Monday 21 January 2008

$88,000 .. peanuts!

Last week Deputy Mayor, Councillor Terry James, "TJ" or Council's own "Lazy Designer" to his close mates, made a rather astounding claim.

He said to the Cairns Post that the role of Councillor was not a full time one and $88,000 was justified for a part-time role.

Rob Pyne, who is running for Division 3, against the Deputy Mayor whos is a recent new resident of Mt Sheridan, chimed into the debate:
  • "It was hard to believe one’s eyes when reading Cr James’ comments that he could justify receiving $75-$88,000 for a part-time effort.

    One likes to keep election campaigns as civil and polite as possible, but after his comments it will be hard to resist the temptation to refer to my opponent as “part-time Terry”.

The Post's editorial said that the prospect of a $88,000 pay packet prompted some Cairns 1st candidates to confirm they will work as full-time councillors if elected to the Cairns Regional Council.

So with Deputy Mayor Terry James saying it was not a not full-time job and that the $88,000 salary was justified for the part-time position, makes you wonder what planet he is living on.
James was reported as saying he doesn't 'clock on at nine and finish at five.' “The pay is more fair than people realise especially for the amount of work councillors do.”

James is way out of touch with the community and real working Australians.

Most can only dream of making that much money with full-time jobs, and we also work well-beyond 9 to 5. I would expect my local councillor at the very least to treat the position as full-time job, just like everyone else does for their job.

The new-look council is no place for part-timers Terry.

It's also interesting to note that ratepayer's money doesn't mean a great deal to this current crop of despots trying to ruin, I mean run our city.

Councillors have spent more than $30,000 on ratepayer-funded travel over the last 6 months.
Mayor Byrne spent the most at nearly $22,000, in the last six months of 2007, this included his seventh trip to to China with Advance Cairns.

Out of the 12 City Councillors, Deputy Mayor Terry James claimed the most at $1,800. Paul Gregory claimed $1500, and Sno Bonneau just over $1,500.

And no, we won't be bring you the breaking story about why he changed his name from Max. I recall Homer Simpson changed his name once, albeit temporarily, to Max Power. Great pr move if you ask me.

Byrne budgeted $77,274 for Councillors travel for the year. They spent $30,000 more than the previous year.

Kirsten Lesina, running for Cairns 1st says all candidates should publicly state their basic pecuniary and personal interests.

“I strongly believe in open, transparent and accountable local government,” she said. “I believe residents and ratepayers have an indisputable right to know what interests their representatives have." Lesina says all candidates should make public some basic facts about themselves so that voters can make fully informed decisions.

So she put her money where her mouth is. Lesina works for Senator Jan McLucas. She has no personal business interests or directorships. She is a member of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, the Australian Labor Party, the Young Animal Protection Society, the Cairns City Kennel Club and the Community and Public Sector Union. Lesina confirmed, if elected on 15th March, she would finish her tenure with Senator McLucas.

Today Councillor Freebody tried to defennd his fellow mate, TJ.

A letter appeared in today's Cairns Post under the name of 'Councillor Paul Freebody'. He is infamously known for penning rather inarticulate emails.

It's widely believed the Council's Marketing and PR hack, Robyn Holmes now writes most of the letters for Byrne's mob to the Cairns Post. Now that Dennis Quick is resting in Fishery Falls, Holmes most certainly wrote this one.

There's simply no resemblance to his ranting mistake-filled emails and the ones that appear in the letters pages of the Post.

Two Councillors have provided CairnsBlog with actual email of proposed letters, written by senior Council PR employees to then be published under their names. Here we have paid officials writing political spin for elected councillors.

"Freebody's" letter says that the Act defines Councillors as 'part time', and that is the point TJ, sorry, I mean terry James was making.

Freebody claimed that those that "thrive on being busy, achieve more in six hours a day than those that sit at their desk all day long." Freebody's fake letter goes on to say that the Cairns 1st lot should be attending more Council meetings "to learn about the job they are applying for before throwing stones."

A simple audit of Council Minutes (I have hard copies, as the buggers remove them from the Council website) of who attends and has attended Council meetings, especially in the first term, you will easily discover that Councillor Freebody has the worst attendance record of any sitting Councillor.

Maybe Paul's ghost writer should really do better research in future, before using his name. Or better still, maybe his children when they look up You Tube videos for him, can write his letters.

Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

The suggestion that "Cairns 1st should attend Council Meetings to learn about the job" had me spluttering on my wine. I have attended many Council Meetings and I am hard pressed to read 1 page of the report before the item on the Agenda "has been moved, seconded, any discussion no, next item". It is a farce.
There is a Council Meeting this Thursday, go along and have a look.

Anonymous said...

The real meetings happen beforehand, behind closed doors, to ensure Unity.

Anonymous said...

Hey Fictionboy!!

You still owe me an answer re KB pleading the fifth about his wife’s unlawful activities at Azure Water Palm Cove???
As for the real meeting taking place behind closed doors! It just goes to show how much contempt Kevin Byrne and his team have for the residents of Cairns.
They’ll not be missed; though perhaps Paul could but his toy store back and they could play Kings and Queens, I’m sure you’ve played dress-ups for Kev!

Enough Rope.

Anonymous said...

Max Brown doen't even attend his own community meetings in Clifton Beach so how come he spent over $1500.

I do hope it was not for business class seats to Sydney last year when he was seated next to Charlie McKillop on the TV debate re the status of our hospital here in Cairns. Many were wondering at the time, why a local govt Councillor and not even a senior one would be given such a task. Did CCC not have anyone else available?

The status of our hospital remains the same if not worse!
Good onya Sno!