As you can see in the image Cr Mills has found himself sitting at a table with three Liberal councillors, while the Labor councillors and other independent, Eva Campbell, occupy the opposite table. If the seating arrangement remains the same, Cr Mills can expect to have the Liberals chirping in his ear constantly for the next four years. That is a lot of pressure for a first time councillor holding the balance of power.
Tuesday night will also see the election of the new mayor, deputy mayor, a decision made about which councillors go to the annual NSW Local Government Conference (which has been the cause of some animosity in the past) and the assignment of important committee positions that have been dominated by the Liberals over the past term.
You can have a look at what is coming up in the meeting in more detail below.
ORD 01 Election of Mayor: There are two likely candidates for this position:
- The current mayor and head of the Liberal faction Lara Symkowiak and
- The longest serving of current councillors and former mayor, independent Eva Campbell.
ORD 02 Election of Deputy Mayor: There are a number of possibilities here. Four members of the council have held the position of deputy mayor in the past: Cindy Cagney (ALP), Eva Campbell (IND), Therese Fideli (LIB) and Peter Sidgreaves (LIB).
ORD 03 Choosing Council Representatives for committees: These positions are very important as in many instances they have profound impacts on how the council represents our area to important government institutions. On our former blog we noted the lack of experience when all four Liberal councillors voted themselves onto the Joint Regional Planning Panel, a panel that gives advice on regionally significant development. Here's hoping the new council will appear to make decisions that focus on the community and don't favour one party. You can see a full list of committee positions and who held them previously here. We will update this page once new positions have been filled.
ORD 04: Local Government NSW Annual Conference: As the page of the conference states, "The Conference is the annual policy-making event for all councils of NSW... It is the pre-eminent event of the local government year where local councillors come together to share ideas and debate issues that shape the way we are governed."
It's important to remember that the Liberal Bloc changed council policy on September 25, 2012, so that only those councillors voted in by the majority could attend this meeting. Since that decision, it appears only Liberal councillors and their allies have been allowed by the council to attend this meeting. In the past any councillor could attend.
Prior to the change, those councillors not selected specifically by the council could go but they had to pay their own way.
The councillors that we can confirm through online records that attended the meetings since the decision was made are:
2012: Battle against changes to policy. No list of selections given in meeting minutes.
2013: Fischer, Sidgreaves, Fedeli and Symkowiak
2014: Not in meetings minutes
2015: Copeland, Fischer, Sidgreaves, Fedeli and Symkowiak
Interestingly, Camden Council only provides its most recent annual report online, making it impossible to get any more detail. It would be useful if all past annual reports were provided online, at least in pdf form. .
I'll report on the meeting outcomes as soon as possible after the event.