Hopeless Council

Fast Buck$, Coorabell

How truly hopeless this elected council is. I’m starting to think seriously about lobbying for an administrator to take over for 12 months till the next election, or to sack the councillors and put in an expert.

The major problem is that our mayor seems to have this almost religious faith in the permanent staff, believing them to be ‘good people’ who are incapable of bad faith.

The related major problem is that none of the other councillors has the self-confidence to stand up to him by criticising the staff. Crs Coorey, Cameron, and Hackett do issue the occasional dissent, but they let a dozen sins pass for every one they prevent. Nor do they have a strategy for a return to common sense and the rule of law.

Last week I demonstrated a case in point: I established that the minutes for the previous meeting had been fiddled to protect the mayor from embarrassment. The minutes claim that general manager made a statement that was significantly different from what was actually said.

I made the councillors aware of the fiddle by email and by direct submission. However, when it came to adopt the minutes, all councillors voted in favour! Without a single question or comment.

I cannot claim to be surprised; I’ve been observing such crass denial for years, basically cowardice.

Nor is it merely a fear of being in breach of the Code of Conduct, a document they completely misunderstand. The mayor gives the impression that any criticism of staff should happen only in newspapers. If it occurs during a Council meeting then it constitutes an ‘insult’ or a ‘personal reflection’ ie a breach of the Code According to Simon. It goes without saying that this version of the rules is written by the staff and, seemingly uncritically, accepted by Simon.

The other side of the coin is that when confronted, the staff act as though butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. Nothing to see here, it’s just Buck$ being his eccentric self. They know perfectly well what our elected heroes are made of, so there is no need for fear or nervousness. As long as things are going their way inside Council meetings, then who cares what the rabble outside think?

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