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Peter Bernard - 14 November 2017

Peter Bernard made the below comments at the Ordinary Council Meeting 14 November 2017.

Madam General Manager

I refer to your reply of 2nd November 2017 reference No. E17.1042.6472.17 as follows and assume that all councillors have a copy of my address of the 10th October 2017 and your reply. If not it should have been distributed and tabled.

Madam General Manager you have stated that Council’s Media Policy was adopted policy on September 2017.

  1. Could you advise me what changes, if any, have been made to that approved on 10th September 2013 given that this the only policy I can find on  your website. This states that it should be automatically reviewed after 12 months and after election of a new council/
  2. Your reply to question 2 is inconclusive and could be interpreted by some that you may not be advised beforehand what is interpreted to be said. You have stated in your letter you have delegated authority to designating specialist staff to speak or respond! Would you please advise who these people are and what criteria you have used to decide whether they are as described by you as “subject matter experts” and “specialist staff”? With respect Madam GM there are many so called experts on matters associated with climate change. I would assume that they would need to have a doctorate degree of your standing in the appropriate field and not merely one with a planning certificate that could be considered a subject expert. Please advise what academic qualifications do the “subject matter experts hold”. If you look into this you may very well be surprised.   
  3. Your reply to question 4 is also inconclusive and would be considered by many that you don’t know what has been said or intended to be said.
  4. Your reply to question 5 concerning the keeping of records of what has been said is also a mystery.  I, and others, cannot find any record of what the "subject matter expert” said matter expert'' said. Your statement indicates that the council keeps no recordingsof what has been said on matters discussed by staff on radio media. Previous advice from council that the speaker spoke off the "top of his head" on an issue affecting thousands of property owners is totally unsatisfactory.
  5. Your answer to question 5 is also considered totally unsatisfactory and you should realise that most working people are either driving to or attempting to find work at the time the media discusses most Council matters. Radio media provides a "platform" for different voices as you have described. Madam general manager you should deliberate on this statement and reconsider your reply to me in an address concerning the live streaming of non agenda items. I can advise you that I have discussed the matter of your reply with the Mayor and Councillor Constable.  She, like I, considered the letter was poorly worded. Your reply was published on council website.If this reply represents the view of a majority of Councillors then it sets the scene for the suppression of free speech and the fall of this currently elected council. The wording reflects on the integrity of all the wonderful people that have taken the time to research and address the Councillors on matters they may not be aware of. That is why they care to come here. Most have all drifted away and once they do they will not come back. Suppression of free speech and community cooperation may encourage people to resort to vengeance against the domination of the bureaucracy. The closest form of government to the people was and should always be Local Government. It is dear to them and under threat by all-powerful hierarchy unable to relate to its community and lack of understanding of its real role. This attitude is reflection on all wonderful people that are working for them and the community.