OPINION: Pay rise or not, no one was going to be a winner
SOUTHERN Downs councillors yesterday found themselves once again in the unenviable position of having to vote on whether to accept or reject a pay rise.
Regardless of the decision they made, the result was never going to be favourable.
If councillors accepted the pay rise, they were undoubtedly going to be criticised by ratepayers who must cover the increase.
But reject the pay rise and they leave themselves and future councillors out of pocket.
Being an elected representative is far from easy considering the tough decisions they must make and the criticism they cop from ratepayers.
Many would say that councillors deserve more money than the 2% recommended by the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal.
But yesterday, Southern Downs Regional Council decided not to make a decision and instead passed the buck.
While they voted in favour of the tribunal's recommendation, it won't automatically mean more money for councillors.
Instead, the current council has left it to yet-to-be-elected councillors to make that decision.
After the local government elections in March, the new councillors will be asked to decide on whether to take the pay rise or direct the $13,000 that a 2% increase would create towards projects across the region.
With the current council so out of favour and emerging candidates promising to make positive changes, it will be very interesting to see which way they vote.