At the December City of Victor Harbor council meeting, it was supposed to be one of those meetings where everybody who had an axe to grind would park it at the door and be all smiles.
After all, it was Christmas and everybody knows, come Christmas, hostilities can be put to one side. But no, not at the Victor council.
It did not matter how many times mayor Graham Philp said “let’s be in the festive spirit”, elected members continued to throw barbs at each other throughout the meeting.
This current council was elected in 2014 and it has been a very rocky road with factions forming from day one.
It descended to a new low at the “Christmas” council meeting where insults were hurled faster than a Mitch Starc yorker.
There will be fresh elections in November 2018 and with that we will have possibly a new mayor and new faces as elected members.
However, in the next 11 months, it is crucial for those who had been elected by the community to concentrate on community issues and not continue to run personal agendas.
To support the division which exists, in the three years this council has served the Victor Harbor district, there have been 26 Code of Conduct investigations with the latest one involving councillor Peter Charles costing the ratepayers of Victor Harbor approximately $16,000.
In the same three year period Yankalilla and Alexandrina councils have under 10 Code of Conduct investigations between them?
There is something very wrong at Victor Harbor and it is hoped with the arrival of a new CEO on January 15 that this council will move forward and start achieving important initiatives for the benefit of the community.
It is important the nine elected members and the mayor form an immediate pact to welcome new CEO Victoria MacKirdy and start to work as one.
It would be a fantastic result if this could occur as each councillor was elected by the community for a reason and each has amazing individual strengths.
It is not too late for these strengths to come to the fore and reap rewards for Victor Harbor.
So hopefully at the next council meeting it will be a council which will focus on the core community issues and not spend more than one hour of its time on internal bickering.