Council dilemma is everyone's problem
SEEMS Council is lurching from one issue of community revolt to the next and for many it really is wearing thin.
The latest proposal for massive rates rises to deal with a financial black hole that is of Council's own making over many years and there seems no realistic end in sight.
As one concerned businessman said this week regarding the cash grab - 'it's off the Richter scale'.
Others more optimistically believe the regulators would never approve such a massive hike and would, in the immortal words from 'The Castle', tell ém they're dreamin'.
Long before the term of the current council, the Local Government Department and Minister were warning Lithgow Council to get its affairs in order.
But little has changed.
Some blame a top heavy staff at administrative level. According to one source, the staff numbers have increased by around 100 in just 10 years.
Whether that's correct or not is for council to declare but one long term officer no longer with the organisation told the column not that long ago '... we often have new people coming through our department who we don't know. They're never introduced'.
Hopefully that situation has changed in the intervening years.
The rates ultimatum comes at a difficult time when householders and businesses are facing the toughest financial challenges in years with inflation at its highest level in more than two decades.
When council holds its promised public information meeting there will surely be hard questions asked.
Hopefully there will be some straight answers before the calls for an administrator become even louder.
MOTORING enthusiasts around Lithgow were in a dither this week with a revelation that a rare Falcon GT-HO with local connections was up for auction in New Zealand.
The car in question was among the first of the series to be raced at Mt Panorama in 1969 in what was then the Hardie Ferodo marathon, raced by Bob Genders and Joe Butta whose families were prominent in the Lithgow motor trade at the time.
The ferocious Ford was a far cry from the Hillman Hunter they had raced there previously. How it finished up in New Zealand is not recorded but it's sure to attract eye watering bids.
Words of wisdom
THERE were a couple of quotable quotes on local government matters that caught our eye this week from well qualified Hartley, resident Sebastian Caruso: "... elections should not be a popularity contest'. And from Regional Australia Institute's CEO Liz Ritchie: ''... liveability - the attractiveness of the community, the ability to have a strategy to attract and retain people - has to be a whole of community effort ... with champions and changemakers to bring a vision to life'. Most appropriate.
PLEASING to note that Telstra is responding to concerns and is bringing its call centres back to Australia with Australian staff. We'd like to think that other large corporations would take a similarly responsible attitude, if for no other reason than the frustrations in negotiating strong foreign accents. We live in hope.
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