‘Madame Mayor’: Freudian slips or honest mistakes?
THE notion of a Freudian slip is usually laughed off seconds after you mistakenly refer to your mother as your lover, but how many times can one do it before your mates start asking questions?
Ahead of a crucial vote for Clarence Valley's mayor next week it was hard to miss the current mayor Jim Simmons' repeated referrals to Cr Karen Toms as 'madame Mayor' on Tuesday.
Cr Simmons referred to the chair of the Corporate Governance and Works committee as mayor at least three times over the course of the hour-long meeting, and it may otherwise have been ignored if a vote on the position were not coming up next week.
Under the Local Government Act, councils who do not have popularly elected mayors are required to throw open the position every two years, and next week councillors will decide who gets the top job.
Who should be the Clarence Valley Council Mayor in 2020/21?
It was expected a new-look council would be voting this September, however the coronavirus pandemic postponed the elections by 12 months which meant this current group receives a bonus year in office.
When asked about his repeat references to Cr Toms, Cr Simmons said it was simply a slip of the tongue and pointed out he had also referred to Cr Baker as Mayor a few times when he chaired the Environment Planning and Community meeting soon after.
Cr Simmons said he intended to nominate again for Mayor "at this stage" and while it wasn't necessarily an easy decision, he honoured and respected the position.
"It's for a 12-month period and I (would be) honoured," he said.
Cr Simmons said he was motivated by a desire to respect the residents. He did expect other councillors to nominate.
"People that might have a problem and a complaint I am happy to help them and also I have a real interest in the organisations within the community."
"I expect there will be competition but I haven't been spruiking myself (to his fellow councillors).
"It is a 12-month role and any of the councillors could nominate and I am sure they would."
In the lead up to the cancelled elections, several current councillors had announced their retirement and only one new face had put their hand up for election, popular Grafton small business owner and Jacaranda Festival stalwart Jeff Smith.