THE majority of councillors would prefer to press pause on economic stimulus rather than support Orange's recovery from COVID-19, according to councillor Joanne McRae.
After Tuesday's Orange City Council meeting where she resigned from the council's finance committee, she said she had been working with staff and councillors on the draft budget since October, which had included workshops and one-on-one meetings.
"I've often seen different councillors at council at different times of the day and I've found council staff really available - councillors seem to have availability to have their photograph taken during the business week," she said.
She felt the community needed projects to lift the economy and boost employment and those had been included in the draft budget, plus the document would have also offered reassurance on staff wages.
"But that didn't seem to be the sentiment of those councillors, they wanted to press pause," she said.
"This is the council we have until September 2021."
Cr McRae has submitted her resignation in writing.
Cr McRae was featured on the Australian Local Government Women's Association on Tuesday night...
WHAT should have been a routine debate to place Orange City Council's draft budget out for public comment has ended in a councillor resigning from a key position.
Councillors voted on Tuesday night to delay the public exhibition period for two weeks given the ever-changing situation with COVID-19.
The decision sparked councillor Joanne McRae to resign as finance police committee chair - she is one of seven councillors to chair a major committee.
"I'm not the person to lead policy financially at this council," she said.
She had been trying to vote the draft budget through to public exhibition from this week.
But the state government has given councils an extra month to finalise their 2020-21 plans and councillor Kevin Duffy said Orange should be taking advantage of it.
"Under normal circumstances we would be having briefings - there's so many questions I have," he said.
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While councillor Tony Mileto inferred there had been sessions other councillors could have attended, councillor Glenn Taylor said many were inside business hours, which working councillors could not attend.
Cr Taylor said the bulky waste collection item was missing.
"There are things that have been omitted," he said.
Cr McRae said it would give the public confidence in the council's financial position to put the draft budget on public exhibition this week.
Councillors Mileto, Stephen Nugent and Russell Turner agreed with her, but the remainder voted them down.
Mayor Reg Kidd advised Cr McRae she would need to submit a resignation in writing.
Councillors now have just three days to put their questions to council staff before the agenda for the May 5 meeting is set - the draft budget is expected to be endorsed for public exhibition then.
Meanwhile, the 37-lot subdivision to Orange's west was voted through, as was an extra shed at the council's depot and an orchard packing shed on Pinnacle Road.
Councillors also endorsed plans to rejuvenate Banjo Paterson Park.
Scroll through to the blog for the evening's proceedings...
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