On reading last week’s paper one would be forgiven for believing that two, poor, defenseless councillors have been driven from their jobs by an intimidating, bullying and inept majority on Council. But it doesn’t quite ring true to me.
Neither Crs Fawcett nor Brunt are exactly shrinking violets, and why would a majority need to bully – they only have to vote.
Here’s what seems to me a more plausible explanation:
Remember the previous Council where the “reformers” (notably Crs Hill and McEwen) were constantly thwarted by the “conservatives” (including Crs Fawcett and Brunt)? The 2016 election ushered in a new Council with a somewhat less conservative outlook.
So, imagine Cr Brunt’s delight when the resignation of two Councillors (for reasons seemingly unrelated to the current situation) ushered her old crony, Cr Fawcett, back into the fold! But the happiness was short-lived when they found the numbers weren’t with them.
Rolled on the issue of whether or not to seek to replace the shire CEO, they’ve now decided to take their bat and ball and go home without fulfilling the terms for which they were elected. And to then bleat about not being thanked for their service, when they clearly had been, really takes the cake!
But in leaving together so dramatically can they get their fervent desire: to have the whole Council sacked and thus be rid of their nemeses, Crs Hill and McEwen and anyone who stands with them? Perhaps by throwing a little extra mud in the same direction, this paper (and others) have been throwing it now for years, they may yet get their wish.
However, even Michael Giles, the most ardent and vociferous critic of the reformers’ camp, has now admitted that he may be wrong on whether the Council will be sacked. The Municipal Monitor would report to the Minister immediately if he found something very wrong with Council. The fact that he hasn’t done so in nine months is telling.
Whether or not I’m one of the new councillors (so disparagingly referred to by Michael as “wood ducks” – an indication of his poor opinion of local government, I believe Council will continue to function well in all our interests, and that the promised rate relief is within sight.
Frank Hirst, Ranceby