Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp and the council’s deputy mayor Bob Marshall have been called to resign.Calls for the mayor to resign and the deputy mayor to step down were two of the leading ingredients in a heated City of Victor Harbor council meeting on Monday, April 27.
City of Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp was asked to resign his position in a question from the gallery from Mike McRae, who is a Victor Harbor ratepayer, commissioned officer of police, special justice and 2013 Victor Harbor citizen of the year.
During the meeting, friction between two councillors reached boiling point, as councillor Terry Andrews moved to revoke councillor Bob Marshall as deputy mayor.
Mr McRae’s resignation question stemmed from the actions of the mayor at the March 18 special council meeting.
“I asked the mayor to resign and him to apologise to Cr Marshall for the distress he has caused him after disallowing his motion at the special council meeting on March 18,” Mr McRae said.
At the special meeting, Cr Marshall moved a motion to defer the construction tender documents for the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre (FRAC) to allow further community consultation.
Mr Philp disallowed the motion and this has angered Mr McRae.
“The mayor did not have the authority to do that and it is my personal and professional belief the mayor broke elected members’ code of conduct,” Mr McRae said.
“This is why I asked for his resignation and for a direct apology to Cr Marshall because he was out of order.
“The mayor has been in his position for five years and if he didn’t know, he should have known the motion should have been allowed.”
Mr Philp’s response was for Mr McRae to take his concerns to the Ombudsman.
“Accordingly I am taking the mayor’s advice reporting the matter to the office of integrity,” he said.
Mr McRae lodged the report to the office of integrity on Wednesday, April 29.
The Times gave Mr Philp the opportunity to respond as part of this story, however he declined.
Councillor Andrews’ motion for the deputy mayor appointment of Cr Marshall at the November 24, 2014, council meeting be revoked was countered by Cr Marshall who requested documentary evidence supporting Cr Andrews’ allegations to be submitted at the May 25 council meeting.
In calling for Cr Marshall to be stripped of his deputy mayor role, Cr Andrews said the deputy mayor is not representing the best interest of council.
“I am concerned that Cr Marshall has engaged in disrespectful communications with fellow elected members, had demonstrated an unwillingness to support the democratic decisions of the council and is noted for non-attendance at many workshops and functions,” Cr Andrews said.
Cr Marshall was successful in moving the motion to be adjourned to the May council meeting.
“Councillor Andrews needs to produce documentary evidence of his allegations so elected members and the community can be informed of the facts,” Cr Marshall said.
“We can see the allegations at the May 25 meeting.”
Elected members voted unanimously to adjourn the issue until the May 25 meeting.
Source: The Times