FORMER deputy mayor Paul O’Brien’s requested apology from Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell for her handling of Wangaratta Council’s dismissal hasn’t been forthcoming.
He made the request in the days after the council was sacked with a deadline of 5pm yesterday imposed for a response.
Mr O’Brien has maintained his rage about being mentioned in the final report compiled by municipal inspector Peter Stephenson which played a pivotal role in the council’s dismissal.
“I haven’t said anything until now because I wanted to give the minister and inspector the right of reply to my request which is something clearly not given to me,” he said.
“Any person who has been adversely named in a report had to be afforded natural justice before that report was ever published.
“During discussions with councillors and council staff, including the acting chief executive, the inspector believed the minister would provide us with a show cause notice.
“This clearly hasn’t happened and remains a sore point.”
He has already flagged the option of seeking an Ombudsman’s report into Wangaratta.
Meanwhile, the three administrators to be appointed to Wangaratta are expected to be paid more than $100,000 each year until the 2016 elections.
The government is presently recruiting administrators to replace the council which was sacked last week.
Details about their salary packages and whether they will be based full-time in Wangaratta are still being sorted out by Mrs Powell’s office.
But ratepayers could be paying far more for the administrators than the combined salaries of the outgoing councillors.
The former mayor Rozi Parisotto was to be paid an annual salary of $63,400 and had the use of a car.
The six other ousted councillors were to be paid $23,770.
Administrator remuneration will be based on experience and the three-person panel is expected to include someone who has had previous experience at a neighbouring local council in the North East.
Mr Stephenson will be the interim administrator until October 30.
He will take the place of councillors at the October meeting, which has been brought forward to October 8, due to his unavailability for the scheduled meeting a week later.