Anyone arriving at the Council meeting tomorrow morning (March 24th) will find the doors barred at 9:30am as no-one has bothered to register to speak at Public Forum on agenda items of the day. For those who watch Council business this is not surprising as Council meetings and agendas have become little more than a farce of rubber stamping reports and recommendations that have already been discussed and agreed to in briefing sessions behind closed doors. In the Council meeting of March 23rd the agenda will be brisk, possibly breaking the 26 minute record with the anticipated exception of a late mayoral Minute or two to be presented that will no doubt have the Mayor waffle on with some wonderful initiative such as recognising Covid-19 and calling for monthly meetings rather than fortnightly. While this might sound fair and reasonable under the circumstances the subterfuge of any such call might be construed to limiting any opportunity by the public to formally question or denigrate the workings of the current council before the next election in September 2020. As it stands any one attending the actual Council meeting as a member of the gallery will most likely be relegated to what is called "The Committee Room" that is sometimes used for over runs of community attendance to such public forums as the Rural Lands Strategy Public Forum presentations. Mind your social distancing. So the Mayor is expected to present her a mayoral Minutes or two to an expected public audience of one or two while the world watches on via live streaming. Eight of the nine councillors will then sit around and 'endorse' whatever is put before them in a generally vacuous hand rise with only McGinlay or Mayne rising to question staff assumptions and determinations. With the self appointed wordsmith away with her now famous walking stick and the Bay Post journalist watching from her device 9 (if she bothers) there is little expectation to see the council meeting reported. Which is a shame as there are expected fireworks in regards to questions around the subterfuge of Council's declarations that Public Reserves and parks were "surplus to community needs" and how the sale of them will contribute to fill the vast chasm that is Mackay Park toddlers pool and play area. In what could have been a record breaker of a meeting in 25 minutes or less looks as if it will go longer as networks and allegiances are broke and the path to the September 2020 outcomes lie just ahead for those starry eyed councillors who hope and dream they might be reinstalled to the 'trough' that gives them a nice $20,000 per year with perks for being little more than staff puppets and being allowed use to the big council rubber stamp each fortnight.
Above: Council once had an audience for their meetings