Chitty apology to former shire councillor
ACTING Toodyay Shire President Therese Chitty has issued a public apology to former Central Ward Cr Di Granger who resigned from the council last March after serving less than five months in the role.
Ms Granger quit three days after receiving a Saturday afternoon email from Shire CEO Stan Scott (left) who accused her of bullying him and said that he expected her to be “immediately jumped on” by the council leadership, which includes Cr Chitty.Read more
“Really, how would you know what is usual or unusual behaviour in Local Government?” Mr Scott wrote.
“CEO performance management is based in (sic) the processes set out in the Act and my contract – it is not a rolling maul or an all-in brawl where everyone should feel free to share their ill-considered opinions on a whim.
“Perhaps before denigrating me or the council leadership you should first take some advice from that leadership about what is and is not appropriate.”
Mr Scott’s email followed his refusal to release to councillors a Local Government Department letter criticising the shire for non-compliance in a number of key areas, including rates, land dealings and transparency in council decision making.
It said the shire had shown “not only a lack of understanding of the provisions of legislation but also a propensity to misinterpret other legalities and procedures”.
Former Cr Granger had asked why the CEO was refusing to show the letter to councillors by claiming it was none of their business – a decision later reversed by the council after further departmental advice.
The issue resurfaced last month in a written reply to a ratepayer’s question about “the reported bullying of Cr Granger”.
It said “council has formed the view that the bullying allegations are not sustained”.
It also described Mr Scott’s email as part of a “forthright exchange” between him and former Cr Granger “but that exchange did not constitute bullying by the CEO”.
Ms Granger had earlier described Mr Scott’s email as “the last straw – all the joy has been sucked out of my life, I want it back”.
“I did not feel bullied but I was on the receiving end of numerous repetitive, aggressive communications, feeling harangued, belittled, diminished and disrespected,” she said.
“Cr Sally Craddock’s resignation some weeks earlier gave me the impetus to remove myself from a hostile environment.
“I did not sign on to council to go into battle with and receive aggression from a CEO.
“I signed on to participate in a democratic process, driven by a legislative framework and backed up by due process.”
Acting Shire President Chitty used ‘announcements by the presiding officer’ at last month’s council meeting to apologise to former Cr Granger.
Cr Chitty said parts of the shire’s written response to the ratepayer’s question published in the agenda were “factually incorrect” and she wanted to correct the record.
“Others may have used the term bullying but it was not her,” Cr Chitty said.
“I would like to offer a personal apology to Di if she felt that at any time she was not supported.”
Mr Scott declined to comment except to say:“I am pleased that there has finally been confirmation that there was no accusation of bullying against me, and I trust the Herald will do all in its power to correct the public record.”