LEAVE FROM COUNCIL
Councillor will not be paid while absent
COUNCILLOR John Arkan lodged a request with Coffs Harbour City Council for leave from service between September 28 and December 7.
Cr Arkan was absent from Thursday’s council meeting.
The request was unanimously passed by councillors.
Yesterday a council spokeswoman confirmed that in granting the request the council agreed Cr Arkan’s fees would not be paid during his absence in accordance with section 254A of the Local Government Act.
The development follows a criminal court prosecution on September 18 where Cr Arkan pleaded guilty to an illegal u-turn in an unregistered bus with the incorrect licence plates when travelling south to South West Rocks for a catering function.
As The Advocate reported on the day of his appearance in Coffs Harbour Local Court, Cr Arkan was slapped with a $200 fine and given a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Since the story broke, Cr Arkan has changed his work status on Facebook to former councillor but refused to comment further on the offences he committed.
It is understood should he step down or be forced out of the position, candidate and former councillor Mark Sultana could be offered a position on the council.
In a tight vote he narrowly missed out on a seat on the council.
Mr Sultana last Friday wrote a Facebook post saying he was feeling optimistic when he found out he might replace Cr Arkan.
“Found out today (September 22) that if John Arkan steps down for his embarrassing blunder with his bus then I step in as replacement councillor because it hasnt (sic) been 18 months since the selection and I was the last one to be eliminated!” Mr Sultana wrote.
The council spokeswoman said the council has no legislative authority to take action against individuals for matters outside its official functions.
ON LEAVE: Cr John Arkan.