Rates, roads and rubbish: Jody McMullen
WE asked each candidates their views on the key roles of a council.
The answers have been published in the paper over the past few weeks, but below are Jody McMullen's un-edited answers.
What do you think about the current state of the following council issues/services?
It's no hidden fact that rate rises last year left the majority of our Rate Payers disgruntled, particularly with lowering land values.
I intend to use my experience working with enormous, complex and evolving budgets (>$100M) in order to identify inefficiencies and reduce unnecessary spending.
I will work with the Community to identify what is most critical. Individually we are 'tightening our belts' in our family and business budgets - Council needs to do the same.
While I can't promise a reduction in rates, I can promise that I will fight for efficient spending so Council can
contribute to establishing a sustainable local economy.
Costs incurred processing rubbish/waste are covered by rates/fees/charges and are a significant part of the budget review that is needed in order to ensure efficient spending.
Businesses tell me they are charged more for the same services as residences - extra costs increase the bottom line and the break-even point for local businesses, so high fees reduce profitability.
Lower profitability = job cuts. In the current climate we need to support local businesses and help keep their doors open, and encourage startups with reasonable fees.
I believe most of the roads (with some exceptions) in our heavily populated areas have been well-maintained, however there is definitely dissatisfaction with the condition of roads in our regional townships.
In particular, one comment comes up repeatedly - the roads are being fixed, but to such a poor standard that more work is soon required.
WHY? If a job is to be done, it should be done well. Quality management and accountability needs improvement to ensure long term solutions.
Can you describe the role of a councillor?
Our Councillors represent the interests of our local government area and drive the strategic approach behind policy directions and delivery of service by GRC.
I have significant experience working within Legislation, and will perform the role of Councillor as defined by the Local Government Act 2009.
I believe that the most important things a Councillor can do in meeting the requirements of the Act are LISTEN to, LEARN from and RESPECT every member of the Community.
By being available to, and involved in local organisations and groups, I will ensure a diverse representation of Community voices at the Council table.