Coffs Harbour Mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said comments written by Cr John Arkan shows his fellow councillor lacks understanding of Council's budget processes.
Coffs Harbour Mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said comments written by Cr John Arkan shows his fellow councillor lacks understanding of Council's budget processes.

Rhoades: Arkan doesn't understand

COFFS Harbour Mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said he only wanted to play the issues in this election campaign not the man.

That stance changed this morning after the Mayor read comments fellow Councillor John Arkan wrote in this morning's Advocate regarding the Mayor's vehicle.

Cr Arkan wrote in his piece to Coffs Harbour voters one of the reasons he should be elected as Mayor is because he would: "save $50,000 if elected as mayor on the first day of my term. I won't waste ratepayers money to have an expensive car for the mayor."

Cr Rhoades said his fellow Councillor should take more notice of the Council budgets he has voted for.

"We have what's called a plant fund and that buys council vehicles such as cars, tractors, trucks, back hoes, graders you name it. Now what we do is because it's local government, we get concessions on tax reliefand fleet discounts and so forth," Cr Rhoades said.

"What we've actually done over the past few years is when we sell something, a lot of the times we actually make a profit on it."

Profits made under such a scheme are paid as dividends from the plant fund to the general account to help pay for projects."

In the 2011-12 budget, such activities yielded a dividend of $173,000 while the budgeted dividend for 2012-13 is $550,000.

Cr Rhodes said he can't believe Cr Arkan is unaware of the results of Council's policy regarding its vehicles.

"What it does it it shows he (Arkan) has a complete lack of understanding," he said.

"He's been there for four years and he doesn't know that we transfer funds out of the plant fund into the general fund for use on council projects."

The Mayor said he didn't see this morning's comments as an attack on him as such but he said he needed to respond to clarify the situation

"To have a cheap shot at the system when you don't understand the system, when he doesn't know that for four years he's been voting for a budget each year which contains profit that's coming from the plant and equipment fund, how clever is he?"
 



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