Mayor calls for independent mediator

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr Simon Murray says he remains committed to improving relationships with Councillors and has requested the CEO instigate identifying an independent mediator to assist in mending relationships to ensure the community has confidence in Council and its decisions. This will need to be a person who is experienced in local government, understands governance and is a very skilled facilitator, dealing with diverse personalities and agendas.

The announcement is in response to a Notice of Motion signed by seven councillors expressing no confidence in the Mayor and urging him to resign. An Extraordinary Meeting was held on Friday 31 January 2019. The motion was carried six to four in favour of the motion. The Mayor is committed to remaining in his role and will not resign.

The meeting also passed two motions put by the Mayor to Council:

  • We acknowledge the programs and outcomes that have been successfully achieved as a result of economies of scale, unity of purpose, team work, good leadership and more effective use of pooled resources flowing from the creation of Armidale Regional Council.
  • We as a Council are fully committed to working together, for the benefit of the whole region, to continue to deliver much needed projects to the community, even though the drought will have a major impact on our financial position this year.

“Previous attempts of mediation in 2019 to address personality issues, improve the understanding of the role of Councillors and to create a more cohesive Council have failed,” said Cr Murray.

“I am certainly not giving up on getting this Council to work together. We need to find some common ground and put our differences aside for the good of the region. As I said, we have some hard decisions to make in the forthcoming months and it would be irresponsible of us to fight amongst ourselves rather than focussing on the leadership of the community that is going to be necessary to make the right decisions.

“I was very heartened that by unanimously agreeing to work together last Friday the Councillors really meant it and will participate in the intervention. I am confident that all Councillors will work towards our common goal of putting our community first.

“For this process to succeed all parties must participate and concede that compromises must be made.”

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