Transparency and Accountability
I keep hearing from you that Council is not regarded well in terms of accepting accountability for County actions and that they are not transparent in their decision-making process. The 2 concepts go hand in hand. If the process of coming to decisions is transparent and understood by all, then Council has no choice but to be accountable.
There have, unfortunately, been too many failings in this regard.
The recent (and still not finished) debacle over the major snow plowing contract is a good illustration of failure of process.
At the August 28 Council meeting, County staff presented Council with a recommendation to accept snow plowing contracts for more than double the cost of last years which would have resulted in a 4% increase in municipal taxes for every ratepayer – over and above any other increase that may come out of the next budget.
This eventuality had not been notified to Council in advance.
This is what I call lack of transparency and is but one example of many I have witnessed over the last few years. Council’s relationship and communication with staff needs to improve so that there are no such surprises going forward.
Councillors need to know what Staff are doing and Staff need clear direction from Council.
As your Councillor, I will be at Shire hall every week, meeting with staff to ensure I know what is going on in the key departments.