The mistake I made when I was sworn in as Tasman District Councillor is that I took my position too seriously. It turns out that I am paid peanuts because I am expected to be a rubber-stamping monkey with the memory of a goldfish.
I came to this conclusion after numerous discussions around the council table and in private with people whose pay grade far out-ranks my own. I have been told that I am just uninformed as a new councillor, and that is why I should vote the way of the good-old-boys. I am told I am acting irresponsibly for not rubber-stamping the proposals put before me.
It gets worse. I have been told on the issue of the damn dam that even if the current dam proposal isn’t the best option at our disposal, although it obviously is, but even if it isn’t that we have no alternative other than to build it because we simply don’t have time to implement another option. On top of that I am told that I may have to ignore the voice of the majority of rate-payers if that is what it takes to get the job done. In other words, “Just rubber-stamp here.”
When I pointed out the problem I had with the inconsistencies I was being presented with to one highly paid individual I was told I just “need to get over it.”
So, you see, I am now at the point where I can see the error of my ways. I was thinking my role as an elected member of council was somehow important. Inflated impression of self-worth aside, I just over estimated the role of a councillor. Had I read the job description instead of just the lunch menu I am sure I would have read applicant must be a rubber-stamping monkey who cannot remember what was said in the last paper stamped because it will probably contradict what is in the paper you are currently being asked to stamp your approval on.
Now that both my pay grade, and my level of responsibility, have been established I am sure that I am going to be a far more effective in my newly informed role. I certainly won’t be taking myself, or my votes, too seriously moving forward.
Signed …. Monkey
Wait what did I sign?