Is the Mayor unable to meet the public without her shadow

When the community forum group A Better Eurobodalla (ABE) presented at the Public Access session of Eurobodalla Shire Council on 2nd of February 2021, they flagged, among other things, that they would be inviting all prospective candidates for this year’s local government elections to meet with them. On the 15th February 2021 ABE wrote to all incumbent Eurobodalla Shire councillors asking if they were intending to stand for re-election in 2021 and, if so, whether they will be standing as part of a ticket? It was offered that if they were intending to stand for re-election, ABE would like to meet with them.

ABE indicated that they would like to explain to candidates what ABE is doing in the lead up to September’s local government elections, and what their own community engagement was telling andicating as important to the people of Eurobodalla. This valuable information, gleaned by ABE through market stalls and street meets would no doubt be valuable to any candidate knowing the feedback of residents and ratepayers and how they would like their council to operate and what issues are engaging them. ABE have had positive responses from Councillors Constable, Mayne and Pollock and are in the process of setting dates for meetings. Councillor McGinlay has referred them to the Eurobodalla Green’s campaign manager and they will be following up on that. ABE advises that Councillor Brown has indicated that he is yet to decide whether he will stand for re-election. This is contrary to the considerable efforts he is understood to be making behind the scenes looking at sealing candidates on his own ticket and establishing preferences. His heavy canvassing across the Shire has not gone unnoticed so it is of interest that ABE say that he is "yet to decide".

ABE received an invitation to meet with Mayor Innes, which they assumed to be an indication that the Mayor was planning to stand for re-election as their initial correspondence requested to only meet with candidates for the September 2021 election. Surprisingly ABE representatives attended the meeting with Mayor Innes on 1 March 2021 which was also attended by General Manager Dr Catherine Dale. At the meeting Mayor Innes informed ABE that she has not decided whether or not she will stand for council re-election in 2021. This again would be news to the many who have heard that Liz Innes does intend to run for Mayor and it is understood that she is presently sealing deals with Rob Pollock as a second on her ticket with Jack Tait joining the ticket as a third. As a result of the Mayor's being chaperoned by the General Manager, who was not invited to the meeting, and the fact did not indicate if she was standing, ABE was unable to continue to ask their prepared questions of candidates in the upcoming election or seek insights about whether the Mayor, if standing, was running on a ticket or would have running-mates on a ticket and if so whether it would be as part of the Community Action Alliance, her 2016 team. ABE now say that other questions relating to the Community Action Alliance and its 2016 Manifesto will have to wait until they know whether Mayor Innes is standing for re-election and they have asked that ABE be informed when she does make a decision.

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