Democracy should never be put on hold
Congratulations on your local news and community coverage for the Woy Woy Peninsula.
I have been a property-house owner in Umina Beach since 2012, and my partner an owner since about 2010.
We both love the area and, despite our voluntary work commitments in our offices in North Sydney, look forward to retirement as soon as possible when coronavirus is over and the economy back on track.
However in our irregular stays on the Peninsula, it appeared that the former Central Coast Council had priorities elsewhere, perhaps because of population densities in Terrigal and Gosford.
I have to admit that in almost a decade I have visited Gosford less than half a dozen times and Terrigal only once, but regularly Woy Woy as I train from Sydney and shop there frequently.
The beaches at Ettalong, Umina, Pearl Beach and Patonga have a unique atmosphere that I don't feel elsewhere on the Central Coast. It is hard to explain.
Perhaps it is the bus services which I use extensively.
Therefore it is very disheartening to read about the insolvency of the former Central Coast Council and the mismanagement by councillors of budgets following the forced merger of Gosford and Wyong Councils.
This new identity I and many residents opposed and still reject.
Now on your front page of April 19, there is the unseemly disputation between the Member for Terrigal Mr Adam Crouch, who is calling for support for a public inquiry into Central Coast Council, and the Central Coast Administrator Mr Dick Persson.
Mr Persson was defending his final report to Local Government Minister Ms Shelley Hancock, proclaiming that he is "an independent person with extensive experience" who has carried out the said inquiry-investigation.
I wonder what the Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch thinks about this "inquiry-investigation", as well as the Central Coast branches of the Labor and Liberal Parties.
Some years ago, unknown to myself at the time, the Peninsula News ran an article based on my communication with the mayor and deputy mayor suggesting a 50-year success story in North Sydney Council.
This was a precincts system where residents and ratepayers come together in about 16 sub-districts and gather through a Combined Precincts Committee to advise or criticise the council on local issues including decisions by the state and federal governments impacting the council.
While not perfect, such a structure for Participatory Democracy on the Central Coast may have more forcefully alerted councillors to the errors of their financial ways and thus avoided current difficulties highlighted by the Administrator in his report and the call for a further inquiry-investigation.
I agree with the views expressed by Mr Crouch and Mr Perssons that the currently suspended councillors should not be allowed to return to their positions or be re-elected without showing cause.
However, I disagree that the the Central Coast Council election this September should be delayed.
Representative democracy should never be put on hold.
Email, 22 Apr 2021
Michael Jones, Umina Beach.