Mayor Reg Kidd and two councillors are seeking advice over whether Orange City Council failed to follow procedure in selecting representatives to a body that decides on multi-million dollar regional developments.
The selections have also been questioned by the Orange Residents and Ratepayers Association which has sent a letter to council general manager Garry Styles.
And it has called for an apology from Cr Kevin Duffy who nominated the representatives at a council meeting last week.
Cr Kidd said he was asking senior staff for advice about the selection of three representatives to the Joint Regional Planning Panel which determines regionally-significant development applications valued above $30 million, or $5 million where the council or the Crown have an interest.
“I don’t believe the proper procedure was followed,” Cr Kidd said.
I got the shock of my life. This is an embarrassment for the council.Mayor Reg Kidd
Cr Kidd, former town planner Alan Renike and geologist John Holliday nominated to fill the positions on the panel after the council called for expressions of interest in July.
However, at last Tuesday’s council meeting Cr Duffy nominated Mr Renike and councillors Russell Turner and Scott Munro who, after a vote by council, were accepted.
Cr Kidd said two people who nominated beforehand were not considered.
“I was very embarrassed. I declared an interest because I was one of the people [who nominated],” he said.
Cr Kidd said he left the room for the vote and withdrew his nomination, but was not invited to return to vote.
“I got the shock of my life. This is an embarrassment for the council,” he said.
Councillors Stephen Nugent and Joanne McRae said they were also seeking advice on what to do, which could include them putting forward a rescission motion.
Cr Nugent said the initial applicants were “pretty much ignored”.
“I’m looking at what options there might be to revisit the issue. There’s the possibility of a rescission motion. I don’t think it should be left to lie,” he said.
“I think it is pretty poor when a member of the community puts up his hand and volunteers to do this, it goes before council, and their nomination to perform it is ignored.”
Cr McRae said the initial nominees “were not the people who were considered”.
“I am seeking further information [about] when the proper council procedure wasn’t followed,” she said.
“I am interested in what is the best way to have this matter resolved.”
Ratepayers association president Colin Young said the applicants were not able to address council.
“You just can’t sweep it away by saying, ‘it’s up to council, we can nominate whoever we want’,” he said.
“It is extremely disappointing that Cr Duffy was allowed to ignore the applications of well-intentioned applicants and without notice nominate his own substitutes – other than Allan Renike – to fill the positions advertised.”
Cr Duffy said he had nothing to apologise for as he merely nominated people for the positions.
“The council chose to vote for those three, I just put up three names,” he said.
“I’m only one vote on the council.”
Cr Munro said the proper procedure had been followed.
“I did make it known that I was really interested in that role. I think I could do a good job,” he said.
“It is quite OK to nominate someone from the floor [of council],” he said.
“Everything was done in accordance with the way it needs to be done.”
READ MORE: Renike, Turner, Munro chosen for JRPP
Mr Holliday has said he felt dismissed.
“They went out to expressions of interest, three people put in expressions of interest and they had to choose from those people and they didn’t do that,” he said.
“Why volunteer if they treat you like that?”
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