KATANNING ROAD BOARD.
The Katanning Road District was proclaimed in 1892, by excision of territory from the original Kojonup Road District.
Its first members were Messrs. F. H. Piesse (chairman), Tom Haddleton, Michael Cronin, Wm. Andrews, Dr. F. M. House, R. S. Taylor and Patrick Cuneen, with T. H. Stansbury as first Secretary.
Upon the appointment, in 1896, of Mr. F. H. Piesse to the position of Commissioner for Railways and Public Works in the Forrest Ministry, he resigned from the Board and Mr. Wm. Andrews was elected chairman in his place.
The third chairman was Mr. F. T. Fisher-Crosby, whose resignation in 1897 was followed by the election to the position of Mr. A. E. Piesse.
The Katanning Road District at this time included territory now administered by the Woodanilling and Kent Road Boards, the Woodanilling Board being created in 1906, and the Kent Board in 1923, by excisions from the original area.
It had no powers to rate or collect revenues, its only source of income being from Government grants.
In 1898, the system now in vogue became law by the passing of the Road Districts Act, and road boards were given authority to levy rates and raise loans for road construction and other works.
With the passing of years, additional functions were added to the local authority, the Katanning Road Board at that time was also the Health Board, Water Board and Vermin Board.
Revenue increased with the settlement and development of the district, the 1929 figures placed the receipts of the Board as the highest of any local authority in the State outside the Metropolitan area.
The Katanning Road Board holds a remarkable record in respect to membership.
Mr. Tom Garstone, prior to his resignation in 1924, was a member of the Board continuously for 30 years.
Mr. George McLeod, who died in office in 1929, had been a member for 21 years, of which period he was chairman for ten years, and Mr. Alex. Prosser, the present chairman, has served for 30 years. Other members with lengthy periods on the Board to their credit are Messrs. A. E. Piesse, C. F. Wanke, R. L. Richardson, W. H. Forbes, F. H. Flugge and R. G. Tree.
Members of the Board who have filled the position of chairman during its 37 years of operation are Messrs. F. H. Piesse, Wm. Andrews, F. T. Fisher Crosby, A. E. Piesse, C. F. Wanke, Geo. McLeod, A. Thomson, M.L.A., W. J. Rogers and R. L. Richardson, the present chairman (1929) being Mr. Alex. Prosser.
The Katanning Road Board has an enviable reputation for good roads, of which more than 700 miles, representing an expenditure of £100,000, traverse its territory.
It comprises 13 members, namely six representing the Central or Town Ward, two the West Ward, three the Moojebing Ward, and two the East Ward.
The executive staff includes the Secretary and Engineer, Mr. H. V. Buckley, Health Officer and Building Surveyor, Mr. S. R. Evans, Country Supervisor, Mr. J. E. Coate, and Town Foreman, Mr. W. Collingwood, the-Office staff comprising Miss E. Mitchell, assistant secretary, and Mr. T. Hogan, clerk.