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Town of York Western Australia.

Another example of Local Government Maladministration. (message from a ratepayer)

"Thought you would like to read this letter sent in to our local news paper......"

LETTERS  TO THE EDITOR
COMMUNITY MATTERS APRIL 2011

Well, our illustrious President (my way or the highway Prat Hooper) has decided he will not be answering questions on operational matters at ordinary council meetings.

What is an operational matter? Any question his greatness decide is too hard to answer. As most question time is usually taken up with questions on operational matters, as you can see from the February ordinary council meeting minutes this decision will make it a whole lot easier for our open and accountable Local Government.

In the council's own words "Public Question Time is provided to complement the role for the Council, which is to: Be responsible for the performance of the local government functions".
"Now I'm no Einstein but I would assume that an operational matter is a government function, unless his greatness says otherwise. So if a member of the public has issues with operational matters what do you do?

You write to the administration department with your concerns, if you are one of the lucky ones you might even receive a reply.
However that reply will consist of well rehoused Local Government pretex. Some caution must be exercised should you question the administration, the Shire may display notices around the CBD naming you as a troublemaker. So if a member of the public is not satisfied with an answer from the administration department you will not be able to place that issue in the public arena, even though the Department of Local Government say you can.

So what has happened to freedom of speech and democracy in York? When one person is given an excess of power by an insipid collective of unresponsive minds, as history has shown that person can, and will abuse that power and democracy slips into dictatorship. Of course, the administration are not going to shoot or incarcerate members of the public, they have not been given the delegated authority to do so, yet!

The Shire needs to appear to be administrating matters in an orderly manner so not to make waves for the SEAVROC project.

The Department of Local Government has advised me there is a "strong monitoring process in place"; unfortunately I do not believe that this will make the slightest difference.

On a positive note, I would like to applaud the Shire depot works team for their dedication and commitment to the town.

Even after having $228,421 siphoned from their Plant Reserve account they still manage to service the public's needs.

Simon Saint


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And another example of Local Government Maladministration. (message from a ratepayer)



"Hello Kalbarritruth, this shows the level of incompetence from the Shire of York. These answers are very guarded in fear of embarrassment. It took a year of research and questions to get a project through.
State Departments were aware of the ratepayers plight but chose to do nothing.
Can you air it on your website?

Thanks"
name withheld.


COUNCIL QUESTION TIME.    York WA 6302

Question 1:
Could Council please advise when they became aware of the use of the Building
Regulation 1989 with regard to older buildings in York?
Response:

Council became aware of the Regulations after it was bought to our attention by GordonTester following advice and notification by Mrs Saint.
MINUTES - ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 27 APRIL 2011

Question 3:
What right has the Shire to demand a business plan?
Response:
Land uses are defined under the Shire of York Town Planning Scheme No 2 and as
such, a proposal is required to be classified as one of those defined uses.
The original application was for the sale of motorcycles. This is a land use that is defined
as 'Motor Vehicle Sales' and is a use not listed under TPS 2. Therefore, an assessment
of the proposal is required to determine whether the land use is suitable for the location.
In order for this use to be issued with planning consent, particularly being located in the
town centre, is that the scale of the proposal should be small enough to not be d
detriment to the locality in general.
A business plan will demonstrate what scale the operation is proposed to be run at and
thus determine whether it is a use appropriate for the town centre along Avon Terrace.
The land owner was also proposing to conduct motor cycle repairs from the property.
Motor Vehicle Repairs is an "X" use under TPS 2 which means it is something that
cannot be approved. It was envisaged that if the scale of the proposed motor vehicle
repairs was small, it could be considered as an 'Ancillary Use' which would enable the
landowner to undertake the activities applied for.
The original application was cancelled and a second application was lodged.
The second application was for a 'Shop'. For a proposal to be classed as a 'Shop' the
scale and types of goods of the proposal must fit within the definition. If the proposal
does not fit within the definition of a 'Shop', another classification is required to be
applied for.

