Nambucca by-election by-passed

DEATH and the price of democracy were foremost on the agenda at Thursday night’s meeting of the Nambucca Shire Council.

The first motion put by Councillor Mike Moran was to seek permission from the Minister for Local Government not to hold a by-election in the event of a councillor passing away or resigning during the current term.

Cr Moran said holding a by-election would be too costly for the cash-strapped council. “Anyway it wouldn’t matter if we lost a couple of councillors,” Cr Moran said.

“Port Macquarie has an administrator instead of councillors and seems to be going ahead.”

“Councillors could share the extra workload to avoid a costly by-election,” Cr John Ainsworth said.

“The $40,000 to $60,000 cost would be too much for council to bear.”

The Mayor, Cr Rhonda Hoban was quick to inform her colleagues that a by-election would be much more expensive than they expected.

Under the current arrangement imposed on us by the State Government a by-election would set us back around $100,000,” Cr Hoban said.

“ I agree with Cr Moran but would suggest that when we next conduct a customer survey we ask ratepayers about their thoughts on reducing councillor numbers while noting both the positives and negatives of such a proposal.”

The motion passed unanimously.



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