Displaying items by tag: local government elections
Much has been written in the press about the stalemate that developed within Ku-ring-gai Council following the ‘election’ of a new mayor Cedric Spencer in September. There was a 50/50 split in the vote between him and his predecessor Jennifer Anderson, so the standard process is to draw a name out of a hat.
Soon after his election Cedric Spencer’s faction attempted to hold an Extraordinary Council Meeting to review the appointment of the general manager, John McKee, only three months before the election. The opposing faction refused to attend so there was not a quorum present. This situation continued as several more attempts were made to hold this meeting including adding the item to the agenda of the October ordinary meeting. The Minister for Local Government asked for an explanation of the situation but took no further action. As a result of the boycott of the ordinary meeting several council plans will not be progressed until February 2022.
After being postponed from 2020 the local government elections were finally held on 4 December. The outcome in Ku-ring-gai looks promising with several new faces with independent views.
The final results will not be declared until 20 December but it looks likely that STEP‘s new committee member, Greg Taylor, has been successful in the Comenarra Ward. Greg has a keen interest in bushland restoration and conservation and conducts school environmental education programs. Unfortunately he has decided to resign from the STEP committee to avoid conflicts of interest with issues where STEP has made submissions.
To help STEP members learn more about the environmental credentials of candidates in Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai we sent them a survey.
We contacted 49 candidates (all those who gave their email to the Electoral Commission) and we received ten responses (one from Hornsby and nine from Ku-ring-gai).
Click on the links below to see what the prospective councillors have to say, and click here to compare answers.
- Hornsby (Ward A) — Mick Marr (Group B)
- Ku-ring-gai (Comenarra) — Jayamala Gupte (Group D),
- Ku-ring-gai (Comenarra) — Trish Lynch (Group A),
- Ku-ring-gai (Comenarra) — Greg Taylor (Group F)
- Ku-ring-gai (Gordon) — Simon Lennon (Group B)
- Ku-ring-gai (Roseville) — Carmel Heffernan (Group D)
- Ku-ring-gai (Roseville) — Sam Ngai (Group B)
- Ku-ring-gai (Roseville) — Alec Taylor (Group A)
- Ku-ring-gai (St Ives) — Amanda Brien (Group D)
- Ku-ring-gai (Wahroonga) — Sheri Evans (Group F)
Questions we asked
- There are community concerns about urban heat, and the environmental and social impacts of the installation of synthetic turf on local ovals. What are your views on this?
- What’s your view on mountain bikers constructing their own new tracks through bushland?
- The NSW government wants to increase tree canopy cover in Greater Sydney from 16% to 40% by 2030. However, development as a result of population growth, subdivision, larger house footprints etc means that we continue to lose tree cover. Will you work to increase tree canopy?
- Do you support council’s environmental management policies, e.g. the biodiversity and water sensitive cities policies?
- Council does not have the financial resources to maintain effective firebreaks around all of the bushland boundaries of properties. Are you in favour of council developing a set of protocols so that qualified residents or their contractors are able to maintain their own boundaries?
- Some councils have resolved to dispose of surplus parcels of land behind closed doors. Will you undertake to make all such proposals transparent and invite community involvement?
- Some councils have not followed due process when asking for stakeholder feedback on a project. Would you take steps to ensure that all public consultation processes are carried out in an orderly and transparent manner?
- Do you think council should do more to encourage residents to reduce waste going into landfill?
- Council has resolved to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and by the community to net zero by 2040 with an interim objective of a reduction of about 50% by 2030. Do you consider that enough action is being taken to achieve these goals?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?