OUR SAY: New council ‘team’ off to rocky start

FAR from being a fresh start after the March 19 elections, it looks like we could get four more years of in-fighting from our new Fraser Coast Regional Council.

The latest stoush over the role of deputy mayor might be dismissed by some as a power play between two councillors, or a case of sour grapes as Cr Seymour suggests.

It does raise a much deeper issue though: accountability.

Chris Loft campaigned heavily for an open and transparent council, so any vote for a deputy mayor should have taken place in open chambers, with a show of hands.

The private vote earlier this week may well have been "agreed to" - at least, until Cr Light announced his challenge - but in a fully transparent council, it should not have happened in the first place.

Why shouldn't ratepayers know how their elected officials voted over an issue like deputy mayor?

But even if the tit-for-tat between councillors raises a legitimate concern about accountability, it's far from an auspicious beginning to have two public spats before the new council has even been sworn in.

Council-watchers have expressed little surprise that our councillors are off to a rocky start when it comes to teamwork.

That is probably the saddest part of it, though - that the people of the Fraser Coast no longer expect anything better from the people they are voting for.