What have I been doing?

Seems like there is never a dull moment on Council.

Two weeks ago I spent an interesting weekend with my fellow Councillors and key members of staff reviewing our strategies, future planning and streamlining processes. I found it to be a very productive time and the commitment of staff and Councillors was very reassuring.
One of the areas discussed was ensuring focus at Council and Committee meetings and the need to get on with business. Tonight was the first Committee meeting following those discussions and so far so good!! I look forward to the next full Council meeting to see if the discipline continues.
The Edinburgh Road right hand turn effort also continues to be a personal focus. Last week, I hosted a meeting with local State MP Gladys Berejiklian, Council Director Steven Head, fellow Councillor Adrian Cox and around 10 interested residents (the other Sailors’ Bay Ward Councillor John Hooper, was although very interested in the subject, an unavoidable apology). It was a very positive meeting and Gladys and Steven were very generous with sharing their insights into the RTA process. Gladys has agreed as a first step to write to Michael Daly, new Minister for Transport, to request a meeting. This process will take around 2 months and depending on the outcome we may need to move to a plan B. There are lots of ideas around this, primarily from concerned residents and requiring resident involvement, but we hope it wont get to this.
Finally, despite two full months in the role, it’s worth noting there is a lot to learn about the workings of Council. One aspect that has been enlightening has been the DA process. Due to particular community interest, I’ve attended two Ward Councillor Site meetings over the past month and while it’s unusual, in both cases Council Officers’ initial recommendations have been amended or overturned. Ratepayers should be assured that, albeit we are not able to consult or lobby on individual cases, Council and your Councillors take notice of community views and do seek to achieve a tricky balance of interests.
Stay tuned!

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