The Lismore Council Meeting Part 2: the less important stuff
Lismore City Council’s new interim leadership of mayor Vanessa Ekins and interim general manager Michael Donnelly have made a rapid start to life.
Part 2 of the council’s fortnightly meeting was concluded in under an hour, making Tuesday’s original meeting part look like the Dakar Rally while also proving the sequel is never quite as exciting as the original.
Featuring close to uniform unanimity in all voting from councillors and a distinct lack of any commentary, here are my picks for the most interesting things that happened on Wednesday.
1) Will somebody think of the police?
Police parking was back on the agenda after the traffic advisory committee met and this one looks like it will go around in circles.
The Richmond Police District are looking for five extra parking spaces around their premises to park their emergency and heavy-duty response vehicles on Zadoc St, but Cr Darlene Cook asked what most people are thinking, why are council fixing a state government issue?
“This is another example of the state government failing to adequately provide parking for state employees,” she said.
Cr Neil Marks offered some insight, wondering aloud if the council instituted free parking for nurses, why would the council not provide the some assistance to the police, also frontline workers?
“Aren’t the police frontline workers as well? Why is it that we seem to go ‘oh it’s the police’ … they’re frontline workers,” he said.
“If it makes their job easier to look after us, I can’t see why we’re arguing.”
The matter will be reviewed when council review the carparking strategy review.
2) What happens on the Central Coast stays on the Central Coast.
The Central Coast does not share much with Lismore other than Gary Murphy and Cr Bill Moorhouse is hoping it stays that way …. And Lismore doesn’t adopt the Coast’s habit of funds they are not “entitled” too.
“Basically I understand that Central Coast lost a lot of money because they were spending money they weren’t entitled too,” he said when council discussed matter 14.10.
Cr Moorhouse wanted an “assurance” that the same wouldn’t happen that type of spending would not happen here.
According to Council staff, that would be unlikely because as long as the council stick to the budgets, Council would not be spending restricted funds.
Barefoot Investor-esque advice.
3) Why can’t we all just get along?
Councillors expense reporting was on the agenda, with the most notable being the amount of money reported in the professional development space.
The councillors have all “unanimously agreed” to participate in facilitated training to help, in the words of mayor Ekins, “deal with our conflicts.”
“It was a good opportunity for us all to air our experiences here,” Cr Ekins said.
Looking at the expense report, it seems that training to ensure councillors respect each other and their varied opinions costs $1,322.82 per councillor.
Yet, common sense is free.