Wednesday 6 May 2009

13 months on

It took the CEO of Cairns Regional Council, 13 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days to install the new sign at the Spence Street Council office.

This 'operational' matter, was given no priority, whilst the old 'Cairns City Council' sign adorned the property for over a year following the amalgamation with Douglas Shire.

When I wrote to Noel Briggs last July, asking when his staff were going to update the signage, I had no response. This was interesting, because the CEO was quick-smart in ordering his workers to tear down the Douglas Shire Council's sign on the Mossman office the Thursday before last year's March election.

However, Noel has been the busiest Code of Conduct CEO in the history of Cairns. Over the last few weeks, Conduct enquiries have been firing at two or three a week.

On Wednesday 15th April, the day of Councillor Diane Forsyth's Conduct hearing, an altercation broke out in the foyer, outside the chamber.

"Don't worry Nikki," Cr Diane said to Nikki Johnston, the main complainant in the sham Conduct hearing. "I think you were set up."

Her husband, local artist Robin, with a reputation of aggression, jumped up and started to burst into an angry abuse at Forsyth, but was told to sit down by his protective wife. Good job. However, minutes later, and I mean minutes, she filed another Code of Conduct complaint against Councillor Forstyh, before the ink had even dried on the current one!

A Council staffer who wished to remain anonymous, said that Johnston was seen in the building typing up the complaint on a Councillor's computer. It won't take a rocket scientist to work out who that was.

Within the hour, CEO Noel Briggs emailed Councillor Forsyth and advised her of the Conduct compliant and that she had to 'attend a meeting in his office with Mrs Johnston'. Of course, Diane was going to do no such thing.

This drama was all over the now infamous Operation Red Hot Poker report, that was illegally tampered with by the CEO, before being presented to Councillors, and is the subject of an investigation by the Minister of Local Government. I think someones going to get a bloody good hiding.

As one Councillor said to me yesterday, "I pay as much attention to Noel Briggs as he pays to me, and that's nothing!"

So here's the new sign, thanks to Noel Briggs' very busy workload, full of Conduct complaints, policing illegal stickers of Councillor's Leu's vehicle, totally ignoring the Dengue plague and letting buckets of mosquito larvae breed in his Work depots, and even telling Councillor Lesina that she should shut down her Facebook account.

Man, has this guy got a lot on his plate.


Cairns Resident said...

My Councilor can not even tell me what this joker is paid. How is that for accountability?

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

It's all getting very steamy at Council isn't it? Now Mike, have some pity on poor Mr. Briggs - his time is spent pandering to the machinations of the Gang of Four, and filing all those breaches of the Code of Conduct, & dealing with investigating firms who can't work out which Code they are basing their decisions on. Very tough.
Really, I think the job is way beyond Briggs - & his conduct in the Operation Red Hot Poker scandal is indicative of this. Even to name such an investigation "Operation Red Hot Poker" is damning.
I would love to know which Councillor allows their computer terminal to be used by the public -then I could go & post stuff on the Blog free & gratis. A very kind Councillor obviously.
Robin Johnston is a complete ratbag - totally loopy, & very nasty.
I've just had an idea - to ease poor Mr. Briggs workload, how about we schedule a Code of Conduct investigation for one Councillor a month? We can do it alphabetically or by Division (1 to 10).
We could all come along & participate: if it's held on the lawns outside Council, the councillor chosen for the Breach that month stands on the lawn, & the residents have the option of throwing tomatoes at them if we think they're guilty. Those with the most tomatoey mess get the Breach Award of the Year, & gets outsted from Council.
Quick, easy (no investigation fees to be paid), would save a forest of paper, & what a tourist attraction! Apart from which, the goodly stallholders at Rusty's get to get rid of any rotten tomatoes. Democracy in action.

And, Cairns Resident above, your Councillor should be able to dig up the CEOs wage info fairly quickly. It is in the public domain. And if your Councillor won't/can't find out, try another Councillor. Rob Pyne is always a good bet in that dept. Alternately, you can ring up the Council - 4044 3044 - & put in a request.
I remember when a number of us were trying to get a fair deal on rates rises (& didn't because Fat Kev had already decided what he wanted to do) Cr. Annette Shepherd said if we didn't get any joy out of our local Divisional Councillor, then we were free to approach another.

nocturnal congress said...

You wonder just who plotted and schemed this "Cash for Comment" debacle? There isn't any doubt in my mind it was all hatched in some dark, nefarious mind. That it hasn't quite worked out the way they intended must be gnawing away at them.

hieronymus bosch said...

re cash for comment.

obviously it should only takes 24 hours to dig up the truth.

however, it must take 24 days to make up a good lie.