Does the Liberal State Opposition believe Councils are incapable of running a tight budget?
Following on from my previous blog posts on rate capping I ask the question whether the Libs believe that Councils are spending the rates they collect from you frivolously or not. Do they believe they are incapable of keeping rates at an appropriate level.
Keeping rates as low as possible is absolutely a goal to strive for.
I honestly believe that with the Sword of Damocles by way of elections forever hanging over the heads of elected members they are only too conscious of having such a focus. Indeed does this not make them the most suitable candidates for keeping a lid on rate increases.
If the ratepayers are not happy with the rate rises or believe they are not being corrected directed toward services they want they will soon vote an elected member out. This they cannot do that with the members of ESCOSA should they oversee council budgets and rate rises.
Elected members must on the other hand be forever conscious of maintaining the infrastructure of the Council region and for maintaining the services the community has come to expect from them. They must be prepared to show leadership and ensure these services are not only maintained but improved.
They likewise need to be aware of or predict what services the community does not currently have that they might benefit from. And what of those the community will in the future expect.
Such projects/services will always be the subject of community consultation. Many projects included in a budget will already have been out to the public for consultation and the elected members therefore quite aware of the communities position in respect of them. Others like the one mentioned in my last blog will be included in the budget and then get consulted on. Some of these projects may not happen and any budget allocation covering this allocated elsewhere or used to reduce debt.