Dear Beagle Editor I have noted a recent letter to you that highlights some concerns about the politicisation of "Council'' as an organisation. Firstly, I need to state that I have no problem whatsoever with the Ex-Mayor, or the current Mayor or any Councillor supporting and then publicising said support to whatever politician or candidate or party they chose; so long as it is clear that it their own personal endorsement. In fact, I think this is a good thing; as it may allow residents of our Shire an insight into their broader political allegiances, preferences or at least where their leanings lie. My problem with the second video recently shown on the Beagle and as I understand it, taken from Ms Sudmalis' Facebook page, is that it segues immediately from an endorsement by the Mayor, into footage of several easily identifiable staff members, from several sites visited recently by Ms Sudmalis. The overall impression of support for Ms Sudmalis is compounded by her last few words..."Thanks Team". That this 3 minutes plus video is being used to promote Ms Sudmais and her party is confirmed by her printed authorisation statement at the end, from her as an MP and the Liberal Party.
At our regular Councillor briefing session today, Tuesday 24 July, I asked the GM, Dr Catherine Dale if she could raise this as a non-agenda issue for discussion. She graciously did so. There was a little discussion, details of which I won't disclose to protect confidentiality of others, apart from my own expressed view that it is inappropriate for visuals of Council staff to be used, manipulated and publicised in such a way as to be presented by a politician as implying their support. The General Manager (who assured me that she is fine with her view being disclosed) went further and said that such a thing is simply not permitted. I understand that she has already or will be advising the Office of Ms Sudmalis of this view. Regards, Clr Pat McGinlay