One year in office: City of Sydney Councillor Edward Mandla
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City of Sydney
Councillor Edward Mandla:

As a Councillor, my job is to provide civic leadership, which is a balance of inspiring people to possibilities and being a guide for people who are at their wits end dealing with Council and don’t know what to do to get results or their problems solved.

For example, what do you do when you who wake up to find dozens of dead bees on your 30th floor balcony day after day? Where do you call when you subsequently receive multiple bee stings? That was an actual call to my office from a person that had spent days dialling every number possible, to every possible authority and no one could seemingly help. Within hours my office found out that an upper neighbour was keeping bees. Bee keeping is legal provided they are approved – they weren’t. We got the bees removed in hours.

In the year I have been in this role, my office has helped dozens of citizens that had nowhere left to go - in many cases weeping over the injustice happening to them, their families and neighbours. By showing people a way out of the quagmire and a just outcome, my office has effectively given people power in the present – the power to arm themselves with knowledge, information and processes to take up the battle.

"I often say Sydney is for everyone in the local government area, everyone in the metropolitan area, all people of NSW, all Australians and a showcase for the World."

Part of the problem is Council’s institutionalised method of operation, whereby the only way to find out what is really happening on a matter affecting you, is to spend endless hours in chamber waiting for that item to come up on the agenda. Council needs to move into the current century and become accessible by streaming its meetings online.

Few people have the time and patience to sit through a Council meeting in person and to witness how Councillors can make a difference or yawn in indifference. That's why I pushed for the City of Sydney to livestream its Committees and Council meetings online. This will allow the public to watch those parts of the proceedings most relevant to them. Livestreaming Council meetings will lead to better democracy by providing an opportunity for the public to see their representing officials in real action rather than only during an election campaign.

I often say Sydney is for everyone in the local government area, everyone in the metropolitan area, all people of NSW, all Australians and a showcase for the World. I'm proud to have the opportunity to represent Sydney's constituents, and I want to make what Council does more transparent by showing residents, businesses, tourists and the whole world what Councillors are doing (or not doing) on your behalf to make Sydney even better.

In that spirit, I have developed my own website, where you can find information about what City of Sydney issues I'm working on now. It even looks great on your mobile.

Making a difference in our community

Making sense in Council

If you see things that could be improved in this City please click here to contact my office
Copyright © 2013 Councillor, City of Sydney, All rights reserved.

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