Friday, 21 August 2009

Boot Bonneau, Blake out of their office

Two Councillors are clinging on to their plush locked office, even though they have no need for it.

Coupled with this, the new chair of the Finance and Administration committee, Councillor Linda Cooper, along with Councillor Paul Gregory who chairs Water and Waste, are seeking their own office each.

They are so keen, they've even asked Brett Gosser, Cairns Regional Council's manager of corporate services price up how much the new offices will cost. They have requested new offices be constructed, at a whopping cost.

Most Councillors operate in an open plan environment, a fab idea that was created in the early 80's to enable workplaces to engage in better communication. There was praise and ridicule, if not confusion, about what many felt was an Amercianised influence into our workplace.

Nevertheless, Blake and Bonneau, who is still overseas, are clinging onto their private offices. When Blake heads away next week for two weeks leave, maybe Paul and Linda should simply do what your big brother would do when you were away at Summer Camp.

Besides the Mayor on level 3 of the Spence Street Council building, Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane and Councillor Robert Pyne enjoy their own office. However, if size was a measurement of status between the two, Margaret would be accused of compensating for a small appendage, if you know what I mean.

I believe that Blake and Bonneau do require a locked office. Why don't they telephone Lotus Glen Correctional Centre to see if they has a spare room.

25 comments:

Ross Parisi said...

Michael, you have raised important issues of use/miss use of public assets. I am sure there must be a written policy on matters referred.

Perhaps the Acting CEO might like to inform the public on current policy.

Alison Alloway said...

Mike, I worked in "open plan" offices in the public service for years. No, it did not encourage or foster a sense of co-operativeness or better communication. The physical constraints may have been taken down, but were quickly replaced with self-serving, ego-driven constraints. Phone conversations were able to be heard and hasty and erroneous judgements formed. Ditto, face to face interviews attracted unasked commentary from observers and confidence and self-assurance dropped. Finally, confidentiality was abandoned. This was a partcularly grim and serious consequence of "open plan."
Frankly, I have no problems with Councillors having their own office.

NorthernBeachesWarrior said...

I doubt very much if Bonneau ever uses his own office at Council chambers. He spends most of every day at home, seemingly working from home! That way he can communicate with his developer friends without drawing too much attention to his questionable activties and there is no one to overhear his conversations or able to account for his time spent on Council matters.

He only leaves home for Council meetings!

Alison Alloway said...

Not good NorthernBeachesWarrior! I am aware that previous Councillors have said they preferred to work from home because they were more accessible to their constituents. However I don't see why they shouldn't operate much the same way elected Members of Parliament do and see their constituents in their offices. I also remember Bob Burgess when he represented my Division, standing every Saturday in the Westcourt Shopping Plaza talking to everyone and prepared to listen to whoever had a gripe.
The late (and great) Rose Blank also regularly visited shopping centres to be more accessible to people.

Thaddeus said...

I'm digressing again, but I wonder why Bonneau changed his name? Yeah I agree that the phonetics of "Sno Bonneau" are almost lyrical and roll off the tongue and are memorable. That alone would attract votes from the totally moronic element in our community. Yet, was there another reason??? From Max Brown to Sno Bonneau is one quantum leap in name change encompassing a contrived change in ethnicity as well. With a name change like that, he could throw off his Anglo Saxon background and invent a French or continental background.
It could be just idle speculation on my part, but it could be that there is something in his background he doesn't want people to know. Heeeeeeeeelloooo, a skeleton in the old closet???!!!

Tony Hillier said...

Yes indeed, those were the days, Alison ... when councillors had a genuine sense of civic duty. Buffoon that he was, Bob Burgess took his responsibilities seriously. Had Rose Blank and Keith Goodwin survived that plane crash, you can't help believing that Cairns would be a much better place than it is today. Certain current councillors (and we all know who they are, don't we listeners!) toy with their well-paid positions and their "constituents" and indulge in Machiavelian plots and politics rather than do the job they were elected for. They must be held accountable — the future of Cairns is at stake.

Tyson said...

Why does Pyne have his own office?

mary said...

I agree with Alison, our elected representatives should be out and about much more. M.P. Steve Wettenhall is ALWAYS at Smithfield Shop Markets if he is home, and Mayor Val pops up everywhere meeting minority groups and listening to their questions. I don't think too many others can be credited for doing same. There must be a way of providing Councillors with their own offices without the huge expense.

Mark Davis said...

what a waste of time this blog is, aren't there some serious issues in this community worth covering. honestly, how does these two blokes having an office afffect the general public? It doesn't, if there's room in the building I don't have a problem with the entire council having their own offices.

hieronymus bosch said...

coops took over blake's office yesterday

cutting hedge said...

