Melbourne City Councillor Brian Shanahan is undergoing treatment for cancer and has applied for an absence of leave from the Council.
Whilst we wish Cr. Shanahan all the best at this time we must ask the question should his prolonged absence and state of health impact on the operations of the City Council and should he not in the interest of the Council and representative democracy resign?
The City of Melbourne Council has less than 10 months left to serve before going to the polls in November 2012.
This is a decision that Cr. Shanahan should consider now rather then later. If he is unable to fulfill his term of office then he should step aside and allow his position to be filled by someone else.
Should Shanahan resign his position would most likely be filled by Connie Pagliantani (Number two on Cr Shanahan's ticket). No doubts there are some in the Council Administration that do not want to see Ms Pagliantani elected to office.
Mean while the City Council continued to hold meetings behind closed doors contrary to the Local Government Act, It appear that the Council has formalised these illegal "Council Forum" gatherings, the public is denied access or oversight. Minutes are not tabled and decisions of the forum are made under officer delegation. The elected Council p[lays such a low role in the affairs of the Council the Council Web site has them as an aside below the administration. Not one word by the elected representatives, who have forgotten the meaning of open transparent governance. I guess if Cr Shanahan does not step aside tit will not matter anyway. no one will notice his absence.