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HomeIssue 11Cr Brown is the new Deputy Mayor

Cr Brown is the new Deputy Mayor

p1913brownsteveBy KIERAN FINNANE
A depleted town council tonight elected Councillor Steve Brown as Deputy Mayor, to hold the post until next March.
This follows the resignation last week of Kylie Bonanni. Appreciation of her contribution was recorded in writing in the CEO’s report but no councillor made comment.
It was a lack-lustre election. Cr Brendan Heenan nominated Cr Brown, but no councillor raised their hand to second the nomination. An uncomfortable minute passed before Mayor Damien Ryan seconded him from the chair.
Cr Chansey Paech nominated himself and was seconded by Cr Eli Melky. A secret ballot was then conducted.
The council is at present an all male affair, with Ms Bonanni gone, Cr Liz Martin on extended leave of absence for health reasons, and Cr Jade Kudrenko also on leave, with a new baby.


  1. If he is like the existing mayor he won’t have to do much. Yes, he will help to raise the rates.

  2. Good on you Fred, so were you at the council meeting last night. How about you get off your backside and put up or shut up. What have you done to help this community besides sit back and complain?

  3. What a shame that the young fella didn’t get up as DM, there’s always next year!
    While the National / Liberal party and CLP are falling part it seems that the Alice Springs Town Council’s liberal block is still alive and kicking.
    Often thought we should let young people into these roles to enable them to grow and shape our town.

  4. Looks like “Fred” and “Steve” are running in the council by-election. Probably representing the Keyboard Warrior Party.

  5. @ Jim: I would only be too happy to be in council. The first thing I would do is freeze rates for three years as valuations have dropped.
    I would spend some of the funds held in the bank, would source some of the work out to local contractors. I would approach Lions, Apex etc to put up the Xmas tree every year which would save $60K.
    Fresh blood is required in council including the mayor, and review their salaries. Council needs to be run more efficiently.

  6. @ Fred the Philistine: Maybe “fresh blood is required in council”, but it is well known that criticism is easy, art is difficult.
    If you want to put your hand up for the next elections, good, but people must know who you are, your ideas etc … in order to make a decision. So may be you should start using your real identity and not hide yourself behind a nom de plume.

  7. @ Goliath, aka Fred the Fearless Philistine: The first thing you would have to do is put your name on a ballot paper, stand for election to council.
    No nom de plumes, no anonymity. No more throwing darts from the shadows, no more late night scribbling on dunny walls. Good luck.

  8. @ Fred the Philistine: I would argue that freezing rates is not a long term viable economic plan. At least consider moving with CPI.
    The Christmas tree is a gift to the community, times are tough enough without having to burden community groups with additional financial hardship.
    Councillors receive approx $15k p.a., I promise you we don’t do it for the money.
    The Mayor is on $100k, works about 80 hours a week, is hardly ever home and sits on a gazillions committees just to represent his community.
    I don’t begrudge him his remuneration and in fact I support increasing it. How else will we attract future mayoral candidates to run?
    While I don’t always agree with Damien on most issues, I do not agree with your assessment of him.
    On spending the money in the bank, do you have a business or investment plan that we could consider that is low risk to the communities money, with reasonable return or do you just want to spend it for the sake of it?
    I look forward to your entry into politics and your investment proposal, and while I can understand why you would stay anonymous, I would encourage you to come out, the community embraces its brave and needs its champions. Will you be ours?
    Best wishes, Eli Melky, Councillor, living in Alice Springs and proud.

  9. @Eli, Lets get to the real facts. The council rates were raised 6% this year which is 2x the CPI. The community xmas tree is certainly beautiful, but lets be honest $60K to put it up each year, what a waste of rate payers money. That is more than an average council workers yearly wage. Surely there is a cheaper method, like contracting the work out.
    As for the $15k annual councillors allowance, one would think if you really cared for this town, you would not accept the allowance. As for the mayor sitting on other committees, I am sure he is not doing it for love.
    You tried to join the CLP in 2008, to gain preselection for Alice Springs, but Adam Giles was favoured.In 2010, you were unsucessful in the election for the seat of Araluen.In 2012, you decided to run for mayor, and if you remember, on the ABC radio morning show, you criticized Damien Ryan, and said how he has done nothing for 4 years in relation to matters of the crime in Alice Springs, and had to leave. What is the change of heart? You also tried to run for mayor in that same year and lost the election.
    Recently some of your motions to have a curfew for young children was defeated and the tipping of alchol on the ground. There are still young people riding their bikes and skateboards in the mall, even though there are sign posts saying no skateboards etc, people parking in 15 minute parking spots for far longer, and rangers are doing nothing about it. Why have rangers if they are not doing their job, that would be 1 less cost.
    What has been achieved is a decrease of population, 200 empty dwellings, empty shops in the mall and Elders Street, cost of living is far too high including price of houses.
    What needs to happen in this town is to start an industry which will create jobs, and not be so reliant on federal funds. Also why is the council allowing campers to stay at the show grounds, as they are interfering with private business.
    I would like to join the council, but I can’t, as I have common sense which does not prevail in todays society. The Phantom.

