What about proportional representation in Council
Laurie Powell is distressing himself to no good purpose when he laments Council's repeated approval of non-conforming developments on the Peninsula ("Councillors need to say no to destruction of our lifestyle", edition 486).
It seems as though everybody on the Peninsula (including myself) has written with this same complaint, but it is obvious that Council has no concern for these objections and no intention of reviewing the development standards to set stable and rational controls that we can rely on into the future.
As it is, the current plan is taken by developers to be no more than a general suggestion of the level that they can aim to get below, with the connivance of our elected representatives.
As they say, you get the government you deserve, and these councillors are plainly what we deserve.
As he points out, two of our three ward members don't even live in the ward, so how can they be interested in representing us, when their re-election depends on being affiliated with the right party and not on responding to our concerns.
I have previously suggested that residency in the ward should be a condition for a candidate, but, as it stands, a candidate doesn't even have to live on the Central Coast and can still be elected by the above-the-line donkey vote.
On top of this, the ward boundaries are so drawn that there is no community of interest across the whole area, which means that, with the best will in the world, councillors are going to have a problem in reconciling different demands from different parts of the electorate.
The mayor has suggested that we could change to a three-ward system which would seem likely to exacerbate the problem.
As it stands, we could hope for a 5-5-5 distribution on the Council, but a three-ward system is likely to lead to a 6-6-3 distribution which is the last thing we want.
As I have said before, my preference is for a 15-ward system, in hopes that having a small number of electors in each ward will lead to a demand for candidates to give specific assurances to voters about policies and intentions.
At the very least, voters might learn the name of the candidate they are electing, which is, many times, not the case now.
It also gives an unmistakable identity to the person responsible who can be approached as a channel of communication with Council.
Alternatively, what about a proportional-representation system that would give fair dibs for everybody?
Email, 22 Jan 2020
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy