Another consultant to be appointed by Wingecarribee Shire Council
So the first order of business by the newly appointed general manager and the administrator Mr May is to call for quotations from appropriately qualified and experience consultants to provide investment advisor services to Wingecarribee Shire Council.
Is this a return to the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and franking credits when the council of the day appointed an external advisor (Grange Securities to Lehman Brothers) to improve its financial advice and returns so it could build an indoor leisure centre at Eridge Park?
That council decision went well and thankfully the understanding and advice provided by council's corporate services director ensured that the council got all its franking credit investments returned.
I question the wisdom from the newly appointed general manager and the administrator Mr May calling quotations for yet another consultant, particularly as the NSW State Government has strict restrictions and guidelines on how all councils can invest their finance portfolio.
I believe this council should be conservative with investing ratepayer's hard earned money. Interest rates are at their lowest rate in history and that is reflected in the returns of the council's investment portfolio.
Go back to the previous strategy that served the council very well prior to the GFC, and invest in floating rate notes from Australian financial institutions that are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and are low risk, but bring better returns than bank bills and term deposits.
Do you want the council to gamble with ratepayer's money?
I strongly recommend you tell Mr May how you feel about this decision.
By my calculations about $13 million of ratepayers money has been lost to council by seven senior staff payouts, the return of Station Street grant funding $7.5 million, plus the recent decision to reallocate $4.3 million from the original Station Street project into paving and car parking.
And the traffic problem in Bowral continues to worsen with no end in sight.
It just goes to show that when a "City Slicker" comes to town for a short visit and starts telling us good country folk what's good for us, the result is inevitably bad.
Peter Nelson, Councillor (still suspended)
Focus on positives!
I've been talking to our community for nearly a year now on my campaign trail for Wingecarribee Shire Council election on September 4. One of the greatest challenges has been finding ways to break through despondency and pessimism in the community, to inspire people to believe we can get an entirely new, caring council working in the best interests of our community.
Initially, there were also valid concerns nothing could be achieved without a good general manager and new leadership in the executive.
Half the battle has been won with the suspension of existing councillors, Viv May's work, and Ms Lisa Miscamble now appointed as new general manager.
More than anything now our community needs inspiration and hope of a full reset with new leadership. The message from Viv May is clear: "suspended councillors in my view do not warrant return to office" (Community Minute 10.5.21).
Yet still I'm hearing from people, including the administrator and some candidates, they believe some former councillors will get elected on name recognition.
My approach to this has been consistent. Although we can be aware there is a potential for this to happen, we need to all do our bit to ensure the outcome our community actually needs.
We have a raft of new factors never seen before coming into this election period: diversity in new, high quality candidates; Friends of Wingecarribee, local Chambers of Commerce, and community associations all working with each to support new, independent candidates; a former council which has destroyed its brand all by itself (no help required); and an Interim Administrator advocating for the new.
C'mon Wingecarribee. We've got this! Let's go get it.
Inspire the Shire.
Given that scientifically proven Covid restrictions are put in place to save Australian lives isn't it about time that people who refuse to follow these restrictions are charged with attempted murder? Further, isn't it time for nursing home owners who don't insist on vaccinations for their staff also be charged with attempted murder? It seems to me that, as this pandemic is not really 100 per cent defeatable, it's time for Governments Australia-wide to take this drastic action.
Steve Atkins, Bowral
Street scene after fire
I'm not enjoying town in Bowral at present - Bong Bong Street entirely closed to traffic these last few days and hardly anyone on the pavements.
The effect this must be having on local businesses is terrible.
My fear is that this downturn in commerce will continue not just because of Covid restrictions but also due to the grim appearance of the burnt out area and the effect this may have on people's mindsets.
Plus once either reconstruction or a rebuild commences, the noise and dust may drive both locals and tourists away from all the cafes around that area.
What about surrounding this site for the time being with a high wall, say in lattice covered in or bordered by established plantings?
Is this something our interim council admin could assist with, in the spirit of best outcomes for the shire?