Mr David Munro
August 2012 Mitcham Community News
The work life balance of a Councillor
Firstly I would like thank all of those people who provided a response to my last article in the Mitcham Community News. My last article was a little different to others and I went out on a limb with what I said regarding deficit and achievements within the chamber. It is nice to know people read and appreciate my views. This article is a bit about what has happened to me over the last few months. I was made redundant back in August 2011 and it was completely unexpected. Fortunately I was able to gain full time employment again in a role that I am enjoying immensely. The only problem is that I am now working afternoon shifts which mean it is difficult to attend all briefings and meetings. This has not gone down well with some Elected Members as they believe I need to attend all to be a good Councillor.
I don't necessarily agree and it is almost impossible to attend every meeting and briefing and still maintain a career. The blend of the current Councillors is quite a diverse mix but I believe that Council need Councillors who work to bring current work practices to the chamber and there will be some sacrifice that goes with that and that is usually being time poor. The reason I became a Councillor was because I had felt that I did not have support when I had an issue I was dealing with the City of Mitcham. I also believed that with a background in finance and business operations I could make a worthy contribution. My last article which was titled 'Deficit deficit deficit' was exactly the topic I wanted to drive and get through to Council and the ratepayers of Mitcham. It is quite interesting to see that this is now the topic on everyone's lips. The Annual Business Plan has been prepared with far greater detail which is pleasing to see and I must make mention of Matt and his team for providing quality data and thorough reports. It is a shame that the perception is that rate rises are the only way out of a deficit. I believe that cost cuts are still achievable and I will not support rate rise after rate rise.
With the focus now on the deficit and something we are going to have to live with for a while, we need to stop the wastage that goes on. So if you see something, hear something or know something then please bring it to the attention of the administration department, your Elected Member or the Mayor. We need to be careful with every ratepayers dollar over the coming years to get our finances back under control.