There has been criticism of Glen Innes Severn mayor Colin Price from some quarters at last week’s community consultation meeting in Town Hall as he found himself in the difficult position of defending his council’s proposal for a special rates variation while chairing the meeting.
Councillor Price agreed with a suggestion from the floor during the meeting that any future such events might be better chaired by an independent person armed with a timer to limit presentations from individuals, allowing more to participate.
His efforts to keep presentations on point were seen by some as intimidating, with Patricia Urquhart saying that during the course of Maxine Page’s address she was “continually interrupted by the chairman, taking over the microphone, standing over her and acting in an intimidating fashion.”
“I was finally allowed to present my information to the ratepayers, and I was treated in exactly the same way perhaps even more so,” Mrs Urquhart said.
“He was speaking quite loudly into my ear, taking the microphone away, trying to upset my train of thought and perhaps hoping I would lose the plot. When David Donnelly started to approach the podium in an attempt, Cr Price cut the meeting short and everyone started to leave.”
Mrs Urquhart asserted that the mayor chairing the meeting was inappropriate.
“As a woman I felt threatened by his stand-over tactics. His conduct was unacceptable for a person in his position and did not display the same respect that the councillors were shown by the ratepayers when they held the floor.”
Cr Price said he only took over the microphone in an effort to answer questions as they were raised and, rather than acting in an intimidating fashion, he was trying to get Ms Page to ask a question.
“She was making a series of very contentious points, and I was trying to answer these as they came up,” he said.
“After the vote (as to whether she should be allowed to continue as the expense of other speakers), I was prepared for her to keep talking.
“I had closed the meeting before David (Donnelly) approached, and it had nothing to do with him approaching.”
Cr Price said that while the audience had listened to the council presentations at the beginning of the night, there was some disrespect shown to council after that.
“A couple of people wanted to make presentations rather than ask questions, and they could have presented facts rather than wild assertions and gossip.
“I’m happy to defend any of my actions. I tried my best to be fair in what was a difficult meeting.”
He would consider the possibility of an independent chair for a similar meeting, but said it’s rarely an issue.
“There aren’t many meetings as unruly as that one,” he said.
Criticism of Glen Innes Severn mayor Colin Price following last week’s community consultation meeting in Town Hall has left Mr Price in the difficult position of defending his council’s proposal for a SRV while chairing the meeting.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.