A PARKING fine exemption for councillors has been ruled out after the concept proved “lukewarm”.
Councillors were issued parking passes for the Orange Civic Centre car park on Tuesday night, to be used on council business after at least two were fined.
Deputy mayor Sam Romano was fined last Friday for exceeding the two-hour limit and felt the passes were necessary.
“I don’t think councillors should get a parking fine if they’re on council business,” he said.
“We’re the lowest-paid public servant there is – we don’t do it for the money, but we don’t expect to lose money either.”
However, councillor Glenn Taylor declared during the meeting he would not accept his pass, comparing the situation to an occasion where he witnessed an elderly couple struggle to find parking at a club when there were unoccupied spaces reserved for directors.
“I think it’s elitist,” he said.
Cr Taylor stressed it was a matter for individual councillors on whether they accepted a pass or not, although some other councillors had also declined.
“[The fines] hurt, but you just pay them,” he said.
“I don’t think I should be treated differently to any other staff member or member of the public.”
On Friday, council spokesman Nick Redmond said an important part of a councillor’s role was to actively take part in meetings and they often ran over time.
“The proposed parking dispensation was to give some flexibility to allow them to adequately perform their role,” he said.
“However, given the lukewarm response to it from councillors, further consideration is needed and it will not proceed.”
Cr Taylor will move at a future meeting to extend the courtesy to service clubs when they were in the community raising money.
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