TENSIONS flared at a recent council meeting over a proposal giving councillors the ability to vote about who is able to attend conferences.
The motion was moved by Cr Brian Simpson.
Addressing the meeting, he explained the idea of the motion was to ensure councillors had the option of gaining a range of experiences during their time in civic office.
Deputy mayor Dino Zappacosta and Cr Simon Croce both raised issue with the motion.
Cr Zappacosta explained he felt the proposal led councillors to “dictate” to the mayor, who had previously been responsible for selecting individual councillors to attend functions on his behalf.
“It obviously means that Cr Simpson wants this council to decide who should go to conferences, irrespective of the fact the mayor is popularly elected by the people,” he said.
“If you say 11 other councillors should be dictating to the mayor, you’ve got it wrong ... I’m dead against this particular motion because there’s more to it than meets the eye.”
Cr Simpson thanked the deputy mayor for his input, but disagreed.
“It is definitely not the intent of the motion to impugn the mayor … It is about getting more experience for those sit around this table in what this council does and how it acts … There are a lot of representatives that haven’t been able to represent the town or learn or develop,” he said.
“I thought this motion was an opportunity to allow the mayor, in consultation and consideration with the general manager, to look at others for attending conferences.”
Mayor Dal Broi explained it wasn’t about favouritism, but said he asked people to attend functions or conferences in his absence based on the committees they chaired and the expertise provided.
The proposal was ultimately carried by the majority.