Friday, December 13, 2019

Meeting expressed lack of confidence in mayor

Cr Ben Shaw.
LAST night's Derwent Valley Council annual general meeting resulted in the majority of voters present backing a motion of no-confidence in mayor Ben Shaw, ABC News has reported today.

The motion put by former general manager Stephen Mackey was one of a number considered at the annual meeting, which lasted about two hours. This was followed by the monthly meeting and a closed meeting.

The ABC reports that a majority of community members at the meeting supported the motion of no-confidence, but the councillors present chose to vote against the motion or abstain.

Cr Shaw told the ABC he was elected by the public. "I represent the people that voted for me, and that was a majority of people that voted for me to be the mayor, and that's what I'll continue to do."

All the motions approved at the annual general meeting will be referred back to councillors at the next monthly meeting for their consideration.

The New Norfolk News will provide a comprehensive report of the meeting based on the official audio recording when it becomes available.

4 comments:

  1. That is 3 years in a row that a no confidence motion has been put forward at the AGM..Surely someone in higher power needs to look into the fiasco that is the Derwent Valley Mayor and council.

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  2. Why doesn't this surprise me???
    According to the article, some Councillors chose to abstain (not vote).
    I was under the impression that citizens & people would have the desire to actively participate in Government/Politics because they stood for something.

    Its a little worrying when you see this fundamental concept fail at a local level, where people have a great opportunity to be seen standing for something at a grass-roots level.

    We have to ask ourselves why these members of our local government have chosen this path, particularly considering timelines of things thus far (ie major turnover of Councillors, & where the status quo currently lies etc).

    Remember: Previous articles about Councillor resignations cited issues of bullying within the group.
    We can learn a lot about the current situation by looking at our past.
    I dare not mention our potential future based on our past & current situation if nothing changes.

    It may seem like a miracle is needed, to shift the status quo (just slightly), to bring about positive change, so that this local government may be able to (at least have the opportunity) to reconnect with its community.

    According to the article, the current Mayor justifies his position by being voted in through a 'majority vote'.
    He would appear to be correct in saying this, as far as a bunch of numbers on paper are concerned.
    But, would we feel justified by having a society that is governed purely based on popularity.
    Aside from mentioning his popularity ("people that voted for me"), the Mayor didn't mention anything about his connection to his community, or his desire to serve it.

    The Mayor may need to consider the above factors... & that sometimes things change, & the people that voted for you may not hold the same opinions as when they voted.

    As one of my fav superheroes (Spiderman) would say: "With great power, comes great responsibility".

    I would urge our Local Government to consider this, if they truly wish to reconnect with the community ('the people that voted for them'), & maybe one day get back to the fundamental roots that define Local Government - 'Think Big - Work Local'. (Its not just a cute bumper sticker).

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  3. Must be pretty bad if Mackey was leading the charge!

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  4. On the topic of public perspective/perception, I believe that will be captured once we see the........"The New Norfolk News will provide a comprehensive report of the meeting based on the official audio recording when it becomes available".

    Cr Shaw told the ABC he was elected by the public. "I represent the people that voted for me, and that was a majority of people that voted for me to be the mayor, and that's what I'll continue to do." A reflection by the Mayor on the confidence that the "majority" must still have in him to be our Mayor. Having said that the quote dovetails neatly into how the Mayor would like to see his recommendation about changing the Local Government Act.

    Cr Shaw said it was his personal view that the Local Government Act needed changing in relation to the election of mayors. "If you're running for mayor or deputy mayor you should run for that position [alone, and not] for a councillor position."

    Let us keep it local & reflect on our last election..... Eight candidates to be elected & this is how it all played out for 6 of the eight elected 4 wanted to be Mayor, 2 wanted to be Deputy Mayor. Therefore the outcome was that 2 candidates get the top two jobs. The other 3 people for Mayor & 1 person for Deputy Mayor did not achieve their goal but did get the other jobs, with two (2) candidates for Councillor getting the remaining jobs noting that one of which has been Mayor.

    The group dynamic changed slightly, in the last two recounts with another two candidates being elected whose goal was to be Deputy Mayor.

    Again... the Mayor "I go to mayors' meetings around the state and it's a very common theme that the person that you beat [in the mayoral election] and the person that is sitting around the table with you who harbors that resentment certainly can do lots more harm in the room than what they can out of the room." He did mention including Deputy Mayor (alone, and not) reform/changing of the Act. .

    Now to refer back to that "a very common theme" as mentioned by Mayor Shaw. The Derwent Valley mix is one Mayor with two others wanting to be, one Deputy Mayor with two others that asked us to vote for them to be the Deputy Mayor. The leadership & communication skills needed to navigate the decision-making process particularly at this point in time, in the life of this sitting Council came under fire & was put to the test at the annual meeting. The 'common theme' was not on display or demonstrated by the councillors in the room. If the council continues to demonstrate that same confidence in his leadership when the motion is put at the next (not so ordinary) of meeting.

    Now that would be a message the Mayor will be able to put in the mix when chatting in the room at "mayors' meetings.



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