Dysfunctional or healthy democracy at work?
TOWN of Cambridge councillor Louis Carr has claimed there is dysfunction in the council.
As councillors were divided over the motion to rescind Amendment 33 at the September council meeting, with neither side of the debate willing to back down, Cr Carr said it resulted in dysfunction.
“There has been procrastination, no commitment and changes of mind, which equals dysfunction,” he said.
“Anyone who has not been to a council meeting before would think ‘WTF is going on here’.”
Mayor Keri Shannon said differences of opinion were a healthy part of democracy.
“My personal opinion is that each elected member should represent the interests of ratepayers,” she said.
“When elected members fail to represent the interests of ratepayers then I think there is dysfunction in the council.
“There are a lot of unhappy residents in Wembley.
“In my opinion, we should all want good governance and transparent process, and when errors in process become apparent, we should act to correct the process.
”Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) president Lynne Craigie recommended mediation as an option to overcome dysfunction.
“Should they identify a lack of harmony amongst councillors, WALGA encourages members to work collectively to address the issue before it negatively impacts on their decision-making ability or the community as a whole,” she said.
“WALGA, together with Local Government Managers Australia WA, have a confidential Peer Support Team that provides conciliation, negotiation and mediation support to local governments that identify issues of relationship conflict between councillors, or between councillors and senior staff.”
The future of parts of Lot 8 Cambridge Street have been the subject of long-running debate.
Mayor Keri Shannon.