Think of Thanet and what is the first thing that comes to mind? The glorious beaches? Art? Or its local authority; the reputation of which is at risk of overshadowing the nose of Kent it presides over?
Because Thanet District Council (TDC) has managed to take hopscotching between calamity and controversy to a whole new level over recent years.
While its political colours seem to fluctuate with the wind, the officers which execute the council's decision-making within the organisation are facing an upheaval too.
Last week, its long-running CEO, the notoriously media-shy Madeline Homer, announced she was quitting after 15 years.
Her departure comes less than a year after a damning report from auditor Grant Thornton which shed light on a culture of bullying and intimidation within the authority's corridors of power. It added there had been a "serious breakdown in relations" between its four most senior officers.
It told how the cash-strapped council needed to make cuts to fund the rising costs of having to resolve grievances and whistle-blowing complaints involving the powerful quartet and “a number of officers”.
GMB union regional organiser Frank Macklin – who represented two complainants – summed things up when he said: "I have never come across anything like this in all the years I’ve been doing this job.
“Just shy of £1 million of taxpayers’ money that could have been used to repair lifts, make the beaches more user-friendly and for housing has instead been used on solicitors.”
Her failure to depart then, in a sign of how the authority is viewed, came as little surprise to many. And that despite a chorus of calls for her to do so.
But that is the mere tip of the iceberg when it comes to the council's controversies over the years.
From a former council leader being jailed in 2013 for using his influence to line his own pockets in a property deal, to the authority almost going bust during 2020, and capped off by a report just last week by Money.co.uk which declared Thanet delivered the worst value for money for its residents' council tax of any other in Kent; it scored a miserable 1.61 out of 10.
In 2015 it had to pay £2.3m after losing a High Court case over its decision to block live animal exports from Ramsgate. Coincidentally, an identical amount of money the authority is going to cough up to pay to improve a berth at the under-used port for a private company to ship aggregate to shore - a decision which prompted cries of "farce" from the public gallery when it was approved just last month.
Meanwhile, the good folk of Margate are anxiously awaiting news on the future of both the Theatre Royal and Winter Gardens - the two council-owned venues which, come August, will both be mothballed while a decision is taken on just who will operate them going forward. The Winter Gardens, in particular, is in need of significant investment.
The result is a local population which views the authority with suspicion and, perhaps most troubling, a lack of respect. The people of Thanet are a proud lot and, perhaps understandably, feel they are being let down by officers and political parties of all colours.
And that ever revolving door of elected councillors presents, of course, its own challenges.
In recent years the council has swung from the Conservatives, to Labour, to no overall control, to Ukip (it's first controlled council), to, as it is today, a Tory-led administration with no majority.
With no consistency and no love lost between the main parties, trying to agree and, indeed, deliver, long term objectives proves a long-running challenge.
Just take a look at the fiasco over Manston Airport. It became the ultimate political football. Vowing to re-open it as a working airport, Ukip won an unlikely victory in 2015 only to come up against the same problems as administrations gone by - hurling public money at a commercial operation which had never proved a money-earner was far easier said than done. Two years later, the authority proposed the land be turned into housing. Ukip councillors defected and its leader, Chris Wells, quit in 2018 while the island's inhabitants continued to debate the airport's future with a fervour rivalled only by the Brexit argument.
Whatever side of the argument you were on - and those in power were always most alert to the potentially perilous investment of public money - Thanet District Council's reputation emerged battered and bruised.
Throw in some individual councillors who, over the years, have hopped between parties taking, some very public, pot-shots at those they have a personal gripes against, and it creates an often toxic atmosphere and paints a dreadful image of the authority to those it is beholden to.
In 2013, a report from its own standard committee declared those that sat upon it "have witnessed many personal attacks taking place between members during debates, and from their position in the public gallery have heard the overwhelming view from members of the public that the councillors are not serving the public by whom they were elected" adding "attendance at council meetings is seen by some to be a form of entertainment. It concluded "the council has the appearance of a dysfunctional organisation whose behaviour and internal squabbles adversely affect the delivery of services, capital projects etc to the residents of the local district."
That image can take a while to shake off - particularly when further controversies, as outlined above, continue to dog it.
Be clear, Thanet is not comparable with the likes of Tunbridge Wells or even neighbouring Canterbury - both are comprised of a very different demographic, built around established industries or proximity to London. The west of the county's commuter belt or Canterbury's tourism and student influx gives them distinct, and significant advantages.
For all the benefits delivered by the likes of the Turner Contemporary - a project primarily funded by Kent County Council - Margate and neighbouring Ramsgate continues to struggle with the impacts of both.
Things are improving, but fundamental social change will not happen overnight. Nor will it be progressed by ineffective local government - particularly one where money is so terribly tight.
But tourism provides, finally, a growing economic backbone upon which the district can build a brighter future.
The people of the isle deserve - and more pertinently need - a local authority with a strong, reliable, well-oiled administrative structure, driven by councillors who should, more often than not, put political allegiances to one side to work together for the greater good of the area.
Thanet needs unity not yet more division.
Petty in-fighting, councillors switching parties which then topples the fragile power balance, and concerns over the working environment for the paid-staff who deliver the elected councillors' decisions need to be resolved.
Having been in post for 15 years, its CEO's departure provides the authority with the opportunity to steer a fresh course.
Certainly, Madeline Homer was far from responsible for many of the issues which have dogged the authority, but a change at the very top could - and indeed should - usher in a tighter-run ship; one that leads by example and inspires its local population. It is a trust which will have to be hard fought, but the sooner that starts the better.
And finally, if that is delivered, the people of Thanet will need to be prepared to drop their (understandable) doubt and scepticism in order for the isle to fulfil its clear and obvious potential.