THE big crowd that turned up to this month's council meeting heard more than they were expecting during their short stay. All but two of the people in the packed public gallery were there specifically to hear about the new dog management policy - in particular where dogs will be allowed to exercise in future - and most left once that matter was dealt with.
But before we made it that far into the agenda, one of my councillor colleagues drew attention to an unusual transaction in the monthly financial report. This turned out to be a $100,000 interest-free loan from the council to a community group, advanced several months ago without a council decision and known only to a few.
This loan was startling both for having occurred in the first place, and also for the apparent lack of concern it caused many of your elected members. Those present also heard that a personal loan had been provided to an elected member from ratepayer funds. It's bad enough that we are a cash-strapped council unable to do everything expected of us, but loans provided without the endorsement of a council meeting are another thing altogether.