In a letter to the Tamborine Daily Star in September last, I expressed concern that the local media focussed on what many readers consider is wrong with the Scenic Rim Council and I detailed a number of instances where in my personal experience the Council was serving Mountain residents and organisations quite well.
In the week or so afterwards there were a number of letters to the local papers quite critical of my letter. These letters were to be expected as rarely does a week go by without the usual group of Council critics appearing in print. One correspondent said that I was misleading people whilst another wondered why I had bothered to write.
So I thought I should tell your readers about my experience at that time: dozens of people spoke to me at the local shops or when I was working with local organisations commending me on my letter and expressed concern about the negativity that pervades the mountain. Several people phoned me and some called at our home to express the same sentiments. Two local business people who are much involved in the economy of our mountain phoned to endorse the sentiments of my letter.
The presidents of three large mountain organisations with a combined membership of several hundred phoned me to say how much their organisation appreciated the letter. Two of those community leaders told me of instances where their organisation was having difficulty in resolving a problem with Council. In each instance Mayor Brent came up to the mountain, listened attentively and subsequently arranged a solution that was satisfactory for their organisation.
In my former working life I dealt extensively with community groups that were concerned with the operation of local governments. I found that in many instances, issues that were raised with much vehemence by leaders of these groups were not the underlying issue at all; the real issue was the exercise of power and control and the issue that they used to influence the community was just a cover for their ambitions for power over the community. I see much the same thing happening on our mountain at this time.
As we come to an election for our Scenic Rim Council, it is important that we question the negativity that has been expressed by some candidates and their supporters and their motives for doing this. Personally I think that they have created division in our community and harmed it. We need people representing us in Council who are positive, who truly love this mountain and its community and who can work in harmony with others in the region for the good of all of us.