Mayor intends to “dock Councillors pay” for non-attendance at meetings. Before implementing such a step, it is worthwhile looking at Councillors attendance, particularly during the 2008-12 term. Download report from this Link: (Pages 14-16); http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/5263/Liverpool-City-Council-2011-2012-Annual-Report-Parts-1-3.pdf
During the 2008-12 Council term, most Committees, Council and briefing meetings were held after normal working hours. However, since September 2012 when Clr Mannoun was elected Mayor, most meetings were changed to daytime hours, some starting at 9:15 am through to 5:30pm, arguably to suit the Mayor and business attendees, unlike most Councillors with conventional work commitments.
Co-incidentally, those changes occurred when the Mayor announced he would be a “full-time Mayor”. Also co-incidentally, most of his team of Liberal business orientated Councillors enjoy flexible working hours, unlike the majority of Councillors.
As the only Independent Councillor and retired I attend more meetings than most, but that is not the point, the Mayor changed meeting times to suit his agenda, not Councillors! To turn that into a Political media campaign vilifying Councillors unable to attend daytime meetings is somewhat hypocritical and opportunistic.
Having a young family and expecting to be home in the evening and weekends is a natural expectation, but contrary to Mayoral job requirements. Changing Council Meeting times to suit preferred personal working hours is not in the best interests of fellow Councillors or Council, particularly when the majority of those Councillors also “work” on behalf of their constituents, and often for less than $2 an hour.
It’s also highly unfair for some TV media presenters to pontificate on this issue when few are aware of the work most Councillors do after normal working hours! I would be happy to debate that subject with any Journalist genuinely interested.