The panel took the view that I "should have been aware of the possibility of of personal offence and acted in a more caring and sensitive manner". To this end, the panel recommended that I "attain an understanding" of Councillor Code of Conduct obligations as follows:
- will act honestly and in accordance with the law, the Code of Conduct and relevant Council policies and administrative procedures;
- will show respect and courtesy when dealing with other Councillors, Council employees and the public, and refrain from any form of conduct which may cause any person offence or embarrassment;
- will exercise reasonable care and diligence;
- will act impartially and in the best interests of the community;
- will be responsive to community views and seek to communicate these to the Council.
While I object strongly to the suggestion that I do not already act in accordance with those principles - both as a councillor and in my life generally - it is not my intention to appeal the panel's recommendation of a reprimand.
If no appeal is received from myself or the complainant by August 4 or thereabouts, the panel's recommendation will be considered firstly by a closed council meeting and finally by an open council meeting.
Comments will not be published until this matter is concluded.
- Last night's council meeting considered a raft of recommendations on the subject of a review of the Councillor Code of Conduct. As the above complaint remains live at this stage, I thought it best to declare an interest and leave the room. Cr James Graham also declared an interest and left the room. My formal declaration appears below.