24 January 2018

Clyne to resign on Jan 31st

Lachlan Clyne has handed his letter of resignation to the CEO today with it taking effect on Jan 31st. Council will need to elect an Acting Mayor to lead until a new council is sworn in in early Novemeber. This gives someone an opportunity to step up and lead for the next 9 months. Many names have been bandied around as being interested. I believe we need a clean slate and two new people; one as mayor and the other as their deputy.

17 January 2018

Local govt: a stepping stone to state parliament

A recent email from the LGA listed the number of individuals that they are aware of that are currently councillors in South Australia but also preselcted to stand for a seat in the March election. Some 14 candidates are currently Councillors. One of these is Unley Mayor, Lachlan Clyne, who is running for the Liberals in the seat of Badcoe. He is set to resign from his position as Mayor next week.
Councillors are in a prime position to understand what is needed at state level as they know how state government decisions impact on both council and ratepayers and they should be ready to support sensible policy changes that allow for progress without treading on the rights of individuals. Interestingly, most are running for the Liberal Party, some SA Best and very few are Indpendent or running for the Labor Party. I'm not sure what this says about the people concerned other than they are probably conservative in their views.
What irks me most is people being pre-selected who have no real experience with  working in a community and/or they are currently employed as some already politician's staffer.  This being said the Labor Party are yet to select a candidate to run against David Pisoni, The Liberal Member for Unley, just 10 weeks out from an election. This would be a tough gig at the best of times but now nigh impossible to beat the incumbent.

16 January 2018

Bike Repair Station for Clarence Park Community Centre

From April, on the last Saturday of each month Sustainable Communities SA will be running a bike repair sation at CPCC. This should be a great oppotunity for some to learn how to patch punctures and do other needed maintanance and repairs. Ideal for new bike owners and older children.

Councillor's travel expenditure

It must be pick on local government week again with lots of aticles in the paper about local government and hauling in the so called rorts that we enjoy. Once again the state government says that we must come in line with the expectations of state politicians. This is fine by me but it seems that state politicians now get an annual allowance to cover all travel and how they spend it is up to them. There are few checks and balances. As a Councillor  I can claim travel expenses through my taxes or ask for reimbursement from Council. We are also allowed to spend up to $8,000 each Council term on conferences+ travel and accomodation. The amount spent by each Councillor can be found here. This tells you everything spent without detailing the actual training and development opportunities embraced by each councillor.

08 January 2018

Code of Coduct complaints

It seems that each week I read about another Code of Conduct breach by another Councillor. Some articles call for the code to be strengthened and others say it sets a standard that is too high. Certainly the Code set for Councillors by current legislation is much stronger than state politicians impose on themselves. The problem, as I see it, is that even if found in breach of the code there is very little that the Council concerned can impose by way of penalty. Generally, the investigating party, that could be the Ombudsman or the LGA (depending on the nature of the complaint), calls for the Council to make public the report and to ask for the Councillor to apologise to the aggrieved parties. There have been several in my time at Council but they seem to becoming more frequent. They have been for seeking to treat another councillor differently, breaching confidentiality and pushing a member of the public. In today’s paper there is an article about two Councillors, one of whom allegedly made insulting comments on Facebook. It is time we all take heed from this and become just a little more careful in our communications, both in what we say and who we send our comments onto.

06 January 2018

Black Forest PS environs.

I sat down with Don for a coffee yesterday morning to look at the issues facing the ward as we start 2018. The BFPS environs was top of the list. The issues include:
  • The need for students to be able to safely cross South Rd (an overpass) especially as the traffic increases in the South Rd corridor.
  • The banking up of cars in Forest Ave at drop off and pick up times. Should the no standing zone be extended back to Kertaweeta St?  Is there a need for an additional barrier to stop people crossing the road at the corner of Oban and Forest?
  • What are the possibilities for the car park at 671 South Rd? Should Council be providing free parking for teachers or is this a DECD responsibility?
  • Who is responsible for the maintenance of the Reserve in Forest Ave? The land belongs to DECD and the recently signed maintenance agreement gives all responsibility to the school except for mowing and playground maintenance. The rubbish that is accumulating around the edges (mostly dead vegetation) is the responsibility of the school.
  • The management of the trees, many of which are now significant is also the responsibility of the school.
  • In a recent letter sent to nearby residents from the Member for Ashford, Steph Key, suggests that residents should talk to Council about toilets and barbeques. Do you want your money spent on facilities on land that is not owned by council?

January is Veganuary

There is now a a global movement where people try being vegan in January. I don't think this will ever be for me but for those considering it the Unley libraries have a great range of books if you are interested in knowing what the health benefits might be.