There will be many opinions claiming to pinpoint the reasons for the Central Coast Council’s financial crisis.
Its origins pre-date the failed administration of Gosford Council pre-amalgamation and related matters such as attempts to constrain councillors’ freedom of speech and their right to acquire detail direct from Council staff members.
The State Government was behind these moves.
The State Government has its hands dirty in this fiasco in other ways.
The Central Coast Regional Plan was released without essential detail about the infrastructure required – the destitute cousin of development.
There are questions about the regional plan that will never be answered by Government Ministers and agencies, making it impossible for those dedicated councillors to carry out their duties responsibly and with the best advice possible.
It has now removed all development control from councillors, the representatives of our community, while council staff retain seemingly unfettered powers.
The greatest fiasco in this mess is the amalgamation of two local government areas that were in management distress.
Perhaps an even greater fiasco awaits.
If an administrator is appointed and has freedom to question council staff in a way that councillors did not, the public will demand to know why this privilege was not available to councillors?
It must be asked: What was the State Government’s role in the Council’s downturn?
Letter, 27 Oct 2020
Norm Harris, Umina