It is a sad time when someone elected to represent local residents gets the wrong answer so often. Denise Knight is one such person. Elected as mayor in the last election, she promised so much but delivered very little.
Each time there was a major decision to be made it seems she simply complied with the wish of the General Manager. The roles were reversed. Instead of being a voice for the community Mrs Knight frequently ignored the residents. At times she even said she was “listening” – but, it is obvious, not to the residents.
In fact, she seemed to forget the General Manager is a paid employee. In the role of Mayor she should have given direction to the General Manager. In turn the General Manager is there to put in place activities to achieve the desired direction. He is not and should not be regarded as the oracle (or a dictator).
Look at some of the problems from the last election period. The Mayor did not express a worthwhile opinion on:
Budgetary control measures,
Proposed rate level increases,
Creation and operation of Coastal Works,
Saving the Deep Sea Fishing Club,
Acquisition of the old “Catholic Club”,
Volunteer contributions to the Botanical Gardens,
Saving trees in Pioneer Park,
Proper planning for the Jordan St intersection and
Many more substantial tasks.
Rather the Mayor took the easy option. It didn’t require any mental exertion to “rubber stamp” anything and everything put before her.
Did the Mayor not realise the council employees were prepared to send her on a wild goose chase rather than have her monitor what was happening in the council? Why else did the control of the feral shopping trolley attract so much attention? It was a distraction. Better to have the Mayor do something could have been very easily fixed by a junior member of council. Make the task so important it needed the attention of the most senior person. Mayor, the solution was so simple. Ask the council to impound the offending trolleys. Next have the supermarket pay a premium to get them back otherwise sell them off as scrap.
So Mayor, what will the community remember about your term in office? Residents will recall the numerous photo shots of you opening fetes and fairs. A task that is operational and not exactly strategic in its nature.
Perhaps Mrs Knight you should adopt the campaign slogan “A vote for Knight is a vote for the General Manager”. After all he wants to be strategic and you want to be operational.


    1. True, not that it seems to have stopped her from returning Chris. I think name recognition and being first on the ballot paper didn’t hurt in that regards.

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