Reader’s letter: councillor comments

THERE has been some considerable angst around last Thursday’s council meeting and some of the decisions made at that meeting. Questions have been raised about some councillor’s reasons for the way they voted on the motion put by Councillor Damien Bester in relation to the fencing of the buildings D, E, G, and F. There has also been a lot of comment made around council’s decision to hold part of their workshops in closed sessions.

It has been suggested by some that council does not care what happens to the Willow court site, nothing could be further from the truth, the issue of protecting Willow court from the vandalism that has and is occurring is not a simple one.

I cannot speak for other councillors but I will give my reasons for not supporting the motion. I don’t believe that spending more money on fencing will do what needs to be done; it is my belief that council must engage the services of a security specialist to advise council on the most effective ways to protect the site. It is no good to spend large amounts of money on a measure that by the opinion of same may have little or no effect. Fencing may well be one of the measures required but none of the councillors has the expertise to offer that advice. Too often we jump in and make a decision based on emotion, we need to find out the right way to go and then get on with it.

I was one of the councillors on the working group formed to undertake a review of the committee system; the working group was made up of five councillors and also council staff. During that review we asked that councillors send us their ideas and views, we received only one submission. That submission was included in our recommendation put to council. The main reason for holding part of council workshops is to give councillors a forum in which to raise issues or grievances,  it has been portrayed by some that the closed sessions are somehow set up to deceive the public, this is simply not true.

Finally let me say I respect every person’s right to their opinion, what I don’t respect is when people start to use derogatory terms to deride and belittle another because their opinion doesn’t mirror their own, be as strong as you like but keep it nice.

Councillor Chris Lester

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