Been thinking a bit about Mel Rothenburger's comments on the council remuneration decision process. Mel wrote a column sharing his views here.
I agree with Mel that a referendum would have been interesting. I would even say it would have been a better way of seeking approval of the council remuneration committee's work. I didn't move a motion to this effect because I felt there would be very little support. I'd be interested in promoting future referendums on council compensation issues. I think, however, people who want to use the 2014 civic election as a "referendum" on our approval of the committee recommendation can still do so.
I am not sure why Mel thinks the committee engaged "in little public consultation". If he is still thinking a referendum, okay, I can see that. But, the committee solicited feedback and 413 people responded (please see above image) . As a public engagement practitioner, I think that's a very high number for committee feedback with this type of issue.
On his blog, Mel also wrote a post sharing the view that the council compensation vote should be brought forward for reconsideration by the Mayor, given three council members were absent. I don't think a new vote would change the outcome. There are five pretty solid votes for the committee recommendation. But, you never know. I've been swayed by my colleagues more than once in a meeting, usually on less high profile issues that I haven't spent months thinking about.
This is a tough one. Is there any material benefit to the community to have council reconsider the issue with the full council? I'm still not sure and thinking about this.