A t the Council meeting today I will be providing Council with the legal advice that I personally sought from Leigh Sealy SC, former Solicitor-General, in relation to the breaches of the Local Government Act and Meeting Procedures Regulations.
Mr Sealy’s advice highlights the potential and real risk of liability to Council and aldermen individually and the “legal peril” that they may face if the invalid decision was implemented.
Unfortunately, the General Manager has already started to implement the invalid decision.
I remain gravely concerned that the implementation of the invalid and illegal decision made subsequent to the adjournment has serious consequences for Council. There is a real risk of significant liability and also of significant adverse impacts on the lives of people within our community.
I will also call on my fellow aldermen to ensure that Council seeks independent legal advice on the ramifications of implementing an invalid decision before considering afresh the recommendations of the Strategic and Operational Review contained in the CT Management Report.
Of late I have been urged to act as part of the Team at Council. There is no team – we are elected individually to act on behalf of ratepayers. Sometimes we can act collegially, sometimes adversarial. The majority view prevails – That is democracy. We must not confuse the concept of collegiality in decision-making with the concept of group-think.
The weight of a voting block is not teamwork. That is the old adage ‘Might is right’. As we all know, it is not. Not all winners are right and not all losers are wrong!
My plea to my fellow aldermen is simple. All I ask is that we comply with the Act and Regulations, ensure we get good advice and the right information, and we act with the best interests of our community at heart. If we follow those simple steps then Council will be in a much better position than it currently is.
The ball is in their court.
Mayor Glenorchy Kristie Johnston will be available for media interview outside Glenorchy City Council chambers at 12noon TODAY.
Media contact: 0488 307 427