Wollondilly mayoral candidate Ray Law’s focus on council accountability and transparency would be music to the ears of democrats everywhere.
The Wollondilly Community First-endorsed candidate says that combined with excessive red tape, council’s perceived secretive approach is not good for the local economy.
“Many more local jobs could be created if council were to be more co-operative and less difficult to deal with,” he says.
“My vision for the Wollondilly Shire is that its council – the mayor and councillors – must be approachable by, and responsive to, the residents and ratepayers who elect them.
“Council must keep the community fully informed and aware of all facets of its operations, procedures and finances. It must not be perceived as another form of intrusive government,’’ he says.
Ray Law and his wife Sue have lived in Bargo for 40 years.
Now semi-retired, he is a pastor and celebrant at the Bargo Baptist Church.
The Laws say they have found Bargo community a wonderful environment to raise their family – who also live in Wollondilly.
Over the years, Ray Law has also been involved with the Picton Anzac Day Committee (currently chair), the Bargo Progress Association, and supported the local Rural Fire Service.
Between 2012 to 2017 Mr Law served one-and-a-quarter terms as a Wollondilly Shire councillor.
He says he resigned early back then, for the same essential reason why he has joined Wollondilly Community First: a lack of transparent and accountable management.
“Transparency and accountability. Two words I have repeated over and over again as I sought to have Wollondilly Shire Council respond with integrity to the calls of the residents,” he says.
“My firm belief is that councillors are representatives of those who elect them – the ratepayers and residents – in each council area.
“A council itself owns nothing, everything basically belongs to the ratepayers. The money a council spends, the facilities it manages, belong to the ratepayers.
“Even the information about a council’s discussions and decisions belongs to the people who voted for its members.
“The community must be heard and respected.
“Council must be receptive and responsive to the wishes and concerns of the people.”
“For too long the people of Wollondilly Shire have been treated as an inconvenience to be fobbed off.’’
Ray Law says there is a mood for change across Wollondilly to the council make up.
“The community is calling for a change of councillors and new leadership, so Wollondilly can achieve its full potential,’’ he says.
“We, the residents have the chance to put that management into place, by electing on December 4 a new council who can work together, free from political ambition.
“I would love to have the opportunity to serve the residents and ratepayers, with an undertaking that I will always put Wollondilly first.”