Mayor’s comments come at cost

Former mayor Terry Kenyon moved the contentious motion at the May council meeting.

The motion split council and was carried 6-5 after an emotion-charged debate.

The motion referred to advertisements published earlier this year in three local newspapers, including the Eastern Reporter, informing ratepayers that local government amalgamations had been cancelled.

Cr Kenyon said the advertisement was irresponsible and a waste of ratepayer money because the failed reform was widely broadcast.

He said the City distributed the news to ratepayers through the already costed and in-house publication Bayswater Brief as well.

�Every dog and his owner knew amalgamations were off,� Cr Kenyon said.

Cr Albert defended the decision to publish the two-page advert, saying the motion was petty and Cr Kenyon was grasping at straws. He said the reform process took seven years and was stopped at the last minute so he had to make a decision.

�Sorry if you�re not happy but I thought the community needed to know and I responded accordingly,� he said.

Chief executive Francesca Lefante said the publication decision was made at an office level and did not entirely rest with the mayor.

Cr Barry McKenna said councillors wanted to know about the decision before going to print and an urgent meeting or contact via email would have been appreciated.