Diversity loses in ballot for Deputy Mayor

 

p2315-ASTC-white-males-M

From left: Outgoing Deputy Mayor Steve Brown, incoming Deputy Mayor Jamie de Brenni, his seconder Dave Douglas, his nominator Brendan Heenan.

 

 

By KIERAN FINNANE

 

Experience, strong performance and diversity of representation counted not in last night’s secret ballot for Deputy Mayor, a position that turns over each year at this time. Since the sudden resignation of Kylie Bonanni in July last year, the role has been held by Cr Steve Brown.

 

Councillor Jamie de Brenni, after just five months in the job, was nominated by Cr Brendan Heenan, seconded Cr Dave Douglas.

 

p2046-Jade-Kudrenko-smrCr Chansey Paech nominated Cr Jade Kudrenko (right). When no seconder raised a hand, Cr Eli Melky, from the chair, seconded. Cr Kudrenko asked if councillors could hear a few words from each nominee.

 

Cr de Brenni said the nomination was “humbling”, acknowledging that he was the “new boy on the block”, but he assured his fellows of his “capacity” to support the Mayor and elected members where necessary.

 

Cr Kudrenko appealed to councillors to consider her four years of experience and the effort put into her role. While she always participates in debate in the chamber, once it is concluded, she has demonstrated a “respectful and professional” representation of the “collective view of council”. She said she would be “extremely proud” to take on the job.

 

Cr de Brenni won.

 

COMMENT:

 

p2048-Jamie-DeBrenni-1Deputy Mayor elect Jamie de Brenni (left) is a middle-aged white man of conservative politics and a motor sport enthusiast. Sounds a lot like Mayor Damien Ryan. Apart from the able contribution of his builder’s knowledge of the construction industry and issues, the community has yet to see what other capacities he will bring to his role.

 

Cr Jade Kudrenko is a young white woman, the mother of young children, a foster parent, a Green.

 

Through her employment with the Central Land Council she is in close touch with Aboriginal people and issues, a commitment to which she takes onto the council committees that liaise with Tangentyere Council, including the new Women’s Safety Group, and the native title holder body, Lhere Artepe. She is a strong performer in the chamber, probably the most articulate and probing.

 

Her close scrutiny of all issues includes an eye kept on the bottom line: what will be the impact of actions on the budget.

 

Had she been honoured with the role of Deputy Mayor, it would have reflected well on council as a ‘broad church’, embracing a wider cross-section of the community.

 

 

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13 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Dalton Dupuy
    Posted March 21, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Let me get this straight. The Alice Springs Town Council elected a deputy mayor who has been in the job for five months rather than a woman who has three plus years experience and seems to have done a good job representing the community.
    Are you kidding? I think that is called sexism and party politics. On the nose!

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  2. Pariah Tuck
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    And remember kids, slavery is freedom, diversity is strength and cancer is health. Brought to you by your friendly Ministry of Leftism.

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  3. Graham Tjilpi Buckley
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    The US of A has Donald Trump. In Alice we have their parallel, the CLP!

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  4. The Barkly Magpie
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:50 am

    @ Mark: Let me bury the hatchet – Cr de Brenni is a non-Indigenous male halfway to the grave and is a bogan. Note that once you say bogan, the person’s political colouration is revealed. Are you happier with that?

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  5. Ian Sharp
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Well said, Hal Duell.

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  6. Just Think About It
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:51 am

    What a shame they have put their party before the town. Cr Kudrenko has experience and has proven herself and her dedication to the town. Deputy Mayor elect de Brenni may very well turn out to be an excellent representative on council and serve four terms, however so far he is unproven and extremely new to the role.
    The only thing he has done is use party affiliations to push aside a young up and coming leader. I wonder if de Brenni or his cohorts needed their car engine rebuilt, would they get the qualified mechanic to do it or the kid with two weeks’ work experience?
    When interviewed on 27/09/2015 Jamie answered the following (http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2015/09/27/aiming-for-an-events-led-tourism-recovery/)
    1: Which of the sitting councillors would you be most comfortable dealing with?
    de BRENNI: “All of them. When it comes to this town, that is my priority. It is a democratic system. You need five of nine votes to get a decision.”
    2: Should there be party politics in council?
    de BRENNI: “No”
    Should the answers have been
    1: My CLP mates, the CLP is my priority. The CLP has five councillors, everyone else can go home, we only need five votes to do as we please. This is a false democracy.
    2: Yes, especially when its CLP politics.
    I believe that politics should play a part in our council, just a more open and honest form. You can’t stop a person from thinking how they think and most people lean one way or the other, it would be nice if they were honest and transparent with their party affiliations and were not too scared or arrogant to put the town ahead of the party line.

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  7. Hal Duell
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:27 am

    While intending no insult to Jamie de Brenni, shame on ASTC for passing up a chance honour Jade Kudrenko with the position of Deputy Mayor.

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  8. comedienne
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Ha ha character assassination calling someone what they are. What?

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  9. Phil Walcott
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Status quo…go figure!!!

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  10. Mark Fitzgerald
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Well done on the hatchet job and seeming character assassination with the statement of “Jamie de Brenni is a middle-aged white man of conservative politics and a motor sport enthusiast”.

    With Jamie being elected, it called democracy and not a stitch up for a female who works for Tom & Jerry – get over yourself Kieran.

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  11. Melanie Ross
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The Alice Springs Town Council is just become a defacto branch of the CLP.
    The CLP bloc just vote how they are told.
    What a disappointment you are Jactina Price, I expected more from a strong woman who I thought could make up her own mind and not just follow along your party line.

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  12. Sue Fielding
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Very disappointing move, Alice Springs Town Councillors! Your priorities are revealed. When is the next election?

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  13. Emma Ringer
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Disappointing that Cr Kudrenko’s experience on council and the articulate and intelligent contributions she has made to Council and community discussions – many of which have been noted in the council reports on the Alice Springs News pages – weren’t enough to prove her merit as Deputy Mayor.

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