Sometimes, like everyone, I feel greatly disheartened by our representatives in Council. Really, is this the level of contempt we can expect from here until the election?
Item one on last night’s agenda was a Notice of Motion from Councillor Anne Stanley, though it appeared to being ‘electioneering’. Very quickly it descended in to utter chaos. The first Notice of Motion from Councillor Stanley received no support outside Labor. This was described as an election stunt by other councillors. Councillor (correction) Hadid supported by Mannoun then put forward another motion to cancel the parking strategy all together. In one fell swoop the councillors threw away $1.7million dollars in infrastructure and countless man hours and scrapped everything. The only three councillors against were the Liberal/Independent trinity of Lucas, Harle and Napolitano. A third option was put together which was a little bit of this and a little bit of that, as they argued and grandstanded. Lucas, Harle and Napolitano immediately began calling other councillors all idiots and called for a rescission motion. The next hour was spent skimming over the rest of the agenda (appalling in so many ways as things were inadequately addressed) while (someone) found out if we could address the rescission motion at the same meeting. Chaos. During a break Councillors Stanley, Napolitano, Waller, and others rescued portions of the parking strategy with a new motion, agreed upon before coming back into session. A do over of sorts!
This is appalling. And the gallery last night was shocked, some livid, angry and outraged. It may not seem so in print as I describe it here, but the issues of the parking strategy have been in planning for a long time. They have been addressed by the CBD committee in consultation with community, large amounts of money have been spent to get this strategy off the ground. It had already been ratified and was being brought back to council for the election agenda of a councillor.
Councillors (some) were present at the CDB committee when this was discussed. They continue to act in ridiculous ways in council meetings without any consideration for the work done in order to draft plans and strategies, with no consideration for those involved in these things. And they behave this way because they want to make a political point against the other side of the bi-partisan coin for the sake of it. There is nothing in the councillors’ behaviour last night that would lead me to assume they care a jolt about any of that. $1.7 million is the infrastructure cost so far of the parking strategy. For a moment, all I could do was thank god they didn’t have to deal with the federal budget.
There is a complete lack of respect for the community and the staff and a display of blatant one-upmanship I’ve never seen from this appalling excuse for a council. The saviours in this instance are the Liberal/Independents who last night were lucid enough to prevent $1.7million dollars spent on a strategy blown on a whim. But let us not forget that it was their contribution that began the decent into chaos in the first place. So the initial sacrifice allowed them to come up trumps later. Nice. Especially for those invested watching from the gallery.
Michael Byrne took the opportunity in the speakers forum last night to announce his candidacy for Liverpool once again. I’m not surprised, he is sort of like a ghost that only haunts the place around election time, I can’t for the life of me recall having seen him since the last election! Thankfully, he speaks highly of himself as a local saviour so we can all be confident. (Removes tongue from cheek…)
After last night some council staff are clearly gutted. The community who watched from the gallery are in shock. People are scratching their heads wondering what else this moronic lot could possibly do given half a chance. Let’s not give them one. We deserve better representation than the debacle this council has been since they were first elected.