Re: Council secrecy @ MDC.

If I was a betting man I’d say Mr. Farmer will have to pay for his own lattes with the Mayor and her merry band of yes-men for a while. The seditious rascal elbow dropped them today in the paper; well and truly blowing their cover.

Sounds like the meeting was a hoot.

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Gary Caffell was looking to bludgeon people, and bludgeon he did:

“Mr Caffell said as a media man with 50 years experience he found it hard to understand the naivety of councillors who only wanted to read good things. In 50 years I have never come across a council which misunderstood the role of the media as much as this one,” he said.”

Ouch.

David Holmes decided to jump in and punch a few people in the ribs too:

“I make no bones about it. Looking back on Homebush a lot was kept secret, and people want to know how the chief executive’s salary increase was voted on.”

Yeah, the salary full story…. Tick Tock……

Anyway, being a fair and balanced blog, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t recap the other side of the room.

Even though yesterday council by majority agreed to increase transparency, collectively agreeing that too many closed workshops/task groups were taking place, it didn’t stop Hooker, McClymont, Hannon, and Harris opening their mouths. Granted they hardly ever do, so good on them.

“Graham McClymont said he was quite happy with the way council business was done and that Mr Goodwin appeared to live in a parallel universe.”

So why did he actually agree in the end to improve things? Bizarre flip flopping.

“We can’t have everything out in the open, we just can’t. That’s the way it works.”

Why’s that Graham? Because then you’ll look silly when you follow Lyn Patterson’s drum. This will haunt him. Vote McClymont- “we just can’t!”

Next up, a rare vocalisation by church-vote Hooker.

“Jonathan Hooker said in his early days as a councillor “there had been  a lot of politicking and I disliked it”.”

…Get out of politics then? In a democracy you argue and the public judge you on how why and what you argue on. This isn’t a bad thing.

“He said one of the big changes over the years was employment law and councils could find themselves on “dangerous ground” on employment matters leaving themselves open to personal grievance claims.”

He’s basically saying here that council has indeed changed, and this is due to employment law matters. Well, thats not good enough. Next time the CE’s contract is up, council should bloody well include a clause saying the role is a major expense and an integral part of the council machine, and it will by discussed and debated in public- just like we see in national politics and SOE’s.

On to Pip Hannon. Read it and tell me if that makes as little sense to you as it did to me.

“Pip Hannon said she didn’t believe the council hid anything.”There is always room for everyone to speak and we have high quality officers. It wouldn’t bother me at all if task groups were open to the public.””

Says she who ducked for cover real quick after real information was begrudgingly given to media about the 1500% Pou blowout. And if it wouldn’t bother her at all, why did she oppose the NOM?

Mark Harris is keeping it cute:

“Mark Harris said he could not see what council was not being transparent about.”

Hey, heres one Harris- your running track that cost ratepayers almost a million bucks and is only used by 14 people.

And finally Lyn Patterson:

“Mayor Lyn Patterson said reasons why council went into public exclusion had not changed over the years. It was always done to protect the rights of individuals and protect personal information. She said at each council meeting members were asked to approve matters intended to be discussed with the public excluded, giving them an opportunity to contest whether that should be so.”

All in all people are not going to like this, and the crs. moaning are  having their noses rubbed in it. It is also confusing because although yesterday council as a whole decided more meetings could and should be open, individually the  cr’s who opposed the notice of motion were vocal in their support for the status quo. Bizarre!

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