5 ways to survive a Lismore council meeting
AFTER the mega-marathon that was the March meeting of Lismore City Council, the entire public gallery, bar one lone journalist, left after five hours.
It's a shame because too often, there's really important and often interesting business being discussed and we all need to pay attention to decisions made by our local council.
The next Lismore Council meeting will start at 6pm tonight, so here's five suggestions on how the council can help the public stay awake during their monthly meeting and raise funds for a worthy charity at the same time:
1. Waffle-free zone: Institute a sergeant-at-arms with a stop-watch and a charity tin to prevent councillor waffling. Far too often councillors simply snark at one another and waste valuable time and energy with differing. When (not if) a speaker goes over their allotted time (30 seconds maximum) they shall play $1 for every extra second towards a charity nominated by the mayor at the previous meeting. If a councillor continues to rubbish on, have them ejected from the council chamber.
2. Plain English: No weasel words in documents or speech. No nomenclature beloved of Scrabble aficionados anywhere. Fine every speaker $1 for every too-confusing / over-long word they utter.
3. Coffee: Free strong and quality coffee for everyone in the gallery. As often as needed.
4. Standing room only: All meetings shall be conducted standing or on extremely uncomfortable chairs.
5. Councillor behaviour: Ensure councillors have actually read the briefing papers, are paying attention and refrain from private conversations / coups / vendettas and alliances while others are speaking making it difficult for public to hear what is really going on.