Mayor to push no confidence vote in effort to unseat Deputy Mayor at Tuesday’s council meeting
Mayor Patrick Conolly is dialling up the pressure and will seek to force his Deputy Mary Lyons-Buckett to resign her position and step aside at Tuesday’s full council meeting.
But Cllr Lyons-Buckett says the Mayor’s move is “nothing but a political attack” and she will not step down.
Deputy Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett at Hawkesbury Show earlier this year
The Mayoral Minute tabled in Business Papers released today calls for a vote of no confidence in the Deputy Mayor following the findings of an investigation of the Office of Local Government (OLG) into the councillor after she was found to have incorrectly managed a disclosure about an item at a June 2020 meeting.
The independent OLG made a finding of misconduct, albeit with the rider there was “lack of any evidence of dishonesty and/or motivation for personal gain” after Cllr Lyons-Buckett incorrectly made a declaration for a meeting.
The issue is now concluded, with no further action required, and it has not been passed back to Hawkesbury Council for any action there either.
But Mayor Conolly has now twice suggested the Deputy Mayor steps aside – once in a letter to her - which he shared with Council’s General Manager – and then through a very public social media post on Facebook.
The Mayoral Minute – a device which allows a Mayor to bring up any subject he or she sees fit – has attached a Statement of Reasons and says the Deputy Mayor “engaged in Misconduct…”.
He wants councillors to pass a Motion saying, “that council does not have confidence in Cllr Lyons-Buckett to continue in the role of Deputy Mayor”.
“I will not be standing down from my position,” the Deputy Mayor told the Post this afternoon.
“There is a complaints process which has been followed and the arbiter for that is the OLG.
“The publication of findings is not designed to be used as a political tool to continue the complaint on in the public arena when the facts have been analysed and a finding made.
“This is nothing but a political attack on me. I have been open about the findings and as far as I’m concerned the issue is complete.
“I have received overwhelming support from the community and my focus is on continuing to do my best to serve them, and assist the efforts to make the Hawkesbury the best place it can be.
“We have a meeting with very important business to get through on Tuesday night.
“The MM is a distraction and an attempt at political point-scoring.
“The matter was not returned to Council by the OLG to be dealt with, but the Mayor is persisting with it, despite my confirmation to him that I have no intention of stepping down.
“If anything, this displays a lack of understanding of process and selective use of the Mayoral Minute.
“There is a local government election in a few months, so let the people decide who they have confidence in, and who they want representing them.”
If you are already a Hawkesbury Post supporter, thank you! Our site is free, relying on our supporters to operate. Independent journalism is more important than ever, please consider contributing.
Don't pay so you can read it. Pay so everybody can read it!