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Councilor Brain Food

New Wellington Mayor Celia Wade Brown has set a cat amongst the pigeons by suggesting that her Councilors undertake either to learn Maori or Mandarin, undertake speed reading courses, or ballroom dancing as an antidote to their failure to keep up in meetings and cope with the piles of reading required to have any understanding of what is going on. For most new councilors it is a daunting challenge preparing for their first meetings - far more than any expect, I would suggest.

Ratepayers will be pleased no doubt that our Councilors will be undertaking a Speed Reading Program on 27 January, at our cost of course. Anything that better prepares them for the year ahead is to be commended, but Mayor Wade Brown clearly indicated that her suggestions were based on on self funding of these activities. I suppose it would be churlish to suggest a similar approach in our case.

I have always regarded Speed Reading Courses in the same category as courses on Getting in Touch With Your Inner Self. Practice is the real teacher, and simply attending expensive courses that allegedly teach you how to pick out key words and string them together lacks credibility for my part. Coping with Council papers takes commitment and time - if you are not prepared to devote at least three days a week to the task, then get off the turf and let those who are on. Simple as that.

On the other hand, ballroom dancing - now that has resonance. The picture of a cleared Council Chamber, and Mayor Leach with Councilor Hoadley on his arm leading the way with a fine Circular Waltz brings tears to the eye - "Councilors, take your partners please". 

That should help with harmony, and accordingly make workshops obsolete. 

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