Home Financial responsibility Kiama Councilors Vote to Cancel Taxpayer-Funded Alcohol at Post-Council Meeting Dinners | West Central Daily

Kiama Councilors Vote to Cancel Taxpayer-Funded Alcohol at Post-Council Meeting Dinners | West Central Daily


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Ratepayers in a town on the south coast of NSW will no longer pay the bill for alcohol served to councilors and staff at post-meeting dinners after the newly elected council last week voted to officially the tradition of several decades. Kiama’s first councilor, Jodi Keast, included the ban on taxpayer-funded alcohol in a motion presented to her fellow councilors during the debate over proposed changes to the councilor engagement schedule. In the past, Kiama councilors and staff directors enjoyed an all-inclusive dinner package after each council meeting, with ratepayers paying the tab for any alcohol consumed by the group. However, Cr Keast proposed that all councilors and staff pay for their own alcohol at dinners after the meeting, saying that given the council’s financial concerns, it was a symbolic gesture that demonstrated fiscal responsibility with money. taxpayers. Independent councilor Warren Steel was the only voice to speak against the proposed change, saying it was the first time the issue had been raised in 25 years on council. “I know things are tight, but are they that tight? ” he said. “When you think about how much money advisers get compared to certain staff, that’s a tough question, I think.” However, he said he would support what the majority of advisers wanted. IN OTHER NEWS: Cr Keast said it’s not fair because it’s been done in the past, and she wants to help create a culture on the board that promotes accountability and consideration in all takes of decision. “Making residents pay for a meal is appropriate, but charging residents for alcohol is less tangible to our taxpayers,” she said. Newly elected Mayor Neil Reilly voted in favor of the proposal, saying he thought it was a sensible policy to adopt. “He is not responsible for councilors receiving alcohol at the expense of residents and taxpayers,” he said. “If advisers or staff want to have a glass of wine or a beer with their dinner, that’s their decision, but it will be at their own expense.”