Melville meeting descends into shouting match

MELVILLE council’s monthly meeting apparently descended into a slanging match after going behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss a confidential motion about CEO appraisals.

The Herald understands councillor Steve Kepert raised a motion for an external consultant to help develop a plan to assess CEO Marten Tieleman’s performance.

But a couple of councillors told the Herald they believed the motion was motivated by a desire to undermine the CEO, as Cr Kepert has been an ardent critic who’s clashed with the administration over a range of initiatives he’s been unable to get on the agenda.

Things really boiled over when Cr Kepert demanded the CEO and administrative staff leave the council chamber, arguing they had an inherent conflict of interest. He wanted councillors to take the minutes.

The Herald was told that led to a heated “toe-to-toe” between Cr Kepert and Cr Tomas Fitzgerald, a lawyer who argued the council risked breaching workplace protections.

Cr Kepert would only say he was unhappy his motion was considered confidential, as that kept it off the public agenda.


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