Evans over and out

Mayor won’t stand again af­ter re­port

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - SIMEON THOMAS-WIL­SON

THE Der­went Val­ley will have a new mayor at the next coun­cil elec­tion with Mar­tyn Evans an­nounc­ing he won’t stand for coun­cil again.

Cr Evans’ an­nounce­ment came in the wake of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in which he and gen­eral man­ager Greg Win­ton were rep­ri­manded for a loan from the coun­cil for Cr Evans’ car.

The loan of nearly $7000 to Cr Evans, au­tho­rised by Mr Win­ton with­out the wider ap­proval of elected mem­bers, was one of a num­ber of find­ings in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Lo­cal Govern­ment Di­rec­tor Alex Tay.

It fol­lowed a num­ber of com­plaints about the gov­er­nance and op­er­a­tional per­for­mance of the coun­cil from Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber 2016.

Mr Win­ton and the coun­cil also re­ceived a rep­ri­mand from the Lo­cal Govern­ment Di­vi­sion for a $100,000 loan to the Der­went Val­ley PCYC — also with­out con­sult­ing coun­cil­lors.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion looked at is­sues such as at the man­age­ment of coun­cil funds, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of and ad­her­ence to coun­cil poli­cies, a fail­ure to adopt the Lo­cal Govern­ment Di­vi­sion’s model for code of con­duct and the man­age­ment of re­la­tion­ships.

Mr Tay found: A LOAN of $6852.73 of ratepay­ers’ money made to a coun­cil­lor in Jan­uary 2016 was made to Cr Evans and au­tho­rised by Mr Win­ton with­out wider ap­proval from the coun­cil’s elected mem­bers. MR WIN­TON made a $100,000 loan to the PCYC with­out ap­proval by the coun­cil, not­with­stand­ing that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Ben Shaw were aware of it. THERE was a lack of trans­parency re­gard­ing coun­cil de­ci­sions.

The re­port made 15 re­com- men­da­tions and Cr Evans said he was happy with them — but de­scribed the rep­ri­mands as a farce.

“I’m happy the re­port was done, we’ve al­ready started on some of the rec­om­men­da­tions,” he said. “But there are def­i­nitely things in the re­port that I re­fute, I’m not happy with all the rep­ri­mands.

“I think the loan to the Mayor was a farce. It’s my car, it’s my per­sonal ve­hi­cle and the en­gine blew on the way to a TasWater meet­ing when I was go­ing there on coun­cil busi­ness. I must have driven around 150,000km in that car for coun­cil busi­ness — I didn’t have a coun­cil car.”

Cr Evans said he would not stand in next year’s lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions.

“I def­i­nitely won’t be in­volved,” he said.

“As much as I love the com­mu­nity and rep­re­sent­ing it, some peo­ple make it so hard to do so and want to drag the coun­cil through the mud.”

Mr Win­ton said he and coun­cil­lors wel­comed the rec­om­men­da­tions and would make coun­cil oper­a­tions more ef­fec­tive and trans­par­ent.

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