ALBURY Council has spent almost $17,000 resolving spats between elected representatives.
Five code of conduct complaints have been finalised since last year’s council elections either by an external reviewer or by mayor Kevin Mack and general manager Frank Zaknich.
The subject of the complaints or complainants remain confidential, but the cost of $16,780 was presented to council last week.
Cr David Thurley said the figure was an “appalling statistic” and said he was motivated to stand for council in 2012 when $66,000 had been spent in a 12-month period dealing with code of conduct complaints.
“While vigorous disagreement and vigorous debate is something I applaud it should always be respectful,” he said.
“We need to be respectful and when we have disagreements we need to resolve it among ourselves and not at the cost of ratepayers.”
Cr Graham Docksey, who also joined council at the 2012 election, hoped his colleagues had not been “too thin-skinned”.
Cr Darren Cameron said code of conduct complaints were for “sooks”.
“I’ve never made a code of conduct complaint and I never will,” he said.
“I’ve been the subject of a few, but I’ve never made one.
“It is an absolute last resort of an absolute sooky cry baby.”
There was one case of where a “person or persons” undertook training or other education.
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn also believed councillors needed to be respectful.
“The solution is not for people to grow a thicker skin or not be sooks,” she said.
“It’s for councillors to treat each other appropriately and professionally.”