Council volunteer should be congratulated, not vilified

Where is the justice? A volunteer who has saved council thousands of dollars in potential wages through her hard work and dedication to a community project as a member of a S355 committee has a code of conduct penalty slapped on her for a perceived trivial offence. Meanwhile two councillors who got away with throwing shoes into the gallery at a council meeting and contacting a builder during a tender process undoubtedly breached the code of conduct.

One of these councillors is let off with a slap on the wrist with no case to answer. One wonders what the outcome would have been had Angela Dunlop been given the equal opportunity to have had her case assessed by council reviewer, Gary Faulks, instead of GM Ken Gainger.

The inequity is astounding. The code clearly needs reviewing in order to provide some modicum of justice for volunteers. If certain council staff had carried out their duties effectively as we, the general public, have a right to expect, and had responded to Ms Dunlop’s reasonable questions in a timely manner this situation could have been avoided.

In her capacity as chair of the S355 committee and manager of SGB Community Centre Ms Dunlop worked tirelessly on the hall renovations project to achieve a remarkable outcome. I would even go so far as to say that our hall is one of the most outstanding halls in our Shire now because of Ms Dunlop’s attention to detail and research while keeping an eye on the budget. Our residents can now boast a community centre to be proud of and Ms Dunlop should be congratulated, not vilified.

Why would you want to be a volunteer for Byron Shire Council when this is the gratitude one gets?

Kathy Norley & the SGB Community Centre S355 committee members, South Golden Beach


One response to “Council volunteer should be congratulated, not vilified”

  1. Neil says:

    I am aware of the slowness of some council staff in responding to questions sent to them by email. Some are never answered. I can understand the frustration felt by Angela Dunlop at this trivial offense and lack of response to reasonable questions. Perhaps some staff don’t like strong women. Dare I say misogynist!

    A public apology by the GM to Angela and for the slowness of the staff concerned would be in order. Who would want to volunteer?

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