Drama at coun­cil meet­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JU­LIAN WRIGHT

TEN­SIONS flared and a coun­cil­lor stormed out of a meet­ing over a last-minute pro­posed amend­ment as the coun­cil de­bated the Town of Cam­bridge 2016-17 bud­get this week.

The July or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing surged past its fourth hour with a de­bate over coun­cil­lor An­dres Tim­mer­ma­nis’ list of 13 pro­posed dele­tions and re­duc­tions to the Town’s spend­ing in the bud­get.

He wanted the changes to re­flect a rate in­crease of no more than 2.5 per cent, as op­posed to the bud­geted 2.7 per cent in­crease, but the tim­ing and con­tent of the sub­mis­sion sent tem­pers soar­ing.

Cr Corinne MacRae said she was “dis­ap­pointed it was sub­mit­ted at the 11th hour”.

The point was raised that the coun­cil al­ready had bud­get work­shops through­out the year to dis­cuss such is­sues, but Cr Tim­mer­ma­nis did not at­tend them.

Cr Tim­mer­ma­nis said he took of­fence at Cr MacRae’s im­pli­ca­tion he did not put much time or thought into his amend­ment.

“I went through the bud­get line by line,” he said. “It is a 4000-line doc­u­ment. I am not wor­ried about of­fend­ing other coun­cil­lors. I am wor­ried about of­fend­ing the ratepay­ers.”

Mayor Keri Shan­non said she was sur­prised how short the work­shops were and how lim­it­ing the ques­tion­ing was by fel­low coun­cil­lors.

“No one went through with a line by line anal­y­sis; we do need to tighten our belts,” she said, vow­ing to go through the bud­get line by line and chal­lenge ev­ery­thing next year.

Cr Louis Carr re­torted that she had chaired those meet­ings, so the buck stopped with her.

Fac­tions be­gan to so­lid­ify when Cr Tracey King ex­pressed she was sick of Ms Shan­non and Cr Tim­mer­ma­nis “poo-poo­ing” ev­ery­thing, which Ms Shan­non and Cr Rod Bradley saw as a “per­sonal at­tack”.

Cr Bradley re­peat­edly called for a point of or­der be­fore his out­burst.

“I don’t have to lis­ten to this crap; keep it for the next con­niv­ing ses­sion of Wem­b­ley ward coun­cil­lors,” he said, be­fore storm­ing out of the meet­ing.

The amend­ment lost the ma­jor­ity vote.

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