From Municipal Manager Lauren Waring calling me “rude” to her quitting 3 and a half hours later, it was one of the more memorable Council Meetings held in the chambers at the Knysna Municipality in Clyde Street.
Thursday, September 25 promised a long morning as the agenda, without supplementary, was 239 pages long. The room was unexpectedly fuller which would be later explained when several were awarded for their long service and 7 new staff members were welcomed into the Knysna Municipality.
It’s at this kind of meeting that Georlene Wolmarans wears the mayoral chain and her prettiest dress. Some of the male councillors even wear suits. I don’t believe in frippery, wanting our politicians to rather rub their hands together and say, “Let’s do some work.” I find it even more ludicrous that the Mayor will stand like a hen in the same doorway we come through, waiting for someone to announce her arrival and expecting everyone to stand.
I’m the only one who doesn’t stand. She is not my mayor. She is a woman who has lied to our town, being involved in a cover-up and denied democracy. Those who have been part of the herd have, consciously or unconsciously, allowed such nonsense to continue. So while they stood, I sat as normal, as they have come to expect but, for some reason, they decided to make an issue of it that morning, as if to try to embarrass me in front of the newcomers. I told them to show me in the constitution where I must stand and I stated that we all know where I stand with regards “our mayor”. They gave up but as Lauren Waring entered she bent and whispered in my ear how rude she thought I was.
That was odd for her. She’s normally more composed so I was left wondering why this day was different. 105 minutes later, I found out – Lauren Waring had handed her resignation in, effective 30 November 2014.
There were those crocodiles who falsely expressed their sadness and fondness for her, the mayor amongst them, but there were others who were genuinely disappointed – DA councillors Michelle Wasserman, Louisa Hart and Irene Grootboom cried. Lauren then cried too.
They then shut us out, taking the public item of who would be Acting Municipal Manager into a closed-door session. In all likelihood, it will be Lauren’s cohort-in-arms, Grant Easton, the Financial Director.
I expected a moment of relief or victory but never felt it so I left this blog until today to think about it.
Thinking never helped much. Lauren Waring has fought cancer and won. She’s been in a car accident that made her a single mom. The rumour that she got a big payout and bought a fancy house on the beachfront in Wilderness surely helps but it doesn’t make up for the tragedy of it all.
But I can’t allow myself the luxury of being emotional. I have to concentrate on the facts that have made me severely criticise her. Her departure will loosen the door to the Knysna Municipality that has been jammed to the public for far too long.
And this will unlikely be the last we see of Lauren. She will have some questions to answer for us one day.