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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Despicable, Draconian, Darstardly, Deceptive and Deleterious: Is this a new low for Eurobodalla Coun

In a move by Eurobodalla Council's General Manager, Catherine Dale, Councillors are being swayed to voting for the removal of the hard won video and audio capturing and archiving of Public Forum sessions and the complete removal of Public Access sessions. At present the community can make a five minute representation to councillors presenting either their support or opposition to an item to be determined in a Council meeting. The live streaming, video recording and archiving of these presentations was bought about through the valiant efforts of the community who wanted the Council to be more open and transparent. The presentations, as they stand now, are Live Streamed for those watching from home as well as recorded and archived so that the community can listed to the presentation and also the following questions and responses by Councillors and Council staff. The General Manager has decided that she no longer wants this and is recommending that all recording be removed and that the Public Forum session take place off camera with all presentations to be presented 24 hours before and that she have the discretion to allow a speaker to present. The Public Forum session will only deal with items on the agenda and the Public Access session that we currently enjoy that encourages the community to come forward with issues such as the recent community representation over road reseal gravel size at Maloneys Beach that is too sharp to walk on for man and roos will be a thing of the past. While this might be of little if any interest to the bulk of the community who have simply given up on the local council the issue is of major importance to those who stand ready to watch over and challenge Council. Though to most it would appear that the role of watchdog should sit with Councillors to ensure their actions are in the best interest of the community it has become more than apparent that our "watchdogs" have become "lapdogs" and obediently endorse what the General Manager and senior staff advice. Though Councillors might have recently argued over the pedantics of the words "submit for comment" as opposed to "endorse for comment' releasing the Draft Code of Meeting Practice, including these draconian recommendations, for public submissions they did in fact endorse the recommendations in previous workshops. So now it comes down to the weight of public outcry, the regard that the councillors will have of public submissions, the swaying bias of Council staff encouraging endorsement and the predictable vote of Six for and Three FOR removal by a voting block of councillors who have lost any remaining credibility they may have had for actually representing the community who voted for them. Despicable, Draconian, Darstardly, Deceptive and Deleterious are just some of the words being used around this issue. Disgusting also comes to mind and Disgusted will most likely describe the inevitable outcome if the lap dogs do their masters bidding. Closing date for submissions: Wednesday 15 May 2019 Information on how to make a submission HERE

Below is an example of a submission: Dear Councillors, Before you is a recommendation from the General Manager to remove Live Streaming of Public Forum, remove any recording of Public Forum and to remove Public Access entirely. This has to be an all time low point for this council among the sea of low points that the MV Eurobodalla, under the present Captain and Officers has arrived at. God only knows what their reasoning is however it is apparent that they have little if any regard for those below decks and are now sailing perilously close to the rocks and to possible mutiny. Councillors, as the representatives of the ship's owners (we the community) I implore you to think through why you are being encouraged to disengage, why you are being told this is for the community good and why you are being swayed to endorse such a plan knowing full well that if it backfires it will be you who is to blame and the Captain and her crew will simply say they took the course on your direction and bear no responsibility at all. May you make the right decision and represent the community on this rather than continue to be subservient Cabin hands you are perceived to have become. The Beagle

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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