"mary" you can,t fool us you are or were steve noballs "the ghost who talks" campaign manager, be upfront, don,t use this blog to promote that goose!

John, Kuranda said...

In the lofty (and green) environs of Kuranda, Tablelands Regional Councillor Ms Jenny Jensen has a small office where her constituents can meet with her. Sure sure is not there all the time, but her presence is appreciated.

Surely a similar situation could be put in place for the august CR councillors. Perhaps a small space in exisiting Council real estate scattered across Cairns?

Clifton Ratbag said...

Steve Wettenhall "out and about"? Are you insane? The guy hides from everyone, all the time, except after the election signs went up. He's the most inaccessible MP in Australia.

KitchenSlut said...

Shouldn't there be a Dilbert comic posted with this?

Trust the humourless public servant Alison to provide the real humour with her serious consideration of the behavioural issues lol :-)

Linda Cooper said...

Hi Mike,

Just a correction or two needed here. I didn't ask anyone to "price" me up an office. As the new Chair of Finance & Administration I am now taking calls from residents who are suffering financial difficulty and am having conversations that I don't believe need to be overheard by all and sundry - Cairns being the small town that it is. To that purpose I thought it was a lot more sensitive to be in an office. Personally I much prefer to be in an open environment and anyone that has visited the CityLife office will attest to this. However, I'm now dealing with the privacy of others and that deserves attention. Apart from the Deputy Mayor's office, there are four other separate offices allocated for Councillor use. I asked for one of these and when I was advised that another one was going to be built I actually commented (Cr Lesina can confirm this) that I didn't want money spent on new offices.

Hieronymus is correct - I moved into Cr Blake's office yesterday.

Barron River Barry said...

hey it's great to see a real live councilllor write on here!

Good on you Linda, we love u! I agree that your role requires privacy when dealing with concerned residents, however when you say you've moved into Councillor Blake's office, can you please confirm that he has moved out?!

Alison Alloway said...

Hehehe KitchenSlut, nonetheless Cr Cooper confirms that privacy is an issue.

Sir Humphrey said...

Tsk Tsk Barron River Bazza - in shocking taste that comment Mmme Coops is not to be tarred with any of the Blake brushes please. Nicely put Coops and here is a salient point. Office design must reflect the business of the office. Creative - open plan, talking personal financial info - closed space. Cost - should be inbuilt into a council budget and I am sure that there is a space or two in Tom's Taj for a hard working committe head to get a bit of privacy.Clifton - spot on - what a spineless hideaway Whetnoballs has turned out to be. Even his union mates cant find him to shoot him for supporting Pirate Bligh's grand selloff - bloody hopeless. Sno's change of name - interesting FOI anybody??

Mel. South Side said...

I find it hard to believe all this rubbish about offices for councillors.
People seem to have lost interest in important matters such as, why has the Henry Report,Briggs payout and Hull's fully paid holiday been swept under the carpet.Has Hull been given the bullet or is she still on the payroll.
I for one still want information about these important matters.It is possible that this information is being held back by the Mayor and other Councillors,will the truth never come out?

Barron River Barry said...

Humphrey I have it on good authority, as an employee in Spence St, that Bkake and Cooper are indeed good mates and I know what side of the fence Cooper is on and it's nit Val's.

Dave j. Paramatta Park said...

Hey Mr Davis... It matters because they want $16,000 to build the two offices.

So if you agree that everyone should have their own offices, then are you prepared to foot the bill?

And I work in the Martyn St Works Depot, for your info. A few of us were ralikjng about this at smoko on Friday that's all.

hieronymus bosch said...

Cr Cooper and Blake are NOT 'mates', they merely represent the same interests.

Barron River Barry said...

Well there you go. They are birds of a feather then. Personally I didn't think Coops would be into the same low life dirty little games as Blake. However, thanks for the confirmation.

Chow Chow said...

Wondering when Coops might ask for an adjoining doorway to Councillor Gregory's office - he is her BFF (BEST FRIEND FOREVER)and they spend so much time together I think an adjoining doorway would be a great idea!

Oliver Redlynch said...

Well for all the talk on here about irrelevance (and yes I agree you need access to a private office for private discussions so such "hot-desking" space should be available), you can guarantee that should Val have asked for a bigger office, or spent any more money on her furniture - this would be a FRONT PAGE EXPOSE' by GAVIN KING - with comments from various pet councillors and accompanying derogadory comments from the orchestrated right-wing attack gang.