Council meetings new spectator sport


I watched the replay of the post-election Council Meeting with interest and, I must admit, some amusement.

The discussion around the appointment of the Deputy Mayor afforded an opportunity to observe the dynamics of the new Council in play.

The contest was between Councillors Dolly Jensen and Warren Polley.

Ms Jensen’s nomination may have taken her by surprise.

Invited to speak to the role she expressed a few well-meaning cliches in less than a minute.

Cr Polley, on the other hand, read from prepared notes for at least five minutes.

Apart from sustained self-promotion, he threw in the odd patronising ‘approval’ of his rival’s candidacy.

He pledged always to do the Mayor’s bidding and to ‘make him look good’.

Mayor Hartwig must have been sorely tempted to support Cr Polley in the vote but showed remarkable restraint by abstaining.

Cr Polley emphasised that the main difference between Cr Jensen and himself was his ability to perform on the ‘big stage’.

Ms Jensen could ‘cut ribbons’ and ‘kiss babies‘, but he could go down to George Street, ‘bang a few heads together’, and obtain a grant of 20 million in the process.

What were the majority of Councillors thinking when they voted Cr Jensen in as Deputy Mayor?

Couldn’t Gympie do with that money?

Then Cr Milne doggedly persisted with her motion to have Cr Jensen’s term of appointment limited to one year instead of the customary four-year term. Despite considerable counterarguments, it was eventually carried.

At times I could almost ‘hear’ Mayor Hartwig silently regretting the failure of his former vice-captain to win Division 1.

There were other not exactly subtle interplays that suggested that this term of Council could be interesting.

– Merv Welch,

The Palms