Vic Park mayor mileage claim peculiarities fuel councillor doubts

Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan.
Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan.

TOWN of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan has been accused of incorrectly filling out a mayoral car logbook by councillor Vince Maxwell.

At the elected members briefing session on March 7, Cr Maxwell questioned the Mayor about several entries into the logbook during 2013.

Cr Maxwell accused the Mayor of receiving financial gain by recording trips such as 502km roundtrip to Busselton on May 9, 2013 by recording it as an official use and not as a private trip.

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At the meeting, the Mayor defended himself and said the trip was to meet the City of Busselton Mayor and CEO.

Among the travel questioned by Cr Maxwell was a roundtrip from Victoria Park to the Tamala Park Regional Council on April 18, 2013 at the Town of Cambridge when he claimed 79km, however, he is listed as absentee at the meeting.

A similar roundtrip to the regional council meeting at the City of Stirling on August 22 was claimed as a 76km trip, but the Mayor was again listed as an absentee.

Town of Victoria Park chief executive officer Anthony Vuleta said the Town was looking into the questions raised by Cr Maxwell.

Mr Vaughan said he believed that when he filled the logbook out, it was an accurate reflection of the travel he had undertaken.

“I would have liked the councillor to have discussed his concerns with myself and the CEO prior to the council meeting so I would have the opportunity to explain to him the log entries in question,” he said.

“I am going through my diary to check my travel and I believe any correction will be minor.”

Mr Vuleta said there was no mayoral vehicle now due to a council resolution made in October 2015 to remove it.

“When there is a mayoral vehicle in use, its operation is the responsibility of the Mayor,” he said.

“From 1999 to 2015, as per the council policy EM9 – Mayoral Vehicle, a fully maintained council-owned vehicle was provided to the Mayor for his exclusive use on official council business and for private use during his term of office.

“The mayoral vehicle was provided in lieu of travel or mileage claims otherwise claimable by the Mayor for use of his or her personal vehicle.

“The Town administration required that the mayoral vehicle have a log book for a period of time to determine a pattern of use for which reimbursement of private use could be modelled.”

He said a log book was used from early 2013 to October 2013.