The Beagle Editor, A heads up - there are no registered speakers to tomorrow's Public Forum session at 9:30am. I'm telling you because council couldn't be bothered. Don't bother showing up at 9:30am. You can thank me for not wasting 1.5 hours sitting on the council stairs until the council meeting at 11am.
Council makes no attempt to tell the community - Nothing, Nida and bugger all on their website or social media. Why should they tell you? They don't give a rat's backside about Public Forum and have done their best to close it down all together. It is a measured intention of the Council to get rid of anyone questioning them. First the Eurobodalla Council got rid of live streaming and video recording of Public Forum sessions that preceded Council meetings. They did it claiming speakers were not to be trusted and most likely politically grandstanding and electioneering. Next they changed the rules so that anyone who decided to present on an agenda item had to provide their presentation a full day before. There would be no deviation allowed and they would have to register if they were speaking for or against. The first that the community would learn of any Public Forum presentations would be with the minutes of the council meeting on the Council website one week later. yeah sure, everyone looks there. Council don't bother promoting the agenda of up coming meetings on their social media page or via their their email newsletter. Anyone wanting to know anything has to go to the council website on the Wednesday before to read the agenda or go to the local library and hope it is there. Yes, that's right, If YOU want to know what is going on you have to find out for your self. You have to ring up or ask a councillor (who isn't really allowed to tell you because it is CONFIDENTIAL). Thank God for the Beagle that tells us what is coming up !! Public Forum has become a farce. You write your submission that has to be read word for word to councillors during Public Forum. These are seven minute presentations that are meant to have already been read so that they can ask you questions that are never recorded and never documented. The questions come from left field. Mostly crafted by staff.. they attack with alternate facts. "Are you aware?" is a favorite preamble of the Mayor to a five minute soliloquy that parades as a question. Well maybe Council have finally won the "let them eat cake" because no-one has registered to speak at Public Forum tomorrow. Why? Because it is a waste of time. Rarely do the councillors (except Mayne and McGinlay) ask intelligent questions. Sometimes Nathan will take the opportunity to extol her vast experiences and worldly capacities, Constable tries to show he is paying attention, Tate might offer up wildcard questions on the breeding cycle of penguins and Brown, Thomson and Pollock, if they choose to attend (which isn't required) offer the demeanor of preferring to be anywhere but listening to whining whingers. But at more than $1000 per meeting the councillors have to grin and bear it and pretend to be representative of those who voted for them. (A little easier for Nathan who only received four votes and Tate with his 14) So don't bother showing up tomorrow for Public Forum, don't bother looking for any information on Council's website or Social media and don't ring your councillors because they aren't allowed to tell you.
And if you have an issue then raise it under Public Access. It used to be twice a fortnight but is now once a month and councillors aren't required to attend to listen to you read a prepared statement that they have already had for the past 24 hours that gives them the head's up that all you are going to do is call them a mob of ne'er-do-wells who have little interest in the community and a burgeoning interest in the trough and swill that public status brings. Name and address supplied