Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale president Keith Ellis has admitted he was ‘out of order’ after insulting a council candidate and several ratepayers on social media.
The dispute began after a ratepayer uploaded north west ward candidate Margaret Cala’s election material onto a facebook page aimed at Darling Downs residents, administrated by Mr Ellis.
After being criticised for removing the post Mr Ellis characterised those criticising him as being ‘free loaders’ and ‘keyboard morons’.
He also implied Ms Cala, who was not a member of the page, ‘lacked class’.
The posts have since been removed.
Mr Ellis said he made the comments because he was angry that people were using the page to campaign for the upcoming local government elections.
“It’s for the horse people only, it’s a form of communication between horse owners but some of these people have turned it into an electioneering campaign page and I just told them to bugger off,” he said.
“The people doing it came from Byford and they weren’t even running for the campaign but I was probably a bit out of order to be honest, I probably said the wrong thing and I did apologise.”
When asked why Mr Ellis had uploaded election material for councillor Sam Piipponen, who was seeking re-election in the north west ward, to the same page he said it was because Mr Piipponen participated in the Darling Downs community, was a north west ward candidate and was ‘part of the team’.
Mr Piipponen lives in Oakford, while Ms Cala lives in Karrakup.
Ms Cala said she was disappointed to see the campaign demise to personal insults on public media.
“I find it (the comments) utterly inappropriate on any public media and particularly when it’s the shire president saying these things,” she said.
“For people that know me, they wouldn’t take too much notice but for people who don’t know me, it leaves something in their minds that I would like to think is not quite true.
“I wouldn’t mind having an apology but I’d want assurances it’s not going to happen again because unfortunately it seems to be the way the council at the moment like to do business.”