This page will contain the story of one persons 4.5 years working as a volunteer Shire Councillor.
How the "Boys Club" (Council) sent him to Coventry, preventing him from becoming an effective Councillor.
The story will tell how he was warned by the WA Local Government and Regional Development (LGRD) that if he didn't tow the line and join the "Boys Club" the council had the power to prevent him from doing good for the community he was elected to represent.
The story will also describe how the Minister of Local Government at the time was given false and misleading information from her department when answering a number of questions put to her from a concerned Councillor and how the LGRD responded to the allegation.
LET THE STORY BEGIN;
Firstly to answer the most asked question.
QUESTION; Why do you bother? No one wants to know about it, no one cares, move on, get over it, that was yesterday. (this attitude is best described as the 'Kalbarri Coma'.)
ANSWER; The answer is simple. Part of it is I refuse to be one of their victims, (thanks to R.D. for helping me understand this) , and after witnessing other Councillors voting to allow one of their own to benefit at a cost to the Community (ref. Lot 588 below) I chose ethics and from then on I aimed at keeping our Community fully informed on the performance of their Council, something that had never happened in the past. That lead me to being discriminated against by the Shire President George Parker and his band of some naive, spineless Councillors who support his discriminative, arrogant behaviour. As a Shire Councillor if I had chosen to 'tow the line' and join their 'boys club' life on the Shire of Northampton Council would have been great.
I continue to keep our Community fully informed and as this is the World Wide Web, the rest of the world can also choose to be informed.
Secondly; The time (4.5 years) my wife and I spent in Kalbarri, both working full time as volunteers for the good of the community gave us immense personal satisfaction. The true friendships made, the lessons learnt and the wisdom gained will continue to help make us both better people.
During this time I also learnt and now fully appreciate the true meaning of 'KARMA' (what you give out will eventually come back to you)
Before this I had spent much of my life believing the sword was mightier than the pen. Now with the help of age and wisdom I take up the pen to do what I can to help the victims of those who misuse their positions of trust to bully and intimidate simply to appease their own greed, ego and their need to control.
The 4+ years were fully documented to the finest detail. A small amount of this recorded information will be presented on this website for the purpose of public information and education.
We continue to hear about the way Local Governments misuse their authority and cause community disharmony. We at the KT hope that reporting on our Local Government's/Councillor's behaviour we will encourage and maybe inspire others to take more of an interest in the running of their communities affairs because collectively you really do have the power to take possession of what rightfully belongs to you, your Local Council.
It also needs to be said that I was never proud to be a Councillor on the Shire of Northampton. After attending a few Council meetings I realised these were not the kind of people I needed to be associated with.
I guess my story really begins at the time I was convinced to nominate as a candidate for a Local Government election. That was an 'Extra Ordinary' election, caused by the resignation of a Kalbarri Ward Councillor who found, we are told could no longer work alongside the Shire President Cr. George Parker. There was another candidate who nominated at that time also, his name was Ron Allen whose reason for running was said to be that he was going to reign in the loose running CEO. Ron Allen's response to some when asked why he wanted to get back into Local Government was, "I am on a mission". He had retired from LG for a number of years after spending over 20 years as a Councillor, approximately 15 of those as President of the Northampton Shire Council. So it could be said he had a very good understanding of the WA Local Government culture, known as the 'BOYS CLUB'.
After nominating, I was driving through Northampton so stopped to meet and make my self known to the CEO, Garry Keeffe. I suggested to him that being a bit of an unknown in Kalbarri it wasn't much use running for council against a person with that much influence and experience and suggested I pull out of the election. Garry Keeffe informed me that I was in it for the long run now as I had officially nominated.
At that time the CEO came across as a reasonable sort of person so I thought it appropriate to inform him what the other candidate, Ron Allen was telling folk the reason he was wanting to get back into the council was to reign in him, the CEO. The response to that was "I have enough on him to put him in jail". That was something I didn't really want to hear. This statement was later past onto the ACC, as there was an investigation by them into some of the decisions being made by this council.
