Letter to the editor
At last Wednesday's council meeting Ballarat City councillors fell short of what the community should expect of them.
They ducked their responsibilities by accepting an explanation for the costs of the Ballarat Library renovation being three times higher than they had budgeted, explaining the $4.6m cost overrun as due to the scope of works changing.
A Dorothy Dixer to CEO Evan King from Cr McIntosh should have been the start of questions from councillors, not the end.
Why did the scope of work change?
Who has responsibility for managing our building assets?
How is it that the library is only five years from being unusable, if routine asset inspection and works were being done?
Why did they get this one so horribly wrong?
Does that person and those to whom they reported still work in the organisation?
Can we be assured that there are no other assets (buildings, roads, drains, bridges, ovals, etc) that have been let run down and which might give "a bit of a shock"?
Is the CEO in the position to answer, given he and his management team are all new?
If not, shouldn't the Audit Committee be asked to independently review and report on possible exposure to further risks of this kind, and recommend how to avoid them?
OTHER COUNCIL NEWS
Councillors are responsible for total assets worth $1.9b. Those assets belong to you and to me.
I expect councillors to monitor their maintenance with diligence.
I want them to demonstrate that they take this part of their role seriously, and that they are giving the CEO and all staff the message that the organisation must be competently managed, and that everyone will be held accountable for doing their jobs.
I have seen very little evidence of the councillors fulfilling this element of their roles for several years now. It is time they did.
John Barnes, Brown Hill