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Council meeting little more than an embarrassment

For the handful of people who watch Council meetings today's meeting encapsulated all that we now come to expect of this term of Council. Once again Clr Anthony Mayne attempted to reinstate the live-streaming of Public Forum and once again all of the original reasons against it were brought out with Clr Jack Tait wrapping it up in a nutshell to reiterate that they simply do not wish to see public opinion given any opportunity to be viewed. If Jack had his way it appears he would see Public Forum and Public Access removed all together offering up the sage advice of some unnamed mayor who said "he couldn't believe how we (Eurobodalla) allowed a minority of people to continually come into our council chambers to do the best they could to discredit most of the councillors. He said that there are various ways and if you got the majority of your people knocking on your front door you got a big problem. If you got a minority knocking on your front door you're going OK". It appears that Jack has forgotten that Public Forum and Public Access are not blocked and it is just the live streaming - of presenters such as the TAFE representative this morning advising Councillors on the proposed TAFE Annex for Batemans Bay. "Good thing she was not live streamed - eh Jack? Wouldn't want the community to listen to that presentation and the questions and answers that followed." In general, without getting into the finer details of the puerile depths that the meeting sunk to other than to mention the now predictable Dorothy Dix questions that Clr Nathan asks that enables either the Mayor or staff to blow their own horn as was evident today when the Mayor discovered a two page list of all the accomplishments they had achieved to counter any thought that they had achieved nothing during lockdown. Of interest was the bragging of the number of briefings that Councillors have compared to the number of meetings. Enough of a disparity to make one think the workings of council are carried on behind closed doors. Clr Nathan raised Caesars Wife again, as she has done in the past in her rambles, but this time Clr McGinlay gave the reference some clarity saying that the intention is that "we are elected by the public; there is an expectation that we will carry out our role and one of those roles is to be seen to be doing , and that is having meetings and being heard and putting forward our views and explain why we are reaching the decisions that we are reaching". Then came the needless and childish treatment of Councillor Mayne today by both Mayor Innes and Clr Brown over their perceived interpretation of a work he used to describe the weight of the agenda items as a stack. It is very clear that neither like Clr Mayne and from the outbursts of Clr Brown it is clear he is still bitter at not being Mayor and forgets more than often that he isn't the Mayor by his arrogance and antics. Brown bought a point of order down on Clr Mayne today in a style of primary schoolyard name calling and pathetically running to the teacher in order to see another child castigated. Infantile, and now on video record for all to see. The issue even attracted an Sorry Letter from a member of the community It turns out that there is no right of reply to a Point Of Order and Mayne stuck to his guns and refused to retract what he said as it was evident that he had nothing to apologise for other than the toxic flareup that Innes and Brown wanted to force from their already toxic perspectives of anything Mayne (or McGinlay) might offer. It isn't known how many would have been watching today. The Beagle was there as an observer during the Public Forum Zoom session and then for the meeting proper. What is evident is that these forum sessions and even council meetings have become a farce and that we are the poorer to suffer this sad parade that calls itself representative of the community.

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