MINUTES - ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 20 JUNE 2011
10
A 'Shop' is defined as: 'shop: means any building wherein goods are kept, exposed or
offered for sale by retail, or within which services of a personal nature are provided
(including a hairdresser, beauty therapist or manicurist) but does not include a
showroom, fast food outlet or any other premises specifically defined elsewhere in the
Scheme.'
The specific items proposed to be sold from the existing building were not detailed on the
application. Therefore, the provision of a business plan would enable officers to
determine what land use the landowner is applying for.


Note: It is acknowledged that a business plan, which may involve commercial
confidentiality, is not required under planning as it does not relate to land/property uses
which can be controlled by planning conditions.



Question 1(c):
Do the Council consider that this incorrect provided information adversely effects
individuals and may have a damning effect on anyone wishing to develop within the
Shire of York?
Response:

As indicated to you at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 21st March, 2011 Council
recognises that a Council officer made an error in calculating the number of toilets for
your requirements. Council also recognises the potential for unwarranted expense and
inconvenience that misinformation can cause to project owners and has now
implemented measures to eliminate as far as possible any future re-occurrences of this
type of incident.


Question 2(b):

Is planning consent required in conjunction with a demolition license for removal of a
shed or, could demolition of a shed be carried out at any time with an application for a
demolition license, payment of $50.00 and subject to the building being of little or no
heritage significance?
Response:

The demolition of an outbuilding within a Heritage Precinct requires planning consent
however it is acknowledged that the applicant may not have been specifically notified of
this requirement.


Comment:
The Shire of York acknowledges that there have been issues of confusing advice and
interpretation and onerous requests for information associated with this development.

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Because of the York Councils' unnecessary and incorrect requirements placed on this ratepayers project, causing unnecessary hardship and stress a complaint was lodged with the WA Ombudsman. Their response is as follows.
Ombudsman Western Australia
Serving Parliament - Serving Western Australians

In the question time responses to Mrs Saint, the Council has acknowledged
that:
A business plan, which may involve commercial confidentiality, is not required
under planning (legislation) as it does not relate to land/property uses which
can be controlled by planning conditions;
As indicated to you at the Ordinary Council meeting held on 21 March 2011,
the Council recognises that an officer made an error in calculating the
number of toilets required (for your proposed development);
The Council also recognised the potential for unwarranted expense and
inconvenience that misinformation could cause to project owners and has
now implemented measure to eliminate as far as possible any future
reoccurrence of this type of incident;
The demolition of an outbuilding within a Heritage Precinct requires planning
consent. However, it is acknowledged that the applicant may not have been
specifically notified of this requirement;
There have been issues of confusing advice and interpretation and onerous
requests for information associated with this (89 Avon Terrace) development;
and
There has not been a timely follow up on signage complaints lodged by you
and Mrs Saint.

Defective administration
As a result of your complaints about the responses provided to Mrs Saint's
questions, I made preliminary enquiries with the Shire. I questioned exactly
what action had been taken to ensure that advice provided by the Shire
officers could be relied upon by applicants seeking to undertake
developments such as yours, particularly in the Heritage Precinct.
The CEO has advised that the following action has been taken as a result of
the administrative deficiencies having been identified.

Staff awareness
All technical staff have been directed to fully and properly research any
development application to ensure that the correct advice is provided to
proponents and all proper processes and procedures are correctly applied;
The focus on future developments deemed to be of benefit to York is to be
directed towards assisting developers to achieve their objectives while still
ensuring that all legislative requirements are adhered to;

Checklists
A information checklist for Building Licence Applications - Commercial and
Industrial Structures has been implemented;

Assessments
All planning applications are to be assessed in accordance with the provisions
of the Shire's Town Planning Scheme No. 2. If the site is heritage listed or
located within a designated heritage precinct, then the provisions of the Local
Planning Policy - Heritage Precincts and Places must also be considered.
A copy of both documents with the sections relevant to your development
highlighted for your reference is attached.
Town Planning Scheme No. 2
Heritage Precincts & Places
The CEO has also confirmed that all of the technical staff at the Shire have
the relevant tertiary qualifications and experience to meet the requirements of
their relevant positions. The CEO has confidence that his staff endeavour to
undertake all duties and responsibilities to the highest standards.

