TWEED Shire councillors squabbled and blamed each other at their last meeting while debating a motion by Cr Carolyn Byrne to engage a "mayoral mentor" from Local Government NSW to "refresh the knowledge" of councillors on "expected behaviour".
"A councillor has publicly stated that they are attempting the World Guinness Book of Records for the most number of code of conduct complaints ... a GM has been sacked ... a councillor who has been refused a number of appeals has been found guilty of defamation .... We have a new mayor who has publicly announced he will not follow the resolution of his own council... things must change," Cr Byrne said.
Cr Michael Armstrong labelled Ms Byrne's comments "disturbing" and the mentoring proposal "bizarre". He was applauded by the public gallery as he urged councillors to "grow up" and keep their personal opinions to themselves.
Cr Barry Longland supported Cr Byrne's motion, as did Warren Polglase and Phil Youngblutt, while Mayor Gary Bagnall voted against the motion. He said he had recently attended Local Government Association training for mayors and he had two mentors.
"May I suggest, Cr Byrne, there are ex-councillors around this shire that might happily mentor you in your area in Kingscliff," he said.
Cr Katie Milne said she was "appalled" with the debate, and said the motion aimed to undermine fellow councillors. However it was carried 4:3. Mayoral mentoring will begin in 2015.
More council, Pages 4-5