A BID by a new Melville councillor to reverse the council chamber’s seating arrangements so staff sit below elected members has been kicked down the road to a report.
Applecross-Mt Pleasant warder Clive Ross’s first foray into putting forward his own motions says elevated staff outnumber elected members, giving the wrong impression about who’s in control.
“WALGA itself have apparently commented negatively about the current seating arrangement for not accurately representing council’s position as the governing body,” he said in calling for the change.
“The council must not only govern but must be seen to govern the affairs of the local government.”
Cr Ross had campaigned on a platform of wresting back power for councillors, and before his successful election had been part of a group which successfully convinced councillors to ignore a staff recommendation on controlling heights in the Canning Bridge precinct in favour of their own plan.
Cr Ross had called for the required chamber reconfiguration to be ready by next year’s round of meetings, but his motion was ultimately watered down to the report.
Cr Nick Pazolli suggested it be considered before the council committed to making the change. After an extended debate on whether he was simply amending Cr Ross’s motion or putting up a whole new one, he won the day and staff will have to come back with the report in six months’ time.
by STEVE GRANT