Is the Commissioner settling in for the long term?

The Commissioner’s New Year message appears to suggest so.

It may also be revealing the means to achieve the Barnett Government’s intent to amalgamate councils:  use of a Commissioner to expedite the process.

The issues “exposed” during the inquiry don’t stand out as wildly different to those implied constantly of other councils and state govt departments.

The Minister for Local Government, himself, receives constant criticism – most notably for his perceived inability to inspire local governments on the merits of change.

I would be surprised if Commissioner Reynolds is able to address issues such as those relating to the Willetton Child Care Centre, or the Willetton Sports Club, in a way that best represents the ratepayers’ interests in to the future, and meets all requests of the Centre and the Club, if historical pretext is taken in to account.

However, as the Commissioner would be able to tap in to the no doubt already extensive input of specialist city staff, legal advisors and that of private consultants, a final outcome to these issues should be occurring quickly.

Last year, however, Minister Castrilli prevented the Council from appointing a new CEO while a protracted investigation took place.  As a consequence, other executive positions weren’t able to be finalised so that Canning could move forward.

This issue, too, should now be able to proceed quickly.

By all means, pack the Councillors off to Governance training.  The state should have made this a requirement long ago.

But Minister Castrilli does not appear to have reasonable grounds to keep the Council suspended any longer than six months, nor has he shown why a second inquiry in to “governance issues” is necessary.

Given the original inquiry was characterised by suppressed evidence, limited witnesses, and no involvement of politicians other than those of the Liberal Party, it is increasingly difficult to not suspect a political agenda behind this expensive exercise.

Will ratepayers be expected to meet the expenses of both inquiries, as well as the cost of Mr Reynolds’ role?

Why is there every indication the Barnett Govt is moving to keep the Council out for the long-term, when serious issues occurring at other councils have only seen them suspended for six months?

Could it be that Canning is one of the largest city councils by land mass, with healthy finances, and around 5,000 new homes planned?

Could it also be it is the only metro council the Barnett Govt has been able to insert state control over?

Democratically speaking, the Commissioner is a guest of the residents of the City of Canning.

Even a man as experienced as Mr Reynolds could not possibly represent tens of thousands of people, nor did he achieve his role through our determination of whom should govern Canning.

Based on the high usage figures for CanningAccountability, the 70 localised signatures to the petition calling for explanations, what is occurring at Canning is attracting a lot of interest.

Please consider signing the petition asking Minister Castrilli to bring council investigations out in to the open.