Ratepayers deserve better
Having recently moved to Warrnambool, I have been impressed with the work of the WCC. It has certainly been a good move for us. I also recently listened to Peter Schneider talk to a group, and I was quietly impressed with his vision for the City of Warrnambool. As well he has achieved his goals and benchmarks, according to what I have read in The Standard.
So something smells and I make the following points: 1. Was a 4-3 vote sufficient enough to sack a person who has effectively achieved his goals for the year? 2. It would seem that the council is not prepared to outline the reasons for Peter's sacking. As well it is not prepared to outline the terms of his dismissal. As a ratepayer I am entitled to this at the very least. 3. It is strange to me that an interim CEO must have already been waiting in the wings, which indicates to me that this must have been prepared beforehand. Surely this appointment should have been advertised so as to ensure that a better person is taking over the reins albeit on a temporary basis.
The WCC owes it to the ratepayers of the city to explain clearly and not obfuscate the issues with meaningless explanations, effectively hiding behind the so called legalities of the issue. We as ratepayers deserve better.
Glenn Brotchie, Warrnambool
What's next for council?
Where does the Warrnambool City Council go from here? This week we have seen the council take the unprecedented step of sacking the CEO, seventeen months after this council put him in the top job. Four councillors believe the CEO was the reason for the organisation failing to deliver on the expectations of the council and the community. What is the next step for the council now they have an interim CEO? Stopping the release of the staff survey seems to have been the last straw for the council.
Does this mean next week the results of the staff survey will be made available to the public? Ousting of the CEO after only 17 months is a huge hit to the reputation of our town. I don't see how a new council will be able to attract the candidates of the calibre that Warrnambool needs to turn this ship around.
We all must remember the CEO acts on the decisions of the council and I believe they have been lacking in their direction. The mayor has been vocal about the communication breakdown between councillors over this decision, stating he doesn't understand the reasons. The leadership of the council has broken, we need new representatives that have the interests of the community at heart, not political games that end up ultimately hurting the ratepayers. Remember Warrnambool; our chance to fix this is October when ratepayers appoint new representatives whom we need to lead from the front not behind closed doors.
Ben Blain, Warrnambool Ratepayers Association
MP supports smelter
In response to Ray Peck (Letters, July 11) I am fully supportive of the Portland Aluminum Smelter and the work they are already doing to improve their output and their environmental outcomes.
What I don't support is The Greens making comments without first speaking to the people who are working around the clock at the smelter to make improvements and secure their future. Ellen Sandell's comments were insulting to the smelter's workforce and management team, suggesting they suck energy out of the Victorian grid are polluters and don't do anything in return.
If Ms Sandell had consulted with the smelter, like I do regularly, she would have learnt the smelter already powers up or down based on demand to help stabilise the energy grid to keep the lights on in Victoria. She also would have learnt it is vital to ensure renewable energy generated in the Portland area can be fed into the grid to be used by everyone.
She would have also discovered the smelter has increased it use of renewable energy sources to 30 percent, up from just one per cent in 2015 and is working towards increasing that further.
But the technology in renewables is still too limited and cannot yet provide the type of regular energy or level of storage the smelter needs to be operational. It will get there, but not in the next 12 months.
The fact remains, without a power deal beyond next July, the smelter will not be here to produce anything - green or otherwise. A power deal is what's needed to help the smelter transition to new technologies, if the Greens are indeed keen to save jobs in Portland, they should join me in working towards that right now and then we can have discussions later.
Roma Britnell, MP State Member for South West Coast
Working together a positive
One of the few positives that has eventuated from the terrible social and economic impacts of the current viral pandemic is the willingness of most politicians, be they of blue, red, green or other coloured leaning, to listen to the scientists who are the experts in their fields.
By disengaging from short term partisan politics and focusing on the 'bigger picture' and the well being of the community as a whole as opposed to pandering to special interest groups, politics has recently shown how science or evidence based policies are the ones that will ultimately create the best community outcomes. Sadly, just as we often need a world war or other global crisis to galvanise politicians to think beyond their own party's short term position or ideologies, so to has the virus exposed the need for policy to be based on evidence and not tightly held political and personal dogmas.
Until policy follows evidence based best practices as opposed to ideology whether it be it in the fields of education, water security, energy, health, environment, agriculture, etc our communities will never get the best outcomes they so richly deserve.'Dogmas are like two donkeys tied together - the more you pull towards your side, the less you will accomplish.'
Michael McCluskey, Warrnambool
CEO deserved better
The article Warrnambool city councillors who ousted chief executive officer Peter Schneider have their say is a lame explanation of the hatchet job you have done on the CEO. I am disgusted that you would force us to pay additional rates and then waste in excess of $1million to pay out the CEO.
Did you take advice? Could you not negotiate another way (for the ratepayers) to address the concerns with the CEO? What a shame job! You all deserve an 8 or more in the next election.
John Clarke, Warrnambool
No unity here
I have been in the district for 7 years, Cr Cassidy implies that by sacking the CEO it is an opportunity for the council to be united. The councillors have never been united in my short time here.
Steve Butler, Koroit
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