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the elephants in the room..

The Beagle Editor, It has not gone unnoticed that the Mayor crossed the lines of meeting protocol on several occasions last Tuesday. You can now see for your self what happened in the chamber via the council video archive. The Mayor firstly attacked Councillor Mayne suggesting that he failed to take the opportunity to ask questions of council staff. The way she asked Director Usher if Councillor Mayne had contacted him over the Rural Lands Strategy and then badgered and berated Councillor Mayne in a public arena was nothing short of bullying and grandstanding to discredit a fellow councillor publically Both Councillor Mayne and Councillors McGinlay and Constable have all been very open in suggesting that they ask questions in the chamber rather than behind closed doors so that the process of governance is open and transparent. Clr Mayne wanted to publicly raise the specific paragraph as to why the RFS did not endorse the Rural Lands Strategy. He wanted Director Usher to answer the question in the public domain. He even advised Mr Usher of his "Dorothy Dixer". Yet the Mayor berated Councillor Mayne over and over as if to embarrass him to her audience. The Mayor then fell to a new low by saying that the Green's Party had provided misinformation to undermine and stall the Lands Strategy. "The extreme views and the tactics engaged are reprehensible" she said after screaming at Noel Plumb having called him a bully. While only one of seven speakers who presented on "behalf" of the environment suggested they had had contact with the dreaded Greens the Mayor's outburst just prior to her councillors voting may well have denigrated those presentations as a whole in the minds of the councillors and bought undue influence to their vote. Of interest in the proceedings was the inference that there may well be direct or indirect benefits by councillors should they vote for the proposed changes. Councillors were asked to declare their interests of which there were none however what was most interesting was that of those farmers who spoke for the proposal three of three did NOT introduce themselves as members of the Rural Lands Strategy committee. The lowest of low points for the day though was when the Mayor conducted a slanging match with a member of the gallery over an interjection, and, rather than show chairmanship and constraint, continued to indulge in a back and forth until the general manager advised her to desist. The gallery were most surprised to see another member of the gallery join in the tirade. It was noted and murmured up and down the ranks that this member of the gallery was associated with the Mayor. After observing the Mayor’s behavior towards some presenters who were opposed to the Rural Lands Strategy Planning Proposal during Tuesday’s Council meeting a Code of Conduct complaint has now been lodged against the Mayor. The first is a Code of Conduct that the Mayor verbally attacked one of the presenters and failed to call to order a significant other who was sitting in the public gallery who also joined in the verbal attack ordering one of the presenters with whom they both disagreed to leave the public gallery. The second code of conduct against the Mayor is in regards to her outburst alleging ‘green’ interference in the Rural Lands Strategy process which no doubt denigrated the materiality of some of the presentations whilst also showing a disrespect to the substance of their presentations. Will these codes of conduct stand - probably not, or they might result in an apology. But what remain is the record of the proceedings as they unfurled. It has been noted with the codes of conduct that the Local Government Act is clear- 2.1.2 - Both by word and deed, public officials should promote public confidence in the integrity of public administration. In addition, the Mayor's verbal outburst may have caused undue influence on the vote. It will now be up to an independent reviewer to go over the footage and make her own determination. Based on previous reviews the odds are that there will be no action required. Name and address supplied

Elephants come in many colours - this one is Red and Green - often you can't see the Big Blue Elephant in the room but it too is there if you look closely


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