During this election campaign I encouraged some of the young people to come on board and help in the hope they may take an ongoing interest in their council and their towns future. My feeling was that they had a ball, hanging posters, talking to people about their community needs and what they thought would be an injection of new blood into their council. Those kids and their loyalty will not be forgotten.
We had a banner made which read "Vote for Kramer, if he wins we all win" and strung it up between two vehicles out the front of the pub. It wasn't long before I got a phone call from the shire CEO telling me to take the banner down as it was against Council policy. My response was to ask the CEO to fax me a copy of the Council policy. He later phoned back to tell me he was acting on a complaint from someone in Kalbarri and there was no policy that would prevent us from using the banner. I was told the complaint to the CEO came from my opponent Ron Allen.
That election came and went, Ron Allen won hands down. I was later told by many people that during the election campaign he (Ron Allen) actually got out and spoke to people for the first time ever, entering some of their business for the first time asking them to vote for him, calling in the favours. The experience of that election is recorded as my introduction to the way some people in Kalbarri can't help behaving as two faced back stabbers. One person being what we thought to be a true friend.
The next ordinary by-annual Council election soon came around and again I was canvassed by people in Kalbarri to run as I was told that the community could now see that I was serious about wanting to represent them on Council, a Council that was considered by many to be covert and secretive.
So believing I could do the job I again allowed myself to be talked into nominating. This time there were two seats to be filled for the Kalbarri Ward with four candidates nominating, including myself. Two of those candidates were Councillors, one being Pat Gliddon who was at the end of a term and the other was Peter Davidson who had resigned thus causing the previous 'Extra Ordinary' election. The other, making up the four was Andrew Sharman a young family man.
Believing the Kalbarri community had become familiar with my resolve we didn't do as much campaigning this time leaving it up to the people. The final count was Kramer first, Gliddon second, Sharman third and Davidson last. That meant Kramer and Gliddon now took on the role of Elected Councillors, representing the Kalbarri community. The word elected is very significant when it comes to WA Local Government as many Councillors get the position on a "walk in", meaning they were the only person to nominate and no election was held. You might say they got in because of a non caring, none involved community. In my opinion that would exclude a community from having the right to complain about a "walk in" persons poor performance.
It is interesting to note and appreciate that being elected to represent a ward of a shire and then be expected to also represent the shire as a whole can at times cause a dilemma as to where your allegance should focus. My belief was to put the community that actually votes you into the position of Councillor first when the challenge presented itself. Appreciating the fact that electors from the other wards never voted at your particular wards election. The only written rule on this is that as a Councillor you are to represent the shire as a whole. This causes conflict at times and encourages "TRADE A VOTE", something I was never a part of but is seen as an excepted practice in the so called democratic ways of our Local Government/Boys Club.
At the start there was a fair amount of suspicion surrounding my getting on Council. It was said by many that the only reason anyone gets on Council in Kalbarri is because they want something. This attitude developed over a number of years as the community saw things belonging to councillors being built with what they believed were special conditions/privileges.
My very first Council meeting was in Northampton 103ks away. There was no assistance or introduction to the way things were run or what was expected of a new councillor, just an offer from the CEO, "be there". My training books etc. came some months latter.
It was at that meeting I got my first invective address from Cr. Ron Allen, making snide remarks about the way we had run our election campaign. The President, who was chairing the meeting and the CEO just sat there and let it continue. Later it was said by members of our community that Cr. Ron Allen came back to Kalbarri telling people that he had given Kramer a good dressing down.
A few months into my term I received a phone call from Cr. George Parker the Shire President. I was sitting with friends when the phone rang. The voice at the other end said "this is George Parker", I answered "hi mate", he replied "my name is not mate, it is George Parker". After a brief conversation with him accusing me of undermining another councillor my friends, hearing parts of the conversation commented, "who the hell was that", my answer "just the Shire President welcoming me to the way our council is run!". The Shire President, George Parker, is on record 'bad mouthing' me to the owner of one of the restaurant in Kalbarri.
