ALLEGATIONS of an Orange councillor taking unauthorised morning tea breaks in the chamber has attracted derision from councillor Glenn Taylor, who says it has set the tone for the September elections.
Orange Residents and Ratepayers Association member John Da Rin wrote to Orange City Council earlier this month, concerned a councillor was using the chambers for his personal morning tea breaks.
“Could you please, on my behalf, stress to councillors that the council building is for conducting business and not available for personal use,” his letter said.
“Except for the mayor and deputy mayor who need to be available at various times, there is no need for other councillors to be at council outside council business.
“Further more [sic], council staff may feel uncomfortable having councillors looking over their shoulder.”
Neither Mr Da Rin nor the council have indicated the councillor had accessed staff inappropriately – councillors must seek administrative support through general manager Garry Styles.
The council’s payment of expenses and facilities policy makes a workroom next to the council chamber available for councillors for activities associated with their role, in addition to refreshments after council meetings and meetings held in work hours.
But in the chamber on Tuesday night, Cr Taylor mocked the letter, with tongue firmly in cheek asking for the Cobb and Co coach to be removed from the Orange Regional Museum “and parade the condemned down the main street and show no mercy”.
“If we don’t have gallows, we should include it in this year’s budget,” he said.
“There is a bounty on our heads for proof of corruption before September – some people really need to get lives.”
Cr Taylor believed it was a sign of things to come before the council elections.
“Sometimes you do it to keep people out of here – if you stay silent, evil will prosper,” he said.
Mayor John Davis said after the meeting people needed to understand councillors tried to do the right thing by the community.
“The standard [of conversation] has to change,” he said.
Mr Da Rin acknowledged some would not begrudge a councillor a cup of tea and a biscuit, but maintained they did not need to be at the council for personal reasons.