Endangered Dolphin rescued from Execution.
FRANKSTON Council mascot Finn Dolphin has escaped a “watery grave” following the revelation he has cost ratepayers close to $30,000 in the past five years.
Cr Kris Bolam’s motion to “wind down” the mascot was met by hissing and booing from many councillors, including Sandra Mayer, who held a ‘Save Finn’ sign at last Tuesday’s council meeting.
Cr Bolam said he struck up a conversation with the mascot during a visit from the Susono sister city delegation and was surprised to discover it was not a volunteer position.
“What benefit is the dolphin delivering to Frankston? I might seem meanspirited but how are we judging the success of Finn?,” Cr Bolam asked councillors.
Since 2007, the council has paid $25,000-$30,000 on the purchase and maintenance of the dolphin suit and on the person wearing it and their ‘carer’ to attend about 11 events a year.
Cr Bolam’s motion was lost when Cr Glenn Aitken was the only other councillor to support it.
“If it was up to me, I’d free Finn and send him back out to the ocean,” Cr Bolam told the Weekly. “There are many deserving and meaningful projects throughout Frankston that could do with such a significant injection of funds. This is not one of them.”
Cr Aitken gave little weight to the argument that Finn Dolphin had 634 Facebook friends
“I’m yet to come across a friend of Finn. Someone nearly fainted in that costume one hot day. If someone collapses in that suit it will become a real occupational health and safety issue,” he said at the meeting, later asking if Finn belonged at the Susono celebrations.
“What does Frankston provide? A person in a mascot suit that prances and wobbles around in a very wayward manner. What would the people of Susono make of that?”
Cr Alistair Wardle suggested “sushi?”, later adding that the mascot helped children to connect with the city and grow up to become good citizens.
Cr Brad Hill, a father of five, said it was possible councillors had forgotten what it was like to be children and added that he didn’t appreciate Cr Bolam’s suggestion of a town crier for Frankston.
“The joy of a smile on a child’s face really can’t be valued. To try and replace it with an old fart with a bell is a bit rich.”
Mayor Brian Cunial and his predecessor, Cr Bolam, took part in an impassioned exchange over the mascot. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with Finn,” the mayor said. “I am in favour of saving him from a watery grave.”