Councillors claim marathon meetings are "designed to discredit Strathfield"

Strathfield councillors have accused their Liberal colleagues of deliberately attempting to “burn the general manager and burn this council” at an angry extraordinary meeting last night.

Conspiracy theories abounded during heated exchanges – the main one being that the Liberals were intent on creating a dysfunctional council so the State Government can move in an administrator.

But at the fourth extraordinary meeting to be called by Mayor Sang Ok in just two weeks, he insisted he was merely tightening up procedures after an investigation into the council and a year of reviewing procurement policies.

Throughout the meeting, where two councillors received two warnings and the Mayor frequently rose to his feet to admonish a crowded public gallery, local residents sat grimly and occasionally applauded.

The same crowd sat through another marathon extraordinary meeting, refusing to leave even when the councillors voted to continue for an extra half an hour at 10.30pm.

Last night, residents were saved by a motion of rescission from Daniel Bott, produced at 10.29 which forced the meeting’s closure.

What were the motions that occupied the councillors until late into the night?

Cr Ok tabled five mayoral minutes – four relating to the General Manager’s leave, electronic diary, mayoral meetings, his own induction of the mayor as well as the recent section 430 investigations.

Labor councillors Daniel Bott and Raj Datta and Independent Helen McLucas questioned the urgency of the mayoral minutes, labelling them procedural and insisting most of then matters were already in place.

Cr Helen McLucas suggested that Cr Ok was attempting, by getting the motions passed and sent to the Office of Local Government, to suggest that Strathfield was not doing these things.

“All these mayoral minutes are inferring that the council is incompetent. What are your intentions,” asked Cr McLucas.

“We previously worked as a harmonious council and everything changed after November 3. All the residents and the other councillors want to know what your intentions area. “

Cr Daniel Bott added: “You four want to burn the general manager and burn this council. It is so repulsive what you four grubs are doing.”

Cr McLucas, Cr Bott and Cr Raj Datta accused the three Liberal councillors and one Independent of “collusion”.

Crs Gulian Vaccari and Stephanie Kokkolis and Independent Andrew Soulos all supported of all of Cr Ok’s motions at last night’s marathon meeting.

One Homebush Road resident, Jeff Markwell turned up to the meeting with a puppet.

“People are pulling strings at this council, we thought we should have a real puppet.”

Resident activitist Marlene Doran said she was disgusted by the actions of some councillors at the meeting.

“I have been attending Strathfield Council meetings for over 30 years and I have never been so disgusted in my entire life. The Liberals just want to show the Local Government Minister that council is ineffective.

“They are trying to make us the laughing stock of the state. I sat next to one lady who is a member of the women’s liberal branch in Strathfield, and she said she was disgusted at the way members of her own party conducted themselves.”


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