Upset over control room move

Owen Simons, Retreat

Following on from your article in last week’s Southern Mail, it is clear to me that Ward 68 councillor Marita Petersen had erred grievously in the apparently gung-ho manner in which she had moved the security room from (a location in Retreat).

I fully understand why Mark Solomons, founder of the Real Idea Project, Gavin Walbrugh, Magdalene Jordaan, Marvin Lombard, Glen Paulsen and the community are upset with councillor Petersen.

The control room is a joint initiative, which was founded and built on consultation, and every aspect of it, certainly an intended move, should have been discussed with all parties directly involved.

The City of Cape Town’s Code of Conduct for ward and PR councillors, clearly and simply states that: “The general conduct of councillors is to perform the functions of office in good faith, honestly and in a transparent manner; and at all times act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised”.

In my view the municipality is the community.

Councillor Petersen, appointed as a ward councillor in 2012, in this instance, has certainly shown a blatant disregard for the City, the stakeholders and more importantly the community of the Steenberg and Retreat areas.

This unilateral act of lack of honesty on the side of councillor Petersen must be reported, and a complaint registered with the City speaker.

Who knows how much else she got away with?

This is certainly not the first time councillor Petersen has felt emboldened to dis City and community. In an article during her appointment in a community newspaper, councillor Petersen
has promised to
“have a meeting every Saturday with the community of Lavender Hill.”

I invite councillor Petersen to prove that she has even had any two consecutive meetings with the struggling residents of my former neighbourhood, as she had promised.

While coming to the end of last week’s article, I was very, very surprised to read that councillor Petersen had not been available after “numerous attempts” for comment by the journalist.

In the eight years which councillor Petersen has been a ward councillor, I have not known her to ever shun the opportunity for a media opportunity.