These are the new Hobart City Council’s six committees.
Development and Environmental Services: Haigh, (Chair) Burnet, Sexton, Harvey and Thomas.
City Services: Christie (Chair), Briscoe, Ruzicka, Cocker and Archer.
Community Development: Zucco (Chair) Burnet, Haigh, Sexton and Harvey.
Finance: Archer (Chair), Ruzicka, Sexton, Cocker, Thomas.
Parks and Customer Service: Briscoe (Chair), Haigh, Zucco, Christie and Harvey.
Strategic Governance: Ruzicka, Valentine, Burnet, Archer and Thomas.
The carve up of committees and their Chairs is the first manifestation of deals done and agreements made between councillors. Being in the Chair has advantages; not least are photo and story opportunities in the media. Some Chairs make more strident use of this than others.
Historically, seniority has played some part in allocating Chairs but clearly not today. Archer chairs Finance, which was previously Freeman’s cosy corner. Longer standing councillors chair nothing.
Each of the committees brings its recommendations to the full Council meetings which take place fortnightly, on Mondays at 5pm at the Hobart Town Hall, Macquarie St. The next meeting is on 23rd November and the last meeting for 2009 is on 14th December.
Details of each committee’s responsibilities, their meeting dates, times and agendas are available on the Council’s website.
All Council meetings are open to the public and the full Council meetings allow members of the public to ask questions, which need to be submitted in advance, of course.
Question time is under utilized – perhaps because the answers are usually crafted with such sanitizing care that they are close to meaningless.