LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Aug 19: Don't just sit back

Don't just sit back

LOCAL ratepayers, no matter where you live, will need to be completely mad to invite the Clarence Valley Council (CVC) to help themselves to even more of your hard earned money.

Survey forms using the heading "Roads to Sustainability" are now arriving in local letterboxes asking ratepayers to support a special rate variation of an 8% increase in general rates per year for 5 years. Council utility service charges are separate issues and may also rise but at unspecified levels.

There may be a few ratepayers who believe that they should reward the mismanagement and incompetence shown by CVC in recent years or who think that by giving this council more money it will improve their performance.

To these ratepayers I'd like to suggest...

Who can forget the ongoing fiasco of the cafe lease at the Grafton Regional Gallery?

What about this council paying consultants thousands of dollars to report on the management of local swimming pools and then ignoring that report and treating their most competent managers with utter contempt?

Remember three months of chaos as council attempted to resurface just 800 metres of Yamba Road in 2014?

What about the blunders and the massive cost over-runs of projects such as the Grafton Olympic Pool, the South Grafton Indoor Pool, the Maclean Sports Centre, the council works depot at Maclean, etc, etc ... let's not even talk about the Maclean supermarket.

Now this Council is intending to spend some $27 million of your rates restructuring their Grafton depots. It's a semi-secret project so you won't read much about it or see it listed for discussion as part of this special rates increase.

Finally, ratepayers in Iluka, Yamba, Angourie, Maclean, Brooms Head, Wooli, you have been consistently slugged rate increases massively above rate pegging levels since 2008

Do you believe that the proposed 8% annual increase will not be set substantially above 8% for your town? Other ratepayers will be mad.....but you will be stark, raving mad to sit back and just let it happen.

Bill Day, Yamba

More than a coffee

AFTER a long discussion with a friend of mine over the weekend, taking out pen and paper and doing some simple mathematical calculations, we worked out that what was stated in the "Important Information For Ratepayers" document that was sent out by the Clarence Valley Council, the amount of rate increase stated $2.20-$2.32 from our calculations should be more like $10-$13 per week, and not the cost of a cup of coffee a fortnight as claimed.

It was also pointed out that a firm called Iris from down Wollongong way will be conducting a phone survey of between 200 and 2000 ratepayers which will force every ratepayer to keep the brochure "Roads to Sustainability" in their possession to answer the relevant questions that will be asked by the person who calls.

There is a better answer: Go back to having the two councils that we originally had.

Bruce Apps, Townsend

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