Saved from “respect school”: Tweed councillor Phil Youngblutt.
Saved from “respect school”: Tweed councillor Phil Youngblutt.

No action on moron slip

TWEED deputy mayor Phil Youngblutt has escaped any disciplinary action for calling voters “morons”.

His fellow councillors late yesterday voted to take no further action for the controversial remarks which prompted three complaints to the council’s secretive conduct review panel.

That was despite a plea for harsher action from Greens Party councillor Katie Milne, whose election running-mate Trish Mann was a complainant.

Cr Milne called for Cr Youngblutt to be sent off to a training course in “respectful communication”.

Cr Youngblutt was saved from going to respect school after Cr Dot Holdom declared: “There is not one of us up here that can cast the first stone”.

In September Cr Youngblutt told the Tweed Daily News some voters were “morons” and did not understand how the council worked. The comments were made with regard to a suggestion that the mayor and deputy mayor be elected by popular vote.

The comments came after Cr Warren Polglase was appointed mayor and Cr Youngblutt deputy mayor through a draw from a cardboard box following a tied vote among councillors.

Cr Milne said Cr Youngblutt had a “bit of an issue” with the language he used, and she remembered he had previously accused anti-car rally protesters of “having two heads”.

“To be referred to as morons, drop-outs and greenies – it does show a particular bias towards particular groups of people,” Cr Milne said.

“I think this is a bit more serious than accepting an apology.”

Cr Barry Longland agreed, but said he was not in favour of any punitive action.

“Cr Youngblutt does have a propensity to speak disparagingly without due regard to reputation,” he said.

“I’ve been a recipient of such things myself. He makes unsubstantiated claims and expects people to just sit back and cop it”.

Cr van Lieshout said Cr Youngblutt had already suffered humiliation as a result of the comments.

Only Cr Milne voted against simply receiving and noting a report from the code of conduct reviewer, barrister John Hawkins who found Cr Youngblutt had breached the council’s conduct code but had “suffered considerable damage to his reputation”.

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