City func­tion­ing: CEO

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS - Lisa Thomas

CITY of Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Fo­ley has stood by the coun­cil and its abil­ity to gov­ern amid re­ports of bul­ly­ing and dys­func­tion be­tween elected mem­bers.

Mr Fo­ley con­firmed he had com­plaints of bul­ly­ing but would not be drawn into whether the coun­cil was dys­func­tional or di­vided.

“The City of Swan has a di­verse group of coun­cil­lors with a di­verse range of views,” he said.

He said com­plaints of bul­ly­ing had been dealt with “through well- es­tab­lished in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal pro­cesses, in­clud­ing the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Stan­dards Panel, and no ac­tion has been rec­om­mended”.

He also would not com­ment on whether the ten­sion be­tween coun­cil­lors had af­fected staff morale.

Re­spond­ing to the Gazette after last week’s marathon seven- hour coun­cil meet­ing, he said de­bate did not sig­nify dys­func­tion.

“De­bate will al­ways oc­cur and the opin­ions of in­di­vid­ual coun­cil­lors will not al­ways match,” he said.

“It is a key ele­ment of the de­ci­sion- mak­ing process and shows that coun­cil­lors are hear­ing and re­flect­ing the views of their com­mu­nity.”

A spokes­woman from the De­part­ment of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment said there had been no com­plaints about bul­ly­ing at the City of Swan.

“Nei­ther the de­part­ment nor the Min­is­ter’s of­fice have re­ceived any com­plaints about bul­ly­ing at the City of Swan and is not aware of any in­ves­ti­ga­tions that Worksafe may be un­der­tak­ing,” she said.

Mr Fo­ley said he was confi- dent of the coun­cil’s abil­ity to rep­re­sent elec­tors.

“We are con­fi­dent that Coun­cil will con­tinue to pro­vide good gov­er­nance when mak­ing de­ci­sions for the ben­e­fit of their com­mu­nity,” he said.

Mid­land Dis­trict Com­mu­nity Group trea­surer and for­mer Swan coun­cil­lor Christina Hughes said the divi­sion be­tween coun­cil­lors had been brew­ing for more than a year but had re­cently in­ten­si­fied.

“It’s reached the point where the com­mu­nity has con­cerns and is wor­ried about their abil­ity to make good de­ci­sions,” she said.

“I feel stan­dards started to slip more than a year ago but I fail to un­der­stand why it’s got­ten worse, apart from the con­tentious is­sue of the Mid­land Oval.”

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