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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : August 27 2008
6 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, August 28, 2008 MB COUNCIL ELECTIONS www.innerwestweekly.com.au It's time to call it a day SHIREEN KHALIL It has not been a happy little council at all' ' Cr ELIZABETH GEWANDT Strathfield councillor Elizabeth Gewandt. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~PP183313 ELIZABETH Gewandt has ended her 17-year stint as Strathfield councillor and blames her depar- ture on the recent changes in the council and what she sees as councillors' lack of community commitment. Cr Gewandt entered the council in 1991 when she developed a passion for the community while working as a librarian in Strathfield. ''I came to the area 40 years ago and felt passionate about serving the community and wanted to be a part of moderating changes in the area,'' she said. Cr Gewandt said she preferred being in the council prior to 2004. ''I have to say past councillors have been more focused and com- mitted, and I have developed genu- ine friendships with and respect for them including the past mayor, Leo T O'Donnell,'' she said. She described the current coun- cil as ''dysfunctional, ineffectual, reliant on spin and bankrupt of ideas''. ''I have been so disappointed with their ethical standards, it's just a disappointment and it has not been a happy little council at all,'' Cr Gewandt said. She has a few words of advice for the incoming council. '' They must ask themselves; is it fair, is it consistent? Do I have all the facts? Would it stand the test of time? Will it make the community a better place to live? Who's interest is really being served? That's what its about . . . if you have done all that then you have served the people well.'' For Cr Gewandt, it's time to hand over the torch. ''It's all just too hard, especially when the act changed in the early '90s as the roles of councillors changed,'' she said. ''Then significant legal pro- cedure constraints came about which meant councillors had fewer rights than ordinary citi- zens and the Code of Conduct also put restraint on developing work- ing relations with staff.'' During her time on the council Cr Gewandt set the record for most notices of motion in council history. ''I have been involved in so many major projects such as cre- ating linkages to different parts of the municipality, upgrading re- sources available to local parks and I think the two things people always talk about and appreciate is the library, which I had a lot to do, with and parks and gardens,'' she said. She also pushed for street beautification during the Olympics in Underwood Rd and fought hard for heritage matters. Cr Gewandt said she had always enjoyed the support, confidence and trust of staff, in particular the outdoor staff who she thinks are the backbone of the council. GM signs off on spending SHIREEN KHALIL BURWOOD councillor David Weiley has questioned the amount the council has spent on advertis- ing in the past 12 months, claiming Mayor John Faker has spent much of the $400,000 on his election campaign. Cr Weiley, who is running as an independent, used a document sought under Freedom of Infor- mation laws by Liberal candidate Joe Alvaro to prove his point. However, the council's response to the FOI claim clearly stated that actual spending had been $5000 less than the amount budgeted and that all advertising had been signed off by general manager Pat Romano, and not the Mayor. ''It is an absolutely outrageous waste of the ratepayers' money and I condemn Labor's Cr Faker for his blatant ratepayer-funded advertising campaigns,'' Cr Weiley told the Inner-West Weekly. ''Labor's Faker has bombarded the residents with a continuous stream of letters at the residents' expense in the lead up to the election. ''Its a bloody disgrace.'' The freedom of Information re- sponse notes that the $408,338 represents all of the council's activities (statutory and other) and all advertising is approved by the general manager. It goes into further detail stating the Mayor does not have a separ- ate advertising budget. AUSTRALIA Find an identical item cheaper from any other retailer in Australia and we'll beat that price by 10%*1 LOWEST PRICES GUARANTEED Prices valid until 07/09/08 unless sold out. Offers a or discount card. No laybys or rainchecks ava AUBUR Shop A RS1698 AUBURN 10% OFF Already Reduced Senior Tennis Racquets instore 20% OFF All NRL Jerseys instore $1999 Wilson Prostaff 360 Max Distance Dozen Golf Balls 0406006820055 A'S LARGEST SPORTING RETA available at Rebel Sport Auburn Clearance Store only. Offers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer ilable. *1 Terms and conditions apply, see in-store for details. *2 Second pair to be of equal or lesser value. RN CLEARANCE STORE A 13 Redyard, 100 Parramatta Rd, Auburn. PH: 9648 6094 AILER *2 Prince TF Light Squash Racquet 0302006710021 SAVE $30 SAVE $20 0210003840002 SAVE $15 $25 Blades Fleecy Hoodie
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