Rates, roads and rubbish: Peter Masters
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 Peter Masters' un-edited answers.
What do you think about the current state of the following council issues/services?
There is no doubt in my mind that the rates in this region are too high, but so is our debt.
Given the amount of development that has occurred in recent years, one would imagine that the council would be an affluent one and our rates would be among the State's lowest.
Why aren't they? Where has the money gone? What is happening with the "Royalties for Regions" scheme? What has happened over the past eight years of boom and development that seen the council's debt rise?
And how are we going to fix it now that there will be next to no income from developers and the big end of town?
I would like to understand more about the council's long term business plans and what we can do to at least cap the rates at their current level and prove to the rate payers that we respect the sacrifices they make to pay their rates each year.
My observation is that the removal and processing of household garbage is conducted in a very professional manner. Given the opportunity, I will obviously ensure that our costs are commensurate with other regional councils.
There will always be isolated complaints around how long it takes for pot-holes to be repaired, but I don't have a problem with that.
The road into Agnes Waters is pretty ordinary and I'd like to see some plan to address that with State and Federal Governments, particularly if we are going to capitalise on the increased levels of tourist traffic generated by the favourable Aussie dollar.
Can you describe the role of a councillor?
- • First and foremost, a councillor must show genuine respect for every ratepayer and his/her fellow councillors.
- • He/she must be honest in every dealing with the public and within council.
- • He/she must spend every available moment listening to the concerns of the citizens of the region.
- • He/she must research every concern to ensure a proper understanding of that concern.
- • He/she must be able to negotiate an acceptable outcome for every issue that comes before council.
- • He/she must be able to identify waste and unnecessary spend, and work to eliminate it.
- • He/she must be able to contribute to the profitable operation of the council.
- • He/she must be able to promote the attractions throughout the region to maximise growth in tourism.
- • He/she must be available at all times and attend all council meetings.