Conclusion
In my view, the action taken to address the administrative deficiencies
identified as a result of your negotiations with the Shire, is a significant
achievement in the public interest resulting, in part, from your complaint.
As the Shire has addressed the administrative deficiencies to avoid a further
occurrence of the situation you experienced I do not consider there is any
further action I can take which will be of practical benefit to you. Accordingly, I
have closed our file.

Yours sincerely
Elizabeth Horne

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATING OFFICER

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23rd August 2011

Hello KT - Can you believe these answers - feel free to post these on your site ...I am just so angry that they refused to answer questions....they have just responded NOTED......
(Please note;-  The names of the York ratepayers who asked the question have been withheld)

Name withheld

York WA 6302
Question 1:
I refer to Council meeting of 21st March, 2011 when Mrs Saint bought the 1989 building
regulations to the attention of the Shire of York, Manager Health & Building Services. Is
it not fair and reasonable for the York Shire Councillors to explain why they did not
question how this had come about and act on the Saint's questions and complaints
regarding the York Administration before it became a matter for the Western Australian
Ombudsman to deal with?
Response:
Noted.
Question 2:
Councillors, is it not accepted, in your role as Elected York Councillors you are to be
approachable by members of the York Community who have concerns, to listen to
questions asked each month at Council meetings, then read the answers provided in the
Minutes, to ensure the community in total is being treated fairly?
Response:
Noted.
MINUTES - ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 15 AUGUST 2011 13
Question 3:
As York councillors, do you not consider if the State Ombudsman can investigate and
confirm the Administration was defective with its handling of the Saints concerns, why
did you not realise something was wrong and help them?
Response:
Noted.
Question 4:
Do the Councillors feel it would be fair that members of the community could have come
to the conclusion that you failed the Saint's in your role as Councillors by not believing
they had serious problems before it became common knowledge on State and National
television?
Response:
Noted.
Question 5:
Given Simon Saint handed in his Australian Citizenship is it not fair and reasonable for
the community of York to conclude that you a Councillors failed in your duty of care
towards them?
Response:
Noted
---------------------------------
Name withheld
York WA 6302
Question 1:
Refer to item no 132148 (51) of the 2011/12 budget - Tourist Bureau Contribution. Can
you please confirm the amount of $13,000 set aside in the budget was for an
outstanding debt for the York Bridal Fair which the YTB was supposedly holding in trust?
Response:
Noted.
Question 2:
Refer to item no 132148 (51) of the 2011/12 budget, can you please confirm that YTB
funding has been withheld to contribute towards the purchase of stock for the York
Information Service?
Response:
Yes
Question 3a:
Refer to item no 132145 (51) of the 2011/12 budget - Town Hall Centenary, can you
confirm if the $50,000 amount set aside is for a dignitary function?
Response:
Yes
Question 3b
Are Visitors to town going to be invited?
Response:
Yes
Question 3c:
Are locals going to be invited?
Response:
Yes
Question 4:
Do Councillors have an input in answers given to questions taken on notice?
Response:
Councillors have input into answers.
Question 5a:
Are all Councillors aware of the Avon Tourism Holiday Planner publication?
Response:
Yes
Question 5b:
Are Councillors aware that it is now distributed to all airports, visitors centres and with
Exp Perth into the New Zealand and Asian markets?
Response:
Yes
Question 5c:
Are Councillors aware that each Shire in the Avon contributes to the cost of this
publication but York does not?
Response:
Yes
--------------------------------
Name withheld
York WA 6302

Question 1:
Why is Council employing people who do not have appropriate qualifications?
Response:
Noted.
Question 2:
Why has Council planted trees that are from the same family of the one that were
originally hacked out?
Response:
Noted.
Question 3:
Why are Council not taking up the offer of free CCTV for the main street? What is the
difference between a free trial offer and free CCTV?
Response:
Noted.
Question 4:
Why did Council misappropriate letters from the Ratepayers Association.
Response:
Noted.
----------------------------
Name withheld
York WA 6302
Question:
Why do you take everything as noted?
Response:
Noted.
----------------------------------
Name withheld
York WA 6302
Question:
Not recorded as it related to private activity and not that of Council or the Shire of York
and it contained allegations/statements about an individual.
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10th October 2011

Same story - another Council.

