A MASKED-UP Vincent council electors’ AGM saw about 20 residents pass more than a dozen motions for council to consider.
Successful motions included:
• Residents around Vincent’s 10 Monmouth Street park, concerned about the council’s plan to sell it off, asked for the park to be restored to its former glory instead. The council consulted on it late last year but only put forward two options: Sell the park, or keep it as is. But residents say the block’s been allowed to deteriorate, with fallen trees not being replaced, and the seating having been removed years ago. The council put up a CCTV camera this summer to see how much it was being used, but residents said if the footage showed minimal use it was no wonder given the heat and lack of shade. They want a new consultation period with a third option: Re-beautify the park. “There is nowhere else for us to go, it is the only safe place we can get to without crossing main roads,” resident Lisa Coyle said. “To sell this land for two apartments is a nonsense.” The land was donated to the old Perth council in 1968 with a condition that it be used for recreation.
• Former councillor Dudley Maier’s motion that Vincent administration stop using the words “engaging” and “accountable” in their email signature blocks “until such time as they are”. He brought up several examples of shortcomings, from projects that weren’t properly advertised, councillors meeting in discussion “workshops” behind closed doors with no agenda published, and increasingly opaque budgets that didn’t include the previously detailed breakdowns by area. “I think things used to be a lot more transparent at Vincent, it used to be a lot more accountable,” he said.
• Town planner Paul Kotsoglo, tired of dealing with Vincent’s drawn out approvals process, moved that the council bring in independent experts to review its planning and development policies. He said the council needed to see if it was effective and review “the legitimacy and legality” of some of its rules, like the way money from percent-for-art projects is being spent on works outside the donor site.
• A second motion from Mr Maier asked for a review of the councillors’ code of conduct, as the current version omits a former requirement that councillors respond to ratepayer correspondence. He said a few people have mentioned to him in the past couple of years that they weren’t getting responses from some councillors, and it turned out that requirement had been quietly removed with no advertising for public comment. “The manner in which it had been removed, I find totally unacceptable,” he said.
Councillors will have to consider each of the motions atthe March council meeting.