My respect for most members of our Council greatly diminished at the Ordinary Meeting of Council, Friday 20 June 2003. Item 6.5.8, (minuted item 6.18.8, page 23) as follows;
The following is part of a copy of a public document reproduced for the purpose of public education. A full copy is published in chapter 4, paragraph 8 of this web site.
SHIRE OF NORTHAMPTON
Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council
Chambers, Hampton Road, Northampton, on Friday 20 June 2003
6.18.8 LOT 588 GREY STREET - KALBARRI (ITEM 6.5.8)
Cr Allen declared a financial interest in this item as he is the lessee of Lot 588 Grey Street, Kalbarri and may incur a financial gain or loss from Council's decision and left the meeting at 4:00pm.
Moved Cr Maskrey, seconded Cr Sutherland
That Council proceed in camera.
Moved Cr Wilson, seconded Cr O Simkin
That Council no longer proceed in camera.
For those new comers to the WA Local Government Boys Club the term "in camera" means, NOT FOR RATEPAYERS/OWNERS EARS. This gives a council the right to clear the public gallery and declare the debate private and confidential, so even though the community is the owner of the Local Government they still have ways to keep you in the dark and protect and enforce their authority.
More information on Lot 588 can be accessed on chapter 4 Council under paragraph 8 (as mentioned) 'Leasing of Crown land to a Councillor'.
I will never forget what transpired at that June 03 meeting, it is well documented. There was little professional debate, leading me to believe that all of that and the decision on how much Cr. Ron Allen was going to pay for leasing Lot 588 had already been discussed and decided upon before the meeting. I just couldn't believe the naivety, or what I thought at the time was naivety, later to be made realise that that is the way this Boys Club, led by the President George Parker looks after itself and its loyal members regardless of what impact it may have on the community's wellbeing.
It was embarrassing being a Northampton Shire Councillor having to travel back to the Kalbarri community and inform them of this Council decision. The phrase 'Bad Democracy' was beginning to be better understood. This event is also recorded as my introduction to the fact that an unethical, unprincipled decision by a Local Government will be supported by the State Government/Minister of Local Government and their office.
I was introduced to another phrase at this time by a member of another government authority, (ACCC) that being
Much of this can be argued that it is only my opinion of proceedings at that time and that is fair comment, but after 4+ years experience working in Local Government I have never changed that opinion only had it reinforced.
There wasn't a lot of input into Council's decision making from the communities, Northampton, Horrocks, Port Gregory and Kalbarri. Was this because no one cared, in a coma, bullied, or trusted fully that their Councillors would always do the right thing?
Part of the culture of this Council seemed to be that they believed they new best and they, like many other Councillors I guess believed they were elected to make the decisions so there was no need to have their ability questioned nor have to consult the peasants for their opinion.
This was something that didn't appear to fit the profile of an effective councillor, one who was elected to serve the community. So it seemed necessary to find a way to involve the community, or at least those in the community who were interested in their future wellbeing and who wanted to see their rates being used effectively.
That's when the Kalbarri Residents and Ratepayers Association (KRRA) was born. This was the first attempt to try and encourage the Kalbarri community to get involved and to take possession of their Council because collectively they are and always will be the owners of their Council. (ref the last paragraph on the Home page.)
Andrew Sharman (A.S.) is credited with doing the ground work to form this registered incorporated association and was the first President. The first meeting was held in the shed at the back of a Kalbarri House with just a hand-full of interested people. This was soon to grow to well over 100, holding their advertised monthly meetings at the Kalbarri Community Centre.
The main purpose of the meetings was to gain community input and opinions on items in the Council Agenda's and as a Councillor ask for guidance on how they, the community wanted me to vote on such items.
