Monday 22 December 2008

Blind allegiance to Mayor Valerie?

Cairns Regional Councillor Robert Pyne like to stand out of the pack. He voted against the Rate Rise. He wanted to sell off unused Council land. He stood by his pre-election promise to not support anymore highrise apartments in his neighbourhood.

Here he takes his right of reply in the stewing debate following two Code of Conduct enquiries.

[Fab photo of Rob: CairnsPost]

It seems to me that the issue of Council and how it operates is attracting much attention recently. Personally, I find nothing that has happened surprising. In fact it is just what one comes to expect in politics.

I can’t comment on the particular matter of Mayor’s Schier comments in response to the Council decision not to accept $2M of state funding for a neighbourhood Centre, as I may be in breach of the Local Government Act. However, there is a simple way to work out which Councillors are being mischievous and which are just doing their job. Simply ask each Councillor to confirm or deny they will be standing for the position of Mayor at the next election. Those who are up to no good will mumble some political waffle and refuse to declare their intentions. It is these would-be-Mayors that compromise the hard work of every Divisional Councillor with their carrying on.

Now I could never be accused of blind allegiance to Mayor Valerie, but people to need to understand the limits on her ability to control Council. Going back as far as the last real amalgamation (Cairns City and The Mulgrave Shire), Mayor’s Pyne and Byrne have had:

  1. Workable majorities
  2. A Loyal Deputy
  3. A strong inner sanctum (e.g. John Lane, Gary Schofield, Dennis Quick, etc.)

Unfortunately for Val she has none of these. What she has had is a hostile media, including Gavin King commenting on everything from her hair colour and her office décor.

Make no mistake, I think it is our responsibility to highlight where the Mayor is on the wrong track, but at the same time, let’s please have some balance in the debate. In some respects Val has been placed in a similar position to a one legged man in the proverbial bottom kicking competition. Please, let’s not be surprised when she falls over (or more often is pushed).

Finally let me predict that if Councillor Blake is successful in having the Mayor’s alleged ‘breach of ethics’ put to a vote that it will be a 5-6 vote. Should such an outcome concern anyone? Not really, it will just be a political outcome, by those seeking to attack the Mayor, nothing more nothing less.

It happens in state and federal politics all the time, but for some reason, these fine men and women are allowed to be judged by a different set of rules. Is their behaviour always as pure as the driven snow?

I will leave that question with you.


Anonymous said...

I'm secretly in love with Cr Pyne. One day when his wife's not around.. well.. let's leave it to the element of surprize.

Anonymous said...

Ive said it once I will say it again, Cr Blake is nothing more than a bully. Myself with another 100 or so people were there the day he pushed that young girl over in Rustys. nice to see he can restrain himself to paper bullying instead now days.

Anonymous said...

I think Vals goin fine..just dont hear of the positives she does due to the papers seemingly endless attacks. Keep up the great work Rob.