  10. @Fred the Philistine, can I call you Fred, in response to some of your points, firstly you need the numbers on your side in Council to succeed, common sense has been MIA for a long time. It seems Fred we do have a few things we agree on but on rates, I only suggested for you to consider CPI, I didn’t say I supported that. You see community still needs services so the extra money goes to the town. Yes I did put my hand up for pre-selection for both Braitling and Araluen. Yes Adam was favoured then, look how that turned out for the party. The party is facing political elimination according to latest polls. I went on to become chair of membership, then chair of Policy and Deputy Treasurer. I resigned from CLP due to lack of transparency with foundation 51 and no response to my questions as deputy treasurer.
    As to Cost of living, Camping at Blatherskite Park, these are matters for NT Gov not Council. I strongly support the FHOG being brought back for existing dwellings.
    On the issue of Mayor, yes I am prepared to stand again and again if only to keep people accountable and maybe even encourage others to stand. It’s not hard to keep getting back up defeat after defeat if you care about your community. No change of heart, you only need to attend a council meeting to find Damien and I on opposite sides of debates. He voted against Fracking [moratorium], the curfew 3 times and on Parks upgrade, on law and order issues and on and on. But that shouldn’t mean I can’t try to work with him on matters concerning the whole community. Council is not about just me, we still have to get on. Although at times I admit it is incredibly difficult with some elected members.
    I succeeded in getting funding for a Todd Mall Association, Council finances are not discussed in confidential any longer and by keeping pressure on NT Gov re anti social behaviour, results are flowing, may not be as fast as we like but still flowing. Lastly the Christmas tree cost of $60k is for the whole festival including fire works, entertainment, road blockade and so on, not just the tree. Cheers Eli Melky.

  11. @ Eli Melky: You cannot expect a philistine to comprehend that [quote] “the Christmas tree cost of $60k”. This is for the whole festival including fire works, entertainment, road blockade and so on, not just the tree.

  12. The cream certainly comes to the top. Half the Council not there to vote, reminds me of Toxic Tony’s attempt to find the challenger in 39 votes.

  13. @ Maria: The cream doesn’t always come to the top. Sometimes it burns on the bottom of the pan. Also skim milk and not everyone wants that.

  14. @ Eli: You still have not answered as to the justification of the 6% council rate increase, considering the valuations have dropped.
    Have just received the Braitling newsletter and all I can say is that Adam Giles has done a lot for Alice Springs.

  15. @ Fred: The municipal plan for 2015/16 has all the details of what is budgeted for right down to the last dollar. However, based on your theory, “that Council could reduce rates in low markets” does that mean council should increase it in a fluctuating market when values are up?
    In my opinion, your theory is not economically sound and as such, Council would struggle to have a balanced budget with sufficient funds to ensure all services, that the community expects, can be delivered.
    While there are also areas where cost recovery can be achieved such as charges at waste management facility (dump), there remain many other services where it may not be possible to cost recover, such as roads, footpaths and parks.
    You would have to put in a user pay system in the form of a toll on footpaths and roads for example, certainly I wouldn’t be interested in such an idea.
    Fred, I supported the 6% increase based on a sound and sustainable plan to be able to afford existing services and some additional infrastructure items necessary to keep this town moving forward. Refer to municipal plan for more details.
    As for Adam doing a good Job, it’s not personal, but as you seem to be a realist, I am sure you have already worked out that he will be remembered in history as the man who waited for Terry to go overseas on official business to overthrow him.
    Then go from a majority government of 16 to a minority Government of 12 and he still has to survive till August next year.
    His political fate is pretty much sealed.
    He needs to put the party and community first, step down and just as quickly get behind the new leadership to work on winning the next election.
    But we know that plan has a snow flakes chance in hell of ever happening. Regards Eli Melky.

  16. Re the cost of Christmas items: Cr Melky states “the Christmas tree cost of $60k is for the whole festival including fire works, entertainment, road blockade and so on, not just the tree”.
    Page 25 of the current Municipal Plan lists the Christmas carnival and Christmas tree under separate account numbers.
    The carnival (goes for four hours?) is costed at $57,689 this year, rising to $69,197 in three years’ time.
    The tree is costed at $37,422 this year (which is approximately the rates income from 20 average residential properties) and projected to rise to $47,141 in 2018.
    It does seem to be a particularly large recurrent expense / extravagance.

  17. @ Dave: Thank you for the information. It’s time the truth is told.
    Are you able to shed light on the number of days the mayor works and his remuneration?
    What does this council actually do apart from keeping the parks clean and supposedly rangers with parking tickets which I have seen for myself that they will not mark the tyres especially the ones of people they know?
    Dave at least you show some common sense.

  18. @ Fred: Council runs and operates the library, the swimming pool, Regional Waste Management Facility (dump), cleans and maintains roads, footpaths, parks including the many sporting venues such as Traeger Park, picks up curb side rubbish, mows the verges, contributes to the community with in kind support to over 100 events in Alice Springs yearly, including the Henley on Todd that is on next week, just to name a few.
    Yet so far you have continued to attack the council, councillors, mayor, the Christmas tree, the rangers, the money in the bank, made excuses as to why you wouldn’t stand for election, not provided an investment plan as to how to spend the community’s money with low risk and reasonable return on investment.
    Now you delegated the job of reading the municipal plan to David, who by the way did exactly what I encouraged you to do Fred, and all the while you remained anonymous. I wonder how your KPIs are going?

  19. @ Eli: These are my final words. I have not manipulated any one. I do not even know who Dave is.
    However, I do encourage everyone to read the council’s municipal plan for 15/16.
    I still believe that some of the works can be outsourced to private business to save money.
    Due to the rate rise, I now am either required to work longer hours or take a lower standard of living, to be able to pay for the rates.
    This is only constructive criticism.
    I know it is human nature that people do not like to hear the truth.

  20. @ Fred: I agree with you on outsourcing, so long as it’s to locals and cost saving.
    Thank you for the discussion, it’s been informative and constructive.
    We live in a beautiful town and we all must do our part to keep it that way.
    I am sure you will do your part as you can be sure I will do mine. Cheers, Eli Melky.


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