From the Newsroom

A time for reimagining

Geoff Helisma

Clarence Valley’s new mayor, Ian Tiley, requested that his acceptance speech be included in the minutes of the inaugural January 11 meeting of the new Clarence Valley Council (CVC).

Speaking on behalf of the ‘team’, Cr Tiley’s speech now stands as a manifesto that all electors will be able to refer to when measuring the new council’s performance.

“This will be a time to better engage the community on important decisions council is considering – before decisions are taken,” Cr Tiley said in conclusion to his speech.

“A time to reinvigorate our dialogue with the community, to reach out to them, and to bring the community with us on this journey.

“A time to protect and improve council’s reputation.

“Vitally, it will be a time to reimagine the Clarence Valley and all that its future can be.

“Our stewardship will lead that re-imagining.”

Mayor Ian Tiley’s speech is published with some minor edits.

This is the beginning of a new era for Clarence Valley Council (CVC).

The governing body has been elected with the task of governing effectively.

To do that we will require timely information provision from our executive staff, who must work closely with the council [councillors].

I seek change to a more ‘can do’ attitude – not about why we cannot do, but how we can help our constituents achieve. We need to be more attuned and responsive to the people’s needs.

The tasks of governing will be the council’s responsibility and the role of the acting general manager (AGM), and her staff will be administering and supporting the governing body and its decisions.

We have a special staff team at CVC some of whom I have worked closely with in the past, and for whom I have the greatest respect. I look forward to again working closely with these special people and all CVC staff, within the boundaries of the code of conduct.

We, as your council, will strive that our community is viable and vibrant and that our environment and biodiversity is protected and enhanced, so that we can look our future generations in the eye and say we tried our best.

Improving the trust and confidence of the Clarence community will be a very high priority. We commit to transparency and openness, and thereby, community trust and confidence in CVC, which belongs to the people we are privileged to represent. We must always fight for accountability and good governance.

We will be about policy setting and continuous policy review. Our staff will be enablers of our policy decisions.

I intend that councillors and senior staff visit all towns and villages on Saturdays over the next few months and again when we consult on the operational plan and budget in May/June. We will also conduct ‘town hall’ style meetings in Grafton, Maclean, Yamba and Iluka. We want to connect and listen.

This will be for me, a full-time role. I will be in Grafton or Maclean office every day, but you don’t need to come to a council office to meet me. I will meet constituents anywhere. I pledge to commit to the role of mayor, all my energy, experience and capacity.