It’s difficult to gauge how the whole community feels about the merger of Harden, Young and Boorowa more than a year ago to create Hilltops Regional Council.
While it appears some councils have moved on with their arranged marriage, the issue continues to simmer in our local government area – but is it from the extremes of the spectrum?
The sacking of former Young mayor Brian Ingram is sure to stir more anger among merger detractors who say the whole amalgamation saga is an attack on free speech.
Mr Ingram’s dismissal could be seen as a warning shot from Hilltops Council to others in the three local representative committees and the implementation advisory group to keep their mouths shut when it comes to openly criticising the local government body.
But let’s go back to the start.
We all know the story – Harden and Cootamundra councils had advanced plans to play nicely together.
This all seemed to fall on deaf Sydney bureaucratic ears as news disseminated that Young and Boorowa were to become Harden’s partners in a brave new world.
There were screams to the tune of “the death of democracy” and “unjust and unfair” – and to an extent the screams were justified.
Councillors were shown the door from all three shires and an administrator was cherry-picked by the state government.
If you ask the council, administrator Wendy Tuckerman is doing a fine job.
If you ask anti-merger proponents, they’ll tell you she is inadequate at best.
It seems the people who are speaking for or against our situation all have an agenda to push.
Whether that be political aspirations or disgruntled former council members – it can make the court of public opinion akin to wading through murky water.
Wherever you sit on the spectrum, you will get to have your say on a new age of council in September.
But in the meantime, we want to hear from you, the average punter on the street.
Let the Harden Murrumburrah Express know your thoughts on the ongoing saga.
If there are people with anti-merger sentiments in Harden, they seem to be few and far between.
A year into this issue, it’s time to come together as a community and tell the people who represent us where we stand.