YOUR SAY: Rate hike for Lismore residents
DISAPPOINTED and angry residents have reacted to Lismore councillors decision to vote to increase rates to fund a massive investment in local roads and help re-invigorate the CBD.
Mayor Isaac Smith said it was a very hard decision for councillors to make, and it came down to there being "nothing left to trim" before they started cutting into "essential services that the community wants."
But residents are going so far as to say it was the final straw and the council should be sacked.
The road maintenance backlog is more than $54 million which has been built up over consecutive councils.
The council will now write to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, which will make the final decision on whether to approve the increase.
The council voted to ask IPART for a rate increase over 4 years, starting with 7.5% in the first year, 9.4% in the second year, 3.9% in the third and 3.2% in the fourth year.
When The Northern Star Facebook readers asked if they supported the council's decision, comments were overwhelmingly against the decision.
Belinda Patterson: Why did they bother asking us what we want when they ignore us anyway something is amiss with this council it's disgraceful.
Christine Hyde: Why do rate payers have to pay for council stuff up. Lismore area would have the worst roads for years. They should have approved the extension of the square which would have bought more people to the area. Just money grabbing $$.
Rod Bruem: Absolutely the wrong decision. The council just wants to spend more and has given ratepayers no indication of it having tightened its belt to avoid this massive rate hike. Rates are already impossibly high and difficult to pay. This will be yet another step back for Lismore and its economy.
If our elected officials are this bad at managing the city's financial affairs then the best outcome would be for the council to be sacked and an administrator appointed - or a potential merger with a neighbouring council which has a better track record of financial management
Sue Potts: Unfair for rate payers. Maybe reduce staff and reduce councillors and reduce GM wage. Paid too much for doing their jobs. We shouldn't have to pay for their stuff up.
Damien Schwebel: So as we all already knew the public survey was completely ignored and now we're paying for their mismanagement. Great to see the members we elected really do care about their constituents.
Maree Combe: Why did the Council WASTE all that money on SURVEYS and RESEARCH when they were going to increase the Rates ANYWAY....
The Council needs to provide us the Ratepayers with more CLARITY on their Spending.
And PLEASE stop wasting money on Crossings and Boats that won't Float.......
Keryn Campbell: No I absolutely do not support the rate rise...the council needs to stop wasting money on things like rainbow crossings and whatever else they waste it on and fix the problems like roads and cleaning the eyesores around e.g. the drains full of rubbish everywhere. If they go ahead with these rate rises there will be more shops shutting as they are struggling already.
Courtney Wilson: We pay so much rates now.
Trent Bowman: It wasn't a hard decision at all, it was made ages ago, last night seemed like nothing more than a dog and pony show to try and appease people. They just gave themselves even more money to waste.
Adrian Etherson: State government needs to sack this council.
Philip Brown: Theft at least.
Jess Lowe: Shame they didn't listen to the VERY clear message provided to them by the community. Shameful decision!