With elections heating up, there is no doubt a sharper focus on the councillors’ current performance and past achievements.
And if you were to just take The Echo’s front-page story as an indication of their abilities, it would be an unfair judgment.
The job entails a workload completely at odds with remuneration and it will never live up to the public’s expectations. But the expectation is to get it right, and obviously something went very wrong with the way the surf school tender process was handled. The Echo looks forward to the results being made public in the hope it won’t be repeated in the future.
So what does this mean for councillor hopefuls?
In case they were interested in what happened at the last meeting on Thursday (there was only a handful of them present):
Public access started at 9am, which gave an opportunity for the public to lobby for their DA, for example. But it has also been known as a chance for the public to stand in front of councillors and staff and whinge. That was followed by a short break before a long, long, long day of considering and debating a 380-page agenda.
That’s 380 pages of notice of motions (NOMs), submissions and grants, reports by divisions, committee reports, councillors’ questions with notice and not forgetting confidential reports and late reports. The minutes from this average-sized agenda noted that 67 items were discussed. Yours truly left around 5.30pm and it looked like they were just settling in.
Despite the ideological differences that day (and all others), there appeared enough cohesion to get things done. And the sad fact for ratepayers is that knowledge hard-won over four years is mostly lost, especially on this occasion when all but three Councillors are retiring.
So to all 29 councillor hopefuls: good luck, you’re going to