Costly council conflicts

More than $10,000 worth of councillor mediation sessions revealed at monthly meeting

CONFLICT CENTRAL: Councillor Peter Roper (left) revealed at the August ordinary council meeting that Cr Kate Farrell (centre) has been in mediation with Mayor Jan Vonarx (right), and also had mediation sessions with himself when he was mayor.

INTERPERSONAL disputes between three Alpine Shire councillors has cost ratepayers over $10,000, with the official amount still to be determined.

During last week’s August ordinary council meeting’s general business Cr Peter Roper questioned chief executive officer Dave Barry on how much money council had spent in the past three years trying to resolve disputes between himself and Cr Kate Farrell – during his term as mayor – and Cr Farrell’s dispute with current mayor Jan Vonarx.

“Can you give me an estimate of how much money, including officer time, Alpine Shire Council has spent over the past three years assuaging Cr Farrell’s ongoing dissatisfaction with the previous and current mayor?” he said.

Mr Barry said he couldn’t answer the question and took it on notice to report back to council at a later time.

He did, however, confirm that the total of three mediation sessions had cost ratepayers more than $10,000.

A visibly upset Cr Farrell voiced her objection to Cr Roper before she gathered her belongings and stormed out of the meeting.

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