IPSWICH Council is loaded to the hilt with seasoned marketing and media officers with a wage budget in the millions.
It’s one of the biggest departments of its type assigned to any council in Queensland.
The team’s role is primarily to supply detailed information to the public in a timely manner and more importantly to ensure that the reputation of the council is always protected, and that Ipswich is seen as a thriving city to invest in.
This all leads me to this question.
How did the personal bickering between the mayor and former long-term councillor, David Pahlke, get to be featured on Channel Nine News on Thursday night last week?
The story showed council footage of Pahlke making a handgun gesture in the public gallery after the mayor was trounced 1-8 when she voted against Pahlke’s name being restored on an information sign at Rosewood.
The mayor was so upset by that decision she went to her Facebook page later that day bemoaning her loss in the chamber and calling for people to show they agreed with her stance.
Let sleeping dogs lie, you might say, admit defeat and move on.
No, it seems that may not be the mayor’s stance.
In a week when the council spent an estimated $500,000 on its annual Ipswich Spark Festival do we get a strong positive lead story from mainstream media?
No, we once again get a hand-fed negative story about a personal spat that points back to the dark Pisasale council days.
The three questions that need answering here are:
- Who approved that this was a public story and that Channel Nine should be given it as an exclusive to run on national TV?
- Who instructed a council employee to go looking for the footage, edit it and supply it to Channel Nine?
- Why didn’t the mayor say, “this is not a story that will enhance the reputation of my city so let’s not shout it out from the top of the council chambers.”
Am I defending Pahlke for his actions, no, but really is the mayor so intimated by a 70-year-old frail retiree that it needed to be aired on national television.
I do try not to write these negative council editorials, but sometimes like today I have no choice.
The saga put out on national TV was a disgrace and did nothing for the reputation of this city nor the mayor.
As for Pahlke it’s about time he got over his sacking, stopped being a cranky old man and started enjoying his retirement.