COUNCILLLORS AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES
Redland City Councillors are a rare breed.
Some of them are particularly sensitive to criticism.
Some of them believe they have been elected for one purpose - to look after just their own turf and only to represent the people of their particular division.
Some of them believe they are a protected species.
In our August edition we ran a story about our councillors and their performances, following a long assessment of their voting patterns since they were elected to office in 2012.
We discovered that a group of councillors have consistently opposed new directions, balanced budgets and many positive decisions involving the islands of Moreton Bay attached to the council. The most fundamental position is to support all budgets that have delivered a stronger financial position without relying on ratepayers to pick up on bad decisions.
To achieve the outcome council has, it needs the councillors to support each and every budget over the term of council; not just pick one, two or none and let the rest of the councillors deliver the right outcome.
There are two forms of council structures in Australia.
There are councils like Redlands, mostly in Queensland, that operate under a ward or division system.
Then there is all-of-council representation where councillors are responsible for the entire council region.
Their are pluses and minuses for both systems.
The main disadvantage of the divisional or ward system is that elected representatives often get confused as to their responsibilities.
How often do you hear to refrain: “But I am just the representative for Divisons ? - that issue has nothing do do with me”
Not so; and dead wrong.
Every issue that goes before council requires a vote from each councillor.
To deny responsibility when a vote is required for any outcome, is a failure of responsibility.
It behoves each councillor to research and know about all matters that come across the council desk for a decision.
Too often Redland City councillors relinquish their responsibilities.
We know of councillors who do little research on many issues that require a decision on which they have to vote.
The Friendly Bay Islander again makes no apologies for defending the islands in Moreton Bay attached to Redland City Council.
To those councillors who don’t support our islands we say: ‘get on board’.
In the past 10 years, billions of dollars has been spent on infrastructure in South East Queensland.
In the same period, almost ‘nil’ has been spent on the islands of southern Moreton Bay.
There has been some progress in recent times thanks to a slim majority around the current Redland City Council table, but more needs to be done.
And don’t worry councillors and other elected representatives; we intend to keep you informed!