WHAT a dull week it would be if we did not have Alan Brown fulminating over the deficiencies of Bass Coast Council, its spending and, lately, Mayor Kimberley Brown. Interestingly Cr Brown swung a couple of telling blows herself at our erstwhile pollie and former state Liberal leader, who failed in his most recent bid to re-enter politics, albeit at the local level.
Why is he so preoccupied with all things Bass Coast Council? Are they really that bad? Councillors Bradley Drew and Andrew Phillips, who ran on the Brown ticket at the 2012 council elections, supported the council budget. They were also involved in deliberations about the Wonthaggi cemetery and the cemetery fee increase. Mr Brown scolds the council for any rate increases, so what’s wrong with increasing cemetery fees? Where are the funds to run the cemetery to come from otherwise?
Having established himself as a one-man Opposition to the council, he is keeping up a relentless attack – why? Is he planning to seek to redress the humiliating defeat he incurred at the last council election? Does he genuinely believe the council is that bad? He also attacked the previous council relentlessly in his election campaign.
"We are talking about the pathetic result of the rein (sic) of you and your fellow Councillors."
Alan Brown, former Wonthaggi mayor, letter to the Sentinel-Times
Image (not Mr Brown): Patrik Nygren, Creative Commons
If he were to be elected to the council next time and became mayor, it seems a logical extension of his criticisms that he would cut the council budget. By how much and what services would he cut? Is there a positive side? What is he offering? Through the last election campaign we heard nothing of a positive agenda, just relentless criticism.
If he were elected would he expect sitting councillors Drew and Phillips to fall back in line and support him? Would they? These young councillors have acquitted themselves well and seem to duck Mr Brown’s bitter attacks. If he were to successfully return to politics he may be part of a conservative push with the Phillip Island Progress Association (formerly Stand Alone) and get his way or he may well be a lone voice ranting at the back of the Council chamber.
His behaviour to date does raise an interesting question. What should we expect of retired politicians and in this case a former state Liberal leader? Clearly by having risen to the top of the tree in their field of state politics they should have a lot to offer.
Imagine a different scenario where we have a wise and kindly gentleman with years of experience and the contacts to match, who offers to mentor a new mayor in her first term of office at municipal level and who has the wonderful opportunity to be the mayor of her municipality. Imagine the personal growth and the impact on her role as mayor and the effectiveness of the council with that sort of tutelage.
August 26, 2015
What a great article, which expresses so well what many locals feel about Mr Brown and his “one-man attack” on the council.
It does so without resorting to emotional hyperbole that many of us without a voice resort to in our frustration.
Mr Brown’s ability to gain so much local media coverage at whim is concerning. Perhaps he is able to access media consultants and employ advisers to advance his cause/s. But why? As the article suggests, is he unable to accept his scalding defeat graciously? Is he a sore loser and hell-bent on revenge?
Because to many ratepayers he seems capable of harsh criticism and relentless attacks without offering one iota of policies that would help the community. Many suspect Mr Brown lacks any ability to self-reflect or indeed ask honestly what his part was in his defeat.
If he could honestly assess his motives, he might be surprised to learn that he has had more than 15 minutes of “fame“ and perhaps it’s time he retired gracefully and let the councillors voted in by the community do their job.
As for expecting him to “mentor” the new mayor, a tall order indeed. After all, what’s in it for him?
Maggie O’Brannan, Wonthaggi
August 26, 2015
I totally agree with Michael Whelan’s comments about the "Bass Coast Carper", retired pollie Mr Alan Brown. Obviously he received different advice from his parents than I from mine about, "if you can’t saying anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all".
As Mr Whelan alluded to, as each letter by Mr Brown to the local press is printed, the sound of the "mashing of sour grapes" due to only two of his “Reform Group” candidates being elected at the last elections echoes louder throughout the shire than the cheering after the Kernot dairy application was rejected by the council last week.
Although it seems strange he has been very quiet on two issues that could severely impact the whole shire: to wit, the unfinished business of both the Port of Hastings and the Kernot diary application.
Come next year’s election, we Leadbeater ward ratepayers will not forget the "suffer Bass Coast, you get what you deserve" post-election Facebook rant from the Reform candidate in this ward.
We did get our "just desserts" and are ever so grateful for the outstanding job Cr Le Serve has done for our ward.
Kevin Chambers, The Gurdies.