Hopefully York will see a big change this Saturday, a change that will make the last paragraph of my comment posted on this site redundant.....roma

http://saveourfigs.wordpress.com/#comment-1528 http://saveourfigs.wordpress.com/%23comment-1528

1.        
2.        roma Says:
3.        October 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm http://saveourfigs.wordpress.com/ | Reply http://saveourfigs.wordpress.com/?replytocom=1528
4.        We heard the plight of your trees on ABC Macca this morning.We wish the residents who are trying to save these trees the very best of luck with your efforts we had a similar fight here in York WA for over two years that ended in the destructions of our iconic CBD Ficus Hillii tree in 2009. 600 residents fought to save it. One York Councillor promised a public gathering no one will remove that tree while I have breath in my body we thought we had an ally, we were wrong! The Tree has gone and that Councillor is still breathing.We had stories of dangerous limbs, roots invading building foundations, roots breaking up the main street being spouted by our botantically challenged shire spokesperson.Those involved in the effort to save our one tree (a lot were elderly) were tagged and referred to as trouble makers.You can view Yorks Ficus fight photos on http://www.yorkwavistorsguide.info/We saved copies of all documents, newpapers, and many photos we now have a time capsule which will be displayed in 10 years time hopefully those who were involved directly and those stood by and did nothing will feel some shame. The time capsule will then be resealled and handed on to a younger person for safe keeping for the history of our town.
5.        If your trees do go, suggest people save some of the timber dry it very slowly over two or three years and then have a craftsman create something.We had a number of coffee mugs made with a photo of our York main street with the tree still there, so people could have some thing to remember our tree by. Five were numbered one five and these are now treasured by the Committee that lead the battle in York.Local Councils around Australia seem to be a haven for machiavellian personalities.

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Received this Email 20/12/11
 

Hello KT


I believe this letter attched is a blatant attempt by the current York CEO to supress freedom of speech in York.

The locally owned YDCM paper that went to press after this letter was written to the Press Council for the first time had no 1/4 page Voice of York in it from the Shire, instead the Shire sent a full page (first ever) Voice of York to  the Community Newspaper owned paper Hills Gazette.  Murdoch owned paper.

This results in the locally owned paper losing between $600 and a $1000 a month.

It would be reasonable for us to think this is some sort of attempt to force the editor to either refuse to print letters to the editor that speak against the Shire or send them for 'vetting/response'  to the Shire of York prior to printingn letters in the paper.

Last Shire meeting, questions were asked.....why are they not supporting local business etc etc. .  Reason for switch to Hills Gazette (Murdoch owned) the Shire want to provide a weekly communication link with us -'the mere mortals of York'.  They must truly think we are stupid.

It would appear the Press Council are not all that worried.



Here is their response to YDCM


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Press Council office <
info@presscouncil.org.au mailto:info@presscouncil.org.au>
Date: 5 December 2011 11:35
Subject: Re: Shire of York
To:
matters@ydcm.com.au mailto:matters@ydcm.com.au


Dear Mr. Name with held.

Thank you for your letter of December 1 responding to the Shire of York's
complaint.****

I have passed your response along to the complainant, with the suggestion that it take up your offer of letters in response.****

I will let you know what the complainant decides to do. ****

The Council appreciates the newspaper's cooperation in this matter.****

Yours sincerely,


Jack R Herman
Executive Secretary



KT - this is where it is a the moment...the next edition will tell us which way things will be heading here in York - a very worrying time for all those who believe in freedom of speech.. This could set a precedent for CEO's in Loc. Gov.

I have to keep telling myself we do  live in York, not Russia!

