Future mayor possibility

Fast Buck$, Coorabell

I’m as surprised as anyone that Duncan Dey obtained the Greens’ nomination for Mayor; I didn’t even know he had put his name forward.

Given that Ian Cohen also came in ahead of Simon Richardson’s admirers, Sarah Blah Blah and Michael Wannabe, I can’t see the result as anything but a kick in the teeth for Simon. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving chap. It shows that the gift-of-the-gab doesn’t fool all of the people all of the time. Even if Sarah and Michael swallowed it whole as they fought each other tooth and nail over the presumptive crown.

Duncan is no firebrand or orator but has grounding in hydraulic engineering. As such he was unimpressed with the compromises over the Byron bypass. More importantly he has some personal experience of the unpleasant methods of council staff, and therefore does not share Simon’s view that they are all ‘good people’. He complained about the fact that a neighbour was constructing two dwellings without consent, only to find that Council’s compliance crew dragged their feet until construction was completed. Then they turned on Duncan and harassed him over some minor non-compliance issue on his property dating back many years.

It’s not unusual for staff to turn on complainers in this way, and I know of three other instances. In one case, Council’s legal department was fighting an illicit developer in court and just before proceedings commenced the compliance department bullied a key neighbour into withdrawing his objection.

What I’m saying is that if Duncan becomes mayor, the staff know that it’s going to take more than flattery and smiling to neutralise him, as they did with Simon.

The right wing might even have to run a serious campaign and put up a serious candidate. I’m quite sure that emergency discussions and meetings are already being held. I’m also quite sure that the next few months will see a flood of dubious development applications to take advantage of Simon’s benevolence before he rides off into the sunset on his Shetland pony. He’s welcome to saddle up anytime.

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