Kempsey's Majestic Cinema was packed on Monday evening, November 20, as a dozen speakers and around 200 ratepayers made it patently clear they are fiercely opposed to council's proposed 42.7 per cent rates increase.
Councillors are due to vote on Tuesday, November 21, whether or not to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to reduce the shire's $79m forecast deficit.
Just like a scene from the classic drama "12 Angry Men" (and women), these speakers drew on passion, research and the law in a bid to convince council not to go ahead with such a crippling hike in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
At one stage during the forum, a group walked-out on council's Stephen Mitchell, Director Corporate & Commercial, who is charged with managing the SRV, and Craig Millburn, council's General Manager.
Whether the speakers have made a difference will soon be known. The Macleay Argus will be there as councillors register their vote.
Until then, these are just some of the comments and sentiments shared by residents.
Stephen Mitchell, Director Corporate and Commercial
Craig Milburn, General Manager
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