Accountability is a word which is often thrown around in this chamber, Paul Sandilands told MidCoast Council councillors as he was outlining a notice of motion he put before this week's May monthly ordinary meeting.
Cr Sandilands asked councillors to consider that a record be kept of councillor attendances or absences from council meetings, workshops, briefings and committee meetings.
He wants this information to be published on the council website monthly.
"Attendance as 'in person' or via Zoom' should also be recorded, Cr Sandilands said.
"I don't believe this is a huge impost of whether we do or don't turn up for council meetings," he said.
Cr Sandilands said there was a strong expectation from the community that councillors attend these events.
"We should be accountable as we expect everyone else to be."
However, Kathryn Bell opposed the motion believing it could be potentially punitive, inflicting punishment on councillors who were unable to attend meetings.
"It may be for very legitimate reasons, illness or the like and the reason for their absence will not be recorded as there is no minutes for workshops or pre-briefings," Cr Bell said.
She said meetings and workshops were optional and not a statutory requirement for councillors.
"Why not include time spent on reading, researching, taking phone calls, responding to emails, writing presentations turning up to and representing council at Anzac Day or commemorative days or Australia Day or different presentations by community groups which takes up significant time.
"To me this is an indication that a councillor with the best attendance record wins."
In my normal job I get paid to do my job and in this job we get paid to do our job.- Mid-Coast councillor Paul Sandilands
Prior to the election we had a lot of rhetoric from those seeking election how important it was to connect to the community, to be out there, to hear what the community said and where their concerns were, deputy mayor, Alan Tickle said.
"While there is the technology to Zoom when you are ill, there is consistent absence from some councillors who are not participating in workshops, we are not hearing their opinion," Cr Tickle said.
"Had they come to a workshop they may have been better informed when it comes to decision making.
"If you are holding yourself out to be representing the community carrying out your role as a councillor you should not be fearful of accountability of the public in terms of the way you conduct yourself and carrying out your obligations in which you were elected."
Cr Sandilands emphasised the motion was neither intended to be punishment or punitive.
"In my normal job I get paid to do my job and in this job we get paid to do our job," he said.
"The basis of the motion is purely to demonstrate to the community that we as councillors are fulfilling our obligations to the community. "
The motion was passed with just one objection from Cr Bell.
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