Sunday 5 October 2008

I don't wanna know, ok!

You would have thought that someone with a title of 'Community Relations Engagement Co-ordinator' would be all ears. Not this one!

When Cairns Regional Council employee, Meredith Wilsch, received an email from me last week about the battle to save the Yacht Club, she got rather upset.

"Mr Moore, I did not subscribe to your email mailing list and did not give my consent to receive unsolicited messages," telling me off like a naughty schoolboy, she said in a rather turt email last Wednesday morning.

Meredith's email address is on the Council's media distribution list, which I use for various community groups that want media distributed. However this community engagement officer only has selective hearing it seems.

"As your message does not contain a functional unsubscribe facility, as required under the Anti-Spam Act 2003, I hereby request that you remove my email address details from your emailing list," Madam Wilsch put me in my place.

How dare I try to inform her of some community concern?!

Meredith also helped co-ordinate Council’s new corporate image and logo re branding, a task that involved a deal of community input.

I'd like to remind Meredith Wilsch, and other Council employees, unlike a commercial private business, our Council is a public company. As employees of the Council, their salary is paid by the residents of Cairns. It's shareholders, being the ratepayers and residents, have a rightful duty to inform and educate it's staff about matters of concern to the community. They are here to serve, and to serve us all.

It's of great concern to me that such attitude still permeates through our Council, especially at this middle management level. With such preconceived ignorance so prevalent, it's no wonder Council officers ignore and rule without talking with their community.

Meredith Wilsch should be ashamed to call herself the Community Relations Engagement Co-ordinator, when she talks to people like this. She needs a lesson in 101 PR. This kind of dismissive communication is a product of the Byrne regime.

For the record, Meredith's telephone number is 4044 3120, or you can email her on Her mobile number is 0407 162 953. I just think that our Community Engagement officer should be contactable by anyone about any issue of community interest, don't you?

She's still on my email list.


I should have mentioned, that this 'threat' tactic that an unwanted email received at Council is 'spam' is used by a few it seems.

Just a couple of weeks ago, another CRC ratepayer received a threat to stop sending 'spam' from Councillor Alan Blake.

"Remove this spam from my email address, Cr Blake told Ray Taylor. "Unwanted emails will be dealt with as per the Privacy Act," he wrote in a September 22nd reply. And we wonder how our Council staff get to behave in such an unprofessional manner?

Both Blake and Wilsch need to understand that spam is something completely different. They both refused to engage and discuss issues with the public. This is a fundamental breakdown in our democratic system.

By gosh, Val has a lot to reform.


Anonymous said...

'Community Relations Engagement Co-ordinator'?

I wonder how much this lady is paid to take irate but not ill-informed constituents off her email list? And what euqipment does she wear on the job? Earplugs?

Sounds like a first class lurk to me. Good luck to her!

If Val has any more jobs like that going, perhaps she could advertize them on CairnsBlog?

Anonymous said...

Gee Meredith, that was a bit naughty of you to have a go at Michael.

The Council needs all the help it can get to communicate with us ever suffering ratepayers.
I'm sure if you took time out from your pressing Council duties to take Michael to lunch as a PR exercises, you will find him to be a thoroughly nice person.

Regards Robbie Williams
President of the Cairns Tropic Jazz Club Inc.
and another thoroughly nice person.

Anonymous said...

In light of your recent comments, you are definatley in need of some help.

Perhaps Councillor Julia Leu could tutor you on community/pubilc relations?

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith,

I’m with Mike, despite being usually regarded as a right wing death beast I think maybe you should just keep your mouth shut?

If there is any attempt within Council to return to the corrupt cabal of Kevin Byrne then watch out girl....

Oh, by the way dear Meredith can you pass on a query to Blakey about why he has never responded to genuine enquiries about hooning and crime on the Esplanade specifically related to his jurisdisdiction despite profound direct personal promises to do so?

We have been frauded at the most recent election on all fronts by the defeated joke of a mayor and council administration needs a hoof up the the arse including you!

Anonymous said...

Who said CairnsBlog's editorial integrity can't be purchased?

>>> take Michael to lunch as a PR exercises, you will find him to be a thoroughly nice person.

Prawns at the Villa Romana?

Incidentally, I wonder who pays when Council takes Murdoch staffers to lunch? I trust it's on a News Ltd tax deductible expense account?

It would be too horrible to imagine the beleagured cairns ratepayer footing the bill. Those guys have big appetites - and there's lots of 'em.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Julia Leu does not bother to even respond if the matter does not impact on Port Douglas. This has occured on a number of occasions. Interestingly I have received responses to everything I have addressed to The Mayor and not just a standard answer which is impressive considering her role and job description versus Julia Leu.

Cr Blake should have a lot more time to respond to you Thersites as according to an Ad in the Cairns Post his Bean Bag and Plastic Furniture buisness is for sale.

Anonymous said...

Stig, your experience with Julia Leu would seem to be very different than mine. Just this weekend, two Clifton issues received prompt responses and aggressive follow-up with council staff after being reported to her.

Given her excessively large division with its myriad of issues, I and other neighbours have limited our direct complaints to her out of consideration for her time. Perhaps the matters you've reported are too trivial for her time.

Anonymous said...

Good on you Mike for publishing this, and for recognising the twaddle this sad and sorry CRC staffer feels entitled to get away with.

I'm waiting to see if Val is up to the difficult job of persuading CRC staff to provide ratepayers and residents with services - as distinct from treating them as incoveniences in an otherwise placid day of lattes and sudoku.

If Meredith doesn't like dealing with the public, she ought resign from her Council job, and become Jamie Packer.