Welcome the people

Instead of justifying the efficient way meetings are conducted with the use of ‘en bloc’ voting (many matters are grouped together and dealt with as a block, rather than individually), I was hoping Cr Pule would be warm to the idea of making meetings more people-friendly so that ‘we the people’ would feel part of the decision-making process.

Conducting super-efficient meetings to progress business quickly seems to me alien to a democratic idea of government where matters should be given due consideration.

If you have a group of people who are willing to attend council meetings and involve themselves in the advancement of community, why would a council not do everything possible to include them in the process of government? Would it not make sense to invite these people to meet councillors after the meetings? A healthy exchange of ideas is fundamental to the process of open government in a democracy, so why alienate the people?

Such as invitation is very much the exception at Bassendean, so I am surprised by the inference that the practice is common.

I continue to maintain that councillors could discuss matters of great confidentiality in the time they spend at briefing sessions or over the dinner break before the council meeting.

If done that way, people could observe open and accountable council meetings, not be asked to leave at some point, and therefore they would stay to the end. We are so lucky we have the freedom to be part of government that it angers me when our rights are tampered with at the cost of so-called expediency.