An 'alternative' to reprimanding Cr McMullen was offered
GEOFF McMullen may have been officially reprimanded for "inappropriate” conduct for sharing a joke on Facebook, but news has come to light that his council colleagues could have voted to give him a warning.
Cr McMullen was reprimanded and listed on the council's Conduct Register after a joke he shared a joke on social media was deemed offensive by his fellow councillors.
The register said the conduct reflected negatively on the reputation of the council and demonstrated a lack of respect for fellow councillors.
The joke Cr McMullen shared implied government workers stood around senselessly and drank coffee for the first two hours of their work day.
Cr McMullen has received overwhelming support in the past week, with many constituents pointing out a "lack of sense of humour” within council ranks.
Deputy mayor Jan Chambers led the move to reprimand Cr McMullen, however mayor Tyson Golder opposed the motion, offering an alternative that would give Cr Mullen a second chance which did not involve being placed on the Councillor Conduct Register.
Cr Golder said he didn't believe in reprimanding the councillor because the outcome (being placed on the Councillor Conduct Register) was "unexpected” and the offence would not have been repeated.
"I put forward that an order that any repeat of the inappropriate conduct be referred to the regional conduct review panel as misconduct,” Cr Golder said.
"Because the council minutes weren't out in completeness, it's good democracy to highlight the differences in the option and what the outcome could've been.
"I want to make it clear there was another motion that wasn't recorded and I voted against the final resolution that saw Cr McMullen reprimanded.”
Cr McMullen told the Western Star none of his colleagues or council staff had approached him prior to the complaint.
"There was obviously an alternative option that council could have elected to go with,” Cr McMullen said.
"It wasn't a very serious issue so I don't think it needed to be handled like that - but it was out of my hands.
"It's not serious because it is a joke that has been going on for more than 50 years and, as I said before, it was printed in the local paper as a joke.”