New councillor quits in bullying row
‘All the joy has been sucked out of my life – I want it back’
HUNDREDS of Toodyay voters will go back to polls in June to elect two new shire councillors after last month’s shock resignation of former Cr Di Granger.
Ms Granger served less than five months on council after defeating former shire president David Dow in Central Ward last October.Read more
She quit on March 13 amid claims of personal denigration and workplace bullying after receiving a personally attacking email from Shire CEO Stan Scott who accused her of inexperience and having a “very limited understanding” of local government.
“Really, how would you know what was unusual behaviour in local government?” he wrote in defence of his decision to withhold information from councillors over a State Government warning that the shire was being monitored and that “further action may be warranted”.
Ms Granger – who won election on a platform of “communication, leadership and governance” – described Mr Scott’s email as “the last straw” and resigned from the council two days later, saying “all the joy has been sucked out of my life – I want it back”.
She is the second Toodyay shire councillor to resign in a month, following former Cr Sally Craddock’s resignation in February, and the third in less than a year after former Cr Kate Wood resigned last May to move to Geraldton.
MS WOOD posted on Facebook last month that she was sorry former Cr Granger’s short time on council was “such an awful experience” and that she too had “experienced some similar treatment, though thankfully without the aggression you’ve experienced”.
Ms Wood’s East Ward vacancy was filled in last October’s shire elections by new Cr Ben Bell.
A postal ballot for the two new vacancies – in Central Ward and West Ward – will be conducted by the WA Electoral Commission on June 15.
Nominations for the two seats open on Wednesday May 2 and close seven days later.
Former shire president David Dow said he was “seriously considering” recontesting Central Ward, where his wife, Cr Judy Dow, holds the ward’s other seat on the nine-member council.
Ms Granger polled 196 votes to Mr Dow’s 121 last October, and Linda Rooney polled 66.
Former shire deputy president John Prater – who recently started attending council meetings as a visitor – said last month that he too was also considering running in Central Ward.
Lawyer Bill Manning, who has helped finance and lead a long-running local community campaign to prevent Opal Vale from starting a large rubbish tip for metropolitan waste in Hoddys Well, has confirmed that he will run in Central Ward.
In West Ward, Morangup candidate Craig Brook, who ran second to Cr Paula Greenway last October, has confirmed that he will run for the seat vacated by former Cr Craddock.
Mr Brook – an oil and gas industry health and safety officer – last year polled 158 votes to Cr Greenway’s 214 and Andrew Walker’s 82.
More than half of last year’s 1047 registered West Ward voters live in Morangup, which has not been represented by a locally based shire councillor since 2011.
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