Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz - Thursday 5 May 2016

To update regular readers of my column I can advise that on Tuesday April 26 I received a letter from our Local Member Hon Paul Toole in response to my repeated requests for a meeting to address council and explain why a proposed merger with Bathurst Regional Council is justified and what benefits he sees for Oberon in this process.  I am limited by space in this column so I will include for your information parts of the letter relevant at this time. I am happy to make the full letter available if required, as it will be tabled as correspondence at the May Council Meeting.

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The proposal is currently the subject of an independent process involving examination and preparation of a report by the Delegate which will be reviewed and commented on by the Boundaries Commission.  The public and councils had an opportunity to have a say on the proposal. During this time, I have not met with any council in NSW to discuss any proposal. As I am sure you can appreciate, this is important to allow the independent process to take place. It would be inappropriate for me to meet with Oberon Council or indeed any council to discuss the benefits of merging (or any other aspects of any proposal) ahead of the conclusion of the process.

In the coming weeks, meetings are occurring with councils that have provided constructive input to the Local Government reform process, to discuss their suggestions for interim governance and how they wish to be involved in shaping the new council and representing their community should any merger proceed. Throughout the process,          and through the recent Expressions of Interest process, I have received many helpful suggestions and options from councils on this issue. I acknowledge that many Oberon residents are concerned about a possible merger. I can assure the community that I am committed to achieving the best outcome for Oberon residents for the long term and making a decision that is in their interest.”

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I must apologise for stating in last week’s column that The Oberon Farmers Market was on last Saturday, of course they are on this Saturday so pop along for your local produce or simply a wander and a chat.

Waste to Art entries are due on Monday May 9. Just to remind you that the drop off point will be St Joseph’s School Hall this year not the Community Centre as in previous years. The competition is growing every year and has outgrown that space.

Its WOW Day (Wear Orange Wednesday) next Wednesday May 11. This is the day we recognise the selfless efforts of the SES volunteers across Australia who give up their time to ensure they are on hand when incidents such as flood, severe weather events and other emergencies strike their communities. So let’s all send a message and show our support for these inspirational community members – wear something orange on Wednesday and if able, post a comment of appreciation on Face Book.

Interesting to see Andrew Gee nominated as the National Party Candidate for Calare in the upcoming Federal Election. I will be seeking a meeting with Andrew in the near future to canvass his views on relevant topics including Black Spot Funding for Abercrombie Road, NBN issues and forced amalgamations.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz