The number of people who attended Wednesday’s council meeting may have surprised everyone. A couple of late arrivals took the headcount up to about 60 and the majority were supporters of Concerned Inverell Ratepayers Association (CIRA) who were there in a show of solidarity as the association’s petition against the plan was handed over to council.
Council tried a conciliatory approach by offering the opportunity of a meeting with councillors and staff in a Mayoral Minute that was subsequently passed by council.
COUNCIL AND RATEPAYERS GO HEAD TO HEAD
It was a lively meeting and although Mayor Paul Harmon later said there was a sprinkling of Town Centre Renewal Plan supporters present, they did not speak at the public forum, perhaps, instead, opting for discretion.It was obvious from the tone of that part of the meeting that feelings ran high on both sides of this issue, and it was interesting to watch the reactions of the various councillors, which varied from bored to uncharacteristically animated.
What was also obvious (and has been for some time) was the genuine animosity between the groups. Unfortunately this animosity now borders on a hatred that does little credit to this community.
This community through no fault of its own has to live with that, and there is no use saying it is council’s fault because it is not, but it is not CIRA fault either.
Unfortunately, both are as untrusting, intolerant, fixated and inflexible as each other, and if it is a fact that CIRA put out misinformation, then it is also true that council did not put any extra effort into setting the record straight.
The mayor has said his councillors have been subjected to snubs and public ostracism by the savage attacks by CIRA. And CIRA thinks the arrogant behaviour of one councillor towards one of its members was intolerable and, worse still, nothing was done about it.
This whole issue is just getting so far out of control it is just not funny. Both parties need to remember an old saying that everyone who aspires to lead should repeat to themselves every night before they go to bed, ‘with power comes great responsibility’. Time to get responsible folks and think about compromise.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.