Cessnock Ratepayers Meeting

Today residents held a ‘ratepayers’  meeting to protest against the Council wasting  money by instituting legal proceedings against a majority of Councillors.
Cessnock Greens presented the following flyer explaining that Cessnock Councils poor financial management did not juyst concern the legal action. In fact Cessnock Councillors have made a series of decisions which is wasting far more money than that currently being spent on legal fees.

RATEPAYERS MONEY AND CESSNOCK COUNCIL

1) WASTED LEGAL FEES. The spending of approx. $500,000 of ratepayers money on legal fees taking Councillors to court is only the tip of the iceberg.

Summary dismissal of anyone on a NSW Local Government Senior Staff Contract attracts a minimum of 38 weeks payout, thereby costing ratepayers $100,000’s.

The proper way for any Council to manage the performance of a General Manager is to use a ‘Performance Review Process’. Cessnock Councillors have not done this thoroughly.
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2) CYCLE OF DEBT. For the past 20 years successive councils (both ALP and Independent controlled) policy has driven the Council to continually borrow $500,000 each year at commercial interest rates for works that should be paid for by our rate income.

Cessnock ratepayers are now perpetually paying over $200,000 each year in commercial interest on millions of dollars for routine council work.
‘Instead of being able to spend all of our money on actual work we are spending ratepayers money paying off a never ending cycle of debt which began under ALP management of Cessnock Council.’
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3)LOW EMPLOYEE RESERVES. It is unacceptable that Cessnock Council has only 13% of our employees leave entitlements in reserves.

This is the result of a complete restructure of Council begun in 2010 and the wholesale replacement of Senior Staff. The resulting large redundancy payments to Senior Staff left Councils staff reserves at a perilously low level. Only Green and Liberal Councillors voted against the restructure.

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4) STILL BORROWING MONEY. During this time of a great increase in Council debt, the Greens feel it is financially unwise that Council borrowings should be increased further to give the Wine Country Tourism Organisation an extra $200,000 in addition to the $266,000 that they currently receive. Green Councillors voted against furthering borrowing at commercial rates to fund this extra financial burden.

VOTE GREEN – FOR A FRESH START

& A RESPONSIBLE COUNCIL

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