Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was something reassuringly mundane about Perth and Kinross Council meetings.
You knew which decisions would be passed or which projects supported, just by counting the political colours in the room.
Councillors from one party would vote for this, and councillors from another party would vote for that.
Whoever had the majority wins. Simple, right?
But in February, something strange started happening.
Tory councillors Colin Stewart and Calum Purves failed to turn up for the all-important budget talks, leaving the administration on a knife-edge. It later emerged they could not support their party’s proposed 4% council tax hike.
The following month, a new row erupted after Mr Purves voted against his administration’s plan to shut Blairingone School.
And in June, Mr Stewart spoke out against the council’s flagship Cross Tay Link Road project, describing its proposed route as “stupidity on stilts.”
Now both councillors find themselves at the centre of a new political storm.
And no one seems to know how it’s going to end.
The pair were suspended after complaints were made against them, following a shambolic meeting (or non-meeting) of the local Integration Joint Board in July.
The exact nature of the complaints hasn’t been made public – it’s understood voices were raised behind closed doors – but the public that attended the meeting are fully supportive of both councillors, who today face being ejected from the board.
The Standards Commission’s investigation needs to be allowed to run its course and eventually we will find out if there were genuine concerns about behaviour or – as some have claimed – it was part of an orchestrated campaign against two councillors who refuse to tow the party line.
But after the now notorious (non) meeting it is obvious that the IJB needs councillors on board, who aren’t afraid to hold other members to account.
The public was treated disrespectfully at the meeting, with no attempt to compromise or properly explain the reasons behind the cancellation.
Whatever happens at this afternoon’s council talks, this whole episode has been another semi-scandal for an administration that has seen its majority drop from eight to minus two in just over two years.
As has been shown with a similar debacle over Bridge of Earn surgery, the public deserves honesty and transparency when important decisions are being made about them.