Hornsby Shire Council
Attachment to Report No. GM11/08 Page 0
Notes of Meeting Ė Cr Isaac
1 September 2008
The Meeting commenced at approximately 8.35 am and concluded at 8.50am.
Councillor Isaac attended my office, accompanied by a Mr Ian Turner, in accordance with advice received by Council by letter dated 27 August 2008 from Cr Isaacís solicitors David Beattie Pty Ltd.
I asked Cr Isaac whether he was attending my office to conform with the resolution of Council of 14 November 2007, to which Cr Isaac replied that he was attending in accordance with the contents of the letter from his solicitors.
I indicated to Cr Isaac that although I had not had the opportunity to review the Local Government Act, I was of the opinion that the Code of Conduct gave the Council the opportunity of counselling a Councillor where it had formed the view that a breach of the Code of Conduct had occurred.† In this instance, the Council had not formed the view that a breach had occurred but, I considered that the Council had wanted to finalise the matter.
I indicated to Cr Isaac that there had been some comments within the community in relation to a Councillor being counselled by the General Manager and that to ameliorate concern, originally I had suggested that the Mayor might also be involved.† I advised that in view of the current circumstances, that did not seem to be appropriate.
I indicated to Cr Isaac, that when he was first elected, I had offered to explain to him the Code of Meeting Practice and the Code of Conduct on two occasions and he had responded that he had read and understood the documents.† I advised that if I was to proceed to explain each part of the Code of Conduct and the Code of Meeting Practice, that it would take some time, but I was satisfied that I could fulfil the Councilís resolution if I could be sure that Cr Isaac had read and understood each document and was prepared to conform to their requirements.† Cr Isaac responded by indicating that he had read both the Code of Conduct and the Code of Meeting Practice and that neither he nor I were above the law.† I continued to repeat that I believed I could fulfil the requirements of the Councilís resolution if I was satisfied that Cr Isaac had read and understood both the Code of Conduct and the Code of Meeting Practices; was aware of the importance of conforming; and would continue to conform with their requirements.
I consider that Cr Isaacís commitment to conform with the law was effectively a commitment to conform with the Code of Conduct and the Code of Meeting Practice; which he openly admitted he had read and understood.
It was obvious that Cr Isaac was maintaining a firm line of following his legal advice and was reluctant to be more than a passive participant to any interaction.
At the conclusion of the Meeting, I asked Mr Turner for a copy of the Notes which he had taken and after originally agreeing to permit me to copy them, he then withdrew that permission.† I subsequently invited Mr Turner to provide me a copy after he had had a further opportunity to reconsider the matter and he indicated that he would so do.
Subsequently he indicated that he would not rethink the matter and would not provide a copy of his notes.† I indicated to Mr Turner that I considered that it was reasonable for him to make his Notes available to ensure that he had not incorrectly recorded any matter.† Mr Turner maintained his position of not making available a copy of his Notes.
R J BALL