Wollondilly Council overturned the restrictions it placed on the Wollondilly Residents and Ratepayers Association earlier this year at Monday night’s council meeting.
In March all councillors present at the meeting, except councillor Ray Law, voted to limit correspondence with the association (councillors Col Mitchell and Lou Amato were not present at the meeting).
The councillors believed an excessive amount of ‘‘time, money and resources’’ had been spent answering the organisation’s queries.
The report said almost 100 hours and $12,000 had been spent by council staff ‘‘researching and processing the requests’’ from the period of June 2012 to February 20, 2014.
It also said an estimated $100,000 had been spent on litigation.
Councillors decided the council would only accept written communication delivered through the post, respond to one issue per month at most, and not spend more than an hour of council staff time doing so, when it came to requests from the organisation.
At the March meeting, then mayor Benn Banasik described the costs as a ‘‘hemorrhage’’ of council funds.
At the time, association secretary Lynette Styles disputed the figures.
‘‘Over the last two years we have asked 64 questions and probably only had a reply to four of those,’’ Ms Styles said.
In October Ms Styles, general manager Luke Johnson and Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell held peace talks in a bid to end the feud between the association and the council.
‘‘We put everything on the table and discussed the issues,’’ Ms Style said after the October meeting.
‘‘It’s a much more conducive and working relationship than what it was before.’’
At the October council meeting councillors voted unanimously to review the restrictions which were eventually rescinded at Monday night’s meeting.
However, this week Ms Styles said she was still unimpressed with the action taken by the council in March.
‘‘It’s meaningless,’’ she said.
‘‘There was no power in the policy to impose sanctions against us [in the first place].’’
At the December meeting, Cr Law said he was ‘‘glad to see we are moving to resolve this’’ however he wanted to see how the figures in the March meeting were formed.
‘‘The detailed costings were to be released no later than June and here we are in December and we still haven’t got them,’’ he said.
A 14-working day deadline has been set for the release of the costings.
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