Fine Gael Ballina Town councillor Mark Winters demanded answers why a motion he submitted to the town council to change the standing orders of the meetings to include an item called either engineers report or questions was ruled not valid by the council.
Town clerk Carmel Murphy told the meeting she felt the title of the item that Cllr Winters wanted put on the agenda was too broad as engineer’s report could encompass a large variety of items. She said the members could raise any issue the engineer dealt with under items that were always on the agenda, such as housing, roads, or any other business.
Cllr Winters said the council hardly ever got to any other business on the meeting and it offered the public an opportunity to see that the councillors were raising issues that were of concern. Cllr Winters said he would have no problem with the members having to submit the questions in advance to the town engineer so she would be able to prepare for the questions.
Cllr Winters’ stance was supported by Fianna Fáil councillor Johnny O’Malley, who asked what the town manager, Paddy Mahon, thought of the idea. Mr Mahon told the meeting he was fully supportive of the town clerk’s stance on the issue and that the topic was too broad. Mr Mahon also stated that the town engineer’s door was always open to the councillors as was the town clerk’s to help them out in any way they could.