“'Public nuisance' evicted from meeting” We’ll have more mayors like this bloke, thanks

The Cooma-Monaro Post ran this headline on 18 July - as a lead into a story about a bloke called Andrew Thaler who had been thrown out of the July meeting of Cooma-Monaro Shire Council for not apologising for accusations levelled against Council staff at a previous meeting.

If we had a dollar for every ‘public nuisance’ not evicted from a Council meeting over the years for refusing to apologise to staff, or even a dollar for those comatose mayors, or deputy mayors, or even general managers who allowed allegations against staff to continue unchallenged, we could buy a coal mining lease from someone's mate in the Hunter.

We've railed against belligerent councillors and members of the public now for more than a decade and managed to extract apologies from most. Peter Hurst originally told us he would apologise to staff at Wagga Wagga but then reneged, we've had members with bans on councillors and others until apologies are extracted, and even members on strike.

Everyone is entitled to a safe workplace and, for local government employees, that includes not having local loonies, dissidents or ‘public nuisances’ making accusations at public meetings - whether they be formal meetings of the Council or meetings organised by the Council. The Code of Conduct tries to prevent this sort of thing happening but often those responsible for pulling people into line are dozing at the wheel.

But clearly not at Cooma-Monaro, where a serial complainant was told by the Mayor Dean Lynch that the "Council would only listen to him if he apologised for accusations he levelled against Council staff and Cllr Lynch at a previous meeting." And, when he didn't, he was ejected.

That's how it should be everywhere but, sadly, it isn't.

Well done, Dean.

Clearly evicting this bloke from the meeting did the trick because he’d provided a formal public apology to the Mayor and senior council staff at the council meeting in August.

As an aside, the ’public nuisance’ ejected from the meeting is a candidate in the forthcoming election. Now, won't that be interesting.

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