Council vehicle for Mayor approved
By Taylor Clyne,
September 18, 2019
Councillors voted unanimously on Monday night for a fully maintained Council vehicle to be supplied to the Mayoral role due the geographical demands of the job.
General Manager Tim Watson explained that despite Mayor Greg Howard being entitled to claim all travel expenses, he only submitted reimbursements for trips outside of the electorate.
“He goes above and beyond what is required in the role and I know he doesn’t feel right putting in applications for fuel – just like many of you,” he explained to the Councillors.
“The consensus of Councillors and senior staff is that the level of remuneration for the Mayoral position via Councillor allowances is an anachronism from a bygone era and in no way reflects the volume of the work performed in carrying out the duties of the role,” Mr Watson said.
Cr Leonie Stein said given the amount of work that the Mayor does she doesn’t understand how the car could even be disputed.
“How could it be seen to be against the community to have someone representing us as well as they do. The importance of having an active Mayor is that they advocate for the community,” she said.
Cr Edwina Powell asked if a cost analysis had been made comparing what he would get for an allowance compared to actually having a car.
“Is it cheaper to be providing a car versus what he can claim,” she asked.
Mr Watson said given the fact that he only claims for work outside the Dorset boundaries it didn’t compare.
“It’s not cheaper because the Mayor is not claiming all the travel. It’s all the work he does inside the municipality – Barry [Jarvis] did the same.”
Cr Dale Jessup said it was certainly justified.
“Greg goes to basically every organisation meeting in the North-East and more – my only hesitation is if our next Mayor would be as deserving of a car,” he said.
“That’s certainly something that the next round of Council needs to think about because I don’t think I would like to see it started from this day forward just because of Greg’s exceptional work.”
The motion and budget adjustment of $50,000 was passed unanimously.