Sunday 20 September 2009

Briggs "should appoint new Council CEO"

In a feature article in the weekend Cairns Post, Council reporter Thomas Chamberlin shows how naive, and inexperienced he is.
Chamberlin calls for the disgraced former Cairns Regional Council CEO Noel Briggs to join the Mayor and her Deputy on the interview panel to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer.
In a reference to Mayor Schier and her Deputy Cochrane, the naive reporter, who turns 26-years-old tomorrow, questions if they can choose the right candidate and says they "might have operational knowledge of other councils but would have little or no idea what makes this council, or more importantly who makes this council, tick."
Is he, or his editor Andrew Webster, better suited to serve on the interview panel? Should Danny Betros pick the next CEO of Cairns? While we're at it, let's ask Kevin Byrne. What the heck, he should even apply for the role. Actually, according to Thomas' logic, KB has "intimate knowledge of the Council" too.
"Perhaps including someone like controversial former chief executive officer Noel Briggs, on the panel as the deciding vote, could serve this selection process? It’s a left-field idea, but at stake is a council seen by many in the public as nearing dysfunctional," Chamberlin writes.
Left field? Mate, it's something from Planet Zorb.
Thomas, I hate to break your bubble, but it was "nearing dysfunctional", that's why we're getting a new CEO, remember?
"Mr Briggs – whatever the perception of his time at the top – has intimate knowledge of the council and it is time he resurfaced from life post-resignation. And let’s face it, for the money that ratepayers shelled out on his sudden departure, he still owes us more than a few favours," Chamberlin says.
Promoting Noel Briggs to interview prospective CEO's for Cairns is akin to asking President Bush to head an anti-war march. Or Greens Senator Bob Brown building a floating hotel on the Great Barrier Reef, like Kevin Byrne wanted. Or Anna Bligh saving an historic Cairns waterfront Yacht Club building.
"Whatever the perception of his time at the top," Thomas writes. Should we discount what actually occured under Noel Briggs' watch?
Suggesting Briggs should interview candidates for his replacement is one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard. Nobody with any experience of this kind of corporate changeover would even contemplate it, let alone say it out loud.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
He talks about accountability to the public and that the public needs to feel satisfied that council decision-making is transparent, and the right decision is being made at all times. Yeah, yeah, we all get that. However, these are also the kind of high bench-marks we'd like to see the Cairns Post aspire to again.
We'd all like transparency and honest, fair reporting in our local paper. Unlike the free press releases you've been pumping out for Paul Freebody's doomed water park site. What about the free ride you gave to disgraced Councillors Alan Blake and Sno Bonneau, let alone Corporate Communications Manager Kerie Hull in the scandal over the secret radio deal done with John Mackenzie's 846am? And your team has been asleep at the wheel investigating the tenure under Noel Briggs, that allowed such mis-management and an environment that not only perpetuated the carry on to undermine Council's reputation in the community, but actively facilitated it.
Thomas Chamberlin finally dishes out advice from the safety of his Tetris-enabled computer: "Council should carefully consider the ramifications of making the wrong decision before hastily passing the keys to the city to an unsuitable puppeteer."
Great advice Tom. Val and Margaret would have never have thought of that. You're a gem.


Constance Lloyd said...

But a scruffy type of way...he is cute!

Tom said...

When you have a sub-standard small town rag like The Cairns Post, generally it comes with sub-standard reporters and reporting (there are exceptions, though clearly Thos Chamberlain is not one of them).

Al said...

This guy is just 26! What do you expect from a kid just out of his apprenticeship, journalistic wisdom? If he is any good, it will take at least a decade to become apparent. By then he'll either be writing leaders for the Oz, or sidelined at The Compost dishing out the same puerile crap we are so used to. Good luck Thomas, if it's the latter; try plumbing.

Brian, Kewarra said...

I initially gave Tom a bit more credibility. Maybe he was simple being provocative and joking? Then again, it's presented rather seriously so looks like be believes it. Oh dear.

Julie-Ann, Bayview said...

It would be funny if it was written by Gavin King. at least he made us laugh every weekend and you took his writings for a grain of salt.

Also King has a bit more life experience than 26 year old Tommy.

Simon J, Freshwater said...

Oh wow... we laughed out loud at this. My wife actually had to check the paper just in case the writer on this blog was having us on!

I think you're going to look the fool at Council meetings this week young Thomas!!

I was going to say think before you write, but maybe that's dangerous advice.

cyber bully said...

You should take a closer look at what this 'young' journo has done. He has uncovered some interesting finds with the council. (cash for comments is just one that comes to mind) Many of which you love nothing better in defending and going on about on here.

Let him do his job and push a few buttons or maybe we should save him from the darkside of the Compost and say come on board for CairnsBlog where his S**T would start smelling like roses (or Val/Council) almost after his first story....

Balaclava Road Bandit said...

Mike are you sure you don’t work for NewsLTD??? You seem to be distorting the truth like them anyways.

I read the article today.

Barely 2 paragraphs have a mention of Noel Briggs, one of which goes 'Noel Briggs or another former CEO'. Yes it's left field (as said in the article), but i think it has merit. Any former CEO has intimate knowledge of the workings of the beast, Briggs has the most current intimate knowledge and he owes the rate payer a few coins, I think it fair he work off his 'debt'.