Some of these meeting were hijacked by the town's stooges. In an attempt to disrupt proceedings they would bully the committee and those present with their loutish, antisocial behaviour. This sort of intimidation was common to public meetings held in Kalbarri. Two of these meetings were recorded on video, one where the police had to be called in to help the Chairman regain control. Approximately 40 of these videos have already been distributed and the KT make them available to anyone upon request. Some of the main players in these recordings are Cr. Ron Allen, Cr. Lou Parker, Ian Brumley and Wayne Forrest. All of these names will be mentioned again in other sections of this website.
An unfortunate, unforgettable event happened around this time concerning one of the video recordings. It was given to Ernie Whitehurst JP (at that time owner of the Kalbarri Video and Photo Shop) to have a copy made. When it was being picked up Ernie said he had made a mistake in the copying process, wiping several minutes off the beginning of the original tape. When asked if he watched the tape first he said yes he did. It can't be said that this was not a genuine mistake but what is fact is Mr. Ernie Whitehurst JP was a close friend of Ian Brumley and it was the evidence of Brumley's loutish behaviour that was wiped off the tape. When called upon the KT will present 'Stat Decs' as evidence of this bully's behaviour.
More on the Kalbarri Ratepayers Association (KRRA) is reported in chapter '3 Kalbarri' paragraph 14 and '4 Council' paragraph 7.
My dear wife, mother of our children and best mate Jan, who is known to everyone as a soft hearted, kind and caring person witnessed first hand the arrogance and contempt that this Council was known for as she gave support by accompanying me to all the Meeting for the first 2 years, sitting alone in the gallery taking notes, recording everything. Unfortunately that experience along with others has her not ever wanting to go back to Kalbarri, even though we have some lifelong friends and a holiday home there.
Publishing this also brings back memories of another person, one I met at a function in Kalbarri who, between teas told me her experience of the greed, hate and control in Kalbarri. She admitted that what had been done to her and her family was unforgivable and had her not ever wanting to come back to Kalbarri also. Saying that after living in the town for a number of years it had taken 5 years for the hurt to subside enough for her to be able to return, encouraged by some good folk inviting her to attending their function. More to the proof of how destructive and hurtful hate can be when used as a weapon of control.
Another event that is well documented and would prove typical of some in Kalbarri was the change in behaviour of a person by the name of Mal Scott, owner of the BP Service Station. Mal projected himself as a community leader and was one of those who talked me into nominating for Council. He persisted promising his continued support, even promising that if I do one term (4 years) he would nominate and if elected would do the next 4 years. This was a factor in me nominating, believing he was a man of his word.
During my first few months on Council we worked together on a submission asking for financial help from the Shire to progress the Kalbarri Sport and Rec. At the time Mal was on the KS&R committee. That request was to became successful.
Things would soon change, for no apparent reason he started to back-stab, siding with members of the "Purple Circle", possibly to impress in the hope of being accepted. (this group of anti-community intimidators will be named later) Mal Scott is on record saying that Kalbarri should not support the elderly because they are of no value, a burden, they use all the facilities and make no contribution to the towns culture. This discriminative statement of his has been recorded by 3 separate people. He also worked hard to prevent any further development of the kid's Skate Park, even attending a youth council meeting at the school with the idea of getting the kids on his side. (More on this story later) Development of the Skate Park that included a club house stopped after that day, the $40,000 grant money was eventually handed over to another group. The club house, donated by a Geraldton Company was never built.
Later, Mal tried to join the Kalbarri Residents and Ratepayers Assoc., but at the time was refused membership because of his anti-community behaviour. Along with Wayne Forrest (owner of the Kalbarri IGA) he addressed Council during a Question Time, seen as an attempt to officially record a complaint against the Kalbarri Ratepayers Assoc. (KRRA). Council's response was not to record their statement. It is worth noting, one of KRRA's projects was to develop a retirement village for our elderly. The land for this project was identified, the Council was to be involved, expressions of interest were gathered from interested builders. Progress came to a sudden halt!
