Councillor rude and insulting
By MEL MARTIN
WOOLGOOLGA residents want Councillor Clive Joass' immediate resignation, after what they say has been 'insulting' and 'appalling' behaviour on his part.
Woolgoolga Neighbourhood Centre manager Rashmere Bhatti said Cr Joass' attitude at Wednesday's Coffs Harbour City Council Community Forum on Our Living City Settlement Strategy in Woolgoolga was 'rude, totally unprofessional, abrasive and uncouth'.
Ms Bhatti says this was the second time she had felt insulted by Cr Joass, the first time at a previous meeting between council and the Punjabi Sikh community, when he allegedly told her 'why don't you shut up, Rashmere' and later said that 'women like you belong in the kitchen'.
Just before this week's Settlement Strategy meeting, another Woolgoolga resident, Margaret Murphy, said she asked Cr Joass why he had not been answering her emails.
"His response was 'I don't have to answer the likes of you', and when I asked him what he meant by that he told me to get lost," she said.
Mrs Murphy said that during the meeting she spoke up about what had happened and that Cr Joass 'sat in front of the room smirking and blowing kisses'.
"If I'd been any closer to him, I would have done an Andrew Fraser and Joe Tripodi," she said.
"Quite frankly I think he should stand down right now."
This sentiment was echoed by Ellen Koester, of Woolgoolga, who says she was appalled by Cr Joass at the meeting.
"He was very rude to people, mostly some of the female participants," Mrs Koester said.
"He actually was laughing at us.
"It's unacceptable, and what's worse is that it's not the first time, and it wasn't just a one off during the meeting."
Cr Joass denies ever making the alleged comments and that people were angry because 'things didn't go their way'.
"I never made those comments," he said.
"They're exaggerating what went on. I don't think I was rude to them, although I thought some were rude to me. But as a councillor I have to take that."
Cr Joass said that, in fact, he had received phone calls from people congratulating him about the meeting, and had had people shake his hand in the street.