Former Shellharbour mayor Kellie Marsh conducted her own poll about the controversial $55-million City Hub project and rate rise this week.
Councillor Marsh door-knocked 54 randomly chosen homes in the Shellharbour area.
According to Cr Marsh, 53 people told her they didn't support the city hub or rate rise . . . the 54th person wasn't interested and not-so-politely told her to move on.
Yesterday Cr Marsh organised a rally outside the old Warilla council chambers, giving ratepayers the opportunity to express their opinion on the rate hikes and other issues.
About 30 people listened to what Cr Marsh and Councillor Peter Moran had to say, although those driving through the intersection of Lake Entrance and Shellharbour road may have thought there was more.
That was because Greenacres Employment Solutions' Warilla office was conducting a sausage sizzle and information day as part of mental health month in NSW at the same location.
Regardless, there was plenty of frustration expressed at the proposed rate hike which could mean possible increases of up to 42 per cent by 2016-17.
Some people explained how rate rises of $150 a year would impact on their budgets, while others such as Darryl Glover of Mt Warrigal pointed the finger at council staff.
"The people making these recommendations are in highly paid jobs without financial worries . . . and some of them don't even live in the city," Mr Glover said.
It was a comment echoed by Cr Moran, who said: "If council staff didn't have delusions of grandeur and were prepared to concentrate on meeting the basic needs of the community we wouldn't need a hub and we wouldn't need a rate rise."
Cr Marsh said she was losing sleep over what would happen if there was a cost over-run on the city hub project.
Plenty of smaller council projects had experienced significant cost blow-outs in recent times, she said.
"I can honestly say it is keeping me awake at night," Cr Marsh said.
"If we have cost over-runs, what are the options? Do we borrow more money or leave a half-finished project?"
Cr Marsh also dismissed the suggestion the council's rate rise, designed to replace ageing infrastructure, and the city hub project were not linked.
A Shellharbour City Council spokeswoman said the council was in the process of consulting with the community about the budget allocation.
Residents are also encouraged to use the council's new online Budget Allocator Tool.