We do not believe that any reasonable stable person would make comments or conflicting decisions as the Auburn councilors made lately. The council affairs have started to be not just a matter to be laughed at - but to be disgusted by too.
The councilors, especially the alliance of the left and far right (this is by itself is matter for deep disgust), were demanding changing the classification of the job they are doing. In simple words, they demanded a pay increase of 100% (Councilors put out hand for rise http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_24_2_09/page_5.html.)
But then, and after they discovered that we are having deep financial troubles and a practical recession and that the council budget is in red, the same alliance demanded an increase of the residential rates by 7.2% (Council applying for residential rate rise http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_14_4_09/page_1.html)
Then and before the Minister for Local Governments decided on changing the classification of the job to grant them an increase of 100%, they met and granted themselves a pay increase of 2.5% (Pay rise for council http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_09_06_09/page_3.html).
The joke did not stop here. One of the newly elected councilors who ran his election campaign last September on representing the “community’s needs” was quoted stating that an increase of his pay by 102.5% is good to stimulate local economy (Pay rise is good local investment http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_16_06_09/page_4.html).
The biggest joke is that we are talking about Auburn council, and not Woollahra or Manly. We are talking about one of the poorest areas in Australia, with one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia.
The joke goes on and on unchallenged. The councilors think that residents either do not read English so they do not know what these councilors are doing. Or that the residents are too stupid to understand their (I mean the councilors’) greed.
The most shameful part of this saga is that it comes from councilors alleging themselves to be progressive who won their seats on promises to fight for a better life for area residents.
All that we are seeing from these councilors since the election is:
1- Bid to close community centres that provide food vouchers to the most needy.
2- Bid to increase rates on residents.
3- Bid to increase salaries to themselves to more than double.
4- Bid to introduce meters to parking in the streets (unlike all neighbouring councils)
Yes, the council is in red, because of mismanagement and many other reasons including the global recession. But addressing this cannot be achieved by squeezing the poor rate payers on one side to inflate the pockets of councilors with allowances they do not deserve.
At the end, they were elected to do this job for this designated allowance. Anyone who thinks that they cannot do this job for this low payment, they also most welcome to resign.
We are watching closely the situation which is no more than cheap jokes. But we will have another say at the next election.