As you may be aware, the role of an elected councillor is to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers, provide leadership and guidance to the community, and facilitate communication between the council and the community.
In compliance with that duty, the council holds 11 monthly community forums a year at which ratepayers are given the opportunity to raise issues arising from items reported in the business paper for council meetings.
Concerns raised by ratepayers aren't recorded in the record of proceedings at forums, but the idea is for councillors to listen to concerns raised by both sides of an argument, or individually as the case may be, before making decisions that affect peoples' lives.
But regrettably, that doesn't always happen.
At the community forum on Monday, May 11, only four of the elected councillors attended the meeting. Yes, that's correct.
Only four out of nine councillors showed their faces at a meeting packed with ratepayers who had assembled to speak to councillors about issues which included the pressing saga of the Bargo RFS land and replacement shed.
The community forum is held once in every 30 or 31 days, and five councillors chose last Monday night to absent themselves.
The question is, if five councillors weren't present to hear concerns raised by ratepayers, how can they make balanced decisions?
And how can those five councillors facilitate communication between the council and the community when they're too busy doing other things on that one day in the month reserved for the community to debate matters in the hearing of their elected representatives?
Lynette Styles, secretary, Wollondilly Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc
A welcome arrival
I recently went to a new restaurant in Picton on Argyle Street called Thirlmere Rowing Club.
I was surprised at the stylish atmosphere and food offered on the menu.
Some tapas style, some main course with entree option.
It's great to see a new restaurant in town that is so close to our door.
Shawna Power, Wilton