Bunbury council votes to put media gag on Mayor until election   

MAYOR David Smith will be barred from speaking to media onbehalf of council after he was out-voted at a special meeting this morning.
Nanjing Night Net

Council met to discuss a course of action after thedisharmony within the City of Bunbury, including letters containing anonymous allegations,were splashed across local media.

It was requested the Mayor not make any further mediacomments on behalf of council prior to the local government election on October19.

Mayor Smith was the only councillor to vote against themotion.

It was also decided that chief executive officer AndrewBrien would handle any statements made to the media.

Mayor Smith had called for a local government departmentinquiry into the City, its councillors and executives after an accusatory emailwas distributed to local media outlets yesterday.

A spokesperson for the local government department told theBunbury Mail that they were “aware of the ongoing conflicts at the City ofBunbury” and had been providing assistance.

The spokesperson said the department would continue tomonitor and provide support to the City to resolve matters.

They said Mr Simpson goes into local government councils ina “listening role, so he can hear any issues or passions or questions raised bythe councils.”

Yesterday, the Mail received an email allegedly sent from acouncillor to a ratepayer which claimed the Mayor hadfailed to pay aspeeding fine in a council car.

The councillor suggested a number of council’s fleet ofvehicles could be deregistered as a result of the unpaid fine.

Mayor Smith has denied the claims and has called on localgovernment minister Tony Simpson to step in with an inquiry.

He said if the inquiry resulted in a temporary suspension ofcouncil, then “so be it.”

The email comes amid the circulation of letters, believed tobe fake, among councillors.

One letter expressed concerns about a decision to allow twoCity executives to have fines waived.

Bunbury Mayor David Smith has called for an inquiry into the City of Bunbury.

City chief executive officer Andrew Brien was fined fordriving in a nature reserve and chief financial officer Wayne Wright was finedfor parking in a disabled bay outside council chambers.

The matter was anonymously reported to the Corruption andCrime Commission.

The CCC referred the matter back to council to makerecommendations on any further action, but council agreed no action wasnecessary.

Council has since agreed to a new policy which would requireany City employee to apply to have fines waives at a full council meeting.

At this morning’s meeting, it was decided council wouldadvise the CCC and the local government department that council wasinvestigating the anonymous correspondence received by councillors.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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