Opinion formed

WOULD one seriously ever believe that the City of Belmont council has ever been isolated from the malady of politics in local government? (City rejects party rumours, Gazette, October 14).

Local government historically has always been the breeding ground for a councillor to use as a springboard into either state or federal politics, through a political party.

Until the Burke State Labor Government made changes in the Local Government Act in the 1980s, the only people who could vote in municipal elections were property owners and business people.

Because of this, councils generally were controlled by middle-class conservative people with a proclivity towards the Liberal Party.

However, observing those who have been handing out “How to Vote” leaflets in recent state and federal elections it was evident that some Belmont councillors were doing just that for the Liberal Party.

Does this imply that there is a Liberal Party clique on the council?

In observing the voting patterns of Belmont councillors in the past year or so, I will leave it to others to form their opinions, while I have mine.

The article, as I read it, suggested there was a Labor plot against the present chief executive Stuart Cole receiving a 2.79 per cent salary increase.

While the public and more importantly, the ratepayers, are not privileged to observe and to make any judgments on Mr Cole’s key performance indicators, it is the duty for elected councillors to do that in the ratepayers’ interests.

However, I do find it strange with Belmont councillors handing out salary increases when local government mergers are to be implemented very soon ” mergers that have been initiated by the Liberal Party.

With any merger, these increases to senior council staff will result in higher payouts in any possible redundancies and which will affect ratepayers’ funds.

Perhaps it is this rather than politics that Belmont councillors are thinking about.