He guffawed himself right into a losing election.
So the Manning council has decided to "get tough" on traders. With no consultation and virtually no notice, council officers swooped down on the CBD prior to Christmas and began seizing signs, ordering shopkeepers to remove merchandise racks, and pushing tables and chairs back into authorised areas. When a large number of traders resisted ("the crybabies"), Terry James promised on the Cueball radio show there would be a "review".
The laws that govern the signage requirements are embodied in Local Law 6, and while on the books for years, there has been little enforcement. During busy tourist times, they are regularly seen tripping over these signs all over the CBD.
With virtually no council staff in their Spence street offices, the so-called review is over and the confiscations have resumed and the crybabies have returned to their wailing.
Local Law 6 governs all signage in the city. So it's a mystery why the Manning family owned Events NQ on North Sheridan have put up illegal signs on public property both at their business location on Sheridan, but also along highways right around the city. These are there to advertise a Manning-family owned event, the "NQ Wedding and Formal Expo".
While the Mayor's wife Claire is Managing Director of this operation, it was well-known that the family bought it for one of of their children, Mark, to run. But apparently the high-pressure world of freshly laundered napkins, rental tables, and chairs has seen Mark exit the family business with now only Claire there to run it. And with Claire recently hospitalised, and the Mayor scheduled for major surgery shortly, could this business even exist without the "insider" connections they have to the business community?
Calls to council to lodge complaints about the illegal signs have been knocked back with callers told once "call Main Roads", and a second caller told "we won't be taking any action on these (illegal) signs". So the Mayor and his family financially benefit from a violation of a law they want traders in the CBD to comply with.
NQ Events (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Manning family's Belmar Events P/L) had benefitted from running events in Port Douglas prior to the deamalgamation. It's our guess the new political management in Port won't be so quick to roll over to this operation when there are locally-run Douglas Shire companies doing the same work.
But sadly we again see one set of rules for "us", and the other set of rules for "them".
You know who you are.