What are your thoughts - do you think it is worth putting up on the York page?

regards
 

Name with held

28/12/11

Hello KT - I am not sure if I sent you a copy of this letter.  This letter is now in the public domain and is being circulated around York, so - it can go up up the blog site.

The way things are going, the privately run independent newspaper here in York could be sent broke because of this....

The Shire has decided to refuse to place and pay for any further Shire adverts as well as the monthly colum Voice of York in the York & Districts Community Matters paper - it will mean the owner loses between $600 and $1000 per month from the Shire.  Instead they are giving their business to the Murdoch empire.

The reason being:  the CEO does not like letters to the editor being printed against the Shire of York.  It also appears the CEO wants the paper to 'run all letters (about the Shire) by him 'prior' to publishing and/or not publish them.

Any advice?

Question:  can people ask any question at the Shire Ratepayers Annual meeting or is it restricted to passing the budget?  I thought it may be an opportunity for people to speak up about this issue.


regards


Name with held.

KT Response/Comment.
Ratepayers can ask any questions at the Shire Ratepayer Annual Meeting. In your case it is advised to forward your questions to the Shire President before the meeting with a copy to the media of your choice while inviting them (the media) to come along and witness the response.

The KT find it hard to understand the fact that this disharmony between Council and the Ratepayers of York is not being resolved.
It is believed that if York had a true leader in the current President he/she would show respect for the rate payers (the owners of the council) and have the experience/knowledge to work to end this disharmony in a professional timely manner. This has been going on far too long. You must also take on board that if you have a weak President it will be the CEO who dictates the terms. We see some CEO's who believe they are above ratepayers and show contempt rather than respect. Maybe we need to go back a step and recant the title CEO (a title they gave to themselves) and refer to them as Shire Clerks once again?

It has been so frustrating watching the disharmony building in your community that the KT offer to volunteer themselves as mediator if both sides have the courage to want to meet to resolve their issues.
This offer is not made lightly and the KT would need a firm commitment that mediation is not to end until all matters are settled in a calm and professional way. The outcome must result in compleat and lasting community harmony.
Our Commitment is such that this offer has no time limit.

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DEMOCRACY YORK STYLE.

4th Jan.2012
Following is a copy of an email sent by a concerned ratepayer to the shire president of York Western Australia.

 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: roma & david Paton
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 08:19:04 +0800
Subject:
To: asboyle

Dear Tony and Roy,

I recall  when you were both up for election, I attended the  "meet the candidates evening", you both told ratepayers who were present that you would reply to all correspondence.

Have you forgotten this undertaking?

I would have thought,  now that you are York Shire President and Deputy Shire President  you would at least have the courtesy to respond to my email 23rd December, 2011.

roma paton




And now we publish the response from the shire president.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tony & Sally Boyle mailto:asboyle@bigpond.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2012 12:36:02 +0800
Subject: RE:
To: roma & david Paton
Cc: Roy Scott, Pat Hooper, Brian Lawrance, Denese Smythe, Ray Hooper

Roma,

There is an opportunity for you to raise any Shire issues with me and Cr Scott in person every second Monday morning at 8.30am onwards. The first one of these meetings will be on 9/1/2012 for this year. Any other correspondence must be directed through the Shire office in the future.

Please regard this email as the last you will receive directly from me.

Sincerely

Cr Tony Boyle
Shire President.


KT Response/Comment.
A very important part of a President's roll is "to provide leadership and guidance to the community in the district" as written in the Local Government Act. Some people involve themselves in these positions for personal gain, political appointment, or partisan objectives they sometimes demand respect because of the position of "leadership" they may hold, others however prefer to earn respect simply because one thing they choose is to lead by example, they will never be known as bullies. It's not hard to see which one a community would want to support, respect and follow,

The KT believe that when in public life (Shire President) your actions/behaviour as you may choose them will be what people remember you for. You can choose to be remembered as a true leader or an ignorant pig, the choice is yours alone but don't forget we now have the world wide web (www.) your actions as others may see them now have the chance to be recorded, published and sent around the world for all to read and judge. The end of the mental control bullies in positions of authority once held over others!
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