‘They’ve been snapping and snarling at me for months, and now they have come out,’ Mr Norris said about remaining councillors Ian Flack, Zenda Johnson, Brett Pollock and Wesley Davies.
Mr Norris said he was not concerned about a ‘real rift’ with the four, which he did not expect would be resolved, and supported Cr Eustance’s resignation after she opposed cuts while not raising rates and spending reserves.
Mr Norris said a split council would have no effect on, or change his participation in, the anti-merger Councils for Democracy (CfD), which was opposed by several councillors.
When Mr Norris was on holiday in July, deputy mayor Ian Flack read a statement that said none of the Mayor’s comments as CfD chair were endorsed by the council.
Thursday’s motion asks the statement be adopted as council policy, Mr Norris leave CfD and he abide by all council resolutions.
Mrs Eustance said her the catalyst for her resignation was the approval on August 5 of the 2014-15 budget that ‘ignores’ staff financial plans, the 4.25 per cent rates rise that was half of what was needed and a financial plan that ‘severely’ depleted reserves. She said community activities had been scrapped without replacement, the council appeared adversarial to remaining volunteer groups and it was not focused on strategic planning, mergers, population increases and climate change.
After councillors’ attacks when she defended MosArts funding while its chairwoman, Mrs Eustance said mutual respect at the council was ‘largely absent’, resulting in poor decisions, and creating ‘an unpleasant and stressful situation in which to work’.
See Opinion page 10.