18 August 2011
Eastern Courier Article 17th August 2011
Unley moves to a deputy
16 Aug 11 @ 08:50am by Sarah Garvis
DEPUTY MOVES: Unley Council may appoint a deputy to assist Mayor Lachlan Clyne after his recent arrest.
MAYOR Lachlan Clyne’s arrest has prompted some of his Unley Council colleagues to move to appoint a deputy mayor to act in his place when he is unavailable.
Calls to the council’s 12 elected members last week found at least six supported having a deputy, two did not, and one was undecided. Three did not return calls.
Cr Jennie Boisvert said she would move a motion next week (Monday, August 22) in favour of appointing a deputy mayor.
“The deputy mayor can act in the place of the mayor if they’re not available to chair meetings or attend functions,” Cr Boisvert said.
“In light of the current circumstances I think it is imperative we elect a deputy mayor.”
Under the Local Government Act, an elected member can only be forced to step down if convicted and ordered to serve jail time.
Since being charged this month, Mr Clyne has chaired full council meetings, while other members chair council committees.
Police arrested him at his Unley Park home on August 2, after a complaint about an email sent in the 2010 election campaign.
The Eastern Courier Messenger has previously reported Sturt police seized a computer from Mr Clyne’his family business on the day of the November 11 election.
Mr Clyne, 28, was charged with two counts of dishonestly dealing with documents, and single counts of improper use of another identity, criminal defamation and publication of misleading material.
The council voted not to appoint a deputy mayor in December, after Mr Clyne said he did not want nor need one.
Cr Boisvert lodged a complaint of bullying against Mr Clyne after an email he sent to members in November encouraged them not to support her bid to be deputy mayor.
Mr Clyne was made to publicly apologise for the email in March, after a Local Government Governance Panel investigation found he had breached the council’s code of conduct.
Cr Michael Saies agreed the council needed a deputy.
“There are going to be times when Lachlan won’t be able to comment on things because of a conflict of interest between the private defence of his charges and his role as the council’s public spokesperson,” Cr Saies said.
Cr John Koumi did not think it was necessary to elect a deputy mayor yet.
“I’d like to see how the issue pans out, I don’t think we need to panic.”
Cr Rob Sangster said: “I wouldn’t support a deputy mayor until I’m satisfied with what’s happening with our current mayor.”
Mr Clyne refused to say whether he would support having a deputy.
“That’s not my focus.“My focus is on the important tasks of getting what the residents want.”
If convicted, the charge of dishonestly dealing with documents carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.
He was bailed to appear in court next month.
How they would vote?
Yes;Michael Saies,Peter Hughes,Anthony Lapidge,Jennie Boisvert,Mike Hudson (with the support of the mayor),Michael Hewitson (with the support of the mayor)
No;Rob Sangster,John Koumi
Councillors Tipper, Palmer and Schnell did not return calls.
Would love you to add your comments to add to the debate on Monday evening. Clearly it is something I have always thought would be of benefit to the Council and my view hasn't changed. Interestingly, I emailed all Councillors of my intention to move this motion and sort the consent of my preferred candidate. Not one has replied to my email.