Gaedtke tears up public letter

Long standing Somerset Regional Councillor Cheryl Gaedtke has responded to backlash aimed at her from a public letter during Somerset's ordinary meeting on 13 March. Picture: SOMERSET REGIONAL COUNCIL

In her last ordinary meeting as a sitting councillor for Somerset, Cheryl Gaedtke responded to criticism levelled at her in a public letter.

“To me it is totally un-Australian to not be able to voice my opinion openly and responsibly as I did in the newspaper on the 6th of March about how I’ve found local government over 40 years and who my preferred candidates are to lead this council,” Cr Gaedtke said.

The letter, written by a ‘concerned Somerset resident’ named P. Jones, was published in The Somerset newspaper and raised the councillor’s past misconduct.

The letter responded to Cr Gaedtke’s own letter to the editor, published in The Independent, in which she announced her endorsement for Mayor and councillors.

“Before you take any recommendations from Councillor Gaedtke let’s first talk about an issue that has been kept particularly quiet by the previous Mayor and councillors,” P. Jones said in their letter to The Somerset.

In Somerset Regional Council’s ordinary meeting on 13 March, Cr Gaedtke said the ‘issue’ referred to a live 20-second video she made in May 2022 at the official opening of the Toogoolawah Gym and Pool.

“Yes, I did a 20-second live video update which was against policies and the funding agreement from the State Government, as it funded most of that infrastructure,” she said.

“Once again, this individual attempts to discredit me as a councillor through printed articles.

“This is the third [article] since May of 2022.”

Cr Gaedtke said she had made mistakes and learned from them.

“The perpetrator, this time, has shown their true character by an article which appears in a local newspaper,” she said.

“As I said after the second news article some 13 months ago, I pray for the soul of this tormented individual.

“I believe my 40 years of service to local government outweighs this one minor error of judgement.”