Councillors face sack
The man who stepped in to act as a mediator amid reports of quarrelling and dysfunction between councillors and staff at the Town of Port Hedland will recommend dismissal of all elected members, including Mayor Camilo Blanco.
Former City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor Ron Yuryevich told councillors of his decision behind closed doors at a special meeting on Wednesday last week.
Councillors voted to appoint Mr Yuryevich in June this year following accusations of issues surrounding trust and respect.
Mr Yuryevich said he was unable to make comment at this time.
His report will be submitted to the Department of Local Government next week for investigation.
The process may see the involvement of Local Government Minister David Templeman.
Mr Blanco said his first preference would be to dismiss individual councillors and if that was not forthcoming, the entire council.
“Under the new legislation, my first preference would be to remove existing councillors and replace them, to guarantee better contentious decision making for the best interest of the Town,” Mr Blanco said.
“I have sent letters to the State Premier, Minister of Local Government and Housing.
“It’s a longwinded process, but if Mr Yuryevich’s recommendation is put forwarded (and accepted), it will dismiss council for two years.” In 2017-18, 82 complaints were received by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries concerning councillors representing 26 local governments.
The Town of Port Hedland had eight complaints against its elected members during this period — the second highest behind 10 complaints for the City of Melville.
A Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries spokeswoman said the department had been advised that Mr Yuryevich intended to submit a report recommending the dismissal of the Town of Port Hedland council.
“Upon receipt of any report, the department will conduct its own assessment and take any action deemed appropriate,” the spokeswoman said.