Wingecarribee Shire Council – Ivory Towers.A WINNER on so many fronts these days, Dept’y Dawg Larry “my word’s final” Whipper had a minor dummy spit and found urgent business away from the table during last week’s mostly friendly love-in in the Star Chamber at Ivory Towers (I.T.).
Lazza left us for a few moments while David “truth is” Stranger read the list of six successful community representatives chosen from 12 community-minded folk for the Demographic and Housing Study reference panel.
Keen followers of events at the Towers (I.T.) will recall this study was foreshadowed after State Planning refused to take Chelsea Gardens and Coomungie out of the strategic plan for future housing expansion, a move hotly opposed by Lazza and now-Mayor Kay Haitch (K.H.) at the time.
Word is that Lazza wanted a veto on one of the chosen ones in favour of his choice, the affable Alan Hunt (a near-neighbour of the disputed land, I believe) who got a guernsey on the reserve bench anyway.
While Alan, as with the likeable Nick Dyer (who seemed to be the number six elected, according to the Stranger reading), has some experience in matters legal and business, plus land and housing development issues, that same experience was seemingly used to rule out Barry Anstee, Ian Scandrett, Terry Oakes-Ash and inevitably, the Ringer, Nick Campbell-Jones.
While neither Lazza nor Kay Haitch were able to attend this week’s vital Information Session on forming up the 2011-12 Budget, having more urgent business elsewhere, the word around the table was that Lazza was seeking support for a rescission motion to set the appointments aside and tapped most of the seven who did go to the meeting.
Don’t know if K.H. would support him on this, but Gentleman Jim Clark usually tracks square with our hero and thus, in elected order as read, Elizabeth Meredith (of Bowral Matters), Ron Wade, Peter Graham, Laurel Cheetham, Max Powditch and Nick Dyer may still have to wait yet another meeting to learn their fate.
They may yet learn the difficulties of serving community interests and working with a group of councillors so sharply divided on local political issues.
INITIALLY, one should explain my use of his initials to dignify Our Mayor, whom everybody knows anyway.
Our Mayor, as is his right, has complained to Editor Mark Bransdon about my references to him and the blue pencil (I had one once) came out on my last two pieces, excising some words.
So, in an effort not to re-offend with my irreverent remarks, correctly described by Mark as “light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek” , I believe few could be offended by their own initials.
I thought of employing the old phonetic alphabet of my (brief) military career, thus “King How” or more latterly “Kilo Hotel”, but both could have been misinterpreted.
So, unless the pencil strikes again, let’s use “Kay Haitch”, eh?
LAND that could come under scrutiny in any study of future areas for rezoning for housing purposes must be the freeway-locked precinct known as West Yerrinbool.
Sold to hopeful buyers a decade or two back with proper (rateable) title but no building rights by a well-known local land agent (who, incidentally, has never been on council), the land is unserviced, has inadequate access and deemed a bushfire risk.
But quite a few owners have built there, some admittedly a little haphazard in their approach and civic responsibility, but all proud of their castle.
It would be a brave council indeed that sought rezoning to aid the 40-odd owners who have been agitating and lately financed a planning study for building rights there.
The land, like those 22-foot blocks at Hill Top, given away with a suit of clothes by an enterprising early 20thC city tailor, may take two lifetimes to gain building approval.
A shortcut towards recognition would be a $3-mill-plus bridge plus an annual rate bill of about six grand, according to one estimate we heard yesterday.
The structures may be illegal and non-complying, but it would be an equally brave mayor and council who ordered the bulldozers in under intense media scrutiny.
SIMMERING also are massive legal bills that will have to be faced by the present incumbents and right now the WSC costs in the legal loss to Norlex over water extraction at Bundanoon is being talked about in hushed tones at six-figure sums.
On Council Code of Conduct matters alone, a bill of about $100,000 is being mooted by some, as the meter ticks over at $300 an hour for such investigations.
What has not been fully recognised is that all volunteer committee members are bound by the Code and on the Cunningham Park tree-poisoning issue alone, $20,000 has been mentioned, since an allegation has been made that the perpetrators acted on the council’s behalf and GM Jason Gordon has an internal investigation under way.
It was interesting that Big Jim Mauger’s intense scrutiny of the past no doubt occasioned his very responsible query as to the state of WSC’s public liability insurance and the extent of general insurance cover for flood damage where, by negligence, it failed to act diligently in providing accurate information with a development application.
Big Jim (B.J.) is assisting the GM with a separate line of inquiry, also relating to his intense study of historical events in the life of this and the past council.
As an example, he inquired about the 2007 Howe Report into management, was it still extant and how much did it cost.
GM Jason told him some aspects had been taken into account in the recent restructure and, as with the insurance questions, they will be taken on notice and replied to in detail.
You’ll hear a lot more about B.J. “real soon now”, so stay tuned.
STILL THE ONE! My crazy Queensland cousin thinks people might find 2011 is, she says, “a freaky year.”
She writes that this year we will experience four unusual dates:
* 11/1/11, which have passed, followed by
* 1/11/11 and
* 11/11/11 ….
Now take the last two digits of the year you were born plus the age you will
be this year and it WILL BE EQUAL TO 111…..
Go ahead, be the One!
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.