24 July 2011

Full Council meeting July 2011

No matters from the committees were reserved for further debate and the decisions reported in the City Strategy blog will proceed.
New items debated were;

  • Petition regarding the Kelvin Ave pocket park; A petition signed by 20 people representing 14 homes has been presented for consideration in the debate on the pocket park. My understanding is that ETSA has requested some minor changes to the layout of the park and that the full report will come to the City Strategy meeting on the 15th August. Supported

  • Federal Stormwater Projects; This will allow for the reassigning of the money set aside for Orphanage Park (where the aquifer is unsuitable) to be used at Heywood Park and for a pipeline network to take water from Ridge Park to downstream parks and reserves. Many will be relieved that the project will not proceed at Orphanage Park. Supported

  • Centennial Park Cemetery Authority Charter; The proposed changes are minor in nature and mean that Unley and Mitcham recommend the same charter. Supported

  • Community Visiting Service; Council receives $112,860 to provide this service to the frail aged in nursing homes, this is granted by the Federal government. Supported

  • CEO Recruitment Panel ; The Council are being asked to engage a recruitment consultant to help with this task, the money allowed will be $30,000. Also discussed, at my instigation is gender equity on the panel. As I stated in my blog I am embarrassed and ashamed that my fellow Councillors did not see this as an issue. This was debated again within the motion presented to Council. The amendment that would have allowed for gender diversity lost by 6-5. The people of Unley are poorly served by this decision. The fact that the majority do not see the necessity for diversity is the very reason why it is necessary. At least the debate was public and those who did not support this were Cr. Hughes, Lapidge, Salaman, Sangster, Hudson and Koumi.

  • End of the Month Financial report ; At the end of June (before final auditing), the Council income was $35,972,000 favourable by $270,000. The operating expenditure was favourable by $1,483,000 and the capital expenditure favourable by $4,645,000. However, it is expected that this money will be expended when the capital works they were set aside for are completed.

  • Strategic Land Acquisition; This matter remains confidential.

The detailed agenda can be found at ; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Council_Agenda_July_2011.pdf

19 July 2011

All male panel to choose new CEO

What a disappointment. The same thing happened 4 years ago when we selected Ray Pincombe. The first discussion I had with him at that time was that this should not have happened and was given a reassurance that Unley would never again present a single sex panel for the selection of a member of staff or the CEO. What I find most galling about this decision is that we are less likely to get the right applicants or choose the right person without the balance in the decision making that equity brings to it. Choosing a CEO is probably the single most important thing that Council does, get this right and what we as Councillors wish to deliver to our electors is more likely to happen. So, am I just a poor loser? I think not, I would be more than happy to have the other female Councillor on the panel and if she had wished to stand I would not have put my name in the mix. Just think for one moment, if you are male what chance you think you would have of getting a professional position if the panel was all female, maybe if you knew the panel would be all female you might even choose not to write an application. In my work (teaching and schools) it has been essential for all panels to have have at least one male and one female member for over 20 years. I have written to the CEO this morning to see what he intends to do to alter this outcome.


15 July 2011

Environmental Sustainability achievments 2010/11

Sustainability is at the forefront of many people's mind at the present time and has been an initiative Council has been keen to pursue.
projects that have been undertaken in 2010/11 include
Climate Change projects;

  • A sustainable living resource has been developed and can be accesses on Councils' web site.

  • The Solar Easy scheme is up and running.

  • Council have added new hybrid and fuel efficient cars to the fleet.

  • The sustainable buildings programme has seen more efficient air conditioning installed at the Civic Centre and solar panels installed at the Swimming Pool.

Water projects include;

  • Recycled water available from the Glenelg Adelaide Pipeline to water our ovals and parks.

  • Design for aquifer storage and recharge at Ridge Park.

  • Design of stormwater capture and rain gardens on Wattle St.

  • Stormwater capture to water vegetation on Aroha Tce.

  • Dual flush toilets in public spaces (many of which also capture rain water to do this.)

Waste projects include;

  • The campaign against illegal dumping.

  • A pilot E-waste project.

  • Council purchasing products for their own use hat have been made using more sustainable resources ,eg. black landscaping posts made out of waste plastics.

Sustainable landscapes include;

  • Pocket parks

  • Adopt a tree with over 400 trees being adopted.

  • Planting more trees, especially deciduous trees, in children's playgrounds.

  • more frequent tree watering in summer.

  • The establishment of more community gardens. You might find this video clip on the Fern Avenue garden interesting. http://www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au/ . Select backyard gardens.

City Strategy meeeting 18th July 2011

This months Agenda had some interesting items,

  • Future Directions of the Unley Citizens' Centre; Council have already made a decision to not consider Jack's bar as a suitable site. However, Council is keen to start preliminary work to decide at what site the aging communities needs can best be met in the future and what the likely cost of providing these facilities will be. This was supported.

  • Draft Library Strategy; this will be ready for consultation shortly. It is named Reading the Future. The libraries in Unley are hoping to set a direction for the next five years; the impact of digital technology on the way that people manage their reading and search for knowledge is integral to this. This policy will be rewritten to include further view expressed by the working committee and to get rid of the appalling grammar and inaccuracies in the report.

  • Environmental Sustainability Plan 201/13; This has been updated to include water sensitive urban design, greening the tram corridor and a review of footpath water well trials. (I will detail the accomplishments so far in a separate blog). This was supported.

