IN March 2024 the mayor and the present councillors will have the chance to seek re-election to their highly paid positions.
The councillors take home well over $100,000 plus perks a year while the mayor pockets a CEO’s style salary of around $265,000.
Not bad considering you don’t need specialist training for the role, you just need to be a good person and have enough people to vote for you.
In fact, you don’t even need to have held a job in your entire life.
Even though it is 16 months away from ballot day we should all be considering now who should be given a new term and who should be told “thanks for coming.”
Pushing their barrows is a well organised council press machine that is costing ratepayers massive dollars.
A few years ago, it numbered just three now you need a bus to move them all around, especially if you add in the council’s Ipswich First team as well as the many they have in the marketing division.
Ipswich Council has one of the biggest PR teams in Queensland Local Government and they are busy churning out press releases every day.
Almost every release features a photo of either the mayor or a councillor standing around staring at the camera.
In each press release the facts are cobbled into quotes and attributed to either the mayor or a councillor so they may get their name in print.
The other day they put out a press release congratulating their library and its staff for a near perfect customer satisfaction report. The photo that accompanied it was of a councillor standing outside the library in front of the sign.
A story regarding four new council garbage trucks featured a photo of the mayor and Cr Paul Tully standing on opposite sides of one of the trucks. When we requested to get a pic of the four trucks and the four drivers we were told it couldn’t happen.
There is little doubt that the council’s PR department has been handed an agenda and that is to promote the mayor and the councillors at every opportunity. It’s true we often see our elected officials at openings and standing behind podiums, smiling for the camera and shaking hands.
But is that a true indication that they are committed to a better Ipswich and making sound decisions.
So now is the time to consider what the councillors and the mayor have done in the past few years to improve your life and your community.
To get things started here are just three questions you should be asking and demanding answers to, after all it is your money, the council is using.
Did the mayor direct or support her office to be moved to another part of the council chambers during the build at a cost of $400,000?
Why is council spending $11m on the old Commonwealth Hotel to hand it over to someone to run in competition to other city hotel owners who had to pay their own way?
Is it true that Hoyts were propped up with $5m – $15m to come into town in opposition to a cinema operator located just across the river?
I’d be pleased to run the answers to these questions.