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Collapse Issue 435 - 25 Dec 2017Issue 435 - 25 Dec 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Liquor and Gaming to review interests at Sporties
Waterfront group asks Council to oppose development
Dredging 'largely ineffective', says residents' group
Christmas petrol prices consistently higher here
Council asks for beach erosion funds
Fitness stations installed by community association
Charge cover 85 per cent of centre costs
Council seeks report on asbestos disposal best practice
Illegal camping and littering targeted
Library work on schedule
Surf club stalwart dies
Council awaits lagoon plan approval
Grants for community groups
Woy Woy masterplan due in 2020
Community carols on Hardys Bay waterfront
Carols at Dusk to be held at Peninsula Village
Community group granted rate relief
Surf club to support Coast Shelter youth cottage
Beach wheelchairs available for disability use
Peninsula works program boosted by $2.2 million
General manager will replace chief executive officer
Council sets up six advisory committees
Apprentice completes jewellery certificate
Holiday reading book sale
Car break-ins investigated
Council offices to close for Christmas
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Too much traffic in Hillview St already
Aerial view is misleading
Why have guidelines if the council doesn't follow them
Jetskis threaten peace of tourist destination
Rates for our roadworks have gone elsewhere
Only system changes could make councillors responsive
Party councillors have been missing in action
ABC Radio Nation is under threat
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
New doctor joins skin cancer clinic
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Chris Masters speaks of our forces in Afghanistan
Artist creates Christmas wildlife theme display
Children's activities at Pearl Beach in January
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
More than $20,000 raised at Woy Woy
Deadly awards at Woy Woy campus
Building work at Woy Woy over the holidays
Ettalong announces next year's leaders
Teachers leave Umina school
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Jemma and Rachel named for State squad
Surf club to get new tractor
Life membership for services to zone bowls
Last charity bowls day for the year
Jemma takes leader role
Mixed pairs final
Sea kayaker nominated for award

Only system changes could make councillors responsive

What Fred Charles fails to grasp (Do we have to wait another three years? Peninsula News, December 11) is that the majority of councillors do not represent the ward they live in or the ward they are elected from.

They represent the political party with which they are affiliated and they are fundamentally elected by the donkey vote of people who just mark 1 above the line, regardless of who the candidate is.

As is obvious from the results of the election, these people make up the majority of Central Coast residents, so, if he expects to see a different makeup of council in three years' time, he is being very naive.

The Labor-Liberal parties could run a slate of candidates who don't even live on the Central Coast, and the result wouldn't be very different from the present one.

Of course, there are possible changes that could affect an election outcome and, perhaps, make councillors more responsive to the concerns of residents, such as Mr Charles.

First, we should have 15 one-member wards, and it should be a requirement that a candidate live in the ward for which he/she campaigns: obviously, this would focus attention markedly on voter concerns.

Secondly, there should be no party affiliations shown on the ballot paper, and a voter should have to fill in every box (or, perhaps, a minimum number of boxes) in order of preference: this will give every elector an incentive, at least, to know the names of the candidates.

Given that the council has been elected under the present system, it isn't difficult to judge the likelihood that any such changes to the system will be welcomed, regardless of how they might benefit the ratepayers.

Despite all the rhetoric aired during the campaign, we are already seeing voting along party lines, elusiveness of ward councillors and secrecy about council proceedings, and it is easy to project how these trends will develop over the life of the council.

The reign of the administrator was nothing to write home about, but, in a couple of years' time, we might be looking back on 2016/2017 with nostalgic regret.

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