ABOUT 23 Bassendean ratepayers passed a motion of no confidence in Mayor John Gangell and chief executive Bob Jarvis at a general meeting of electors last night.
Deputy mayor Mike Lewis called it a “vicious motion”, which said confidential meetings between the Town, LandCorp and Swan Districts Football Club and a business case dated January 2014 being obtained through a Freedom of Information request by Bassendean resident Graeme King sparked the motion.
The meetings and documents were part of the planning process for the Bassendean Activity Centre project, which includes consideration for developments at Bassendean Oval, the Wilson Street carpark and potentially the Town Civic Centre.
None of the residents spoke to the motion and ultimately raised their hands in support, except for two people.
Cr Lewis, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Cr Gangell, said the motion was a recommendation that would go back to council.
“This is a vicious motion that was put forward by a small group of residents in the Town of Bassendean who continue to pry, intimidate and bully those who hold a different opinion to themselves,” he said.
Cr Gangell, who was unable to attend the meeting to due work commitments, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the vote of no confidence.
“I am proud of my achievements during my seven years as Mayor in the Town of Bassendean and I take pride in the positive growth experienced under my stewardship and the energy and dedication that I have brought to council and will continue to be a strong voice for the community,” he said.
“Nevertheless, there have been critics and their sustained attack on my character, particularly during the proposed Bassendean Activity Centre Project, has been alarming and distressing.
“I strongly refute any claims that I have breached or had underhanded dealings and any such claims have no basis or merit.
“I have retained my integrity right throughout my time in public office and I will continue to be a passionate advocate for Bassendean going forward.”
Bassendean resident Carol Siedel said residents had been ignored and “treated like fools”.
“I think what was really interesting was that there was not too many people who thought it was not a good idea,” she said.
“If council does not address the motion of no confidence and the lack of trust in the community that was raised several times at the meeting last night, if we have the councillors and the staff at Town of Bassendean not addressing those issues, will be a real concern for the community at large.”