Clarification but no apology


I was surprised to learn of the Facebook blow-back on my letter about the Post-election Council Meeting and especially the discussion around the election of the Deputy Mayor.

I make no apology for any of the observations I made about the contrasting ‘campaign speeches’ made by Councillors Jensen and Polley.

But some readers, apparently with a ’between the lines reading disability’, thought that I believed that Councillor Polley could go down to George St and bring home a grant of 20 million.

And that I was therefore disappointed that he lost the election.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Even as a kid, I had trouble with the Tooth Fairy and I sometimes thought that Superman was a bit far-fetched.

I suggest that the pomp and ceremony about the appointment of the Deputy Mayor and the importance of the role is nonsense.

As a process, it may even be perceived as perverting the course of democracy.

The ratepayers elected eight Councillors.

They have equal status when the votes are finally counted.

If the Deputy Mayor had any serious status and responsibility, he or she should be elected by the voters of the region just as the Mayor is.

Instead of bewailing the reduction of the current Deputy Mayor’s term of probation to a year, I suggest it should be limited to a period of six months.

At the end of every six month period the position should go to another Councillor.

That would give all Councillors an equal share of the limelight and the electorate a look (if they are at all interested) at their individual merits.

Some readers may recall that some weeks ago I publicly urged the Councillors to stay in contact with the community.

So I was disappointed to learn that the photo caption on the front page of Gympie Today—‘ The Full Quota’—was quite misleading.

It was a significant occasion marking 63 years of service by the Quota Club which does much charitable work in the community.

But the chair reserved for an expected Councillor was never warmed.

Did someone forget – or just not have time?

One Facebook critic asserted that ‘No one listens to Merv Welch’.

It seems he is right about the Councillors anyway.

– Merv Welch

The Palms