Towong mayor's two paragraph apology over raunchy message does not please recipient of text with naked men

Controversial correspondence: The image of naked men sent by Towong mayor Aaron Scales to Walwa art gallery operator Steve Caldwell.
Controversial correspondence: The image of naked men sent by Towong mayor Aaron Scales to Walwa art gallery operator Steve Caldwell.

A TWO-PARAGRAPH mayoral apology over a texted photo of naked men has failed to impress its recipient. 

Towong mayor Aaron Scales sent the mea culpa to Walwa art gallery owner Steve Caldwell.

“I understand from recent media that you were offended by an image that I forwarded to you by text prior to Christmas 2017,” Cr Scales wrote.

“It was never my intention to offend you. Sending the image was an error of judgement on my behalf and I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.”

Mr Caldwell was not satisfied with the apology.

“It was too brief,” Mr Caldwell said.

“It just meant nothing, it was a typical public service thing.

“I’ll just set fire to it.”

Cr Scales originally sent the image of two bare-bottomed men in front of a tree as a yuletide greeting with the accompanying text – “Here’s a new Christmas wish for you” – last December.

Mr Caldwell, who is seen as a vexatious complainant because of his regular contact with Towong Council, decided last month to protest to the Victorian Ombudsman and Premier Daniel Andrews about Cr Scales. 

Remorse on show: The apology sent by Towong mayor Aaron Scales over his text featuring naked men with a Christmas tree.

Remorse on show: The apology sent by Towong mayor Aaron Scales over his text featuring naked men with a Christmas tree.

Towong councillors will discuss Cr Scales’ behaviour, in the context of their code of conduct, at a closed doors workshop next Tuesday.

After receiving Cr Scales’ apology, Mr Caldwell wrote in an email to Towong Council executive assistant Diana Snaith that it was “a very poor response” from the mayor.

He wrote the matter could have been resolved earlier if he had “felt safe and comfortable” to approach council chief executive Juliana Phelps about Cr Scales.