  • King William Rd closure for SALA on sale; SALA on sale will be held Sunday 28th August. There was a suggestion that we might trial regular Sunday closings of this street.

  • Parking study in Wayville, Unley and Parkside; This does not affect Goodwood South but it is important that in doing something to one street the problems are not simply moved to someone else's street. This was supported and each street will be consulted as their turn comes up.

  • Community Engagement in Public Consultation; This sounds like an interesting topic, perhaps the most interesting is that when this policy was publicly consulted the response from the community was minimal. People do care and it is important that we listen to what each person has to say on any given topic while not forgetting that those who didn't participate might have been happy with what they already have. This was supported although Council want further input in to the final toolkit that staff will use.

  • Elected Member Code of Conduct; This is proving difficult to get right. As I am the only Councilor who has had cause to need the existing policy it certainly needed clarification. However, I am still concerned that the policy needs to detail what happens if a person who is found to have breached the Code refuses to accept and perform the sanction imposed. The new one was supported with minor changes.

  • Tour Down Under-Elected members reference group; Unley has won a staged start again for 2012 and will hold the Gourmet Gala again.

  • Sponsorship for events at the Swimming Pool;both the multiple Sclerosis Society and Triathlon SA wish for us to again consider the same level of sponsorship as they have had in the past. Both seem to be very worthwhile causes and were supported.

To read the full agenda you will find it at; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/CSP_July_2011.pdf

The minutes from the meeting will be available on the Council website on Friday.

13 July 2011

CEO resigns, Eastern Courier article 13th July 2011

Unley's CEO retires after four-year stint
UNLEY Council is on the lookout for a new chief executive after Ray Pincombe announced his retirement earlier this month. Mr Pincombe, who has been at the council since June 2007, will finish up in November. Born in Broken Hill, NSW, Mr Pincombe, now 63, has had 45 years'
experience working in local governments. He has worked in a variety of roles, including management, finance and public administration for the cities of Broken Hill, Adelaide, Thebarton, Elizabeth, Playford, Prospect and now Unley. Before joining Unley, he was Prospect's chief executive for five years. Mr Pincombe was in the Solomon Islands as a local government representative, after being invited by the Department of Defence, when contacted by the Eastern Courier Messenger last week. In a brief comment, he said he was looking forward to having a break from full-time work and was in the process of considering his future options. Unley councillor Jennie Boisvert said Mr Pincombe would be missed."He has a very good relationship with his staff," Cr Boisvert said."Everyone has respect and time for him."
Daniel Frangos

I am currently on the panel to assess the performance of the CEO and to set new directions for the next year. Council will be debating next Monday (18th July) who should be on the selection panel and the selection process that it wishes to pursue to ensure the management of the Council is in safe, effective and innovative hands from November 2011.

02 July 2011

Update July 2011

Lots of new things-it never ceases to amaze me just how long things take to get done and yet if persistent they can be achieved.

(not getting rid of the CEO, he has done a good job)

  • CEO resigns; this week the CEO Ray Pincombe resigned from his position, he will leave in November to pursue retirement. Council are currently reviewing his performance as we do each year, the information gathered during this process will also be useful for setting the standards for the new CEO.

  • Better access to the swimming pool for those people with limited mobility. Council have won a grant of $47,000 to upgrade the bridge walkway and access gates as well as install a hydraulic lift to the existing platform area on the eastern side of the pool.

  • Page Park; better signage has been installed near the tennis courts regarding use and the gate has been repaired. Council are currently considering if the park is suited to playground equipment and/or new fitness equipment in the future. Your feedback on this in the comments would be appreciated. It is already a designated dog exercise area.

  • Mills St; this street will see some minor changes. DETI have approved the removal of the chicane (and replacement with a slow point) , the second one from the east. The entrance traffic island will be modified to reduce the possibility of doing U-turns on the corner with Goodwood Road. Both of these projects I have been working with staff for 4 years.

  • Aroha Tce ,Spiers St and East Ave; residents of Aroha Tce have been letter boxed to ask for their opinion on timed parking, an issue raised at the public meetings and residents near Spiers St can comment on a no parking zone to increase safety at the intersection with Mills St. Residents in Dunrobin St and Laught St are being asked to comment on the potential removal of the left hand turn bans.

  • Millswood Croquet have been successful in getting funding from Council to upgrade their verandah and to replace the roof at the same time-this will make the club rooms safer and dress them up for the international competition they are hosting in 2012.

  • Library events for winter can be found at;http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1105&c=18524

  • Rainwater tanks, the question is do you need planning consent or can you just install one?An information sheet can be found on Council website if you need to find out. http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Fact_Sheet_47_-_Do_I_need_Development_Approval_for_a_Rainwater_Tank.pdf

  • Heavy traffic in George Street; Is there a problem and if so what are the solutions? I would love your comments on this dilemma as well.

  • Provisional heritage listing has been granted for the stone lining of Brown Hill creek in Orphanage Park, submissions will be called for in the near future. The area that was to be laid back had little of the original stonework and there was never any proposal to do anything to alter the creek bed itself. Council investigated this item for inclusion in the current Heritage Planning Amendment that is awaiting Ministerial approval and could not recommend that the stone work be included at that time (about 2 years ago).