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Innes: maybe the dog ate the iPad

The very last Council meeting of the Innes five year Era was chaired by the Deputy Mayor because the Mayor apparently had "Technology Issues". Liz Innes has been been noticeably absent from Council for months now, absent from Public Forum and Public Access sessions, absent from Council briefings and more recently absent from Council meetings giving the chair over to her Deputy. Some councillors have become fed up with her absences and her failures to offer reasonable apology. So much so that the last meeting saw Councillors McGinlay and Mayne refuse to accept "Apologies" as part of the formal meeting. Again today, Councillor Mayne nearly refused to accept the apology offered of "technical issues". In the end he accepted that there was little point going on with the many "dog ate my homework" excuses. The Mayor has a ratepayer provided luxury SUV filled with ratepayer petrol, a top of the line ratepayer provided phone and a rate payer supplied iPad. While there may be internet issues at one location it is a simple task to drive to a better location. Jack Tait has set the precedent by showing those watching Council meetings that one can even drive, with the video camera on and participate in a Council meeting on Zoom as the scenery flashes by. Today's meeting was the last for the Innes Era. It was an opportunity for the retiring Mayor to thank her fellow councillors, Council staff and the wider public for the past five years. It was an opportunity for her to recognise that ex-mayor Lindsay Brown was retiring from politics after thirteen years having been elected as a Councillor in 2008, then becoming Mayor in 2012 and continuing in his role as a councillor for the past five years since 2016. In hindsight it is a shame that Lindsay was defeated by Innes in 2016 as he has always been a councillor for the people and has been a steady and solid representative of Eurobodalla. The path has been rocky at times however, in the main, he has served the community well and should be remembered for those efforts, representations, accomplishments and service. Liz Innes could well have taken guidance from Lindsay's mayoral style, and had she done so, maybe her legacy would be less tainted than the sour-taste that so many now have for her Era and the role she has played, directly and indirectly, in the now poorly-regarded Council she leaves in her wake that has sunk to a record low in holding public trust. Liz Innes missed the opportunity today to thank outgoing councillors who served over the past five years. During that time we have seen bushfires, covid, recession and floods. Most of the councillors present today will be leaving politics. Phil Constable, Lindsay Brown, Maureen Nathan. Thomson and Tait will be struggling to be re-elected and Pollock will be hard pressed as well. So rather than an opportunity for celebration the "Birthday Kid" wasn't at the party. Instead she had the next door neighbours kid blowing out the candles and nobody saying much in what turned out to be a farce of an event that, like the Innes Era, could have been sooooo much better.