Donegal County Council annual general meeting was done and dusted on Friday evening with more twists and turns that the River Finn! Independents John Campbell from Mountcharles and Nicholas Crossan from Buncrana were elected as Cathaoirleach and Leas-Cathaoirleach for the first year.
There were several adjournments throughout the day to finalise the positions on the 40 or so committees but in fairness everyone got a slice of the cake and equality and transparency seemed to be the order of the day.
There had been intense negotiations for a few days leading up to this meeting ...the last of which finished in the early hours of this (Friday) morning - 4am to be precise - with changes and more changes flung in and out of the agreement.
To be fair to the 37 new councillors and the council staff everything went pretty well and despite a few hiccups, the business was orderly and responsible.
But there's an elephant in the room - the Local Government Bill 2013. This new Bill will give effect to the reforms that were approved by Government in October 2012, following the publication of the landmark Action Programme for Effective Local Government – Putting People
It was hinted on Friday at the meeting that it brings major changes in the way things will be done and to be honest no one seemed to be 100% sure what this would entail. As one official put it they were being "drip fed" information and even councillors remarked that new 'guidelines' were being dropped on them even as the meeting was in progress!
This is going to be a challenging time for the new council so don't expect miracles folks - but do expect all politicians to live up to their pre-election promises - after all that's why you voted for them... isn't it?
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