fail to make further amalgamations easier?