Former mayors defend the code

TWO former mayors have hit back at criticism of the previous Rural City of Wangaratta code of conduct.

Roberto Paino and Anthony Griffiths, who failed to get re-elected last election, sat wide eyed at Monday night’s special council meeting as Councillor Julian Fidge and Mayor Rozi Parisotto went toe to toe in an ugly confrontation.

Cr Fidge’s controversial speech centred around the code of conduct adopted in 2009 when both Mr Paino and Mr Griffiths were on council.

Among other things, Cr Fidge called the previous code “a vile document” that “was designed to pervert democracy and suppress free speech”.

Statements about councillors not being allowed to talk to residents infuriated Mr Paino, the most.

“It’s absolutely untrue,” he said.

“No councillor has ever been told they couldn’t speak to ratepayers.”

The comments were made in reference to a section in the previous code that required councillors to seek the permission of the mayor or chief executive officer to speak to the media, or to inform them immediately after speaking to the media.

This post is part of the thread: Council Dramas – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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