Councillor: motion just ‘sour grapes’

City of Stirling's council office.
City of Stirling's council office.

STIRLING councillors have pushed back against a move to tighten rules ahead of local government elections.

Cr Stephanie Proud wanted aspects of the City’s council elections caretaker policy to come into effect once councillors publicly declared their intent to run in an upcoming election rather than at the end of the official nomination period, which this year is September 12.

These included exclusion of candidates from hosting City lunches or dinners and making speeches, restricting candidates’ access to media advice, information and use of resources, and removing material that could be considered promotional for candidates from City publications.

Cr Proud moved the motion at the August 13 meeting and said two councillors last month publicly announced their intention to run for mayor, which she believed had “never been done before” and could give them an advantage over external nominees.

But Cr David Boothman was concerned it would be difficult to decide if councillors were promoting themselves or acting in accordance with their role.

Things became heated when Cr Adam Spagnolo believed he was being targeted and said it was a case of “sour grapes”.

He said he announced his intention to run as mayor when he was elected to council in 2017 so if the policy applied he would have been subjected to restrictions for the past two years.

“I can’t help thinking this is all about me,” he said.

“(The motion) is not here for the right reason and I completely reject it.”

Cr Proud’s motion was lost 5-8 and council instead voted not to change the policy, with Crs Proud, Boothman, Giovanni Italiano, Suzanne Migdale and Bianca Sandri voting against.

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