Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Gold Coast City Council - changes afoot?

I got the documents I had requested and brief, barely begins to describe - One page of edited notes and a picture of Steve and Dog and a map of our house!

The explanation letter ran 2 pages!! It explained that if I was not happy there were other forms of recourse. It was clearly too much to expect anything like a bit of customer service!

So I got to and wrote my own 3 pages to the Mayor and our local guy and the GCCC CEO. I thought I'd give 'em a week to get back to me.

I outlined the events and my concerns about the council procedures and finally asked for a review of the process prior to sending out threatening letters.

I did not include a phone number or an email address because I had hoped they would actually write back.

But NO, I got an EMAIL from my local councillor guy. I am not sure where he found the address but there was some sort of weird mention of the last elected bloke so I guess it must have been on record somewhere. This is what I got back.

SUE ELLIOTT CR239436 Request review Council procedures relating to dog complaints ‏



From: Division10 (Division10@goldcoast.qld.gov.au) This sender is in your contact list.
Sent: Monday, 4 August 2014 9:30:07 AM
To: 'sueandbell@hotmail.com' (sueandbell@hotmail.com)

Dear Sue
I refer to your recent letter addressed to me and copied to Mayor Tate requesting Council to review its procedures relating to dog-related incidents as a result of a recent event in Gladys Moncrieff Park at Bundall.
Arrangements have been made for the matter to be investigated in accordance with Council’s adopted Complaints (Administrative Actions) Policy and I understand a response will be provided to you within 14 days. Once the investigation has been finalised, a copy of the outcome will be made available to me.  
In the meantime, if you have any further questions relating to this matter, please contact John Madigan on 5581 6664.
I appreciate you bringing this matter to my attention.
Paul Taylor 
Councillor for Division 10
Chair Engineering, Water & Transport Committee

I am not sure what most of this means. It's not that I lack basic comprehension skills, it's more that as I do not work in a bureaucracy I don't know the lingo.
I wonder what the Council's adopted Complaints Policy is. It does not sound like a way to coming up with a new procedure though. It sounds to me like someone will have a look at what I wrote and decide if I had the right to complain.
I obviously have no clue who John Madigan is or his role in this matter.
I am so pleased that Paul Taylor appreciates my letter. I rather imagine that bit might have been added as a bit tongue in cheek though. 
As I can expect a response in 14 days I have to imagine that they are NOT in fact considering a change of policy as I rather imagine that would take very much longer.
This is very disappointing. How can a Council action the allegations from  an anonymous fella without considering that there could be an alternate take on the events?
I worry about the clear and obvious corruption possible. I worry about the effects of this sort of bullying behaviour especially against people less able to defend themselves.
It will not be even close to good enough for some clerk in the Council have a look at my letter and go, 'Oh dear dear me, isn't that a bit rich, we will have to take that threat letter off our records. I'll send the woman an email and let her know. Not today of course cos I have to get myself sorted for my RDO tomorrow.'
Firstly I do not believe that they will remove it, and as they investigate themselves there will be no way to verify it anyway. 
And secondly I want the procedures to be reviewed.  
It seems to me that so much of the world has gone mad. Money grabbed, with threats of eviction for non payment,  from rate payers, distributed to employees who are not accountable, and the people parting with all the  money having no say in how it's spent or the processes used.
When did this become the accepted norm.
The Mayor Tom Tate, has had his hands full in Glasgow,  so I understand that I have not heard from his office, but the CEO Dale Dickson whose nose is firmly in the rates money trough has not seen fit to respond at all, not even one of his many underlings whose noses are similarly smudged, has been bothered to acknowledge my letter.  
The wheels of change move far more slowly than is strictly necessary mostly because the institutions that permit the change are fighting so hard to ensure their own longevity.

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