When I took on the role of Councillor, I thought people wanted me to battle the red tape and get rid of the multitudes of rules that plague us every time we so much as sneeze. But, that is not what I discovered! Everyone wants more rules. They don’t want them for ‘me’ but people do want more rules for their neighbour.
Therefore, the net result is that we all end up with more and more rules making us all equally unhappy.
I go to a number of Community Associations each month and each one is a little different in terms of what the priorities are that the group focus on. But there does tend to be some similarities in that most groups are largely made up of older members of the population, and there are usually at least one or two members focused on seeing more rules. These rules may be reduced speed limits, more gates to keep people out, more camping regulations, more parking restrictions, more rules for developers, more fire bans, more … rules, you get the idea.
While these small groups within our communities claim to be representative of the community, they do not always reflect the opinion of all the younger families with children where both parents are working. Nor do they necessarily represent the other older members who are happily involved in their own affairs and not interested in the affairs of others.
Just as those who take the time to submit when the Council goes out for consultation are usually a small and vocal minority often joined by those with a vested interested. But these few who are community minded are the ones that lobby the Council and become the squeaky wheel to get their way.
Consequently, when the speed limit reduction signs start going up, and the gates go up, and there is nowhere left for you to camp out a night with your children for free it is too late to come complaining to your local councillor about all the rules you don’t like. The train has already been set in motion. The time to object was when the Council called for submissions as advertised in The Newsline — that we never quite get around to reading, or making submissions in time.
Did you know that around 50% of the eligible voters don’t exercise their right to vote in the Council elections?
I can understand that many people are too busy to investigate who the candidates are and what they stand for, and many other people think that it doesn’t matter who they vote for the end result is always the same (more rules and higher rates). And to be fair there is an element of truth to the saying that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. But do not be fooled into complacency and inaction because of the appearance of futility with our current system. It is an equally true saying that all that is required for evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing. Or for a few squeaky wheels to herald in more rules.
Therefore, next year I intend to be motivating people who do not normally speak up to have a say and as we head into Council elections later in the year to get out and vote. Don’t complain – Vote.
However, it is now Christmas and I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and relaxing New Year. But don’t forget to watch out for all the new reduced speed limits and new camping regulations!
Don’t complain – Vote.