WANGARATTA councillor Julian Fidge and chief executive officer Doug Sharp have clashed again on the eve of tonight’s meeting about the provision of extra seating.
Cr Fidge contacted Mr Sharp by email yesterday and directed him to provide 50 per cent more seating than what had been previously on offer at meetings, so people are not forced to stand.
The first-term councillor suggested ways additional seating could be provided, including moving tables from the council chambers to the foyer.
Cr Fidge said he was within his rights under the Local Government Act to direct Mr Sharp and senior officer Ray Park to carry out his request.
Mr Sharp responded by saying Cr Fidge was in breach of the Act and reported the matter to the Local Government Inspectorate.
More than 50 people attended last month’s meeting at Cheshunt and another large gallery is expected tonight.
The agenda includes 13 consultant requests and nine notices of motions from councillors.
But the most contentious motion, the make-up of the sub-committee to conduct Mr Sharp’s annual performance review, could fizzle.
Cr Fidge has recommended himself, Cr Amery, Cr Paul O’Brien and mayor Rozi Parisotto.
But Cr Amery has distanced himself from the move, leaving Cr Fidge resigned to the belief he won’t secure a seconder.
“Noel Amery is a good man and I sincerely think he would make a good representative of the people,” he said.
“But he doesn’t feel he could do that and I accept that.”
Cr Amery has put the rural land strategy back on the agenda tonight.
He wants the council’s decision made on the issue in June last year rescinded.
Cr Atkins wants the council to backflip on the decision to strip senior management from appointing consultants except in emergencies.