Fair deal wanted at public meetings

Dear Editor,

Re: “Mayor’s Right to skip meeting” it is everybody ‘s democratic right to attend public meetings, and if you do so you expect to get a fair deal or hearing from the meeting organisers or chairperson. Unfortunately this is not always the case when it comes to attending public Horowhenua District Council meetings as most of the time the public was unlikely to get a fair deal from the chair, Mayor Duffy. For Brendan Duffy to presume or expect that the ex-Mayor Mr Malcolm Guy would not give him a fair deal or the respect he deserves as a Mayoral candidate is totally bizarre.

In Tony Rush’s letter of 10 October 2013 he states that Brendan Duffy was spat at and he infers that the Horowhenua District Ratepayers & Residents Assn. Inc. (HDRRAI) organised the candidates meeting at Tokomaru. He is totally incorrect. HDRRAI had absolutely nothing to do with organising that meeting.

Some of the HDRRAI members attended it as independent members of the public and none of them engaged in heckling, spitting or abusing him.

That meeting was organised by some Tokomaru residents and Chaired by Mr Toms who is to be admired for skilfully managing some very vocal members of the audience. Personally I was disappointed that Brendan Duffy walked out of the meeting as I thought his considerable years in local government would have provided him with the skills to handle interjections. Instead, he let his Mayoral opponents hold the floor unopposed. Mr Toms as Chair was there to help and was, in my view, rudely rejected by Brendan Duffy along with those present who were prepared to listen to Brendan Duffy’s mayoral campaign address.

Brendan Duffy literally denied himself the right to speak. Extraordinary to say the least. He should have kept calm.

David Thomson