Mal told people he was on the job of digging up dirt on "Kramer" in an effort to discredit. (The KT look forward to printing his full report.) He also made an official approach to council trying to stop my monthly 'Councillor's Report' being published in the local media.
The KT believe Mal is a junior player in the hate and control games played out in Kalbarri and is considered one who is willing to allow themselves to be used and manipulated by others, a dolt.
In my opinion, knowing how control works in Kalbarri and with Mal owning a business there, he may not have been given much of a choice, it was possibly a matter of join the 'hate association' and do as we say or your business will be boycotted, you will be intimidated and humiliated, sent broke and out of town.
Items expressed in this report describing some of this persons behaviour have been recorded and researched to the best of our knowledge. The aim is to project a fair report of proceedings of public concern with an honest opinion and fair comment. It is also presented to inform and educate our readers, giving an example of what we at the KT believe has sadly become normal behaviour for some in Kalbarri Western Australia.
As previously advised, a facility to e-mail the KT is available to Mr Mal Scott and all persons if they believe they have been wrongly reported. Appropriate and timely action will be taken by the editors to further research and if necessary rectify any legitimate grievance once officially notified. We look forward to the time Mal Scott becomes a genuine caring and productive member of our community. It's never too late. 9417
Like Mal Scott many of our so-called friends in Kalbarri very quickly distanced themselves, afraid to be seen as a supporter of change. However those who saw change as a necessary part of progress just became more determined. They were also informed enough to realise it was time to rid the Kalbarri community of its growing reputation for being uncaring, spiteful and self-centred. Even some business owners gave public support, something never heard of previously. For all those courageous people let it be known your support is well documented and will never be forgotten.
As time went on it became more obvious that this community had a forced and false respect for its Council. It was clear to me that this was not a healthy community attitude, people were actually afraid of being targeted. Many telling me that "it was just my turn" when being bullied by Council. We know now this mental control was very cunningly developed over the years by those who thought Kalbarri belonged to them, even getting on Council to help increase their hold over the community. The records show one Councillor, in a fit of rage saying, "this is my town, I built this town".
Under these circumstances the job of becoming a community minded, ethical and supportive Councillor looked impossible. Everything you tried to do to help others was somehow being blocked. One example was the upgrade of the kids skate park, as a result it was never completed. People were being verbally abused even for simply praising our efforts. I remember the day working voluntarily at the skate park when one of the school teachers (Luke Bradley) drove his 4wd Pajero across the kids beach volleyball court, through the skate park forcing me to move or get run over, making some snide remark as he went by. At the time some at the Kalbarri School appeared to be supporting the control freaks. More about the school later.
As a Councillor there was one benefit, that was the access to information from other Government Departments, this was to become extremely important when researching land deals etc. This also helped me realise that an "anti- councillor" could use this access in ways to gain a personal advantage.
Because of his behaviour, another Person worth a mention on our Truth web site is Mr Ian Brumley. Some called him the 'warden of the parrot prison', he was the owner of Rainbow Jungle (Kalbarri) at the time. (which is now under new ownership) Mr Brumley is recorded boasting that he used 300 tone of local rock to build the parrot centre, rock he removed from Crown Land. (Red Hill) With or without the proper authority?
Brumley is on our file described as a rude, loudmouth bully as was once demonstrated at a public meeting held at the Kalbarri Community Centre. On this occasion he is recorded on video yelling abuse at the chairperson, doing his best to disrupt the meeting, twice pulling the plug to the video camera out of the wall socket to try and stop the recording of the meeting. At one Council meeting I was engaged in a private conversation with a ratepayer, when Brumley burst in on the conversation yelling abuse. The ratepayer described his behaviour as ill-mannered and arrogant. It was also suggested he tried to mislead Council with a statement, (not a question) he made during a Council Question Time. Bullying and hate appeared to be his weapons of choice as he zeroed in on his victims.
