City of Casey residents are calling for a council by-election and believe administrators have been in for too long and cost too much.
On February 17, 2020, the state government sacked all City of Casey councillors and replaced them with three unelected administrators until the next elections in 2024.
There was strong support for the initial appointment of the administrators but there is now debate about when it is time for them to go.
Local Casey resident Matt Swale believes the administrators had to be put in place, but a by-election should have been held quickly.
“If we didn’t have administrators, the contractors would run the place like cowboys, they would make the fees of everything go up,” he said.
“Absolutely they should have held a by-election, the administrators have been in for far too long.
“Who picks them? Who voted them in? This is just crazy stuff.”
Cheryl Billing Smith provides community support and assistance on local issues in the greater south east of Melbourne.
“I know that residents and ratepayers were also concerned about the time it was taking to sort out the mess,” she said.
“On the ground, the community want the councillors returned much earlier.”
Ratepayers’ Victoria president Dean Hurlston said in the Herald Sun it was better value for ratepayers to have a team of councillors and called the administrators’ salaries “exorbitant”.
Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick said he fully supported the government’s move but excess council spending, on things such as paying the administrators, should be cut.
The Herald Sun reported the three administrators’ salaries are almost $500,000 per year combined.
It is likely the next council election will be at the end of 2024.