Saturday 1 September 2007

Chatting with Jim

I chatted today with Atherton Mayor Jim Chapman, who has worked tirelessly for his community for many years – serving on Council since the late 1980’s.
Jim has this week just returned from the Local Govt meeting on the Gold Coast. Most Mayors across Queensland have just gathered, with the hot topic of forced merges on the table.
The Cairns Post reported a tip off from an insider at the meeting that Cairns Mayor Byrne got into an abusive rant against Jim Chapman at the event on Wednesday afternoon. Now those that know Jim, will be stunned that he was so rilled by Mayor Bryne's outburst directed at him, that he responded the way he did, and also released a statement recounting the events.
"I respect his views, but he obviously doesn't respect mine," said Byrne of his tirade with the Atherton Mayor.
"Well, I want to say, I didn't go and 'storm off to the toilet'," Jim Chapman told "I went to wash my hands!," he laughed. "He really doesn't understand our community at all, or how small communities work together."
So here we have it again, and on the record, the mayor of Cairns reported in our regional daily newspaper, with the adjectives of "arrogance" and "bombastic" describing him.
I know this isn't news. Our online poll last week rated this personality trait as Council's biggest problem.
Douglas Shire Mayor, Mike Berwick supported Chapman and said differences should be respected. He said the way in which the mergers have occured has created mistrust and anger in the community.
A long, long list is now appearing, of instances like this over the last few years. From community meetings, luncheons, letters and emails sent, bullying and threats of legal action to all and sundry. No-one expects this behaviour from our highest elected official. No one should put up with it either.
In keeping with our mantra and promise of communicating to the local population about issues concerning our local government and the overwhelming groundswell of support for a change, we at will continue to bring you ByrneWatch. We also need to acknowledge those around our town, including Council staff, Councillors and various senior business managers for supporting us in this noble cause.
And for the record... Jim Chapman was returned to Council in the March 2004 election for his fifth term in office, and was first elected to the position of Chairman in April, 1988.
But while he’s contributed to many achievements of the council in that time, he told ABC Far North there’s one big project that he would like to get going before he retires next year. Lake Tinaroo was once the centre of the Tablelands – attracting almost a million people annually. However in recent times, the lake has lost is lustre – and is in desperate need of restoration.
Atherton is 752 m above sea level, and has a local population of 5,800. The town was named after one of its founders, John Atherton, and it became a town in February 1886. Atherton is sited on the side of an extinct volcano it is surrounded by several small volcanic hills known as the Seven Sisters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly the Mayors arrogance and ego are well known around town, but his speeding on the highway must stop. You should, Mr Byrne, set a better example to the residents and visitors to our beautiful part of the world.