DEPUTY Mayor John Wells has accused the previous elected council of hogtying the new council.
“The outgoing council, nine of whom did not stand for re-election, splashed out in the end having achieved very little over the four years of its term and committed to a number of significant projects and set up the processes to get the tender work going on those,” Mr Wells said.
“I do note the sports centre had been on council’s books for a number of years.
“Those projects have been fully funded, Nowra pool and the indoor sports centre from the cash reserves in place.
“It is going to put us through a pinch. Council is endeavouring to do its best to provide those replacements and upgraded assets and in the case of the indoor sports centre a new asset.
“We accept that is going to put us under the hammer over the term of this council which we think was a deliberate strategy of the outgoing council to hamstring us and bind us up.”
Mr Wells said the outgoing council voted all the funds in this financial year and created an enormous spike in council’s capital works program “that the organisation simply can’t deliver”.
“You only have to look at the city’s books, the outgoing council committed the organisation to 10 years of deficit budgeting – in the order of $4 to $5 million per year over 10 years and that will leave the community with a $55 million black hole.”
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash continued to defend the rate rise.
“It would be irresponsible, but politically popular for me to say no to a rate increase, and I considered that,” she said.
“But I’m not here to be politically popular, I’m here to make a difference to this council and that means council has to reduce costs.
“We inherited this. We have only been here two months and we already have to make these decisions, decisions that should have been made before.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.