“Council needs to get back to basics to regain trust” – Moffee

Moffee speaks for many of us in this regards. “Council Need To Get The Basics Right.”

Here, here!

Go to the following link and click on the “Council Need To Get The Basics Right” story. https://www.triplem.com.au/shows/moffee-for-breakfast

Cr Tegan Swan

And here is a message from Cr Tegan Swan (above) in regards to this;

“Heck yes! I’m here for this 🙌. It’s what I’ve been saying. If we do the little things right people will trust us to do the big things 🙌🙌. I’ll get some level of service info out today. This is the bit we need to focus on. We need to get these expectations right and then we will know what big projects we should be doing and in what order. 😍

Also check out www.yourcouncil.nsw.gov.au for easy to compare rates and services across NSW and also how our rates are utilised in our LGA.’

2 thoughts on ““Council needs to get back to basics to regain trust” – Moffee

  1. Be something else, wouldn’t it, if Moffee was as forthright as in this little burst when speaking with the mayor, sessions which largely come across as cuddlefests. If all were well, sure, go soft and let the juvenile team-pep talk run, but it’s not. And I think those hugsy sessions do the community harm because it keeps the problems suppressed. Better to get to the point, acknowledging the problems, and bring them into the open.

    Graeme and Bill have made interesting contributions concerning the timeline of the CCS-idea. A further thought to that..

    In the last impeachment trial, Democrats began with an opening statement then set about constructing the timeline of Trump’s underlying intention of bleaching the electoral process of trust. Trump began this process before he was the Republican candidate. That timeline was extremely persuasive.

    Without opening it up too much, it formed what we know is called a ‘narrative’. This meant that anyone watching this Democrat presentation was in effect drawn into Trump’s thinking. You could see the rationale, the purpose. It made sense of the jumble of erratic events over the next five years. In a novel this is called the dramatic issue, question, or arc, or the ‘throughline’ that binds a reader to the story. So rather than portraying events in a piecemeal fashion, the underlying purpose came to the fore.

    The Democrats then blew it. They chose to interrogate the Republicans’ consciences, to prick at these into a different action. They also went emotional, trying to grab hold of the Senators’ hearts to do the same.

    We have much the same situation now, in Council, regarding the recission motion. To go back to the US, hitting at the Senators’ consciences served only to invite them to admit they’re bad people and got it wrong. No one will do that when in public display. And hitting at their emotions served only to give them a feeling of strength.

    When Councillors Amos, Swan, Arkan and Rhoades try the same this week they’ll achieve the same negative effect. If someone’s mind is already made up, such as with the General Manager, the Executive, and the four councillors, by hitting at their emotions and oaths of responsibility simply makes them say to themselves: “I already know I am right. You are being weak right now. I feel stronger because you are weak.” You can almost feel Clr Cecato’s chest puff out farther.

    The four who don’t want the CCS-idea have to decide at what point they’re stepping off. It may have changed, being an unusally heated meeting last week, when Paul Amos announced he was keen to spend another period as a councillor, feeling the emotion of the meeting, making him state that he’d support the project under certain circumstances. This was a plummeting position from where he’s been. Clr Swan, too was in that mood. Clr Arkan also spoke positively of the CCS-idea. So before anything else, these people have to decide what this meeting is to achieve, and to do that they need to know their fall back position, or, really, their true position. If they’ve weakened, they need to know where.

    They also, I feel, have to accept that they’ll be voted down. For some reason they keep doing this without taking a new path. I’ve mentioned that for all this time they’ve had available to them the embedded public sentiment against this project which they could have motivated then formed a lightning rod of focus for it, all through the media. They could then have taken those public images and quotes (that would have been on TV and various media) and brought it into chambers, using it as leverage. But it does more than that: it alters the framing of the project as it’s publicly portrayed. It means reporters approach their stories on different terms.

    These councillors may have now lost that chance. The principle, I feel, remains. That is: frame the debate in terms of what’s happened to the public.

    So rather than providing arguments against the project, calling on emotions and conscience, they give all that away and do what the Democrats at first did.

    Clr Townly provided photographs in one meeting (of trucks parking problematically). If the four can put up a chart, showing the timeline of how the project developed, then you have a story, a narrative. This timeline as a story narrative is not a pretty sight by any means.