As a newly elected Councillor I was first introduced to this bully by his mate Ernie Whitehurst JP, it was then he first showed his arrogance by the personal abuse he hurled around during our short conversation. More proof came in a letter Brumley sent to our Ratepayers Association, it started out "I do not wish to be going to your meetings continually pointing out mistakes you are making
He is also firmly placed on public record for his eagerness to discredit me by writing a defamatory/libelous and untrue statement in the Kalbarri Town Talk and for his trouble was made to write a retraction and an apology in the West Australian and the Kalbarri Town Talk. You would think that would've slowed him down, not Mr Brumley. He again wrote what was considered libelous connotations in another piece of his handy work, denigrating the position of Shire Councillor, sending a copy off to the CEO Garry Keeffe to try and increase the impact on his victim. Keeffe then chose to openly distribute it to all Councillors. As a result, the CEO's action of distributing what was considered libelous material then placed him
in a position of being named as a possible third party to any future defamation law suit taken against Brumley the author.
While we are on the subject of the CEO distributing information to "all Councillors" we present this copy of a public document to inform our readers how the control of information works in the Northampton Shire. After reading it you may also find it somewhat interesting that the CEO chose to forward an open
letter defaming one of the Shire's elected members to "all Councillors".
3.16.4 CR ASH - CORRESPONDENCE TO COUNCILLORS. March 07.
Cr Ash request that all correspondence addressed to "All Councillors" received at the Administration Centre be forwarded to each Councillor.
The Chief Executive Officer along with the President informed the meeting that it is the position of the Chief Executive Officer to run the Administration of the Shire and it is the Chief Executive Officers discretion if a copy of this type of correspondence is to be sent to each Councillor. If an individual wished for each Councillor to receive correspondence they should send it direct to individual Councillors and a copy to the Administration Centre.
As is the case now if the Chief Executive Officer believes that a copy of correspondence is needed to be issued to each Councillor it is done either by fax or included in the monthly agenda.
One can only guess what would happen to any correspondence sent to the Shire complaining about the behaviour of either the President or the CEO? More on this in chapter 4 Council, page 3.
(copies of all documents/videos are available on request)
The story wouldn't be complete without the mention of another Councillor, one who did little to nothing for our community during her 4 year stint other than sit in Council half a day a month, this being Councillor Fay Sutherland.
She is most remembered by some as a Kalbarri Ward Councillor who would take things to Council on behalf of her constituents and then when called on to vote would vote against them. She is also remembered as a Councillor who for one reason or another could not attend an official Council road inspection in Kalbarri so she naively got her partner to take her place as Councillor.
Our records show Councillor Fay Sutherland fully condoned and supported the intimidating and bullying behaviour of her close friend Cr Ron Allen, voting to lease Lot 588 to him at a ridiculously low figure and then voted against allowing $1,500 to be spent on maintenance/upgrades at the kids skate park. She also voted against Kalbarri seeking information concerning its autonomy, failing to respond to ratepayers correspondence and voted against any more Council meetings being held in Kalbarri.
Sutherland joined many committees in Kalbarri but like the current Councillor Lou Parker, was conspicuous in her absence at their meetings.
For me Councillor Fay Sutherland is remembered as just another extremely naive do nothing Councillor who took on the role as a community representative to promote herself as someone of importance, joining others in there hate mongering, being derelict in their duty and putting herself above the people rather than serving them. She is also remembered as the Councillor who gave me a lesson on how to manipulate the "Late Items" section of the Council Agenda. This is a part of the Council agenda that is rarely seen by the public and so allows councillors to put through item for themselves and not be exposed to questions from the public.
There is nothing on our records that shows this Councillor to be an ethical, effective community representative during her four year term. However if there is something we have missed there is an invitation to Fay Sutherland to e-mail the KT with the information and we will update our records and add it to our story.
The next part of my story is about discrimination and how it is allowed and at times even encouraged. It is one of the tools used to help protect the ego and authority of the members of the West Australian Local Government Cult. It is also used to discredit and publicly humiliate anyone who doesn't "tow the line" and conform to their method of mental control.
