Sunday, February 25, 2024

Council powerless to remove drink-drive Mayor

Redland City Council says three petitions calling for the removal of embattled Mayor Karen Williams fall outside of its jurisdiction.

At a meeting yesterday, the Council received three petitions calling for the Mayor’s removal following her admission to drinking several glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel of a Council-owned vehicle and crashing into a tree after a post-Budget celebration on Council premises in June.

One petition called for Ms Williams to resign. A second called on the Council to dismiss her; while a third demanded the appointment of an administrator.

As the meeting took place yesterday, a group of around 50 protestors gathered outside with many holding placards calling for the Mayor to stand down from her role.

One of the petitions calling for her sacking as received more than 6,550 signatures.

“Mayors and Councillors, as elected representatives, are not Council employees but are elected by the community under the Local Government Act 2009 and cannot be removed by an organisation such as a Council,” Council said in a statement following the meeting.

“Three of the petitions are outside of Council’s jurisdiction to enact.”

A further petition presented to the same meeting called for the introduction of a zero-alcohol workplace policy for Council.

“Two of the petitions were referred to the CEO under Council’s regular standing orders for meetings – the petition for a zero-alcohol workplace for elected representatives and a gated dog off-leash area on Coochiemudlo Island,” a Council statement reads.

“Council late last month announced it was reviewing its entertainment and hospitality policy,” it said.

Redland Mayor, Karen Williams, has admitted to drinking ‘several’ glasses of wine prior to the accident on 23 June.

Outside yesterday’s meeting, Councillor Adelia Berridge told media the current Council was “a bit dysfunctional”.

“I would like to go to a by-election,” said Cr Berridge. “I think we need a new leader.”

Ms Williams has taken leave since being charged with high-range drink driving by Queensland Police earlier this month.

Latest Articles