    It won’t achieve a changed vote. But if each of them speak to that timeline, reinforcing the first moves to update existing facilities, the steps taken as the “project” develops, and show at each stage the promises made by Council to the public, then there’s no right or wrong or emotion involved, it’s a factual account. That factual account cannot be denied. (And it shows the hodgepode patchwork way this council does things.)

    See the word “project” back there in quotes? That’s because we, today, the community that is, and councillors, GM and executive, all speak of “the project” as if it was a brilliant idea born in its entirety from scratch and has been solid all the way through to now. But it’s not and hasn’t.

    So by enforcing the stages and promises – and costings – of the timeline you dismantle the perceived power of the ‘project’ and frame the debate in terms of additions and addendums and alterations as the thing increased in promises made and increased in costs involved. It means that these councillors can point to how it grew out of hand, how it lost its way.

    But they’d have to do it in soundbites. Bang. Succinct. Each stage: idea, promise, cost. Idea, promise, cost. This allows for reporters to pick up on the framing of the debate. With luck, they’d pass on those soundbites as quotes highlighting how the idea began, grew grotesquely, and lost its way. So too the promises. Especially so, too, the costs.

    There’s another benefit to this. It lays a path forward, from the meeting, that new candidates (though they won’t be caring about that) and importantly their own candidature for the year can tread. They’d have the narrative. They can speak it again and again. It’s a story, and we know the power of story.

    So they’d lose the debate, which they’re going to anyway, but the entire framework of the project has a new, clear narrative: this thing began simple, got strange, went bad, is now costly.

    And I’ve saved the best for last. At each stage of that timeline, the councillors can enforce the points of contact between Council and the public – and how this got lost. This is the best because it goes to the four councillor’s public regard. It highlights them as renegade egotists or uncaring brutes. It does so without calling them that. But it can only happen if the narrative is made clear, simple, and not lost to apology or waffle.


    One good thing appeared in the last meeting: councillors seemed more bold in asking questions of the General Manager, sometimes twice or in one case thrice, demanding an answer. Great, and ‘about time’ is a feeble understatement.

    So how about this? How about asking Steve McGrath, General Manager:

    “This is a yes or no question. From you, please. Not from a director. If the CCS-idea was defeated or could not occur, or there was no CCS, would you a) upgrade the car park; and b) upgrade Riding Lane?”

    Those two total about $8 million or something – figures bandied about in chambers vary from around 7 – 10.

    Big question, big impact. They’d never do it. But they should go one step better: that is, acknowledge that this GM would obfuscate, and not answer it. You can hear it already. “It all depends. That’s a hypothetical question. I cannot commit Council finances one way or another under imagined circumstances.” Right, so you know that’s coming.

    So you ask him again. Tell him it’s simple. A simple question. A yes or no answer.

    The point here is McGrath would have to commit to the proposition that those two costs are unncecessary and therefore CCS-dependent, or he’d look like an incompetent, indecisive dill. If they’re dependent, then you ask why they’re not included in the CCS-idea presentation to the public. It’s not much, but it’d be good to nail him on something. So, after this meeting, the cost is not $76.5, not $80, but $90 million. That also reframes the debate and future public discussion, and they can go from there.

    .. I hope you had fun reading that. It’s all a fiction. Sorry.

    1. Only to add a clarification for the relevence of including Council’s “promises” in the above meeting strategy: a promise carries risk. (Risk is inherent.) At each stage as this Frankensteinian project bungled along through the timeline Council increased the promises it made to the public as to its “definite” benefits. At each stage, then, risk as well as cost increased.

      The timeline if introduced would show the escalation in both cost and risk, the lack of clear original conception and therefore lack of planning (which inflicts doubt into the promises), as well as the points along the timeline where Council included public response then the places where Council disregarded this, then where Council lost public contact altogether.

      Clr Rhoades accounted for around an extra $17 million on top of the later $76.5 million figure. This extra included the Riding Lane and Car Park works. If he can prove that, in that timeline, it gets very interesting indeed.

      So for what it’s worth, the four councillors against do have a case they can make in reframing the portrayal of this chancy project using that timeline. This is a case that could put very considerable public pressure on the General Manager, Executive and other councillors. It gets very difficult (in an election year especially) to continue selling a Frankenstein project, bloated with risk and opportunity cost, at an expense in today’s figure of $100 million, which turned its back on the public.

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