Northern Star Weekly
9 May 2018
Whittlesea council will ask the state government to appoint a municipal monitor for six months to review the governance of the council.
Three councillors – Ricky Kirkham, Caz Monteleone and Alahna Desiato – called a special council meeting on Tuesday night in which they pushed for a monitor to be appointed for 18 months.
However their motion was amended to allow for a six months appointment.
Cr Tom Joseph said a monitor would cost residents $30,000 a month, totalling $540,000 over the 18 months.
But Cr Kirkham said the cost was insignificant when it came to the breakdown of the council.
Councillors have requested that the monitor report on the constant interjections from councillors at meetings, the failure of individual councillors to follow the mayor’s directions and withdraw inappropriate comments, and how governance can be improved.
Cr Lawrie Cox said a monitor needed to be appointed because of the “dysfunctional” behaviour of some councillors.
“Councillors that have been playing the games . .. will be exposed and I want to see them exposed,” he said.
“The monitor will see quite clearly that the dysfunction resides in a few people.”
Cr Stevan Kozmevski said some councillors had displayed “foolish behaviour” in recent months, while Cr Sam Alessi said the behaviour of councillors since Cr Kris Pavlidis was appointed mayor last November had been “atrocious”.
Cr Pavlidis came under fire during the meeting with councillors Kirkham, Monteleone, Desiato and Norm Kelly saying she had demonstrated bias since becoming mayor.
“I truly believe some of the decisions you have made are bias,” Cr Kelly said.
“You are not ruling fairly or consistently.”
Cr Kelly said he would like the monitor to look at inconsistencies in Cr Pavlidis’ rulings and her abuse of power, however the majority of his colleagues rejected the request.