Briggs wouldn't be 'interviewing' he'd be part of a selection panel. He wouldn’t have the final 'yes of no', he would be there to add his experience to the mix. Similar things happen in the Federal public service all the time (not sure about State)

Sure it is left field, but it’s not as stupid as it sounds. If anything the article talks up Tabulo, and i've heard only positive things about him.

Briggs stuffed up big time and he got the boat (although golden), but let’s not forget he served the Cairns community for a long time before that. He has experience and knowledge that absolutely no one else has.

Your tirade again Chamberlin is strange, the article sure doesn’t merit the venom you’ve spat at the young guy. Sounds like a personal attack wrapped up as 'news', maybe you should send a resume in to Foxnews…….

A Weed by any other name said...

You're joking Julie-Ann. There was more humour in Kevin Byrne's double chin than anything that the poisonous, sexist weed, King, ever 'wrote' in the Compost.

Cr Margaret Cochrane, Deputy Mayor said...

What a ridiculous statement to make, even in jest!!!!
Division 8 Councillor

Snagglepus said...

Au contraire Margaret, there is nothing more ridiculous than the deputy mayor running to the defence of the ridiculous Gavin who has fortunately been Kinghit all the way to Brisvegas

Living next door to the King said...

Or the ridiculous comments one makes without the right information. The King works and lives in Cairns.

Maximinus the 3rd said...

Nice to see that Cr Margaret Cochrane, Deputy Mayor also reads the Blog.

Now that she has broken the ice and is prepared to mix it perhaps we can have a contribution on issues that need clarity.

1. Like allowing/supporting, in the Barron River Delta, of the inappropriate development by one of her ex Council colleague Paul Freebody,

2. What role did she play in the 'Cash for Comment' fiasco,

3. Removing the resident's right to object to the Smithfield Town Centre,

4. Moving the motion that allows for the extension of the Pioneer Quarry at Caravonica against the concerns of objectors. Furthermore, this decision allows for the mining of the sand deposits upon which the historical Old Smithfield Township stood at the end of Redford Rd.

Margaret, it is time that you refrain from criticising Mayor Val, remove your veil and come clean.

You may find that you might regain some lost respect!!!

The Headless Horseman said...

I agree with Maximus the 3rd's comments about Cochrane. She is the Deputy Mayor, yet she is utterly disloyal to the Mayor, the latest regarding the cash-for-comment scandal. Cochrane should have warned the Mayor what was going on. In fact, Cochrane should have told Briggs, Hull, Bonneau and Blake in the first place to wake up to themselves and abandon their plot.

The Headless Horseman said...

I'm not sure Tom should be criticised for his age. I have seen some terrific young journos produce solid reporting at a much younger age. In fact, I know country town editors in their early-to-mid 20s.
The great American film director, Samuel Fuller, was a newsbreaking crime reporter at the age of 17. He famously broke the story of Broadway star Jeanne Eagels death in 1929 much to the astonishment of his bosses and peers.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Balaclava Road Bandit - Noel Briggs has only been on the Cairns scene for about 3 years. In fact, he was on 'stress leave' from the Mareeba (?) Shire Council when Kevin Byrne (last Mayor) asked him to come on board in Cairns.

Why would you appoint a new CEO, already on stress-leave from his former Council? Interesting question. Suggestion: aquiescence?

Briggs replaced Byrne's former CEO, David Farmer, who then went to Wollongong (NSW) Council, which underwent much crapola & dirty dealings - & at which time I'm not sure is finished.

So, the notion of Briggs being a useful contributor to the 'CEO To Be' panel is a nonsense. The guy was hopeless in the job, adversarial & underhanded towards the mayor, & in the Kerie Hull situation (& this is only one example), unable to be objective & reign in Hull's attitude towards the Mayor & Council she was PAID to represent.

I find spin-doctoring abhorrent, but the notion of a spin-doctor who is adversarial to the entity to which she/he is meant to be spinning is - well, completely bizarre, dada (a la dali).

And I agree completely with Headless about Margaret 'Forked Tongue' Cochrane - she sees herself as a powerbroker, is complicit in any shonky development going, does not represent her divisions in an even an objective manner, does not listen to the needs of community unless she can profit from that, & Loves photo-ops.

With Marg, the electoral divisions she won last time, she pours a lot of time & energy in to. The ones she lost - like Yorkeys (where I live) we get very little, & have to battle all the way - even for as little as a block of dunnies. She continually stalls and obfuscates on almost any community request, all whilst appearing the Caring Sharing Councillor.

Word is, she has ideas of becoming Mayor next time. Yeahhh, chance will be a fine thing.

Any comments, Margaret?

Blogster said...

Margaret, if that is the only thing you feel is worth commenting on on this blog then that is a sad state of affairs.

As for Tom, Headless, I agree that age should be no issue. Maturity however, is an issue, and Tom does not show much of that.

The comment by Michael when Gavin left the Post, something along the lines of, "thanks for sharing your puberty years with us" in my view applies equally to Tom.

KitchenSlut said...

A quick note on Lillian's reference to ex-ceo David Farmer he is still General Manager at W'Gong Council and as far as I am aware is not implicated in any shennanigans there. I think his appointment was actually after ICAC commenced investigations. The elected Councillors have been sacked and replaced by an appointed board of administrators until the next election.

Btiggs tenure at CRC has certainly not been a lengthy one and a core capability for the position should be an ability to cope with change in elected Councillors where he seems to have failed!