We’ve all been hearing a lot from the Mayor about his “mandate for change”. This vague claim needs some explanation.
Got something to say? Write a letter to TWC’s Editor at email@example.com. Letters may be edited.
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),
Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen
Read more Letters to the Editor: Baw Baw