19 August 2017
A selfish act
Monday night I witnessed the most selfish act that I have ever seen while a member of Council. As the Mayor declared a conflict of interest (as he rightly should given that he has been preselected to represent the Liberal Party at the March 2018 election and the Item was in his nominated electorate, Badcoe) and the Deputy mayor then took the chair. However, given that the ward he represents is also in Badcoe, the Item to be debated was in Clarence Park Ward. I had discussed the Item earlier in the evening with the Dept Mayor and asked that I could move the relevant motion. But as the Item was read out and I indicated that I wished to Move the Motion he blatantly moved the motion from the chair thus denying me my right to have the initial voice on the important decision that effected the constituents that I represent. To add salt to the insult he then claimed he had a mandate to do so as he had worked so hard on the matter that was to be debated, as if my significant contribution amounted to nothing.
I have done a little research and asked 'Can a mayor move a motion while chairing a meeting?' The answer is as follows;
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that a wise chair will only move certain motions from the chair.
The only motions a president or person in the chair should move are motions of congratulations or motions of condolence or motions of thanks. These are nearly always “carried by acclamation” with the obvious exception of the motion of condolence. These are often carried without a seconder.
Inexperienced or “power chairs” sometimes move all sorts of motions and in so doing demonstrate their lack of understanding of their role.