23 August 2011

No Deputy Mayor for Unley

This is a huge loss to good governance in the City of Unley. After talking to other Councillors, letting them all know my intentions, seeking the support from Anthony Lapidge to accept the position and emailing my colleagues seeking support for a quick and decisive debate,this was not to happen. I went into the meeting with 7 assurances for a yes vote (and 5 nos) to see this eroded by a Mayor who suddenly decided that it was no longer his wish to have a deputy. He had not at any time prior to Monday night indicated to me that my motion did not have his support. I think Councillors lost sight of the fact that it is us that make the decisions of Council and not the Mayor. Those voting for the motion were Boisvert, Tipper and Saies and those against Hudson, Schnell, Hughes, Lapidge (yes this is true), Sangster, Salaman, Palmer, Koumi and Hewitson. This motion should have been quick and united and yet others chose to consider the motion divisive. This was never my intention. I believe the City would be better served by the certainty that a Deputy Mayor would provide and the City has lost an opportunity for better governance.


  1. I don't believe that Cr Lapidge would have been right for the job. It would take a special person to be able to work with Mayor Clyne. It is important that who gets the role in the future must have the ability to work cloely with th Mayor - and not just be a yes man/woman.
    Jennie, keep plugging away.

  2. I agree! Someone experienced in working with modern young people. Leave the dinosaurs at home!

  3. Paul is right. We need an experienced person who is well adjusted to the modern world. Someone who can connect with the community, young and old(er).

  4. Imagine voting against yourself. In my opinion it would have been better to have abstained.

  5. It is a real pity that the males on Unley Council won't even consider a woman as the Deputy Mayor.

  6. If you have the time use it to go to grumpyinunley.wordpress.com. Read Cr. Hudson's view of why we don't have deputy mayor. My reflection on this is that Cr Hudson never told me he would support my motion and I never expected him to. The fact of the matter is that the motion I put on notice was on the CEO's desk before the poll in the Messenger was delivered. It had to be or it would have missed the deadline to do this. I reiterate that Unley would be better served if we had a deputy.

  7. Some support for my views;

    Deputy a must;
    THE Eastern Courier Messenger
    ("Unley say no to deputy move",
    August 31) reported Unley Council
    voted to not appoint a deputy
    mayor at its August meeting.
    Some councillors stated they
    voted against the motion merely
    because the Mayor, Lachlan Clyne,
    told the meeting he did not support
    the position of a deputy mayor at
    this time. However, most councils
    do appoint a deputy mayor, regardless
    of the wishes of the mayor.
    The deputy mayor appointment
    is usual, normal and good governance
    for councils, providing assistance
    to the mayor and to council
    An experienced deputy can chair
    meetings in mayors' absence, officiate
    at some functions and are
    available as an additional council
    spokesperson when required.
    The appointment and choice of a
    councillor as deputy mayor is up to
    councillors alone .
    During my demanding four-year
    term as Unley Mayor I, and the
    council administration, had the
    benefit of a deputy mayor who provided
    assistance, sound advice and
    flexibility on many occasions.
    Unley CEO Ray Pincombe is retiring
    in October 2011 with a new
    CEO unlikely to commence until
    December, whilst the Unley Mayor
    now has the added distraction of
    contesting Court charges.
    In these present circumstances I
    believe it is in the best interests of
    Unley Council to reconsider this
    matter to enable an experienced
    councillor to be appointed as deputy

    Former Unley Mayor

  8. Playford Council, with the other young gun Mayor (who WAS a Deputy Mayor prior to being elected Mayor) has retained a Deputy Mayor. Obviously the Mayor of Playford can see the value of the position he held for 4 years and the support that it offers him now as the Mayor.

  9. I certainly have support for my view from some Councillors. From the letters to the editor in the Messenger 21/9/2011
    Deputy a must
    I REFER to Peter Anderson's letter (Eastern Courier Messenger, September 14). While I have made it plain to my colleagues that I unreservedly subscribe to the presumption of innocence, my position is that the mere existence of criminal charges against Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne is bound to generate actual and potential conflicts of interest for him – particularly when he is acting as spokesperson for the council. Provisions of the Local Government Act, 1999, and the principles of good governance and transparency oblige the Mayor to avoid such conflicts of interest. This does not run counter to the
    presumption of innocence. Considering that there were merits to appointing a Deputy Mayor in any event, as identified in Richard Thorne's letter (Eastern Courier Messenger, September7), and with no particular downside to the council, it is hard to fathom why there wasn't broad support for the motion to appoint a Deputy Mayor which came before the council on August 22.

    Unley Park Ward councillor

  10. Thank you Councillor Saies for speaking out.
    At least we have a few people who are prepared to stand up and be counted.
    When he goes into court it will provoke some media interest due to his position as Mayor. I agree that a Deputy is a must!
    I also agree with Anonymous 7/9/2011. Not having a deputy is rather short sighted. Wisdom does not only have to come with age.