Hawke’s Bay employs a number of elected councils whose meetings can provide heaps of entertainment to the public.

However, given that there are almost as many councils as cafes, it’s hard for the average citizen to know which councils provide the best entertainment experience.

Therefore, with this post, BayBuzz is launching what we hope will be a long-running series to rate the visitor-friendliness of various councils, as well as their overall entertainment value. But we don’t want you to just swallow our opinions … BayBuzz readers are warmly encouraged to submit their own evaluations too.

In effect, we’re asking you to “Digg” the councils. For latecomers to the blogging world (BayBuzz is a blog … a sort of simplified website), Digg is a website that consists of nothing more than readers voting on their favorite blog posts, wherever on the web they find them. As a post gets more and more votes (Diggs), it rises democratically to the top of the pile on the Digg website. Web addicts then watch Digg to see what’s really hot on the web.

So let’s start Digging the council meetings.

Here are some starter Diggs …

HDC gets a point for best sound system (the Napier Councillors mumble a lot and are very hard to hear)

On the other hand, Napier City Council gets a point for excellent written material. Visitors from the public can readily get the same detailed briefing book as the Councillors, making it easy to follow the action.

So far, in terms of entertainment value, we’d have to award a point to HDC.

At its most recent session, the “main event” at HDC was debate over speed limits, which featured councillors taking the strap (in a genteel way of course) to hapless staff (more on this next week) … while in Napier the undramatic focus of attention was funding improvements to skateparks (noted as one of the most often debated issues of the past six years!).

(And we naively thought that councils dealt with weighty issues like clock ringing, Ocean Beach and runway extensions.)

Neither of these councils wins a point yet for Mayoral performance. Both mayors ran their meetings in a crisp and efficient style … one might say Prussian in the case of Arnott. But so far, we’re not ready to give either a scoring advantage.

Score so far: HDC 2 Diggs, Napier 1 Digg

We hope to include other councils — HBRC, CHB, Wairoa, plus the District Health Board — in our Digg program going forward, but we can’t be everywhere. So again, we call upon our readers to send in your own council Digg points.

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