Rates, roads and rubbish: PJ Sobhanian
WE asked each candidate 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 PJ Sobhanian's un-edited answers.
What do you think about the current state of the following council issues/services;
I want downward pressure on rates. We should always be looking at reducing waste, managing costs and reviewing expenditure.
In today's competitive environment, we can not afford to be complacent. Our attitude should be one of continuous improvement, the same as running any business (my own included).
I have in the recent past, recorded publicly, made a request for a report into one such area of expenditure as part of good business practice. The more information we have, the better we can together work as a team, to keep costs to Council down and therefore put downward pressure on rates.
Additionally, if we are successful at reclaiming water dividends this would further put downward pressure on rates.
The feedback that I have received on household rubbish collection has been positive.
This is something we generally do well. In specific tourist hotspots we need servicing that is adequate, because it is important to showcase our region as tidy, friendly, hygienic and welcoming.
When it comes to tips, we need to regularly, and we generally do, have discussion to ensure appropriate service levels are in place, in line with need and also effectiveness of cost.
I believe, together, we should always be looking at continuous improvement, similar to any other business unit. I believe we have great experts in Council's engineering team at Calliope who are passionate about their service to our community.
Council is at times restricted by significant burden of State and Federal arms of government and this requires us to strongly advocate for our community needs.
Can you describe the role of a councillor?
I believe the role of a Councillor is one of listening to, and strong representation for, the community and setting caring and intelligent strategy.
The role is explicitly described under Section 12, Parts 1,2 and 3 of the Local Government Act 2009 (QLD):
A Councillor must represent the current and future interests of the residents of the local government area.
All Councillors have the following responsibilities:
- Ensuring the local government, discharges its responsibilities under this Act, achieves its corporate plan and complies with all laws that apply to local governments.
- Providing high quality leadership to the local government and the community;
- participating in council meetings, policy development, and decision-making, for the benefit of the local government area;
- being accountable to the to the community for the local government's performance.