“I have been the subject of a torrent of bullying from the...

“I have been the subject of a torrent of bullying from the president”

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Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale councillor Rob Coales holds concerns about how the council is currently operating.

One Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale councillor feels council is not achieving what it could be because of councillors’ personalities and the adversarial nature of their behaviour.

Rob Coales said council spends too much time navel-gazing when they should be putting the interests of the community before their own.

His comments come after Mr Coales asked chief executive Kenn Donohoe about the process required to resign from council before the expiration of a councillor’s term.

Mr Coales said he enquired about the process as he was disgusted with the behaviour of being falsely accused and the number of false allegations against him.

“I’m trying to do what is right for the community but the old ways seem to prevail,” he said.

“I have been the subject of a torrent of bullying from the president and I’ve made numerous complaints about this through official channels.”

Mr Coales said council discussed a confidential item at this month’s meeting, which pertained to a ratepayer who owed the shire a significant amount of arrears.

He said the ratepayer had come to him to get help.

“Because the shire staff don’t have the authority to waive outstanding fees it has come to council,” he said.

“The matter was confidential, I did argue that it be open to the public because the ratepayer wasn’t identified and in the interest of transparency.

“I spoke about our role as elected members that we should be showing care and empathy.

“One of the other councillors got offended by those comments and took it as a personal attack, which it wasn’t.”

Mr Coales said if the motion had passed the shire would have taken the house from the ratepayer leaving them homeless.

He argued that while the shire had powers to do certain things, he thought it was unjust to not help the ratepayer in this instance.

Mr Coales said at the end of the meeting a comment was made by Mr Donohoe about ongoing rates and the future direction that council should take on this matter.

“I was then accused of playing games and not being honest with other councillors because of my attempts to prevent this ratepayer from becoming homeless,” he said.