Apology ‘cut short’

The long-awaited apology from Grant District Mayor Richard Sage was cut short when delivered at council’s meeting on Monday night.

Mayor Sage has been required to apologise to council for his conduct and apologise to councillors Shirley Little and Gillian Clayfield.

The verbal apology was made in front of those present in the council chamber on Monday evening.

However, Crs Little and Clayfield were absent from the meeting due to illness and approved ‘leave of absence’.

During Mayor Sage’s apology Cr Kylie Boston verbally interjected.

Mayor Sage continued with delivering his apology before allowing Cr Boston to ask a question in relation to the topic.

“I was wondering, because we have a few apologies and the people you are apologising to are not here, can we leave this to the next meeting?” Cr Boston said.

The motion passed at the July 18 meeting stated Mayor Sage apologise to council, Cr Little, the Little family and Cr Clayfield for his conduct.

“The problem I have is the council motion reads it’s to be done no later than August 15,” Mayor Sage said.

The next council meeting is scheduled to be held on August 15.

Under the Code of Practice for Meeting Procedures Policy elected members are encouraged to raise their hand to speak to an item and will wait to be invited to speak through the presiding member of the meeting.

The policy also stated elected members will also afford each other the opportunity to speak without interruption or speaking over the top of one another.

Mayor Sage had been the subject of eight complaints from elected members and an investigation was undertaken by the Local Government Governance Panel, facilitated by lawyers EMA Legal.

Of the complaints, four were found to be in breach of the Council Code of Conduct. These being comments regarding Cr Little and Cr Clayfield, Mr Sage’s comments to the media and the failure to provide the logbook for the mayoral vehicle as required by council policy.

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