Mr McMayor’s cast-iron stomach 10.10.2012


The word ‘Community’ was uttered about a zillion times at the first Council meeting – and yet the Lord Mayor managed not to throw up.


Here are some highlights of the first 90 minutes – after that I had to leave. The gallery overflowed- although some of that could be because  seats were reserved for friends and family of new Councillors.

The first item of business was a discussion about forging greater economic ties with a province in China. (Yawn, sort of.)

I’m afraid the concept of sister cities and the like is wasted on me – I’ll google it one day – but the Lord Mayor’s speech about this was memorable. Basically he was telling us that he had some astonishingly prosperous Chinese business reps staying with him or being entertained by him recently.

The Chinese have an ‘enormous appetite‘, he said, to invest in all sorts of things in Australia including coal and universities. Ick.

The second item was the Lord Mayoral minute for a special advisor for the mayor. The Mayor withdrew it. I wondered what factors led to the withdrawal – whether it was Cr Osborne’s doubts about the legality of such a process that aired on NBN TV last night or questions from the Parks and Playgrounds Movement about such a process setting a worrying precedent, or the porn issues.

There was lots of applause at this point.

Then Cr Osborne (Greens) expressed his concern about item 89 in the Draft Code of Meeting Practice:

89.5: All Workshops are closed to the public except those Workshops  (or parts of the Workshop) which are opened to the public by resolution of Council or a Committee of Council (insofar as it is delegated the authority to do so) or the General Manager.

Cr Osborne pointed out the bleeding obvious: that the opposite should be true – all workshops should be open to the public except by Council resolution. He described secret workshops as the reversal of openness and transparency.

Then there was a vote on the Deputy Lord Mayoralty. The last two Councils have rotated the position so that every Councillor who wanted to fill the role could have a chance to do so. The new way (since the Community 1 independent voted with the Libs, McCloy and RobboTheJockey) will be to vote for a Deputy Lord Mayor to be elected by the Council and to do the job for 12 months at a time.

This is significant if the Lord Mayor doesn’t want to go to Stuff.

Tim Crakanthorpe (ALP) pointed out the irony of this in light of a recent meeting about seating arrangements –  Councillors from the same party can’t now sit together. This is supposed to ensure that ?politics doesn’t intrude on Council business – yeah right – and that councillors vote on The Issues On Their Merit. Or something.  As if they don’t.

Can’t see what was wrong with the way the Deputy LM position was filled before – especially since the first Deputy LM will be Brad Luke. Ick.

Cop this – Mr McMayor said rotating the position would create difficulties for him. He said it would be hard to ‘manage’. Even if you’d been there you would have been hard pressed to see any logic to this position.

Nearly finished.

Then there was discussion about choosing committee members. The two interesting ones were the Joint Regional Planning Panel and the Art Gallery Committee. Brad Luke (Lib) said he should be on the former because he’s Done It Before and because he wasn’t just pro-development when he was a member – eg he voted against the mosque in Elermore Vale and he voted against the Bimet Lodge development in Cooks Hill.

The only JRPP meeting I ever made it to was interesting in that Cr Luke only commented on what was said in the meeting – he brought no evidence of background reading or research, just commented on small issues that had come up that night.

Robbo The Jockey put himself forward because he’s Interested in these issues…

Cr Nelmes pointed out that there are only two Council positions on the JRPP, the other three being State reps so local government politics are irrelevant. She pointed out that the State government promised to abolish the JRPP but they haven’t, and that the panel is an example of cost shifting at its best: that Council have to pay for all reports that are presented to the JRPP and have to pay for any Court costs if an issue is challenged.

She moved that Council receive a briefing on it before choosing reps.

As for the Art Gallery committee – the memorable moment was when Cr Luke put himself forward because he Has An Interest In Art and he has Travelled The World to See Art.

Give Me Strength.

Two more snippets – Cr Nelmes put up a rescission motion on the community childcare issue. Remember how Council staff presented child care centres as a drain on the public purse, as representing part of the infrastructure maintenance backlog and nothing else?

She said that in meetings between Council admin and childcare centre staff, there was no offer of a leasing arrangement even though that had been part of the council resolution – why does this a) sound familiar and b) not surprise me?

Robbo and Rufo voted with the Greens and the ALP to look into childcare rather than leave centres high and dry (my take on it).

McMayor and the Libs voted against Mom and Apple Pie childcare.

And something that I hope won’t happen again: McMayor failed to see Andrea Rufo (Community 1 independent) TWICE when he was counting votes. He said it was hard to see him with the dark wall behind him. WTF. Anyway, he has a week to practice that.







3 Responses to “Mr McMayor’s cast-iron stomach 10.10.2012”

  1. Jacky Says:

    Was McMayor poking fun at the colour of Councillor Rufo’s skin when he said it was hard to see him with the dark wall behind him?

  2. Terry McCauley Says:

    I too have an interest in Art, have made purchases but have limited world travel experiences in seeing Art. Hmmmm, I think I too am qualified for the Art Gallery Committee!

    Wonder how or if I can get that gig? LOL!!!

  3. SusieB Says:

    Maybe Robbo should be the Administrator that gets appointed when McLiberal decides the council is DYSFUNCTIONAL(takes up too much valuable developer and big talker time) ? Why not Newcastle…be it on your own heads. We are now officially a Liberal Town. Liberal State member, Liberal LM, Liberal Deputy Mayor.

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