Mayor’s meeting derailed

Greg Wagner, spokesman for mayor Dan Plato

It is unfortunate that Mayor Dan Plato’s public meeting in Table View on Tuesday January 22 was purposefully derailed by members of opposition political parties and activists who have no interest in working with the City, and would prefer to work against it (“Mayor’s visit a ‘waste of time’”, Tabletalk, February 6).

Your newspaper sadly failed to grasp or provide this important context to residents who were not in attendance.

I must acknowledge that where the councillors requested residents to forward questions to the mayor before hand, the expectations around this could have been better managed.

Detailed responses to those questions have now been emailed.

Within a week of the public meeting, the mayor has already returned to Table View and Blouberg to inspect the state of the beaches and related infrastructure.

He brought two of his mayoral committee members with him to come and see for themselves and so that they could instruct the relevant officials about what needed addressing.

A meeting has already been arranged for one of the letter writers with the City’s law enforcement management.

This is how a responsive government works. This is how Mayor Plato ensures residents’ concerns are addressed.

Writing dismissive headlines without bothering to inquire about any follow- ups does everyone a disservice.

Another attendee wrote a letter of appreciation following the meeting and expressed their understanding at the limitations and challenges faced by law enforcement.

The mayor has a team at all public meetings dutifully taking down the details of the issues raised in order to alert the relevant officials about what needs to be addressed, and in order to respond with details of the actions taken via email.

Surely having the actual issues addressed is the very purpose of a meeting with the mayor?

The mayor has always engaged with members of the public and made himself available to address concerns.

There are very few politicians who have the truly open-door policy always upheld by Dan Plato.

The media have an important role to play in holding governments accountable, but, equally, they have a duty to get the facts straight and not sensationalise matters unnecessarily.

The mayor will be returning to Table View shortly, and I trust that those interested in working with the City of Cape Town, and not against it, will be joining that meeting too.