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Mayor Misreads the Signs

Feb 7, 2024

Hawkesbury Mayor Sarah McMahon has stumbled into a war of words with angry ratepayers and residents after her latest self -promoting Facebook post showing off new signs for the local  government areas – the majority are suggesting better ways to spend money on the region.

On the post she displays two pictures of herself: one with a Richmond/Marang Nuggura sign that appeared an odd choice for a person who was promoting a “No” vote to last year’s Voice to Parliament referendum. The other with signs to council facilities such as Richmond Park, Schools of Arts Pool and the RSL.

“The rollout of new signs across the Hawkesbury City Council area is a project I am very passionate about and really keen to see unfold. These signs across our town centres (sic) and suburbs will really start to make our area look outstanding, both for tourists/visitors, but also for us as locals, enhancing the visual pride we have for our beautiful Hawkesbury.  You will start to see suburb signs, as well as wayfinding and directional signage and I personally think they are simply stunning,” McMahon said.

But while there were a handful of positive comments, some in favour of using traditional names at last, many commentators hit back quickly: “And yet you and your fellow councillors can’t find $5000 to assist the local AWL volunteers in their efforts to control the stray cat problem in the area. These are the strays and feral cats that actually damage property and are a detraction for tourists. Try getting the local priorities correct and have a real go at reading the room” Harry Elvin said.

McMahon’s casting vote ensured the failure of a notice of motion to secure $5000 after a rowdy session at the Jan 31 council meeting.

Many comments focused on the poor state of many of the roads in the LGA including with pictures of severally potholed roads –  as well as unmowed council land.

“You’ve already been given grants for roads yet roads are still crap, you upped the rates yet our roads are still crap!!!!!! Do your job,” Rodney Sneesby said.

Mark Lachin said: “ How about cleaning up the place,you guys can not even mow grass, the place looks like a tip you find money to waste on this type of thing. What a waste of rate payers money.”

Such was the weight of negative commentary, McMahon was forced to make a further comment explaining that – while she had originally said it was three levels of government funding –  that “ most of the money for this came from grant funding from State/Federal government.” 

“Money for roads is from different pots of funds, and just like your own household budget, you have to break up what you have for different purposes, because there are different responsibilities to be met,” she also added. “If you have a specific road you would like to mention to me, please email me at sarah.mcmahon@hawkesburycouncillor.com.au and we can have a chat about it.”

“I can’t believe you have to ask what roads need repair and to believe that the repairs that have been done are too a good standard ,we can’t vote for the staff in council we only vote on the mayor that represents us and the standards that have taken place along kurmond road and surrounding roads are third world standards two coats spray bitumen will never stand up to truck traffic which theses roads are that decision is something you should be all over as it only lasts at best a month as patch work, Neil Gibbons responded.

McMahon’s regularly blocks critics from making comments on the Mayor’s – ratepayer funded – Facebook page as well as deleting comments that do not suit her. 

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