Mr Glenn Spear
At the last Council meeting I used my casting vote to reduce our rate increase to 3.8%. This is the smallest increase in Mitcham for some time and although I am pleased with this result I will continue to work for even better outcomes for residents. I believe that service levels can be maintained and improved with sensible and prudent financial decision making.
Mitcham is in the process of re–negotiating its waste management contracts, instead of paying for recycling deposits we are being paid for the material in a newly negotiated contract. This is a significant return to Council of hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am pushing for private entity organisations operating within buildings such as universities, hospitals and cemeteries to pay rates, currently they are exempt and I think this is unfair.
I am pleased to report that delivery of the home care services and community bus program will continue to be delivered by Council. It is very clear to me that Local Government is in the best position to deliver these essential core services. Many of our citizens have paid rates for over 40 years and I think home support is essential and best delivered at local level. Some Councillors favour investigation for delivery of these services to Federal or State government departments. I have seen clear evidence that residents receive better and a more personalised service by Council.
Our recent review of by-laws has seen a new policy for dogs in playgrounds. I am of the opinion that there is somewhat of a “big brother” approach and I believe that most dog owners and dogs realise their responsibilities and behave in a responsible manner.
I am disappointed that the State Government has again neglected to fund essential road programs for Blackwood and Belair. The roundabout has been acknowledged as a real problem by independent reporting bodies and yet still is not on the radar of government. I will continue to lobby the government for funding. The South Road interchange works are in final planning stages and I have made strong representation for improved access for affected suburbs.
Tracey and I have represented Council at numerous community and civic events. We were proud to acknowledge recent Australia Day and Queens Birthday Honours recipients at a reception. Recently we had the pleasure of attending several Rotary Club events and it is a credit to the men and women of Rotary that do so much work for local and international charities.
I am in the fortunate position of presiding over a strong and committed Council body. There is much robust debate and discussion at Council meetings and it can be interesting to witness the various opinions on a wide range of subjects. The Council website contains the minutes of meetings and you can see how your elected body votes on various issues.
I am pleased and proud to be working with an administrative executive that supports my ultimate goal of achieving a better City of Mitcham for all.