Merimbula Letters to the Editor, June 23

While Merimbula already has a skatepark at Berrambool Oval, it has been acknowledged it is due for renewal. Is Ford Park a better location? Photo: Leah Szanto
While Merimbula already has a skatepark at Berrambool Oval, it has been acknowledged it is due for renewal. Is Ford Park a better location? Photo: Leah Szanto

Nothing for seniors

Lots of discussion around about new ideas for our town which is good however nothing mentions our golden oldies. Since the January 2020 bushfires then Covid we have been like most of the community and followed restrictions but now that restrictions have eased find nowhere to go. We mostly still sit in front of TV, day in day out. A trip to the doctor is considered an outing.

Surely with the number of clubs in the area, plus unused venues there would be somewhere we could have a drop in place once or twice a week to help alleviate the loneliness particularly for the elderly who live alone. The majority of us are rate payers in our own homes, shop locally and still support our town.

Elaine Johnston, Merimbula

Leaving lot to be desired

The council should have a popular elected mayor so that it would stop the factions putting in place a person that was not wanted by the popular vote. The type of mayor we have had in the past has, in some cases, left a lot to be desired.

Ray James, Wandella

Unwanted popularity contest

There are many examples of popularly elected mayors and their bad decisions leading to councils being sacked. Geelong Council is one horror story. Aside from the ongoing cost extravaganza being unaffordable, mayors picked by our elected councillors tend to lead to good, intelligent leaders being chosen, not simply a popularity contest where old duffers get up on handshaking and baby kissing cred.

Jamie Shaw, Mogareeka

Accountability needed

The issue of whether a referendum should be held to see if there is a popular move for voter election of mayors should not come down to cost. Council indulges itself in expenditures many ratepayers might consider better spent elsewhere. Ultimately, the question is, is it the right thing to do?

Increased democracy, and with it accountability, is never wasted. We have seen some abysmal actions from certain recently appointed mayors, promoting actions to the detriment of residents and leaving financial black holes which the present incumbent is doing well to address.

To be able to express a preference for mayor at the ballot box will put accountability in place where at present there is none. That can only be good for Bega Valley and its hard pressed ratepayers.

Alan Burdon, Dignams Creek

Whims of factions

For too long, Bega Shire ratepayers have been hostage to the whims of councillor factions and behind-the-scenes deals. Some have submitted to unacceptable decisions to curry favour and (hopefully) secure councillor votes to achieve the office of mayor.

A popularly elected mayor (rather than one selling out in return for councillor votes) will have the strength of a popular mandate allowing her, him or other to better resist pressures - whether political, rent-seeking, NIMBY, heritage, environmental, local....whatever.

Electing the mayor is the democratic idea whose time has come for Bega Shire.

Jon Gaul, Tura Beach

Leave well enough alone

I think it is important that elected members of council elect their own leader. The mayor needs to have the support of councillors as they will need to work closely with the mayor. If elected by the people it may be possible that one candidate polls above others but only represents one part of the shire. A separate vote for the mayor will simply introduce another layer of lobbying by the candidates and cost more money that could be spent on a more worthy project.

I believe if the system is working now, then leave it alone and let the councillors vote for the best person for the job as mayor.

Chris Hamilton, Tathra