As a former councillor of 44 years, 11 years as president of Tweed Shire, seven years as its mayor and 3½ years as one of its administrators, I feel I must speak in support of the current Tweed mayor Barry Longland and those councillors who supported the dismissal of the former general manager, Mr Keenan.
I am totally mystified as to what those who are involved with the extended series of articles that have been run in the Tweed Daily News hope to gain from this campaign.
Do they really hope to have Mr Keenan reinstated? Surely not. I understand that Mr Keenan has already decided to go back to Victoria.
The protest group should understand that councillors are elected by the people. General managers are not. It is the councillors who make resolutions, not the general manager and it is the general manager’s role to see that those decisions are carried out.
Clearly Mr Keenan didn’t understand his role.
Cr Longland made his view very clear to Mr Keenan that he did not agree with his proposal to engage a firm of Sydney solicitors to undertake an inquiry into a complaint made by a large developer.
Yet, despite the mayor’s strong opposition, Mr Keenan went ahead and engaged this firm at the time when the mayor was overseas on a holiday.
It seems that Mr Keenan’s interpretation of his role was that he could make decisions of his own volition without either the support of the mayor, the council or a resolution of Council.
Apparently, Mr Keenan thought he could make decisions and run the affairs of Council as he saw fit.
I had dealings with two general managers during my time in Council and both clearly understood that they could not and did not disregard the decisions of Council.
I would like to know whether the members of Tweed Accountability Inc have had or still have some association with the developer who offered to pay a journalist to produce their media releases?
Also, what is their purpose and what do they hope to achieve from their campaign?
Every time they have gone to the division of local government on this issue, they have been told that Council acted within the law.
Max R Boyd AM, Dulguigan