There are too many councillors who are not providing ratepayers value for money, according to some within Griffith City Council.
There is an internal push to reduce the number of councillors from 12 to nine which, some argue, would make it easier to get things done and ensure ratepayers are getting their money’s worth.
Leading the charge is deputy mayor Doug Curran, who thinks there are currently too many cooks spoiling the broth.
This week he will put forward a notice of motion to council so that they can debate whether or not to hold a referendum on the matter during the next by-election.
Council was forced into a by-election when former councillor Paul Snaidero was disqualified from office for an assault conviction, leaving 11 members on council.
The by-election will cost ratepayers around $150,000, which is a waste of money according to Cr Curran, who believes council could function perfectly well with nine members, let alone 11.
“We’d potentially save $100,000 a year which can go in the community, and we would still not be under-represented,” Cr Curran said.
Council has previously held a referendum on this issue and received an “underwhelming” response, but Cr Curran believes this time around he will have the backing of the community.
“The information I've had from the community is that we’re over-represented, so let’s hold a referendum and ask the community,” he said.
Former councillor Bill Lancaster agrees, and he even said Griffith could function better with only seven councillors.
In his view Griffith is falling behind other local councils, who had culled their numbers long ago.
“Most of the studies conclude that seven is the best figure to come to an efficient and reasonable decision,” Mr Lancaster said.
He pointed to Tweed Shire Council as an example of a council which runs smoothly with seven councillors, even though it covers a large area and has a population of over 90,000.
Mr Lancaster argued that for most other councils over-representation was the bigger problem, because it made it too difficult to pass decisions through council.
“It’s not about the quantity – it’s the quality that counts,” Mr Lancaster said.