Throughout the KT web site this unprincipled, unethical behaviour and the lack of procedural fairness has been referred to many times. This time the story is about a Council President and a CEO who acted beyond their powers in the way they censured two Councillors, Kramer and Allen. They also blatantly and openly used discrimination as a weapon to further publicly discredit Cr Kramer. It is on the public record that the President, George Parker and the CEO Garry Keeffee were officially advised of their mistake but chose to rescind the motion requiring Cr Ron Allen to officially apologise for an estimated 6 breaches of the Code of Conduct but refused to rescind the other inappropriate motion or even apologise to the other Councillor (Kramer).
The story will also describes how the WA Local Government Head Office in Perth (DLGRD) supported this discriminating behaviour, advising President George Parker to carry out the censure on Kramer commanding him to publish a correction and an apology. Then when asked for advice concerning the Allen apology the DLGRD informed the CEO and the President that it was above their powers to require/command a Councillor to do anything. The DLGRD are also guilty of refusing to respond to correspondence sent to them asking for help to resolve the issue surrounding their conflicting advice.
The file holding this information is quite large, but will be condensed for this story, in other words there is a lot more to this story than what is presented. Any request for more information can be made through our e-mail address.
It starts with my monthly "councillors report" placed in the Kalbarri Town Talk where I referred to a change in zoning of some land in Town Planning Scheme (TPS) number 9. The truth was the zoning took place in TPS 4. That makes me guilty of writing the number "9" when it should have been the number "4".
The CEO Garry Keeffe, seeing my mistake contacted Darryl Forrest at the DLGRD asking him if there could be a breach of the Local Government Act.
Darryl Forrest responded by e-mail informing the CEO to hand-ball it to the President and have him "direct"
me to "publish a correction with an apology for publishing the incorrect info".
It must be said that at no time did the CEO or the President contact me to discus the matter that so concerned them, the first time I was made aware of my mistake was when it was tabled in Council and I was censured. A blatant breach of procedural fairness by President George Parker and done contrary to the role of President in providing leadership.
The CEO and the President prepared the motion for Council to censure me using the word "required", in short it read; That Council censure Cr Kramer and he be required to print a correction and apologise.
(The word "require" is significant to this story.) Council moved a motion to do just that and after acknowledging making an honest mistake, I subsequently complied with their command by printing a correction and an apology in the next issue. For me that could have been the end of it all.
However next came a request for Council to consider a report listing 6 breaches of the Code of Conduct by Cr Ron Allen, brought about by him defying a Council resolution/order for 3 years. Once again the CEO and the President prepared the motion that called for a written apology which in short read; "he be required to apologise to Council and its staff and print an official apology".
The motion was presented to Council, moved and carried.
Councillor Ron Allen contacted the DLGRD asking for help, obviously wanting to escape the apology? They responded informing him, the CEO and the President that, "it is beyond the powers of a Council to pass a motion requiring a councillor to make a public or any other sort of apology or take any action."
Council, being guided by Shire President George Parker immediately rescinded the Allen apology motion. President George Parker then apologised to Cr Ron Allen in Council for any inconvenience moving and carrying the inappropriate motion may have caused him. The actions taken by Parker, leading Council to rescind the motion for Allen to apologise appeared to condoned Allen's behaviour, while Council was seen to have failed to fully acknowledge the arrogant behaviour of a particular councillor, one who breached their Code of Conduct. Cr Allen has never apologised even though his peers found him guilty of knowingly defying a Council resolution.
With this as a precedent I then made an official request to the President to have the motion that required
me to take certain actions rescinded, also asking for answers to a number of questions concerning the censure and to be offered an apology in the same way he processed the "Allen apology motion".
His faxed response in part reads;-
Once again you are wrong, Council does have the power to censure a councillor for providing incorrect information to the public. YOU owe ME an apology."
"I have answered previously the questions you raised in your January Fax, if you can't accept the truth I am afraid that is your problem."
