Marlene Boyce to the rescue?
Today, troubled Knysna got an Acting Director of Planning and Development, what us layman refer to as a Town Planner.
This is a newness and revelation because Marlene Boyce arrives from off the radar of a town heading in the wrong direction.
The DA’s good move was immediately appreciated with support on Facebook. After criticising them for so long, i’m please to be able to applaud them too.
For those of you who don’t know her, she’s certainly not the fictional character from the 80’s BBC’s comedy sitcom Only Fools and Horses. This is Marlene Boyce from Knysna. This is Marlene with the Masters Degree in Development Studies (a fact i only discovered today) with a BA LLB (Bachelor of Laws) to boot.
This is The Boycie (yes, let’s call her that) who spoke coloured sense at the Ward 10 meeting regarding the proposed, very controversial, designation of public drinking areas. This is the Boycie with the colourful Twitter.
The appointment of officials may sound boring but it’s in fact the most exciting development in the recent history of an incredibly corrupt Knysna under the Democratic Alliance you don’t want to know.
I have been preaching about the evils of Knysna leadership for over 5 years. From the abuse of public funds, cover-ups thereof, propaganda campaigns and egos gone wrong, the DA has protected those who should be fired or in jail instead of in leadership positions earning millions.
The symbiotic relationship of the DA, ANC and local government Administration has been sickening. No fighting for what’s right, no opposition… just a vomiting of a select few on the 72000 (or more) residents of this town.
I don’t believe this Boycie move would’ve been possible if Mayor Georlene Wolmarans and Councillor Louisa Hart had remained in charge of the DA caucus (their drop in the candidate list shows that they’re not). They seemed to be servants of the Administration rather than its oversight. Maybe the DA’s changing…
I will not miss Mike Maughan-Brown, the previous Director of Planning and Development. He represents so much that i believe wrong, the favouritism of developers over a future, arrogance over public service. He will be remembered as one of the key figures in the ISDF scandal, probably nothing more. But he should also be remembered as the Town Planner (and previous Oakhill School school board chairman) who shoved the controversial Oakhill development in Welbedacht down our throats. He should be remembered as the man, who only two months ago, knowing he was going to leave, recommended that we should give prime, publicly owned, waterfront property (behind Food Lover’s Market) to developers for free!
I can’t imagine Boycie being anything but an upgrade for Knysna.
Strangely, the ANC, who are always complaining about equality and the predominance of white management in the Knysna Municipality, were against her appointment. No matter how it was sugarcoated 6hrs into the Council meeting, the ANC were opposing a coloured women in favour of a white man – politics can be funny.
Today, there was the possibility of real change. only ‘possibility’ because it’s a 3-month contract, whilst the position is advertised, she’s tested, political battles ensue and we discover who wins Knysna in the 2016 Municipal Elections in August.
Marlene Boyce becoming town planner would feel like some sanity returning to Knysna. Would that feeling be remotely true?
Who is Boycie beyond the lady who gives a courteous nod in Council Chambers or a friendly hello without conversation in the Superspar queue?
She’s been low-key and practically unknown. It will be interesting to discover how she deals with being high profile. Will she be able to handle the pressure and make tough decisions. Will she be the first million-earning Director to promote transparency?
From smart people, i’ve heard she’s smart. She sings, supports Knysna Hospice and was involved in the Winter blanket drive for the poor. She cares about civil rights and the environment. She may have a heart… that started before politics and media.
Why am i hopeful, why am i giving her the benefit of the doubt despite her having been so understated in the past? Why do i expect you to be excited?
I may not know Marlene but i’ve never heard a bad thing about her (which is remarkable in a small town). And if her quotes are anything to go by, she may be the first public servant i’ve encountered who ACTUALLY BELIEVES THAT THE JOB REQUIRES HER TO BE A PUBLIC SERVANT.
Boycie to the rescue… pleeeeese.
Now if we can just get replace that pesky Municipal Manager and a few more politicians, we may have a future…