WODONGA mayor Anna Speedie has bristled at the suggestion she was single-handedly driving the city into the regional deal project without any formal council backing.
Cr Speedie was responding to a question from ratepayer Danny Chamberlain at the end of Monday night's meeting about the regional deal and the recent signing of intent between Wodonga and Albury councils and the federal and state governments.
Mr Chamberlain said: "I have attended or watched online council meetings for two years and in this time I have not seen any resolution outlining any details of this deal or authorising of the same.
"Was a resolution passed in-camera and if so why?
"Or was it done through the office of delegation of the ceo or others?
"Or was the decision made by the mayor alone to sign without council input or approval?
"Surely we don't live in a totalitarian autocracy where the leader can do whatever they choose with no recourse."
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Cr Speedie said Mr Chamberlain had overstepped the mark and vowed to take up the criticism with him personally.
"It proves an earlier point that perception is not always correct," she said.
"Those who wish to try and make a conspiracy theory out of some things perhaps should make sure they have facts.
"The inference I would act inappropriately with powers that I certainly don't have is bemusing to say the least."
Chief executive Mark Dixon explained the regional deal signing of intent was "largely symbolic and ceremonial in nature" with plenty of work ahead which would be the subject of future council resolutions.
"I can assure the community it doesn't commit our council or community to anything at this stage," he said.
"The next steps will involve a whole lot of planning with those deal partners.and consultation with the community to determine what the deal will look like for our region."