Letter: Mayor’s mandate questioned by former councillor
 Letters to the Editor: Baw Baw   By // 11:33, Saturday 24 November 2012

We’ve all been hearing a lot from the Mayor about his “mandate for change”. This vague claim needs some explanation.

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Firstly, does the Mayor have a mandate, and if so, what exactly will he change and how?

Cr Cook stood for election as part of an all-male, Liberal Party majority United Ticket (UT) of seven candidates. They included Geoff Anderson, who said “at no stage has that group called itself a ticket” (Gaz. 9/10/12); Ian Honey who said the UT were “successful people who have ran (sic) their own businesses and understand the value of a dollar” (Gaz.16/10/12); Terry Williamson, Joe Gauci, Michael Grogan and Keith Cook.

Three members of the UT were elected. Three former councillors who stood for re-election were also elected. Three of the 12 independent candidates who stood were also elected.

In a council of nine, this represents a three-way tie between UT members, experienced councillors (Crs Jones, Balfour, Harrington) and independent newcomers (Crs Murphy, Power, Brown).


By my count, Cr Cook does not have a mandate for the UT policies (were there any?). In other words, he has no electoral mandate for any particular policy or course of action.

As for the much-chanted “change”, we’re still waiting to hear some details: from what to what? Cr Cook referred often to his role in the ‘No Rate Rise’ team in Narracan shire who delivered no rate rise in the first year.

If Cr Cook is to replicate this feat, rates must not rise by more than 6.9% in 2013, the increase set by the outgoing council.

So while we are waiting for the new council to identify all the wasteful spending, unnecessary wages and other local myths, I remind the six other councillors that Cr Cook needs their agreement to make any changes, and they have an equal responsibility to work towards their own election commitments.

Julie Grant (former Warragul ward councillor),

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2 responses to “Letter: Mayor’s mandate questioned by former councillor”

  1. Roger Marks says:

    In all fairness, I have a feeling that there was very clear message sent by the residents that they wanted change.

    Change from spin to substance.

    Change from profligate spending to fiscal responsibility.

    Change from an over bloated Council workforce to a lean and mean machine.

    Change from ever increasing Rates to manageable and more responsible increases.

    Change from pie in the sky look at me projects to down to earth grass roots essential services.

    And most importantly a change from an “up yours, we are the experts” mentality, to one of “we are here to serve you mentality.”

    I believe this was evident by only three sitting Councillors being returned and if the residents do not get the change they want, there will be many more sitting councillors at the next election who will have a very short shelf life.

  2. Sam Styrene says:

    Your on the mark Roger. The “up yours” mentality of the Council is a most apt way of describing not only the Council but the attitude of some staff.
    Add to your list:
    Change from throwing ratepayer money around community groups without accountability for the money TO
    Please provide a detailed account (substantiated) of where the money has gone!!
    The Walhalla Ljustfest comes readily to mind. Where did the $15k gift of ratepayer money go? What can be shown for it? (Zippo)
    Don’t say increased tourism – that’s just plain BS. Less than a handful of people attended each of the two years it has been held.