Imagine this: you’re a councillor for a metropolitan local council. On your patch is an outspoken community advocate, who is something of a thorn in your side. What could you do to shut him up?
How about register the organisation name he’s been using for months as a business name yourself?
Some wacky fantasy, eh? Sounds like something out of one of those ABC comedy/drama series about local councils.
It’s not fantasy. Alex Makin of the Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition (RTCCC) found on Monday at a council meeting when he stood to ask questions that the RTCCC name has been registered by two of the local councillors.
One could speculate on how they came up with this brilliant strategy. Over a few beers on the weekend, perhaps? But how anybody would think this would shut up a community group is beyond me — it’s more likely to make them more determined than ever to speak out. In this particular case, Alex has decided to stand in the coming local elections — against one of the councillors.
(Alex is also the convenor of the PTUA’s outer-east branch.)