I await your apologies
(signed) George Parker."
I then wrote to Garry Keeffe CEO asking for information and answers to questions concerning the inappropriate "requirement". He replied by writing he was "not prepared to provide any official answer from my perspective".
I wrote to Darrell Scorer, Local Government Support and Development asking for help to resolve this issue but never got a reply.
I wrote to Jenny Law, Manager Local Government Support and Development (DLGRD) asking for help to resolve this issue but never got a reply.
I wrote to Quinton Harrington, acting Director General DLGRD asking for help to resolve this issue but never received a reply.
I then wrote to the Minister of Local Government (Hon L Ravlich MLC) asking for help to resolve this issue, she responded getting her advice from the DLGRD and confirming;-
- Council acted beyond its powers using the word required in its censure.
- The Departments files contain no record of advising Parker to move a censure motion.
- Parker's actions as far as legislation is concerned would be in doubt.
Thinking this official information from the Minister of Local Government would bring an end to this discrimination by Parker it was presented to Council. The President and the CEO said that no action would be taken until they got legal advice from McLeods Barristers and Solicitors. At a cost to ratepayers McLeods reported that the Censure Resolution was invalid and Council acted beyond its power. They also suggested that Council take no further action as it was unlikely that Kramer could successfully take legal action against the Shire.
For me the point was made. It is now on public record that both the CEO, Garry Keeffe and the President George Parker falsely represented themselves as having the power to require
me to print a correction or to apologise. What is also on record is the fact that the CEO and the Shire President discriminated against one of the elected members of Council, rescinding an inappropriate motion for one Councillor and doggedly refusing to rescind the other inappropriate motion, so being inconsistent in their decision making, acting inappropriately without honour or integrity, breaching the Code of Conduct and not following the requirements of procedural fairness.
More recorded information/evidence to be added to what is presented above is,
- Members of the DLGRD provided the Minister of Local Government with false and misleading information, breaching the WA Public Sector Code of Ethics and their agency's Code of Conduct.
- There is no such thing as a "Censure Motion" in a Legislative sense.
- The DLGRD wrote that it does not favour this course of action (censure) admitting it is unenforceable.
- Council had no power to require or direct that a correction and or an apology be made.
- Those public servants who failed to respond to correspondence breached the WA Public Sector Code of Ethics and their agency's Code of Conduct.
- Both the Shire President and the CEO are guilty of discrimination thus breaching the Code of Conduct.
- Both the Shire President and the CEO acted beyond their powers, breaching the Code of Conduct.
- Both the Shire President and the CEO failed to provide the necessary procedural fairness, breaching the Code of Conduct.
- Cr George Parker misused his position as Shire President to cause detriment to another person.
- And finally, concerning the "Allen apology requirement" motion. With the exception of the word 'require' there is nothing else in the motion that was beyond the power of the Council, nor did the use of the word 'require' diminish or exclude the principal content of the motion, that is Cr Ron Allen was guilty of misconduct, breaching the Council Code of Conduct. With the help of the DLGRD, President George Parker, CEO Garry Keeffe and a number of naive Councillors Cr Ron Allen received a full pardon for his failure to comply with a majority decision of Council, setting a very dangerous precedent.
As it has been reported on this web site and in the opinion of the KT, West Australian Local Government Departments, apparently answerable to no one, engage in a deliberate strategy to bully, intimidate and discriminate against those who refuse to join their culture of bureaucratic control and against those who have the courage to publicly expose their incompetence.
The "Cr Kramer censure motion" stands today unchanged and inappropriately enforced. It stands as a monument in recognition of the unethical, unprincipled, discriminatory and unprofessional way the Shire President, Cr George Parker and the CEO Garry Keeffe conducted themselves in the running of the Shire of Northampton Western Australia.
"Some prefer controlling over governing." Lou Pritchet.
To be continued. 9809
A copy of any of the information referred to in this section is available upon request.