Coun­cil­lor will not be paid while ab­sent

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - FRONT PAGE - Kea­gan El­der

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.

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