Close call for Smith
ALLEGATIONS of inappropriate Facebook comments, rudeness to councillors, abuse of staff and residents and disrespect of external groups failed to convince Cockburn councillors to eject Deputy Mayor LeeAnne Smith from her roles at a rowdy special meeting attended by about 100 residents last week.
“Elected members are expected to be cordial and act with docorum,” Cr Chontelle Sands said, who brought a no-confidence motion against Cr Smith.
Cr Smith faced being suspended from her role and council committees and having her allowance removed for six months for allegedly breaching the council’s code of conduct.
Citing emails and reports mostly from this year, Cr Sands alleged Cr Smith was “rude to elected members, administration and staff when different opinions are presented”, insulted the head of the Westport Taskforce, yelled at the chief executive officer, spoke on radio about Roe 8 contrary to the council’s policy and insulted the public at a concert.
Social media posts about a Jandakot road, freeway billboards and the Taskforce had allegedly also breached the council’s code.
“I’ve got to say many of these are alleged at the present time,” Cr Smith said.
Cr Smith said Cr Sands was under investigation by the Department of Local Government for alleged breaches of the code but the department has confirmed it has not received a complaint about Cr Sands.
Cr Smith said she was aware of the code and how easy it could be breached and immediately provided her own example when she told chief executive Stephen Cain to be quiet when she spoke.
Cr Kevin Allen said the meeting was grandstanding, the recommendation punitive and the Department of Local Government would see it as dysfunction in the council.
The motion failed after the vote was deadlocked at 5-5.
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said social media could not be banned for councillors.