Serge’s Column June

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Hi all!

Another month has gone by and I am starting to wonder if time goes by faster as one gets older, or whether I am just having too much fun!!

This month, I will start by officially welcoming our new CEO, Ms Tracey Slatter to the City of Port Phillip. Tracey started with us on May 20, after Council went through an extensive recruitment process. The CEO is the only person the Councillors can appoint and the position reports directly to Council. The choice of CEO is therefore critical.

What I like about Tracey is her energy and her true vision. I was very impressed by her during our interview process and I think we are blessed to have her with us. Her first job involved opening a Neighbourhood house, followed by her roles at the Department of Health and Human Services. Tracey then became the CEO of the Colac-Otway Shire before moving onto the Head of Claims at the TAC. Tracey then decided to make a switch back to Local Government as she was missing having direct contact with people and serving local communities. She told us she could not pass up the opportunity we gave her, as she feels her values are very similar to the values of our council.

I wish Tracey well. I am confident she will support Council in dealing with the many challenges ahead, such as the St Kilda Triangle, the St Kilda Festival, childcare, community housing and in helping in the development in our City. This is certainly an interesting and complex time with the major development of areas such as Fishermans Bend and Montague.

I am sure that the readers of SKN are all welcoming you, Tracey, to our beautiful village! And we will not hold against you your choice of footy team. I commend your loyalty to your club, despite some challenges. Life is much better in colours!

As I mentioned last month, each new council must prepare a four-year Council Plan and our Plan is available for public comment until June 6. Please go online and give us your feedback. We need to know what you think.

For this plan, we have tried to make the process a little different and we have chosen four adjectives that describe our ideas for the future of our City.

  • Engaged – a well- governed City, with the Council being a leader in the practice of good governance and transparency
  • Resilient – looking at ways to at adapt to a different climate
  • Healthy – a healthy, creative and inclusive City with a focus on to keeping it our place welcoming, creative and safe for our residents and visitors
  • Vibrant – we believe we are building new communities, not just new buildings

You have got a few more days left to give us your comments on our Council Plan, as well as on our draft budget. We are your representatives and even though we have developed our Plan in consultation with the community, we welcome as much feedback as possible to make sure we are on the right track.

Talking about track, Yarra Trams is about to engage in a large consultation process with residents, traders and visitors to Acland and Fitzroy Streets, as they intend to build two new tram stops. As I mentioned previously, Route 96 is the premium tram route in Melbourne and we are lucky to have such great public transport options. The main issue is how to integrate a tram terminus in Acland Street that complies with the Disability Discrimination Act and what we should do about cars and traffic and parking and footpath trading in the street.

The other new tram stop is proposed in front of the St Kilda Bowling Club, which does raise some concerns around traffic as Fitzroy Street will be reduced to two lanes of traffic between Grey and Princes Street.  The new tram stops are a complex issue and I hope that consultation with the community will make it easier to come up with an optimum solution. This is a one in a generation opportunity to give some of the buzz back to Acland Street.

Once again, I urge you to comment and tell Yarra Trams what they should do – or not do! There will be several opportunities for you to be involved either online as well as various workshops, or at the Veg Out Farmers Market in July. Information will also be on the Council’s website.

I will finish by saying that one our residents, our half-of-the-year Sheriff and other half Veg Out President, Robert Taylor, is doing us proud. He looks amazing in his new US TV show, Longmire. Well done, Rob! But come back soon. We needed you to help remove Lenny’s huge pumpkin!

See you next month… Hope you enjoyed the great short films screened at the St Kilda Film Festival as much I did!

Cheers,

Serge

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