Recall for Boyd
FORMER Tweed Mayor Max Boyd will be part of a high-powered troika controlling Tweed Shire Council following a controversial NSW government decision yesterday to sack his fellow councillors amid corruption allegations.
The veteran councillor, who has served 41 consecutive years on the council, will join former Sydney mayor Lucy Turnbull and influential Local Government Department chief Garry Payne as administrators in a shock departure from normal protocols.
Local Government Minister Tony Kelly moved to sack the entire 10-man council after he was handed the findings of a long-running commission of inquiry into council's administrative and planning processes which found the council was improperly influenced by developers.
Mr Kelly told Parliament yesterday that the three administrators would be appointed from 8am to run the council for the next three years until local government elections are held in September 2008.
Local government sources said only one administrator was normally appointed to take control of the council's operations and the decision to a appoint a three-man team including a former elected councillor was unprecedented.
Cr Boyd revealed yesterday had had been offered the job by Mr Kelly in a surprise phone call yesterday and had little hesitation in accepting.
"I'm despondent that as we approach the centenary of local government next year we will be in the hands of administrators, but at the same time I am honoured to have an opportunity to continue to serve the rate-payers," said Cr Boyd, who is one of NSW's longest-serving mayors with 18 years in the top job.
But the appointment of the man that pro-development campaigners attacked as the leader of what was dubbed an extreme green movement has infuriated members of his rival faction who question why a minority faction councillor was singled out and given wider powers to help bring the council back on track.
Cr Boyd said he was bracing for a flood of criticism from developers and their cohorts but was hopeful most people would accept his blemish-free track record over four decades.
"I'm obviously sad about the loss of my good faction friends and colleagues on the council who have consistently served honestly and with the interests of the ratepayers and the shire upper-most in their minds."
Cr Boyd said the turmoil the council had been through was self-inflicted and follows the failure to follow the advice of the findings of the earlier Bulford inquiry which found some councillors tried to bully staff, and their planning processes were flawed.
"The council went on blithely ignoring the advice and now it looks as though we have finally paid the price," said Cr Boyd.