Last week I received emails from about twenty or so residents in relation to Council’s decision to call for Expressions of Interest for the Learn to Swim program at the City of Botany Bay Municipal Pool and complaining about Council’s decision to award the right to conduct such program to Pamstream Aquatic and Leisure Management.
I was a little perplexed by so many people writing to me on behalf of only one applicant for an Expression of Interest, suggesting somehow I had some right to interfere in a public tender process. Never in the entire time in office had I ever been requested by so many people to do something, that had I endeavoured to do, would have been so improper, it could have been considered to be corrupt conduct.
Learn to Swim classes for the 2009/2010 swim season which was formerly conducted by Seas the Limit terminated when the pool closed for winter in April of this year. During the off season Council, like any efficient organisation should, conducted a review of all of the operations at the swimming complex which included the Learn to Swim Program. In August 2010 Expressions of Interests for the program were called for Learn to Swim Classes to be conducted on the re-opening of the pool in October. Council Officers judged each Expression of Interest on its merits and Council awarded Learn to Swim program rights to Pamstream Aquatic and Leisure Management from when the pool opens.
Ratepayers and residents would expect council, as is required, to work through a proper process and to consider a number of factors and apply weightings to those factors. To do otherwise would be improper. As a public authority Council must ensure that the proper return on ratepayer’s assets is a primary responsibility. Not to do so would be an abuse of that trust. Council has not worked so hard, and succeed to be one of the very few council’s that is DEBT FREE by not properly managing ratepayers assets.
This Council cannot not make a decision solely based on an orchestrated campaign from fee paying customers of a competing applicant who had submitted an Expression of Interest, and who would gain financially from such a determination. Nor could Council officers be influenced by a media campaign from a group of residents threatening to take their custom elsewhere. Again, to influence the independent determinations of the Expression of Interest, had the council been so influenced, would have been improper and, could be regarded as corrupt conduct. As would any attempt by any elected representative to interfere in that process.
Council’s decision does not relate to any swim club that may wish book or use the facility. The facility remains to be used and hired in accordance with Council’s policies. This decision only affects the financial interests of those who submitted Expressions of Interest. Anyone has the right to attend Learn to Swim classes or swimming clubs at either Council’s facility or any other facility where similar services are available. They do not have the right to ask me do to do something unlawful or improper.