For some strange reason the back row of the audience was populated by young, loud men in suits. It looked a bit like a gaggle of early career real estate agents because the suits didn't look like the custom designed threads owned by stockbrokers. I'm not sure what their interest might be in a meeting that was always going to go smoothly.
Cr Paul Farrow was an apology for this meeting. There we no public addresses or mayoral minute.
So let's get to the 19 minutes of joy.
The amendments were accepted unanimously with Cr Sidgreaves noting that the childcare changes were particularly beneficial.
ORD02: Draft Camden growth areas Section 94 contributions plan
Passed unanimously without significant comment.
ORD03: Maccaria Art Gallery proposed corporate restructure
Cr Eva Campbell had missed the workshop around the restructure due to illness and so asked a few questions. She wanted to know if the Gallery was seeking gift deductions and did this also include ratepayer funds. The answer was no.
At this point, Cr Campbell suggested the Council would be racking up legal fees and asked if this came out of the Council's budget or was a Liberal donation from the Marsdens.
The mayor had to call Cr Campbell up for making a political comment. Despite laughingly suggesting after the meeting that the liberal comment was in fact a lower case “L”, it was clear this was just a comment to get under the skin of the Liberal councillors.
Cr Campbell then asked about the trust itself, trying to determine if the trust has the option of choosing where the artworks are displayed or whether these artworks belonged to the councillors or community in perpetuity.
A council officer replied that the donation of artworks were considered to be a gift to the trust and the actual custodianship would be held by the trust, which would decide where they are displayed.
Cr Campbell then asked how much was budgeted for the Curator Development Officer. It was noted that $124,000 had been set aside.
Saying she would vote in support of the restructure, Cr Campbell said she still had some reservations. She wanted to flag her concern as to whether the works were being held separate from the community in a trust as opposed to the extensive and valuable collection that had been built by the voluntary committee at no cost.
"I'm concerned as to where the control of this donation may lie," she said.
"From Mr Reynolds comments, I think that is something that needs to be looked at."
ORD04: Proposed road naming — Oran Park
Cr Sidgreaves moved this motion and supported the naming of the streets. "I am glad to see many of the streets are named after World War I Imperial forces who have links to the district," he said.
ORD05: December review of the 2016/17 operational plan (budget)
The surplus for the budget was $727, 714. Cr Fedeli moved the motion noting she was happy to see a balanced budget position and that the surplus had been allocated to capital works.
The mayor, Cr Lara Symkowiak, also felt the recommendation to move the surplus into the capital works reserve was a good run as they were a number of projects being considered by council officers.
ORD06: Investment monies
Cr Sidgreaves noted the current investment figures were well and truly above the industry benchmark and congratulated the council on its strategy. It is worth noting that although performing extremely well the percentage returns have declined very slightly during the year. This is likely due to changing economic factors rather than any marked change to investment strategy.
And the meeting ended at 6:19pm, by far the shortest meeting we have had since the new council was elected.