Town of York Western Australia.
Received this email on the 11th June 2012
Hello to all,
Some time ago I wrote to the York paper alerting people about proposed changes to the "Local Laws" - peoples comments were "stop worrying, it will never happen" .
Well it has........yesterday a resident of York knocked on our back door very distressed and handed me a letter he had received from the Shire of York on Friday. The CEO always appears to send bad news letters to arrive on a Friday!
Quote from the Shire letter: (I have not included name and address)
FULL PROPERTY INSPECTION -
Council Officers intend entering your property on the 15th June, 2012 at 11.00 am to investigate complaints regarding the buildings and surrounding yard at your property.
This will involve a complete inspection of all building internally, externally and the yard surround your property.
My questions were:
1. Were the complaints in writing? (The letter conveniently does not state this).
2. Why were copies of the complaints not provided to the resident? (names could have been blocked out) At least it would have then appeared to be open and accountable!
3. How many complaints were received?
4. How many council officers will be entering the property and what role do they have within the Shire of York?
5. Under what Act will they be using to carry out this inspection?
6. Do the York Councilors know about this action?
The following 3 letters were printed in the "Letters to the Editor" - York & Districts Community Matters, April 2013 edition.
September 2012 Shire meeting - Announcement by Presiding Member appears to have spiralled into a defamation claim against the Shire President with the York Ratepayers picking up the bill - possibly to the tune of $30,000.
Why only half the story in the Minutes? How about recording the Announcement in its entirety in the Minutes after all it was read out at a Shire meeting. That would be fair, considering Ratepayers now have a financial interest in this fiasco thanks to a council vote to fund the claim, 4 in favour and 1 against. Cr. Smythe voted against the motion. It would be reasonable to conclude, those who voted in favour agreed with the content the announcement.
It is out of order for any person in public office to refer to a Ratepayer as a simpleton and a scoffer.
Is this what York Ratepayers can expect in the future if they have the guts to stand up for their rights or dare to voice an opinion that differs from Council?
Saying it was in the best interests of the Community is utter nonsense.
It is certainly not in the best interests of the York Community to have elected members resort to such appalling behaviour.
If this is the calibre and standard of elected members we have, then York is in far more trouble than we all realise.
Where has the Councillors decorum and dignity gone?
name with held
The Feb. York Council meeting heard Cr. Smythe request fellow Councillors to defer the decision on extending the CEO's contract until the next meeting to give the people of York a chance to have a say on the matter. Cr. Smythe sited the many emails received from concerned members of the community.
Cr. Pat Hooper responded to the request (very loudly), by going into a lengthy spiel about workplace agreements, employees rights , unfair dismissal laws. Then added ....."we cannot simply sack him". In addition, Cr. Hooper stated he had done his maths and emails received only equated to approx. 2% of the voters.
Firstly, Cr. Hooper appears not to understand what a Contract of Employment is, secondly he clearly did not understand Cr. Smythe's request...... to simply defer the decision for a month. Perhaps Cr. Hooper was afraid what the final % of emails would tally if the community were given a month instead of just four days to have their say.
Shire Pres. then weighed into the debate by saying 11 Councils do not even have a CEO. This prompted a brave male with a wonderful sense of humour to respond......give them ours, we don't want him!
End of debate - vote taken. Don't you love living in a democracy!
Name with held
In the Perth District Court, on March 8, 2013, the town of York should have been freed to resurrect itself as a "WA Historic Tourism Icon" through a court-room closure. It is when Katrina Watts, the woman who sadly ended York's long rein as WA's premier jazz festival location, was jailed for ten months for stealing from the York Tourist Information Centre.
Unfortunately Miss Watts' initial theft, numerous trials, eventual guilty plea and final sentencing have left a few pertinent questions unanswered - like 'who hired her and why' and 'how did she get away with it so easily?
Did the York Tourist Bureau Inc. Committee employ Miss Watts as a bookkeeper for the York Tourist Information Centre when it seems she may have had similar problems with the law prior to her appointment? Also, the Committee Chairman was a close relative of Miss Watts which could be considered to be a potential conflict -of-interest? The Committee members of that time should now make a statement directly concerning these particular issues to put the public's mind at rest.
At least two of that Committee were senior officials from the Shire of York. The Shire assisted in funding the activities of the York Tourist Bureau Inc. and the York Tourist Information Centre, yet claims it bears no responsibility. The legal grounds for this denial is not an issue, it is a question of public responsibility that should be answered.
In less that two years, Ms Watts, left York's tourism coffers with a cash deficiency of $71,000. created total liabilities of $116,000 and sent the not-for-profit York Tourist Bureau Inc. to near insolvency. (These figures come from an independent audit requested by the Shire of York at that time).
The end result is that most of York's famous festivals have disappeared. The York Gourmet Food and Wine Festival, the York Antiques and Collectors Fair have both gone to Northam and the Jazz Festival is kaput.
Whatever happens in the future, York, the historic jewel in the crown of the Avon Valley, needs a rapid tourism renaissance."
Name with held.
The Ratepayers continue to suffer under an administration that appear to have lost their sense of responsibility when it comes to watching over the communities assets ie York Tourist Bureau.