Despite probe, mayor says it’s business as usual

WANGARATTA mayor Rozi Parisotto has dismissed suggestions her council will be dumped and replaced by administrators.

Cr Parisotto conceded yesterday tensions existed among councillors and embattled chief executive Doug Sharp.

But in her first public comments following revelations last week Wangaratta Council will be the subject of a Local Government Inspectorate inquiry and Cr Julian Fidge had complaints lodged against him by three colleagues, Cr Parisotto said it was a case of “business as usual”.

“It is no secret there is tension between individual councillors and also the CEO,” Cr Parisotto said.

“But my role as mayor and relationship with the CEO has to be balanced.

“There is a lot happening and I am not going to deny that.

“But we are actively involved in developing the council planning process and setting up our strategic direction for the next four years.

“It is business as usual.”

Cr Parisotto is performing a delicate balancing act of supporting Mr Sharp and remaining loyal to the three new councillors, Cr Fidge, Cr Paul O’Brien and Cr Noel Amery, who voted her mayor for two years.

Cr Fidge launched repeated attacks on Mr Sharp during the election campaign and since being voted onto council last October.

“It is a new council and part of the new council is gelling together and coming together in the best interests of our community,” she said.

“It can happen and I am a firm believer in that.

“I have great confidence in the council team.

“We will work through this in the best interests of our community.”