Whaleoil takes the win: Greater transparency in Marlborough

The Mex reports on something they should have taken an interest in earlier instead of toeing the council line.

We have, however, forced the council to take steps to be more transparent.

After a secretly-recorded discussion was leaked to a right-wing blog, the Marlborough District Council is seeking greater transparency in its chamber, with councillors now able to record meetings.

Under new standing orders, the public and councillors can now make recordings, with the permission of the committee chairman.

The council itself is also able to record meetings under the new standing orders, as long as appropriate signage is provided.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett said while the new rules did not cover public-excluded meetings, which had to be kept confidential, he wanted as much information as possible to be out in the public arena.

“The more we have open to the public the better, as far as I’m concerned. It’ll get rid of all this sniping,” Leggett said.   

However, it was important everyone was aware meetings were being recorded, as it could “change the tone of the meeting a little bit”, Leggett said.

During the election campaign this year the audio transcript of a discussion held in April was leaked to the blog Whale Oil.

The recording featured Leggett reacting to bad news about the Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust’s financial position.

Leggett said on Monday the council was also reconsidering the idea of live-streaming from the council chamber, something he was very interested in.

A project to live-stream meetings to the public was rejected by councillors two years ago, as the cost was excessive.

However, Leggett said all the equipment needed was put in place earlier this year, as part of a $13,000 upgrade to the chamber.

The council was currently sorting out technical issues, Leggett said.

Great news, we’ve forced transparency on the Marlborough District Council.

I wonder if I should release the video of new Mayor John Leggett pissed off his tree on an overseas trip slagging off his host nation and talking in misogynistic tones about female hockey players and coaches…all in the name of transparency you know. Perhaps the Mex might like to run it, they have a copy but seem too gutless to actually do anything about it.

I’ll take this as a win, but John Leggett shouldn’t think I have stopped watching him.

Funny how it took a blogger/journalist in Auckland to do the job the Mex should’ve done.

 

-Marlborough Express

 

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