Unity needed in difficult times: Deputy Mayor
Published on 01 May 2020
Deputy Mayor Christine Adams took a stand for Council and its staff on Wednesday night after tabling a motion of urgency at the monthly meeting.
Cr Adams publicly acknowledged her support for the Mayor, General Manager and Council staff during a time of "stress and uncertainty" in Broken Hill due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
However Cr Adams also expressed disappointment that some Councillors appeared unwilling to work together, and were using social media to undermine Council's efforts and raise unrealistic expectations of Council within the community.
"It is a difficult time for our community and I believe that as Councillors - we should be actually supporting our Council and not criticising decisions made,” she said,
"If a Councillor does have a problem or a question let them approach a member of Council staff before putting it out to the general public."
Cr Adams questioned the recent actions of Councillor Tom Kennedy which included posting the Mayor's mobile phone number on Facebook, criticising Council for not closing the region's borders "when he knew full well we had no authority to do so", and calling for meetings to return to the Council Chambers during COVID-19 restrictions.
"It is irresponsible for any Councillor to promote action through Facebook that is known to be impossible for Council to implement,” she said.
"These are difficult times, and it is imperative we work together.
"I know this motion may be contentious for some, but it is up to my fellow Councillors to decide whether it is accepted or not."
The motion was carried 7-2, with only Cr Kennedy and and Cr Bob Algate voting against it.
Despite voting against the motion, Cr Kennedy affirmed his support for Council, and his right to disagree with its direction.
"I support the Mayor, General Manager, senior management, workforce, and other Councillors because it really is hard and I understand how hard it is," he said
"I'm sure it's particularly difficult for the Mayor. The Mayor is in the position where they are going to get more criticism than anyone else, they're the person at the top, that's the person that's going to get blamed.
"The General Manager has been in a position where it is extremely difficult, this is a position where the GM is having to worry about employees and loss of income, these are the same worries that every business in town is having.
"For the Senior Management Team - also very difficult, this is a time when you have to tell people that you're worried there may be no job or we may have to cut services
"...but that doesn't mean I'm going to agree or keep my mouth shut on things I don't agree with, and I will continue to fight for what I agree with and what people have come to me.
"But I'm more than happy to say I support the Mayor, the General Manager, the Senior Management Team, the workforce, and other Councillors during these tough times."