Councillor quits before time

ELLE FARCICAlbany Advertiser
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City of Albany councillor Mervyn Leavesley will quit council two years before his term expires on the back of council adopting a budget he firmly believes is not fiscally responsible.

Cr Leavesley, who is currently in the UK, was elected to the 8council in 2009 and is not due for re-election until 2013.

He told the Albany Advertiser although he had enjoyed working for his constituents, his ability to achieve more for them as an elected member had been marred by the culture within council.

“Unfortunately it is my experience on the Albany council that there exists an adversarial culture that operates to the detriment of sound decision making,” he said.

Cr Leavesley also warned unless the city changed its direction he could only envisage more rate rises and further reductions in services in the future.

“I believe it is council’s responsibility to set the parameters from which a budget is set,” he said.

“In the two years I have been on council we have failed to do this.”

The seat, which falls in the Kalgan ward, will now be open for nomination at the October 15 local government elections.

Cr Leavesley will be available for the September and October ordinary council meetings and said he chose to stand down at the October election to ensure a replacement councillor could be found at no additional cost to ratepayers.

Earlier this year, Jim Swann also resigned from council ahead of the end of his term, leaving a vacant seat for the Fredericks8town Ward. That position will also be filled at the October elections.

Councillors are elected by the community for four-year terms. Council elections take place every two years

Eight of the 13 seats on the council will now be open for election, including the position of Mayor.

Milton Evans, Jill Bostock, Des Wolfe, Joy Matla, Roley Paver and Chris Holden’s terms all expire this year.

Mayor Evans thanked Cr Leavesley for his efforts on the council.

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