Opposition councilors create forum to coordinate strategy

Leading opposition councilors from the five Sharon cities have formed a forum to coordinate their efforts to scrutinize the ruling parties in their cities, reports www.local.co.il. The new forum held its first meeting in Kfar Saba last week, and stated that its main aims were to increase cooperation between opposition members and to exchange information on how best to expose and tackle improper decision-making procedures by the ruling factions in their cities. According to the report, the forum was formed by Hod Hasharon's Dr. Yoav Rozen, Kfar Saba's Guy Ben Gal, Herzliya's Yaron Olami, Ramat Hasharon's Avi Gruber and Ra'anana's Ilan Cohen, each of whom serves as the head of his city's audit committee. (Audit committees are a legal requirement in each city council, and must be headed by an opposition leader or member.) The group said that mayors and city managers often exchanged information and coordinated agreements with each other, and it was important that audit committee leaders did so too. At their first meeting, they agreed to coordinate their scrutiny work and to exchange ideas on how best to expose and deal with improper managerial procedures in their cities. "We believe that cooperation and mutual study between the heads of the audit committees in the Sharon is a desirable thing," the group said. "All cities deal with similar topics, such as wastes of public money, political appointments, a lack of transparency, improper tender processes, problems of conflicts of interest, unreasonable money collection processes, building breaches and so on. The best way to deal with these phenomena is to increase co-operation between councilors carrying out the auditing work and leading the oppositions in their cities."