A TOODYAY Shire Council decision not to offer CEO Stan Scott a new contract of employment suggests that Shire President Brian Rayner no longer has the majority support of the council.Read more
Cr Bill Manning, who last month introduced a successful motion to replace Mr Scott, said in January that appointing a CEO was the most important decision that any council can make.
He was talking about delaying proceedings until absent Cr Craig Brook could return to Toodyay to take part in the council debate and cast his vote.
It proved decisive last month when Cr Brook joined Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty and Crs Manning, Rob Welburn and Ben Bell to oppose President Rayner and three other councillors in a vote not to renew the CEO’s contract.
To his credit, President Rayner did not join in the acrimonious slanging match that erupted inside the chamber three hours after the decision was made, and later continued on the steps outside.
But the outcome left President Rayner and his allies on the losing side of a battle to control a council that is currently under a formal State Government investigation into its actions and behaviour.
He and the CEO also both have an official finding of misconduct against them for publishing a ‘derogatory statement’ in an April 2018 Toodyay Community Newsletter, for which there has been no apology or retraction.
It was further revealed last month that the pair took it upon themselves to “form a view that an apology was not warranted” for their misconduct – and didn’t tell the council.
In response to Herald questions asking how they came to that conclusion, President Rayner said “I regard efforts by The Toodyay Herald to attack the shire newsletter and demand its censorship as self-serving”.
“It would appear The Herald supports free speech only for itself and censorship for everyone else, and especially everyone who has a differing point of view”.
No, Mr President, a differing point of view is what free speech is all about.
The bigger question is your failure to apologise for the official finding of misconduct against you and the CEO, and whether you still have any credibility left to lead our shire council.